Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dylan's Jakarta diary - volcanoes and explosive soccer !

Hi guys, The journo gang all went away for the weekend to a beachside town. Offshore is a volcano, Krakatoa, which erupted in 1874, creating a tidal wave that killed people as far as 200km in land and sent ash 2000km away. We created a huge stir when a bus load of bule foreigners turned up and after some hard bargaining and a 2v2 soccer game against some local guys (which me and an Aussie mate from Tassie lost 3-0), we bumped out the volcano on a fleet of 4 speedboats, took a 1.5 hours but was good fun.
Anak Krakatau, son of Krakatoa, is still active and kept sending up huge plumes of ash on our way there.
Next thing I know, we're standing on the beach with the volcano exploding over the top of us and it is raining ash (Aroha Treacher in the pic).
The beach and volcano was ash covered and when you swam the top meter of the water was ash they below that a beautiful blue. Everyone here is a 'tour guide' and that night our guide, whom I became friends with, took us to a friend's restaurant then a friend of his organized accommodation and put on a party for us.
The next day we went snorkeling, which was good but not the best I've done, and managed to get back to Jakarta to catch the second half of the national soccer final - for free as it turned out. A few of us watched the semifinal between a Jakarta team and team from Papua which got violent partly, I think, for political reasons, partly because Jakarta lost.
I have never seen so many riot police in my life and got some good pics. luckily no one was seriously hurt. Don't worry we were safe.

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