Do You Smell Burning?
18 September 2019
It's hard to avoid the smell of burning out here in the Indonesian archipelago. If it's not grass, it's corn. If not corn, maybe rubbish although most just lies in the gutter. Right now it's the dry season and the farmers seem to be burning off their fields, presumably in preparation for the coming "Wet". Or maybe they just dropped a fag end while out looking for a missing goat. Either way, the hills are smoking away all day.
To a degree, smoking hills are a bit of a worry around here as, back in 1851, the main island of Sumbawa, which is actually a volcano, blew its top and its ash cloud gave rise to the global phenomenon, the "Year With No Summer" although in Scotland I'm not sure we would have noticed.
However, just being aware that we're sailing through the Ring of Fire it can be a bit disturbing to see all this smoke around so, bang on cue, pun intended, there was a grumble and after checking it wasn't yesterday's gala dinner, we looked up to see a pretty big plume of ash and smoke billowing into the sky as the island reminded locals and passers by of its presence and, more importantly, its geology.
Volcanoes apart, it's all been pretty much run of the mill Indonesia. Gala dinners, water buffalo riding, manta ray dodging, Komodo Dragon watching, not that they do much, just eat one buffalo every three or four weeks then just lounge around in the sun posing for tourists. Or maybe lying in wait.