Yeserday leaving to seek shelter from the imminent threat of volcanic eruption of Mount Agung, was for us, an emotional roller coaster. Some years ago an old lady who lives closeby sat with us and explained how she survived the last volcanic eruption of Mount Agung in 1963. She and her husband had sheltered for days from falling rocks and dust that almost choked them, finally the eruption eased and then they were left with no food as all their crops were buried. Her husbands outrigger canoe was broken, his cattle dead. No-one came to help from the government of the day. They finally resorted to eating rats that came down the mountain in hordes.
A week ago we saw this same strong old lady (who is well into her 80's) climbing a tree and chopping off branches to use as firewood to cook with. Today as we left we called past to check on her and her family. The look on her face and the tears welling in her eyes said it all. She was staying and would go with her sons when they felt it was unsafe.
On our road we saw families with bables wrapped in bundles on motorbikes, trucks packed with children sheltering under plastic tarpaulins, families packing cars with everything they could fit inside. Groups of people waiting for vehicles to take them to refuge. Thankfully, most of the elderley, the weak, and the pregnant were evacuated the day before. As we headed north-west we passed tented refugee camps in villages where people from high in the mountain had earlier been evacuated too. The government of today seems to be prepared and organised to handle the huge number of people misplaced from their mountain homes.
To all those we didn't see, couldn't find or were already gone. We wish you all safe travels in this dangerous and unpredictable time. We look forward to seeing you all again.
For those people who care about us, we are safe and far from Tulamben, but still in north Bali.
So people can see news first hand with factual information please follow the link below and use Google translate to read news from our area of Bali which is updated very 30 minutes if their is new information: