We have arrived in Bali to discover volcanologists are announcing that Mount Agung, its largest volcano to the east of the island, may erupt any day soon. With numerous villages likely to be wiped out, thousands have been evacuated from a 12km exclusion zone. Authorities are right to treat this seriously, the last time Mount Agung erupted in 1963, over 1,000 died.
We’re 70km away so currently unaffected. But it does mean our flight out of here on Saturday might be disrupted. It’s possible we’ll be here longer than planned and may have to rearrange our remaining round-the-world flights.
When we were children, Bali was an idyllic, exotic and semi-mysterious place. Today we read it’s ruined; litter on all the beaches, the sea full of condoms, the whole place overrun with drunken Aussies. So we have realistic expectations of our week here, hopefully a time of relaxing and recharging before we start a fairly intensive period of travel in Malaysia and India.
Our home in Bali is the surf shack area of Canggu, which Lonely Planet calls ‘more a state of mind than a place’. But, today with cranes and builders everywhere, it’s a place in transition – the ancient paddy fields are becoming pizza joints.