I started a new Minecraft world only a few weeks ago, and was having fun until I entered the Nether, took one step backwards, and fell about a hundred blocks down into a sea of lava, where I promptly burned to death.
To make matters worse, I've explored the Nether for hours, and I just can't find a Nether Fortress to save my life! I need to find one so I can find a Blaze spawner, then I can get Blaze Powder to make Eyes of Ender to find the End portal. The problem is that the new Nether in 1.16 is so horribly vertically oriented! I constantly reach dead ends of bottomless pits, and even after finding my way down them and exploring, I just cannot find a single Nether Fortress.
Is there any way to have a better shot at locating Fortresses? I know I could probably chuck my seed into some program and it would spit out the coordinates of the closest Fortress, but I'm not interested in external methods like that.
I think the distribute pattern of nether portals was changed in 1.16. In previous versions, they would roughly line up in north-south lines roughly 200 blocks apart and by travelling along secondary directions (northwest, southwest, etc) you could quickly come across one that you might have otherwise not seen when following the x or z axis (north, south, west, east).
Until you get elytra, there's really no good way other than creative flight to explore it quickly, but if you don't mind extremely slow progress you could tame a strider and walk the lava lakes on it (you don't control it like a horse, you control it like a pig...a "something" on a stick). With the clever use of fences and properly spaced striders, you could create a "strider highway" that works similar to minecart elevators but horizontally but this is mostly useful when you have somewhere you wish to go already.
I forget if you can swim in lava as if it were water or if you just sink to/walk along the bottom like its air, but if you have abundant access to fire resistance potions you could just dive directly into the lava oceans and swim around the wide-open spaces. That would at least give you a really far view and you could determine if it was worthwhile to go ashore to explore more thoroughly. Probably not an option since you're looking for blazes, but something to keep in mind for later should you want to go looking for more fortresses/bastions.