As the world prepares to remember the Bali bombings after 20 years, some Australian survivors and families have returned to quietly reflect and pay their respects.
The 2002 attacks killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians.
Peter Hughes sustained burns to half his body following the blast that ripped through the Sari Club.
“I thought it was a gas bottle behind the bar… a gas main out the front that had exploded,” he told Clairsy & Lisa from Bali.
“A lot of people around me were dead or badly injured, and there was fire everywhere.”
While Mr Hughes knew he was in a “bad situation,” he said he was more dazed than panicked.
Back home, many of us remember TV footage a swollen and injured Mr Hughes telling a reporter he was “good, just a bit swollen – I can’t complain.”
Not wanting to worry friends and family about how seriously he was suffering, Mr Hughes admitted he had lied.
“I thought I was going to die,” he said.
But the message to his son, who was in Phuket at the time and to those back in Australia, was that he was OK when he wasn’t. Four days later, Mr Hughes had slipped into a coma.
While the milestone anniversary has reignited profound emotions, Mr Hughes said he wasn’t going to make it a sad day.
After attending a morning ceremony to pay his respects to those who didn’t make it home, Mr Hughes said he was also going to a candlelight vigil at the site later tonight.
“And then probably have a couple of cold Bintangs and just reflect,” he said.
“It’s been coming a long time.”