Bali volcano: An update on Mount Agung
Hello friends You’ve probably seen on the news that Mount Agung, the active Bali volcano on the east side of the island, has erupted.
It’s causing a fair amount of chaos here. Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Monday, the first day of the eruption, followed by the entire airport a couple of days ago. 90,000 people who planned to travel out from Bali are stuck here. Some people due to board flights are still at the airport with no luggage, having already checked it onto their planes.
Some who can afford it have got transport to Java or Lombok island, but others (including us) have to just wait it out. The airlines aren’t communicating well, including ours (Lion Air) and the official Indonesian government Twitter hasn’t updated when it said it would, which is just dandy.
Bali volcano Mount Agung, erupting:
All this is small potatoes compared to the 100,000 people who have had to leave their homes, again. Two months ago you may remember that Agung looked set to erupt (remember this video?), and everyone within a 10km radius had to leave their homes. Many people had to sell their animals and crops at rock-bottom prices just to get anything for them, as they couldn’t take them to the refugee centres. Then they were told to return home to the villages at the base of the Bali volcano, and now they’re being moved out again. Unsurprisingly, several families are refusing to move as they need to stay to work to feed their families, and authorities are starting to talk of forced evacuation.
And how does this affect our travel plans? Well, our flights to Bangkok are booked for tomorrow, Thursday. We have also booked and paid for accommodation for a week in Bangkok, which we may have to write off. After the week in Bangkok we were supposed to head to the Thai-Myanmar border for a few weeks of volunteering at a children’s charity. However, seeing as we don’t know when we will get to Thailand, all those plans might have to shift.
One of the most annoying things about the lack of information is that we don’t know if we have enough time to get 60-day visas for Thailand, which has to be done here in Bali. The information on Thai visas is hard to pin down and we only found out the correct info last week (from people who have been there recently) when we thought it was too late, so just settled on getting the free 30-day visa that everyone gets on arrival in Thailand.
If we were told “ok, your flights aren’t going until next week”, we could commit to the 3-day process, get longer visas for Thailand, and feel a bit more settled. As it stands, we can’t even buy our transport out of Thailand (which is required to board our flight from Bali!) as we don’t know when to book it for. That means as soon as we get the’Go’ to head to the airport, we are going to have to jump on Skyscanner and see what we can get.
So it’s complicated, people! In the meantime, life goes on- I’m working all day today, the kids will jump in the pool and we’ll remain thankful that we aren’t close to the volcano.
Please keep the people of Bali in your thoughts and prayers; the island relies heavily on tourism and it will feel the loss of the visitors hard.
If you need to keep an eye on the situation for your travel plans, click here. (Fair warning, they last tweeted 13 hours ago, which is real online time is like sixty-four years).
If you want to read about our worst moments on our travel adventure so far (of course you do), click here.
To have a nosey for cheap accommodation deals for your next trip or if you need a place to stay in Bali, click here.
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