- Published by Anu
* This second post is in continuation with my Bali travelogue series. Click on the link to read Part 1 of the series - A Trip to Tropical Paradise : Bali
Day 3 : Climbing up an active Volcano
Today was going to be a very special day. Firstly because it involved trekking, secondly because we were not hiking up just any mountain but a bloody active volcano - Mount Batur, and thirdly because nature certainly knew how to catch me off guard.
A van picked us up from the hotel at 1 am in the wee hours of night. After 2 hours of drive with co-travelers being picked up on the way, the driver drops us off at the base location where we were assigned a guide who would be trekking it up with us and our group.
Things you'll need for the trek :
- Be ready for quite a hike of around 3-to-4 hours depending on your trekking speed. I would recommend wearing proper footwear, preferably trekking shoes.
- Also, no water source is available throughout the route, so make sure to carry enough water.
- It can get chilly at the top or during the night hike. Unfortunately, it might even rain at times. Carrying a light rain jacket which doubles up as a warm jacket is a good option.
- Have a head torch or a hand torch on you for trekking up tricky spots in the night.
We began the trek at 3 am making our way through guided trails. The volcano's silhouette could be seen, as thousands of stars lit up the sky, it was magical. Slowly but steadily we made our way to the top and thankfully before sunrise. Watching the sunrise from atop Mount Batur is even more beautiful than words can express.
Within minutes the sun began to peek from behind the island's tallest volcano - Mount Agung, and lit up the calderas. Tiny clouds were drifting away at the caldera floor and we were way up above the clouds. Villages cocooned in the region and heavy sedimentation of basaltic lava could be seen for miles around. Before we thought we had conquered Batur, our female guide interrupted our momentary sense of achievement to tell us that this was the view point for sunrise and not the topmost point.
Some people choose to trek only up to this point and return back from here. But we chose to move ahead and trek to the top. It's a good 45 min to an hour of trekking which takes you to the rim of the crater. With a good speed you can even circumnavigate the entire rim of the crater once you reach the summit point.
I was puffing and panting as the sun was up and was draining me out, but the summit kept calling out to me. I made it to the top with my forever supportive lady guide. Rest of the folks had already climbed up and down the rim and had even started descending from the sunrise spot. And here I was dragging myself to the top. My guide was constantly with me and assured me that no matter how much time I would need, she will be there with me throughout.
Finally making it to the summit, the panoramic views were mind boggling and I knew what I would have missed if I hadn't trekked up there. I could now spot Lake Batur, the fourth lake in Bali, in all its magnificence.
Suddenly dark clouds began to hover above and beyond me. I started feeling jittery for having trekked up to this point and for what? Ending up missing the views! I quickly turned around to look at the inner side of the rim to see the vent and source of the volcano, but all I could see at this moment was fog and clouds. Within seconds, from the other side the sun came out from its own cloud cover and shattered the fog right in front of my eyes with its rays, and there it was - a GLORY, my third surprise. My shadow formed at its epicenter and this is when nature swept me off my feet. I was awestruck and feeling blessed to witness such a rare phenomenon for a full 5 minutes.
The photographer in me was delighted for being at the right place at the right time and in such an unexpected scenario. It was indeed a “GLORY – ous” day.
This was my experience of trekking up Mount Batur. Definitely try this hike when in Bali, its a thrilling experience.
How was your trek experience? Share with me in the comments below.
A third and final blog post of my Bali travelogue series is here - 2 Weeks in BALI : Island Hopping Lombok and Gili
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