A Journey Around Java Island

Olja Ryzevski and Mauricio F. Corridan are a Berlin-based couple pursuing degrees in Photography whilst following their common passion for exploring the world. For the past six months they have been living in and travelling through Asia. Based in Seoul, they set out to travel through Thailand and Indonesia, where they captured their experience of the awe-inspiring Java island.

Speaking of their adventure, Ryzevski and Corridan say: “With a population of over 141 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, and home to some of the most breath-taking locations our eyes have ever seen. During our three-day trip through this beautiful Indonesian island, we saw active volcanoes in mid-eruption, an amazing waterfall and the world’s largest acid lake, located inside the Ijen Crater.

"We saw active volcanoes in mid-eruption, an amazing waterfall and the world's largest acid lake"

Our trip began with a visit to Bromo Tengger Semeru National park in East Java. We had never seen active volcanoes prior to this and to say it was amazing to feel and hear the power of nature so close to you is an understatement. Bromo stands as one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Still amazed by what we had seen, we continued our trip to explore the beautiful Madakaripura waterfall. One must first climb an array of cliffs before encountering this incredible gift from nature. At that point, we were wet from bottom to top and honestly, it felt amazing.

On our last night, our heads hardly touched our pillows before we were off to our next adventure. The steep hill to the crater would have been a tough one to climb in broad daylight, let alone through the pitch-black night. Once we were half way there, we were instructed to wear protective masks due to the strong sulphur gas that came from inside the crater itself. The way down was even harder, the path was narrow and slippery. We could barely see anything but blurry silhouettes and the masks made the breathing rather difficult. From time to time a mineworker carrying up to 80 kilos of solid sulphur would pass by us and we would all step aside to let him through.

We were almost at the bottom of the Crater when the magnificent beauty of blue-fired flames surrounded us. These blue lights are the result of the liquid sulphur’s high temperature that flows from an active vent at the edge. Unfortunately we didn’t see many of these throughout the night due to the rain, but the best part was yet to come. Once the sun rose, the real magic emerged, in the form of the most beautiful scene we had ever set eyes on. It was the world’s largest acid lake with all its different contrasting colors – a stunning combination. The ever-changing different blue and green tones were simply mesmerizing.”

"Once the sun rose, the real magic emerged, in the form of the most beautiful scene we had ever set eyes on."

All images © Olja Ryzevski / Mauricio F. Corridan

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