natcheng natcheng

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Natalie Cheng  human

this old man here, his son and mom were our life saviors. both of us were dead beat from our morning hike and being us city kids, descending for another 2 hours was out of question. we went around asking locals if they had some form of transport which we could rent to take us back to our hostel but alas, lady luck wasn't on our side.

desperate as we were, we even stood by the side of the road and tried hitch-hiking but that didn't work for us as well. 30 mins into descend, a local in his bike rode towards us and asked if we wanted to buy a ride back. it was tempting but we felt 3 adults + 2 backpacks on a bike was a little dangerous. we requested for anything but a bike β€” he gave a little thought and said his friend has a car that we could hop on, just wait and his friend will pick us up in 10 mins.

we waited, and it turned out to be an open truck! so we had a ride around the desert in the open, surrounded ourselves with mountains and volcanoes. the feeling at that moment was indescribable. the experience was worth every penny spent.

that's one of the reasons why sometimes i enjoy not planning and letting things fall into place β€” who knows, they may be better than expected and you'll get a little memory to tell. πŸ™‚

gunung penanjakan.

cluster of β›° and πŸŒ‹.

gunung penanjakan.
hiked under the stars.
spotted saturn and venus.
fell and got muddy.
whole lot of a memorable experience.

gunung bromo.
sea of sand.

gunung bromo.
crater textures.

gunung bromo.

unknowingly the only 2 humans in the entire desert hiking in the dark. we were clueless as to where we were walking towards, or what our surroundings looked like. it didn't aid the fear when locals kept riding towards us and haunting us with their bikes to buy a ride because we were "walking the wrong direction to the crater". (thank you google maps and @longaguu for believing in your skills πŸ˜›). when twilight came, the first hand experience of seeing what we were walking on for the past hour was extraordinary. vast mountains surrounding us, infinite land, feeling so small. but it was lonely. it felt like we were the only humans lost on mars walking aimlessly hoping to find another being. nonetheless, the view was amazing and the teenage dream of seeing a volcano from its crater has been fulfilled.

kawah ijen.

frozen by the cold, but taken aback by its volcanic beauty.

kawah ijen.

these sulphur miners start their day at 2am everyday. rain or shine, they hike for hours twice a day, back and forth to the sulphur mines, carrying these baskets of sulphur weighing 70-100kg on their backs back to base. they lack protection from the gases; the most they have is only a piece of cloth to cover noses. for all the laborious work, they only earn $10-12 a day just so they can provide for their families. risking their lives for their loved ones with no complaints, i've got serious mad respect for them.

kawah ijen.

departed our guesthouse at 1 in the morning for an hours drive of steep windy roads to our base and started our 2 hour hike. the weather wasn't in our favour - it was rainy and windy, so our hike was more challenging because our rubbish shoes lacked grip on slippery loose rocks. unfortunately we didn't manage to descend all the way to the edge of the lake to witness the famous blue flames because the sulphuric gas were already choking us halfway down. we climbed back up to the crater and sat in the bleak cold while we waited for sunrise. we were completely wet, shivering and miserable, but when the light came in, we took all of the view in and everything felt worth it.

summertime's in bloom β˜€οΈ

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