We awoke this morning to news that the Indonesian volcano Gunung Sinabung has again erupted. As you may recall, it was just a few months ago that we were in Berastagi, Sumatra, Indonesia climbing Gunung Sibayak. Each morning and evening while we were in Berastagi would would climb to the roof of the home we were staying in and watch the smoke coming from Sinabung.
Climbing to the roof to look at Sinabung
Sinabung smoking on the horizon
Talking about the last eruption…and the present danger.
The husband of the family we were staying with had an extensive album of photos he had taken in 2010, the last major eruption of Sinabung. The photos were a strong reminder of nature’s power – flowing lava, billowing smoke, dozens of charred bodies, horribly burned survivors with skin baked and peeling, everything covered in snow-like ash… A nightmarish scene.
And yet people choose to live and work all around the volcano. The land is fertile, the climate friendly. The area is Sumatra’s “bread basket.” The family we stayed with was convinced that it was totally safe.
Lush fields in our “backyard”
A house in Berastagi
To put the locations in perspective, here is a map that shows Sinabung, Sibayak and the house where we stayed:
The red circle is Sinabung (just erupted), the green circle is Sibayak (the one we climbed), and the blue circle is the house where we stayed. The map scale is about 1 inch = 5 miles.
Sinabung smoulders at sunset
A sulphurous lump on the side of the volcano
Not hot lava
Local kids at work
We hope our friends there are safe, and continue to be so…
The past month has been a whirlwind trip through Malaysia and Sumatra. We’ve visited the disappearing rainforests of both, trekked through the jungle, climbed an active volcano, met orangutans in the wild, and stayed on a beautiful island in a giant lake, in the crater of yet another volcano.
In Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Rainforest ants are BIG!
We promise we to blog about it soon, but not tonight.
Tonight we are back in Kuala Lumpur. It’s getting close to midnight and we have to be up before the sun tomorrow for a flight to SRI LANKA!
We promise more updates soon, but in the meantime here is a short video of our climb of Gunung Sibayak in Sumatra. I wish you could smell the sulphur and feel the heat. It was awesome!
Yesterday we climbed to the top of Gunung Sibayak, a volcano near Berastagi, Sumatra, Indonesia. We got up at 4 am and made it to the top rim of the volcano just as the sun was rising. It was awesome!
The video above is just a quick “Hello” but we are working hard to get a full post up with all the details on the volcano experience as well as our recent adventures in the rain forests and urban jungles of Sumatra.