On one of my free weekends in Bali, my fellow volunteers and I decided to go on a proper adventure and push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We decided to hike Mount Batur. This is the now active volcano in the north of Bali. Not only did we decide to hike the volcano, we decided to hike it so we saw the sunrise when we got to the top.
I must say that this is one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m not the fittest person but I do sometimes lack motivation, and boy did that happen here but it was worth every second of it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
We stayed in a hostel at the bottom of the volcano the night before as we had an early start. Our alarms went off at 3:00 am and off we went to meet our guide.
Setting off a little later than we hoped (due to stragglers) we were in high spirits to get to the top before sunrise. The beginning was okay, we were trekking through the jungle, nice and cool through the cover of the trees and no sight of sun yet. We were told that the whole hike would take about three hours.
Well, an hour had passed and we weren’t half way up! We had a fantastic tour guide who kept us motivated. “Just do it” he kept saying, in fact, he said it so often that it became a funny saying between us volunteers. I still have a smile on my face when I think back to it. Ketut was incredibly physically fit, so fit that he told us that he and another tour guide run up and down the volcano and a nearby mountain for fun and try and beat their last time! I’m going to give that hobby a miss but kudos to him! I don’t know if I’m gullible for believing him.
The last stretch was the worst, we were climbing on rock hard, red lava from the last time the volcano had erupted. The ground was so steep that it was almost like walking vertically!
After an hour and a half, we made it. Oh, we missed the sunrise and it was cloudy but the views were still breathtaking. We had breakfast while at the top which made the saying “breakfast with a view” an understatement.
Then, we had the trek back down. It didn’t feel as it took half as long as getting to the top. Perhaps that’s because we saw more people on the way down. We also took a stop to see the monkeys that live in the trees on the way down. They were wild but good around people as long as you remember the golden rules with monkeys. Do not make eye contact!
This definitely was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Although I may climb and hike other mountains and volcanoes in my life, this will always be my first.