The observant among you may have noticed that we are not in Australia at the moment - Australia being distinctly lacking in live volcanoes. The water park might have been a giveaway too - only penguins and polar bears would brave an outdoor pool in Canberra in September! We've had a few days in Jakarta staying with friends, and then a little trip off the west coast of Java - next to Sumatra - to see this smoking hill in the middle of the ocean. It is Krakatau - or more accurately Anakrakatau, son of Krakatoa. When the big Krakatoa eruption happened in 1883 it basically blew itself to bits, and the caldera is now ocean with islands around it.
Of course it had to be climbed up. I suspect that if this volcano was in Australia, no-one would be allowed to even land there for reasons of safety, but the Indonesians are much more relaxed about these things. The volcano had been very active last week, so there were lots of sulphur gases and lava bombs that were ejected by the volcano and are still smouldering hot. Fascinating. Yes, my child is standing about eight inches away from fresh lava.
I get horribly seasick, so the hour and a half on a small boat on a big sea was ghastly, and I did an awful lot of vomiting. Oh well. The best bit was stopping for a swim and a relax on a beautiful beach on one of the islands - Mamakrakatau - beautiful clear warm water and gorgeous soft volcanic black sand.
We stayed in Carita, and the boys swam in the warm sea as the sun set over the Sunda Strait. I'm scheduling this post for when we are in the air on the way back, so by the time you read this we will probably be back at home, and dreaming of that warm sand....