You know how you can sometimes complain about long hours in the office, deadlines or traffic jams? I do it too. Well, let me tell you a little story: 2 years ago we visited Indonesia during a multi month trip. One of the spots we visited was the Ijen Crater, a volcano with an acid lake and active sulfur mining operation. Lonely Planet told us to go early in the morning to see the beautiful colors of the lake at sunrise. It also said that the walk up the volcano would take about 45 minutes. Well, the steep hill we climbed at 4 a.m. was almost too heavy for my marathon trained legs and it took us at least 2 hours to reach the top. The sun was up, so we missed the sunrise. But that’s not why I’m telling you this. On our way up we met Indonesian men on flip flops with baskets on their backs filled with yellow rocks. These rocks were solid sulfur and weigh over a 100 kilos. Not only did they walk up and down the steep path twice a day, once you were at the top of the volcano the real challenge would begin. A slippery 200 meters climb down into the crater lead towards the actual mine and acid lake. Dangerous and not the best paid job. Every time I feel like complaining I think about them and realize how lucky I am. Apart from this story I need to say that the sights, the views and the bright turquoise lake are breathtaking! See more picture here.
P.S. recent reports state that the volcano is waspada (alert status), meaning that the volcano is too active and might erupt. Read the latest news here.