For our 6th day on the island of Java, we will live two unforgettable experiences: the meeting of the sulfur gatherers of the Ijen volcano and the magnificent dance show in Banyuwangi.
Program of the day around Banyuwangi
Our program of the day was very busy but so successful!
- Ascent of KAWAH IJEN Volcano
- Discovery of Banyuwangi
- National Dance Festival of Java
On the way to Kawah Ijen Volcano
Departure at 4:00 am to reach the starting point of the hike (1h30 of 4X4). Too flat, we did not have the courage to get up earlier to see the famous blue flames … But the volcano was still outstanding!
Before attacking the climb, consider renting gas masks if you plan to go down into the crater (required to withstand the sulfur fumes).
Ascent of Kawah Ijen Volcano
Then it will be 1:30 of rough climb to reach the crater. Take good shoes because the path is very slippery.
Arriving at the top of the crater, the sight is striking: at the bottom of this cauldron of rock spreads the acid lake of a milky blue-green, while on the shore we see the yellow spot of a sulfur-to-sky open from which escapes a thick cloud of smoke.
I went down to the edge of the lake by a rocky trail (30 minutes) where we meet the collectors and sulfur carriers. We must avoid giving money without consideration, I opted to buy several pieces of sulfur directly to the bearers. They were happy and I felt guilty less … but I still felt pity and anger against this way of exploiting men. Do not hesitate to start the conversation when they pose and especially avoid taking pictures in front of them …
When you go back down, remember to raise your head from time to time because there are plenty of monkeys in the trees, leaping from liana to liana: another beautiful show of nature!
What to see in Banyuwangi in 1 day
Back in the late morning in Banyuwangi, we took a ride in a rickshaw and visited the local market. We found the rickshaw on the street facing the main mall. The rickshaw ride makes us discover the old neighborhoods and brought us to see a Chinese temple. Nice walk but difficult for rickshaw drivers. I almost regretted not doing it on foot. But on the other hand, we have made people work who really need it.
The local market is overcast and very dark. It seemed to me of little interest because little stall, unfriendly, few smiles … short as soon as you get in, we want to leave!
We had planned to visit a fishing port in Muncar but our guide offers instead the national festival of dances of Java. So lets go! Here we are VIP guests, settled among the officials watching 1,200 beautiful dancers in traditional costumes perform choreography in perfect harmony. We were even interviewed by a journalist eager for comments from Westerners … An unpredictable, unexpected moment where we were impregnated with the Javanese culture in an atmosphere we loved! Thanks again to Daus for this magical moment!
As we had been up since 4 am, we are very tired and decide to go back to our hotel to eat a bite and have a good night’s sleep.More information about Didu’s Homestay
Where I went in Day 7?