For god’s sake… I actually am paying for this.
It was 1:30am and I had to be up, get dressed and get down by 2am so that my pick could get my cousin and I to the base of Mount Batur for our sunrise climb.
I said I was hanging up my climbing boots… never doing this again… not paying for torture. After Mt. Rinjani I swore to not climb any mountains. Yeah, well it didn’t last that long and I’m clearly eating my own words.
From Kuta, it’s almost a 2 hours drive, and it takes about 2 hours to get to the peak, which rest at 1717m. Obviously I manage to sleep the entire ride there as I hardly got much rest the night before.
But at Mount Batur, you’ll have to pay for a guide and entrance fee that cost us around Rp.350,000. This is for a group of maximum 3 and it’s customary to tip the guide, and I really think you should as they hardly earn much. So a tip of Rp.20,000 – Rp.50,000 should be more than enough depending on the number of people in your group.
As we were climbing in the dark, the guides provided good LED flash lights and they were super handy and its almost gravel and rocky all the way to the summit. The first 30 minutes of the climb is relatively easy on flat ground but slowly picks up in steepness as you get to the clearance. From here on, it’s steep all the way, tall grass and windy till the first viewpoint.
My heart rate was good thanks to the training so I manage to get to the first viewpoint with not much difficulty, but honestly, I felt sorry for my poor cousin. I think I almost killed the kid by taking him on this hike. Mind you, it’s his first hike and I doubt he was prepared… at one point I thought the poor guy would huff and puff his heart out! (I will admit, I was a bit concerned…)
Within 2 hours of starting the hike I got to the top. I won’t say its a difficult climb neither was it easy, as it was slippery getting to the top, but its certainly a do-able climb for anyone with moderate physical fitness.
The views from here are beautiful. I got to the top just before sunrise to take in the views of the city lights of Denpasar from the top. While my guide sat down to pray, I broke bread, slipped on a jumper and waited. And so it began…
Mt. Agung is the first thing you see as it’s right in front of you, across Lake Batur or Danau Batur. The lake is the largest on the island and so it Mt. Agung being the tallest mountain on the island of Bali. On a clear day its said that you can see Mount Rinjani in the distance.
Even as I stood up here, being welcomed by the first rays of the sun, I could make out in the distance the peaks of Mt. Rinjani and the Gili islands. I can remember my first hike on that treacherous mountain (not to sound so dramatic, but I had a nasty fall the day before and I was not prepared for that hike. Nada, zero! So it was a nightmare of a hike for me!).
Colours of pink, orange and hues of blue filled the sky. It was more than an hour I was up there, taking in the view while chatting to another tourist while waiting for my cousin to get up here. As usual, my chatterbox self couldn’t shut up! Oh and my cousin… stayed at the first viewpoint.
“you should run when you’re going down the mountain. Be nimble on your feel, keep your balance and you’ll be just fine”.
They were right, it doesn’t hurt as much when you run down hill as you put less pressure on your legs. It was a little slippery but I managed all right to the first viewpoint to meet up with the rest. Looks like my cousin managed to the first point and I’m pretty proud of him! Not bad for a newbie, eh?
From here if you’ll like to carry on exploring the caldera, you can, as long as you’ve arranged it with the guide before you start the trip as not everyone is familiar with the path on other areas of the caldera. I would have loved to go but it would mean Kadet would come along and Agus would be inclined to follow, which equals to cousin having no choice but to go along. I didn’t want to kill the newbie! This would have been more than enough for him, I should think.
As you descent in daylight, you’ll truly appreciate the beauty around. Its breath taking with the lake and the formation from the last eruption in 1968, its just green with vegetation and the cooled off lava rocks at the end of the lake. The colours of the vegetation against the black of the lava rock are stunning.
Mount Batur is a must climb when you are in Bali, its relatively easy, can be done in a day and its simply amazing!
Also stopped by Warung Ibu Oka in Ubud for the famous Babi Guling (roast pork). You do work up an appetite after the hike and this is one Balinese delicacy you don’t want to miss!