Friday 16 March 2012

Climbing Mount Batur in Bali

One of the tours offered in Ubud, Bali is a sunrise trek up Mount Batur. Batur is an active volcano, and the last eruption was in 2000. It's 1,717 metres high.

I decided to take on the challenge. Since the last time I tried to watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain was in Switzerland with the Guides, and we didn't make it to the top in time, I thought I would give it another go. Older and wiser? Maybe. I left at 2am, my driver picked up another traveller (Ben who's from Liverpool but has lived in Japan for 14 years) and then we met up with a sporty couple, Mel and Rob from Sydney. Our troupe was complete and the 4 of us, after breakfast of banana pancake and Bali Tea began our journey with our guide Rock Steady Eddie.

It was a tough climb. I'm not particularly unfit, but I don't make a habit of climbing mountains and I get very out of breath. However, with plenty of breaks we made it to the first top point. It was pretty busy with other early morning hikers. After a short break Eddie told us we were going to carry on to the 'second top'. So we carried on our ascent. The path became a lot more steep and the mountain side was no longer soil but volcanic sand, which was difficult to walk on as you'd slide down slightly with each step. But more determination got me to the top. A huge sense of achievement, and we had plenty of celebratory pictures. There were only a few other people at the top with us.

 On the way back down, the sandy parts were a bit dicey and Eddie helped me down with him as I was too scared of sliding all the way down! We walked a short way down to a small shack were a friendly lady made us breakfast of banana sandwich and boiled eggs. There were a couple of dogs sitting around begging for scraps. And after refuelling we headed back down the mountain again. We took a different route down and passed by an abandoned temple, which was beautiful and very atmospheric.

Wanna be in our gang?
A crater from a previous eruption


This is Lake Batur and the second peak on the background is Catu, Bali's highest peak.
Steam from the inside of the earth

Hot chocolate on the way down

I made a little friend as I ate my breakfast. I fed him the crusts

A temple on the way down

So yeah, I climbed that

I was a little disappointed at the cloud cover because it meant we didn't get a brilliant red sunrise, but just climbing up was exhilarating, and there is always next time...
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  1. Stunning! Can you take your old Mum next time???

  2. Are you done with teaching in Korea? Who wears velcro sneakers? :)