6. Inside Matupi Crater

Of Rabaul's main smells - copra, fermented cocoa, and brimstone - it was the last-mentioned that Matupi volcano - or 'Tavurvur' as the Tolais call it - supplied the town with. Note the yellow sulphur in abundance. When descending into the crater from the rim, a rope was provided for you to hold onto and you needed to avoid placing your hands over the hot fissures all about, otherwise you could be scalded by the escaping steam. The level 'floor' of the crater, made up of flat, dense, dried-out mud, was nothing more than a giant plug for everything.

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