Our adventures after the Monkey forest saw us taking a joy ride to the Sayan rice terraces, which was a point of interest on the map, so we went and had a look. The views of the mountains, palm trees and river were exceptional, so we got some coffee and took in the scenery. In the evening we saw a traditional Balinese Jegog dance, but unfortunately my camera died so I will have to turn you onto Angela’ blog for some pictures and a run down of the days events.
I will move onto to the next days affairs. The active volcano Mount Batur. Before even arriving in Bali, myself and Ang had discussed doing one of the volcano hikes. We both enjoy hiking and knew trekking up one if the volcanoes would be a fulfilling experience. There are two volcanoes in Bali, one being Mount Agung, the tallest standing at 3000m and the other, Mount Batur rising 1717m above sea level. Both volcanoes are still active. Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, causing wide spread damage to villages nearby and killing nearly 1500 people. Mount Batur, the smaller brother, last erupted in 2000 and from 1917 up until now, has erupted 22 times.
We choose Mount Batur as it was smaller and offered the option of doing a sunrise hike (we were also lazy and didn’t want to hike for 9 hours). We knew we would have to wake up early, but the idea of watching the sunrise from the top of an active volcano was too good to miss out on. We had actually tried to do the hike the night before, but bad weather had caused us to change our minds and wait until we knew it was the perfect moment. The hike wasn’t cheap and we didn’t want to be stuck on the top of a volcano in bad weather with no way to see the sun.
This was our itinerary. We would have to wake up at 2:30am, drive an hour and a half to the volcano, and then make our way up to the top, hopefully before the sun came up to catch a glimpse of first light. “Did this mean we would be hiking in the dark?” It seemed so. When we arrived on site, we were introduced to some people, but looking back it was hard to tell who they were and then we met our guide. His name was Ketut. Ketut would be responsible for taking us up and bringing us down safely and in one piece. We shook hands, were giving flashlights, as we didn’t have any and told to follow him. We walked a little and exchanged brief introductions. His English was great and the conversation flowed easily between the three of us. He told us a bit about the volcano and our intended arrival time on top and off we went.
It seemed that we were the second group of the day, with one light flickering far ahead of us in the distance. We had a long way to go! Step by step, sometimes sliding on the volcanic rock, we worked our way up the mountain, only seeing what our flashlights were focused in on. I mean, I didn’t know where I was half the time, but in a way I think it made it easier to climb. Because we couldn’t see the top, there was no time to waste on constantly thinking about how far we had to go. All there was, was the the next foot step. Nothing else! Time flew by and before we knew it we were on top of the volcano. It took around 2 hours. It was amazing! A cup of steaming hot coffee and breakfast of a boiled egg and banana sandwich (we had heard that the egg was meant to be made with volcanic steam), came our way, and how happy we were to see them. It was super cold up there, and even though we both had brought jumpers, the nippy air made its way through the fabric easily. When the sun did rise, it was really something. The panorama was magical.