Anak Krakatau

Trip Start May 03, 2007
Trip End Jan 01, 2008

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Sumatra - Anuk Krakatau

The small boat armed with two large outboard motors was lurching about as we tried to board from the beach. Myself and Tweeks were almost immediately soaked to the skin as a wave overpowered the prow and sprayed us good and proper. The crew of two helpers, one captain and our guide soon had her ready for take off, and an hour and a half later, we were at our destination.

We made camp on the very small and uninhabited remains of Krakatua. Now named Rakata after the volcanic peak it had been, it is now well and truly separated by maybe 2kms of salty sea water from its original big buddy. Here is a brief history:

"The 1883 eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, and pumice, and generated the loudest sound historically reported: the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Australia approx. 1,930 miles (3,110 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius approx. 3,000 miles (5,000 km). Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis which followed the explosion.
The eruption destroyed two thirds of the island of Krakatoa. Eruptions at the volcano since 1927 have built a new island in the same location, called Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatoa)"
Rakarta is essentially a grandstand seat for the newly emerged Anuk Krakatau - Anuk translates as child - and truly mind blowingly beautiful in it's own right. Baring in mind we have been spoilt rotten for beaches over the past months, we can be rather blasť about stretches of sand with sea access.... but Rakata was perfect. I was looking forward to the volcano so much, i had given no thought to our camp island for the night. We had discovered my favourite island ever. The camera sure got a good work out.
Ooooooh, before i forget my favourite Krakatau statistic was the 46 metre tall wave which took it's toll on nearby coasts! Imagine how tall that is!
Anyhow, before you move on with boredom, it was about the best 24hrs i have spent anywhere. As well as the main event in the form of rumbling explosions, that lit up with great affect at night, we were awoken in the night by a giant turtle who was laying her brood next to our tent. We feel asleep and unfortunately missed her journey back to the warm inky black sea. 
After breakfast we ventured to within 400 metres of Anuk, and pretty much stared wide eyed as she let rip with an awe inspiring ejection which simply left me gaping and slightly taken aback. This was close enough.

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