We’re in Indonesia now, in northern Sumatra. We’ve decided to attempt our first ever volcano climb – Gungung Sibayak – a 2094 metre high smoking volcano. It would be a 7km hike to the top, up a steep and slippery path. We equipped ourselves with warm clothing, food and a torch, confident that we would be ok, but preparing ourselves for the worst. Several people over the last 10 years had either died or dissapeared due to sudden weather changes at the top of the volcano. It was easy to get lost if cloud or the escaping volcano gases reduced visibility. The first 45 minutes was a continuous uphill struggle for me although Mike seemed to manage it easily. For the rest of the climb, I tried not to think of my aching legs and puffed out body. The path zig zagged steeply up the side of the volcano and the very last stage had steps. The view from the top was worth the 4 hour climb. Dotted around the crater were jets of hot steam, turning the surrounding rocks white rock. Locals were collecting green rocks, speaking only enough English to say it was Cobalt. The air smelt like rotten eggs – the steam was actually sulphur gas. Within 10 minutes the wind picked up, dark clouds came over us, and mixed with the gas, we could bearly see 10m infront of us. In another 10 minutes it had cleared and we made our way back down, worried that we might get lost up there if it happeded again. When we got back to the hotel all smelly and sweaty, we found out that the water supply had been cut off to the wholw village since 6pm due to a water leak – so no shower for us – what a way to spend valentines day!!