Monday, August 29, 2016

Banyuwangi | Kawah Ijen - The Climb

Kawah Ijen.
Sulphur volcano.
2hours climb.
Climb starts at 12am.
Weather at 18c.
OK. Thanks. Bye.

That pretty much sums it all (do I still need to blog? *cheeky smile*).

Everyone has their own experience of their climb up this wondrous Mount Ijen or Kawah Ijen as what the locals call it. But mine was different. Special. Unique. Whimsical. I did not climb up… you heard me right alright. I vomited. That’s why. But don’t get me wrong, the sulphur smell wasn’t that bad, it just that am not well, I have a bad sinus case… so being there enhance it.

I, however, would want to share my journey… of NOT climbing up. Gempak ok cite I… baik you guys baca.

I started the day being informed that I must climb this mountain – it being mandatory, worried being short of breath (thinking I can and will die – drama much kan!), I decided to abide by the rule (I good girl tau) and woke up as early (or late) as 11pm and got ready at the lobby at 12am where they  whisked us from Ketapang Indah Hotel in this rugged macho 4x4 jeep. A one hour journey from Banyuwangi town to the foot of Kawah Ijen, at this point, your nose instantly hinted you that the sulphur smell is similar to rotten eggs (plenty of rotten eggs. Plenty), signalling your brain (and memory) for a face mask (forgot to bring), medicine, water, glove and walking stick. Oh yah! The weather was 18c.

Briefing was done at the mountain foot, there is a toilet near where we park, you can get your gloves from here too, toilet and gloves is chargeable of course. During the briefing we were told that the journey up takes an hour or so, we will be able to see the famous blue flame and catch the beautiful sunrise before we head down. Me with all my gear in place start walking… as I reached the first 200m, I started to feel nauseated. As we walked another 50m, I almost vomit out whatever we ate earlier. I inform the organiser and was advised to rest in the jeep. But this is not the great story, you guys need to read further to know this epic story of mine (epic hokkay).

This old pak cik (old man/old uncle) assisted me to the jeep, holding my arm, worried that I will collapse or faint and chatted with me as we walk slowly. The journey down was nothing great… but what he said touched me “Kita jalan perlahan-lahan ya, supaya selamat. Kalau sakit ngak perlu naik, yang penting kita aman” something along this line.

“We walk slowly down so that we will be safe. We do not need to climb up if sick, as long as we are healthy and safe, that is more important”. Sweet right.

When I reach the jeep, it was locked… he search for the driver while I lean by the jeep. Once the drive unlock the vehicle, he pull down the chair, took out the headrest and turn it into a pillow and insisted I lie down and rest. He then close the door and ask the driver to stay nearby.

He was so fatherly and kind… I was overwhelmed and almost cried, reminded me of my late dad.

I vow to write about his kindness, and so I wrote it. Here. Now.

Trip of Wonders– Indonesia Social Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Indonesia.

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