Nature is the best artist, creating stunning vistas and natural landscapes of awesome beauty. I never thought I'd get stand in the middle of a volcanic crater, staring up at a volcano but I did, thanks to my wonderful Dad. He took us to see Gunung Batur, a currently dormant volcano in Kintamani.
On the way Dad organised a stop for us at a little local cafe on the edge of a valley overlooking the volcano. It was an incredible view. Down the face of the volcano we could see a back swathe where lava had recently flowed. As we were standing there, gob smacked, my husband realised that we were actually standing on the edge of a much larger crater belonging to the original volcano which has lost its top millions of years ago. Gunung Batur is a baby, the remnants of the first, enormous volcano.
We then travelled down the edge of the crater and to an area where we could touch the cooled, black lava. It was black and textured, much like pumice stone. There are villages in the crater, hot springs to bathe in and fish farms in the lake. Some of the houses in the villages we went past were abandoned - roofless and empty.
It was the most incredible experience in a holiday packed with amazing sights, tastes and smells. It bookended nicely our visit to the black sand beach near Klungkung. The black sand is made from volcanic lava. Mind blowing.