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The Boston Globe


The eruptive guides and volcano of Bali

KINTAMANI, Bali — On the road to Mount Batur, our driver snaked past jade rice terraces that descended into palm-filled valleys. Men worked in front of shops and homes, bending penjors — long, decorative bamboo poles that dangle festive offerings over the asphalt, a tribute to the gods and a symbol of the mountain. 

When we reached Batur, an active volcano, I asked him to drive past the guide station. Every hike my wife and I had taken in Southeast Asia required a guide. I was tired of being chaperoned.

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