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Climbing Gunung Api (Gallery)

For all of our time on the Banda’s one thing was a constant – the smoking volcano across the bay. Climbers are supposed to visit the islands seismometer to check there is no risk of an eruption – but we skipped this step. Up early before sunset, we wanted to reach the summit before the sun was strong. We had been warned that after a 2 hour climb there was no shade on top of a mound of black lava rocks and heat rising from the active crater. Watching the sun rise over the surrounding islands was mesmerising on the way up but we couldn’t stop for long.

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Steam rises from around the edge of the smaller crater.
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The larger crater drops away out of sight.
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In the foreground Pulau Ai and in the distance Pulau Nailakka at the end of a sand spit off Rhun. Nailakka provided the best snorkeling we have ever seen in our lives.
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On the right of the photo a lava flow reaches the sea. Underwater coral gardens burst into colour and provide the best fishing spots. At this one I saw a small pack of baby white tipped reef sharks whilst recovering a lure caught on the rocks.
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An old Dutch fort is seen on Banda Neira. We bought a large solid silver Dutch East India coin dated 1880s that was dug up by a nutmeg farmer nearby.
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The fort up close.
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