Photographer's Note

The Ijen volcano complex is a group of composite volcanoes in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java, Indonesia.

It is inside a larger caldera Ijen, which is about 20 kilometres wide. The Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the highest point of that complex. The name "Gunung Merapi" means "mountain of fire" in the Indonesian language (api being "fire"); Mount Merapi in central Java and Marapi in Sumatra have the same etymology.

West of Gunung Merapi is the Ijen volcano, which has a one-kilometre-wide turquoise-coloured acidic crater lake. The lake is recognised as the largest highly acidic crater lake in the world. It is also a source for the river Banyupahit, resulting in highly acidic and metal-enriched river water which has a significant detrimental effect on the downstream river ecosystem. It is the site of a labour-intensive sulfur mining operation, in which sulfur-laden baskets are carried by hand from the crater floor.

Source: WIkipedia

Note: On the right is the sulphuric gas rising from the Ijen crater below. This moves around all the time, subject to the direction of the wind. Hence, if you hike up here, start shooting when you get a clear view, because you will never know when the view will be covered by the smoke from the sulphuric gas later.

Further ahead, is the path heading down from when you hike up from. Most tourists stop there once they reach the point where they can look down to the crater and lake. However, our tour guide took us much further up and we hiked a big circle round the rim of the crater for different views at every point. This would take an hour, in addition to the initial 2 hours to hike up.

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Additional Photos by May Mah (mayjayne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 376 W: 23 N: 1119] (7204)
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