Alarms were buzzing at 1.30am. I casually hit the snooze button for another 10 minutes seen as though we’d already packed our bags for our expedition up Mount Batur. As we rolled out of bed I can’t say we were thrilled with excitement to the fact we were about to hike up 5,633ft of an active volcano, but there was no way we would back out.
Our coach rocked up outside our Ubud accomodation at 2:30am and after an hours bumpy bus ride we arrived at the Base of Mount Batur greeted with coffee and a banana for brekkie. As we sat in the cafe we could just about see the silhouette of Mount Batur and it’s opposite Mount Agung.
It was now 4am and our group had two enthusiastic Balinese guides who provided us with torches and we were off. Most of these guys do the exact same climb 7 days a week, since the popularity of the Mount Batur hike is so high there is a big need for them.
Tip: It can be chilly in the middle of the night so remember to take a hoody (although you won’t need it for long!)
The walk started off brisk, and before long the jackets and hoodies were off and we were all breaking a sweat. The first 15 mins were easy to be honest… until we hit a couple of steep inclines which really got the heart rates going.
It wasn’t until we looked up and saw the single filed army of flash lights walking up at an 80 degree angle to the Peak. Now the hard work is just about to begin.
All the groups merged into one giant long group as people fought through the aches and pains in the legs as we stepped up the rocky slopes. Some people slipping and on the lose rocks and tumbling back down the mountain. (Just joking! But there are lose rocks so watch your step).
Every time I looked up it just seemed further away than last time. The first glimpse of dawn appeared at 5:35am and by this point we had just reached the “first” sunrise watching zone crowded with around 40 people. “So we are here?” I asked Nadi our guide after feeling confused as it didn’t look like this from the Instagram pictures I’d seen. “No the peak is another 30 minutes more” as he pointed to the left. I could just make out a group of people making their way up another slope.
I knew sunrise was at 6am so without waiting for our guides we jogged on the beaten path to catch up with the group in front.
Pushing and pushing, each step burning our muscles and literally pouring with sweat…We finally peaked Mount Batur just before 6am. Unfortunately we weren’t rewarded with clear blue skies to watch a dreamy sunrise, but the views were still spectacular.
Tip: Remember to bring some money with you as you can buy drinks and snacks at the top.
As we sat down with a hot chocolate I looked around as each person found their own space to take in their surroundings and pondering over life. I could tell everyone felt a huge sense of achievement and it was great to see.
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Getting down was a lot quicker and easier. We hung out with the mountain monkeys and then it was a race against time to get back to the coach before the full heat from the sun emerged.
Tip: You are not required to ‘tip’ your guide as they are looked after by the company you go with..However we did tip one of our guides since he was always offering to take pictures for us. Between 20k-50kRP would be enough.
Climbing Mount Batur was by far one of my favourite experiences in Ubud and I highly recommend taking on the challenge on your visit to Bali. We also recommend booking your Mount Batur climb with mybalitrips.com.
Have you climbed mount Batur before? Tell us about your experience in a comment below…
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