Monday, August 27, 2007

Singletrack in a volcano

An image from a month-long, self-supported, mountain biking tour of East Java, Indonesia, in November 1992.

A peek inside the crater of an active volcano, Kawa Ijen, in East Java, Indonesia. The mist is a combination of sulphur fumes and water vapor from the simmering turquoise lake.

The volcano belches red rivers of molten sulphur; workers channel the liquid into cavities in the ground, where, upon solidifying, the huge blocks are broken into large chunks with sharpened steel bars and carried down the mountain. Each load of two bundles easily tips the scale at 70 kg (154 lbs). The locals are paid US$1.40 per 16 km (10 mile) trip.

We descended into the crater and observed the operation for about 20 minutes. After we climbed back out, we found ourselves digging sulphur crystals from our nostrils.

Steve Axford took some wonderful pictures of what goes on in the crater.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eh, Ben have to update you lah,

Keep on cycling!