Less than 12 hours after getting back from our cycle, we woke up at 1.30am to get picked up and driven back through the windy roads of Ubud to the base of Mount Batur. Here we were equipped with head torches and we started our ascent of the mountain in the darkness.
The climb to the top takes about two and a half hours and it is by no means as easy hike. Even before dawn, it is still quite warm and within minutes I was sweating! The ground is harden volcanic ash so isn’t the easiest to walk on – I was only in trainers and it would have been a lot easier in walking boots! As we climbed higher and higher, we started to walk through the clouds where all of a sudden it started to get very cold again!
The last part of the hike was simply on volcanic ash – it was like climbing a very sandy, steep hill! We reached the top just as a small line of light was appearing on the horizon. We grabbed a cub of coffee from the cafe on the top, and yes the only way anything gets up there is being carried by some very determined entrepeuners, and settled down to watch sunrise.
It was incredible. The clouds floating past, the colours – it was the most magical thing I think I have seen. Perfection. If only photos could do it justice!
On our descent, much to Euan’s delight, we came across some wild macaques who were a little bit less friendly/tame than those at Monkey Forest, but still all too happy to greedily snatch a banana from your hand. Despite it only being about 6am, it was seriously hot on the descent and I practically had to ski down through the ash, leaving my shoes completely filled to the brim with it! My thighs were sore for days after, proof of all our hard work!
A big thank you to our guide for helping us climb the mountain and for giving us some fantastic memories. He climbs that mountain every day to make a living and just a quick reminder than the majority of Balinese people live on only a few dollars a day so remember a small tip for your guide may make a huge impact! Share the love 🙂