The air is poison, the climb is steep, and there’s a lake of sulfuric acid in the center of the caldera. Photography can be a little difficult in the precipitous craters and noxious gases of Java’s Ijen. Volcanoes, it turns out, aren’t great for drones.

On my trip to this curious Indonesia sight – a collection of composite volcanoes in yellow and white – I would find one of the most alien places I have ever visited. To film the Ijen volcano complex turned out to be more difficult and more rewarding than previously thought.

The five-hour train journey to Banyuwangi was on a bog-standard public train, though the view of Java passing by was pleasant enough. The train would take me to my eventual – though brief – resting place of Ijen Resort and Villas. It stands in stark contrast to the sharp ridges and alien topography of my Ijen destination, a bit reminiscent of Bali.

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