Mount Ijen and the Sulphur Miners

Mount Ijen and the Sulphur Miners

In late 2013, in the company of Nick & Janelle Rains and my wife Kelly, we arrived at the Paltuding base camp around midday. What followed was a 3km hike to the rim of the caldera and an experience like no other. As we climbed there was a steady stream of men coming the other way, down the mountain, all carrying what looked like impossible weights in two wicker baskets suspended on a small pole across their shoulders. Reaching the rim it’s like looking down into hell, a landscape of choking sulpher dioxide, a barren landscape, a luminous green lake of acid and the never ending line of miners carrying their loads up from the floor of the volcano.