Mount Batur

Copyright Simon Bonneau.

Mount Batur. An active volcano in the central highlands of Bali. The view across the summit reveals a distant lake in the middle of the caldera. The trip up here has our ears popping with the change in altitude. The roads are perilous, and at many points, sections of it has fallen away due to the constant rain. Our driver tells us that a landslide not far from here claimed the lives of more than twenty people just a few weeks ago. The desolate peaks stand in stark contrast to the dense, fecund jungle below.

Small bamboo huts stand out against the foliage. One man, selling artwork made from the mountain’s volcanic sand, tells us that he treks four hours a day to and from the parking lot of the restaurant from his home below. The week before, a tourist gave him the shoes he wears now after seeing him labouring along in a pair of broken flip-flops.