Indonesia Travel

Photo series #11 – Mysterious blue fires in Kawah Ijen

February 15, 2016

Let’s go to Kawah Ijen, a volcano located in the farthest east part of Java island in Indonesia. This volcano is known for its blue fires, a rare phenomenon: in fact the blue color comes from the sulfur combustion.

Departure at 1:00 am to join the crater, equipped with a flashlight to walk in the dark and the foggy night.
The climbing is steep, and after having climbed one and a half hour, I got to the meeting point before the final descent to the blue fires. Yes because from this point, time is counted and we have to wear a protection mask against the toxic gases coming from the volcano.
The miners, working here night and day, don’t wear masks, carrying baskets of 70 Kg of sulfur ore for each trip. Painful working conditions.
I rushed to the thick cloud of sulfur and waited for the cloud to disappear to hopefully observe the blue fires. Eyes and throat started to sting. It became more and more difficult to breath normally. Not very lucky, after having seen one small blue fire, I decided to go back up.

Capture d’écran 2016-02-09 à 17.42.42
From another point we could watch the blue fires without the thick cloud of sulfur. The spectacle was very nice and unusual. Some people improvised a wood fire to get warm. Warming ambiance there.
At sunrise, I finally saw the crater with its turquoise-blue lake. Time to go down. A really nice surprise was waiting for me: an amazing beautiful landscape with trees lost in the fog…

To see to have a look on the blue fires: film trailer “Kawah Ijen, le mystère des flammes bleues” directed by Olivier Grunewald and Régis Etienne.


Kawah Ijen in Java, Indonesia

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1 Comment

  • Reply Photo series #12 - Bali, real paradise? - Tech beyond borders March 13, 2016 at 11:10 am

    […] visiting Jakarta, Bandung and Kawah Ijen on the Java island, I boarded a ferry for Bali island. Up until now, Bali sounded more like a […]

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