01:45 am. Wearing a sweater, jacket & pants , just bought gloves and a hat from the vendor nearby (wasn't expecting + 10C in a tropical country) ;
2000m above the sea 🌊
3 bottles of water and a sandwich in my backpack. Putting my gas mask on and getting ready for what would be one of the most memorable adventures.
Already feeling the mild smell of sulphur in the air. The local told us it's 3km to go up. Equipped with a flashlights, we started to climb.
⛰(Never before climb that steep surface) . Every step was becoming harder and harder. Tired and sleepy 😴, after 40 min walking we asked how much more : " We are half-way". It seemed so easy at first. Finally after 1,5 h we were getting closer to the top. The smell of sulfur was becoming stronger and suddenly, it became impossible to breath.
Just in couple seconds, I put my mask on, right when the holding strip on my mask popped open.
I had to hold my breath while the local was completing a repair. Feeling relieved , I finally put my mask on and... started to suffocate (it's more challenging to do deep breaths in a gas mask). It took me 15 min to get used to the mask.
Further we moved, more contaminated air we felt. The worst was on the top. From there, we started to move down slowly to our final destination. There was no path, only sharp rocks. In a pitch darkness, I guessed which rock would be stable so not letting me fall off the cliff ( the passage was very narrow and steep). Eventually, the local gave me his hand 🤚🏻 to support my stability, and laughed every time I almost tripped.
The sulphur's presence became unbearable. My eyes watered, the head ached and the powers were almost exhausted. There was equal amount of steps to get back and to go forward, so I decided to continue.
04:00 am , finally, reached our final point - legendary Blue Flames in Ijen Volcano.
Only on the way back with a morning sun, I realized that I was passing by the abundance of sulfur grounds and astonishing views , which I could not see at night.
Coming to realization that I have reached the highest point of self-fulfilment. There were no doubts anymore, simple I can. Anything is possible. I am woman and I am strong. I have completed the epic journey and I have summited on of the most dangerous hikes in the world. I did it alone, there is nothing that could scare me anymore. Especially when such moment of empowerment lead me to the response of how to reach Happiness. Follow your dreams and do something that scares you the most. Realizing power within you is your Happiness.