Banyuwangi may only be a ferry ride away from Bali but somehow I only managed to visit here after being almost 6 years in Bali. Last Christmas I intended to go there but only managed to reach the Gilimanuk Port. Finally during the Eid holiday season I managed to cross over the Bali Strait to reach Banyuwangi.

So, yeaaayyy..!!!

We couldn’t have picked a better timing to cross, it was unplanned but we managed to get on the ferry just shortly before sunset. Needless to say, the view was amazing. Super looove it..!

Before crossing over we ate a traditional Balinese food, Men Tempeh which is well known for its betutu. It is super spicy hot, but it is something that you absolutely must do when you’re in Gilimanuk.

It only takes around half an hour to reach Ketapang, but to port can take another 30 minutes or more. This trip was more of a happy go lucky trip, with no planning at all of what we will do in Banyuwangi. We also didn’t prebook a hotel for our stay in Banyuwangi, so in between the times to take pictures and enjoying the stunning view, we also tried to book a hotel. Unfortunately, during the busy Eid season we found no luck at all. So, our first priority after getting off the ferry is to find a place for our stay. We couldn’t be too picky of course, so we were happy that we finally managed to find an inn to sleep. It was either that or sleeping in the car.

In this trip I took my two girls with me, aged 7 and 9. Hiking to the Ijen Crater is on my mind but to see the blue fire is definitely not on this trip’s agenda. So, I woke the girls up around 5 in the morning to take them to their first hiking trip. From Banyuwangi to Ijen takes around 1.5 hours. We didn’t expect much at all, we didn’t expect to reach the top of the crater. We thought, we would just take it as it goes. If they were bored and decided not to pursue hiking, we would definitely go find another destination to go to.

But you know what? We did reach the top and so I was estatic!

It was our first hiking trip and we reached the top..! I’m super proud of my two girls. Well actually, one of them cheated. She went up using a trolley that were dragged by a sulfur miner which costs Rp. 200.000, but I was happy that they really enjoyed the hiking journey. It is around 3km which takes around 2 hours to reach the top. On the 2km mark, there was this kiosk that sold tea/ coffee and instant noodles. For us, it is like a must visit place to re-energize before going on the last km. Anyway, it was misty when we reached the top, but even that we were lucky to get a view of the crater even if it was only a glimpse. It was simply stunning.

I definitely can’t wait for the next hiking trip with my girls.