Published: February 9th 2010December 23rd 2009
Workers capable of carrying 80kg on a bamboo pole up sheer rock slopes, to a depot 5km away - deformed back initially optional.
Summary: If you think you have a rough job - think again. This has to be the world's worst job;
Wanted - Sulphur Collector
Dedicated and determined individual required to collect sulphur from the interior of an active volcano. Must be physically fit (at the moment) as you will be required to walk 16 km daily, ascending and descending a tricky slippery rocky sheer track of about 800m, whilst balancing up to 80kgs of rock sulphur on a bamboo pole. You must not be adverse to the physical disfigurement that this pole will cause to your shoulders, or the sores and lesions etc.
You will be responsible for supplying your own gas mask, without it you will develop a hacking rasping lung complaint due to the sulphuric acid that condenses in your throat. Salary - commensurate with experience
On this performance based pay system you could earn up to $4 a day! Health Care
None. Perks of the job
• Ijen is stunning.
• The lake is beautiful.
• The crater is otherworldly.
The scene is straight out of "Conan the Barbarian" - though these workers
aren't slaves, and molten sulphur replaces the molten lava. They trudge up and down the inside of the crater, carrying ratan baskets on bamboo poles over their shoulders. The volcano spews out yellow clouds of ash and sulphur dioxide, it stings as it eats away at the lining of your mouth and nose. The trail goes directly through the densest part.
At the base of the crater an eerily turquoise lake stretches out a kilometre or so, and molten sulphur dribbles down pipes pushed into the rocky vents. Gradually these harden, and the men collecting it hack at it with iron tools breaking lumps of still orange sulphur rock off the surface.
They collect a few of the more beautiful pieces - something to sell to the handful of tourists that make it here each day, some they carve into turtles or bears.
Ijen a plateau of cloud forests, coffee plantations, and this volcano - the volcano provides fertile soils and work to the people living in the region - but it doesn't provide this easily. Note
- there are some terrible jobs out there - this is one of the harshest I've seen, other
candidates include the silver miners of Potosi, Bolivia - physically dangerous, hazardous to the health, and low paid. If you've seen worse - please write a blog and leave a comment...
There are more photos below