Mount Batur sunrise trek

With a very early 2.30am pick up from our hotel, we set off for Mount Batur. After about an hours drive (with a bit of a nap in the car) we arrived at the base. Our trekking group consisted of me, owen, two American girls (who actually weren’t annoying) and our guide, Dede. He was only 19 and had been working on the mountain for 4 years, 2 as a trekking guide and 2 selling hot drinks at the summit. He was such a lovely & funny guy and spoke excellent English, good enough to take the piss out of our accents!

He gave us a torch each and a bottle of water and then we set off on our journey to the top. It was absolutely pitch black walking through the thick forest with just the light of our torches. We were lucky enough to have a really clear night too so the stars looked incredible. I thought that New Zealand would be the best place that we saw stars on this trip but because of the lack of light pollution in Bali the night sky was out of this world (literally!). We stopped a few times on the way up, which was much needed! It was the early hours of the morning and the sun wasn’t up yet, but it was still boiling hot.. even in a vest! The climb was crazily steep in places, and it’s the weirdest feeling looking down at your feet and realising you are clambering up dried lava. Mount Batur is still an active volcano, but hasn’t erupted since the year 2000 – and hopefully won’t again any time soon! After about a 2 hour climb we finally reached the top at around 5am. It suddenly got very cold as we were now over 1700 meters high, and we’d cooled off after a hot and sweaty hike up!

Because Mount Batur is an active volcano, there are hot steam vents all around the summit which are releasing hot air from the lava deep below. Our guide Dede made our breakfast by hard boiling eggs in the steam, and warming bananas to make sandwiches too. We ate breakfast and had a coffee at the summit while we waited for the sun to rise. The view was spectacular, a hundred times better than what I was expecting! You could see for miles, and got an amazing view of lake Batur and Mount Agung (the volcano that erupted in December last year) in the distance. After breakfast and once the sun was up we continued our hike to the other side of the mountain and then started to make our way down. It was incredibly steep and skippy under foot as you were mainly walking on rocks and volcanic sand. This did make it a bit easier though as it didn’t hurt your knees and ankles as much because there was less impact on the soft ground. About halfway down we came across a large group of monkeys and were able to feed them using the left over bananas from breakfast. I was a bit nervous but Dede was so relaxed around them and gave me a banana to hold while the monkey climbed on my shoulders to sit there and eat it! It was such a weird feeling having a monkey on your shoulder, and he was surprisingly heavy too!

We continued down and eventually reached the bottom where our driver was waiting to take us to the hot springs near by. The water is heated naturally by the lava underground, and it was the most amazing way to relax after a morning of mountain climbing! The water was so warm and from the pool you could see right across lake Batur and all of the mountains in the distance. We relaxed here for an hour or so before meeting up with the Americans from our trek and heading back into Ubud.

We had a quick nap at the hotel and then walked into town to spend the rest of the day at Folk Pool & Gardens where we had booked a day bed. It was the most luxurious way to recover from a morning of trekking, with some amazing food and a lot of Bintang too!Just as the sun is rising breakfast at the summit

At the summit after sunriseHalfway down at the monkey spot

The Toya Devasya hot spring

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