Visiting Mount Ijen. Or trying…

May 5ht, 2019. Mount Ijen

Breakfast was the usual banana pancake at the only place around that served food. This time we met a Spanish/Irish couple and had a chat with them about their and our travels, and the plans for visiting Mount Ijen.

We rented a motorbike at our hostel and went to a waterfall nearby. It was nice and refreshing and we saw some pretty nice rice fields on the way. There, we met again with people we had met days before, and they told us about another waterfall nearby.

It was a short but really cool walk jungle style, monkeys included. And that waterfall didn’t fail to impress! It was so powerful that got us soaking wet from 10 meters far!

Exploring Mount Ijen

Later we went to Mount Ijen to explore and find accommodation. We decided to stay in a simple homestay. No internet, no fan or airco, and a very simple toilet. But this is the kind of places where you stay because of the people!

Homestay in Mount Ijen
Our host in Mount Ijen

Everything we’ve read and heard about Mount Ijen seems a bit confusing. It’s famous for its blue fire, only visible between 2-4am, and it’s necessary to wear gas masks. So all people go there at night and most people go as part of a tour.

We don’t like tours and wanted to do it by ourselves, so we went to the top durnig the afternoon and asked for information at the main gate. It seemed to be completely fine to do it without a tour, and gas masks could be rented on site.

On the way back we realized all local restaurants were closed, maybe because it was the night before Ramadan starts. Luckily, there was a hotel nearby where we could still have dinner and have shelter while it was raining. Back at the homestay the family offered us tea and cookies and a nice conversation with the help of google translate and body language. We went to sleep; our alarms would ring at 00:30.

Our attempt for visiting Mount Ijen

When we woke up in the dark, the sky was clear. We started riding up the mountain towards the top of the mount, but after 10 minutes it started to rain. We drove a bit further and found a hut to wait for the rain to stop. But the rain only got harder and even though we had raincoats, it was not enough… we would arrive to the top being completely wet, and even if at the crater it wasn’t raining, we would have to hike for two hours on wet clothes.

We were sad to admit it, but continuing was not a good option, so we went back to the homestay and rested for the rest of the night…

If you are planning on visiting Mount Ijen, read this full guide with all the information you need before you go.

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