[simage=1377,200,n,left,]Famous for the massive explosion in 1883, allegedly the loudest bang in history, Krakatau is active again. Actually, it is “Anak Krakatau” that is active, which is the “child of Krakatau” that emerged from the ocean in 1927 where Krakatau had stood before it exploded and destroyed itself. We had planned this trip for a while and booked to stay in our friend Rudy’s nice villa in Carita, West Java; from here Krakatau is about 1 hour by boat in the straight between Java and Sumatera.
A few days before we were due to go we heard that “more serious” volcanic activity was happening and that a 1 km exclusion zone was in effect around the volcano. Bugger. We would be disappointed not to be able to get close to Krakatau, but a weekend away drinking wine and eating good food is not be missed. Of course, this is Indonesia, and when we asked the local guide if we could still go and visit the volcano the answer was “of course”. So off we went, and as we got closer we could see Anak Krakatau and then the first eruption happened – a big cloud of ash bellowing up 100s of metres into air. After stopping for photos, the boat continued straight toward the erupting volcano and eventually stopped right next to the shore of ash and volcanic rock; perhaps too close for Gill’s liking.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, we then landed on the southern slope of Anak Krakatau where forest has started to colonise. When then hiked up one of the large ash ridges to get a good look at the new cone, which had now stopped its activity (probably for the best. It was interesting to see the destroyed climate station right where we standing.
After all that excitement, we had a picnic on Anak Krakatau beach. Unfortunately, this part of the island is covered in trash – quite amazing how careless people are here. We went around to the west of a remaining part of old Krakatau volcano for some snorkeling on a coral reef. Simply great. On the beach here we saw a huge monitor lizard going for a dip in the ocean. We brought sardines from a fishing boat on the way home and settled in at the villa for a BBQ and an evening drinking wine and talking the usual rubbish.