You know those tours that can be found on the side of the road? The ones hawked by tan locals quick to push their laminated poster of various day trips and destinations your way, just because you accidentally glanced at the brochures on the walk by? I finally caved from this charade and joined one. A sunrise trek up Mt.Batur – Bali’s second largest active volcano. I’ve seen the word “trekking” thrown around pretty casually before, and considering the chill factor of the salesman’s description, I figured this would be a perfect walk in the park at 2 am the next morning, without sleep, of course.
I started my 30 minute walk from my homestay deep in the rice fields outside of town. The full moon was shining above me. Fireflys glimmered around the fields as ducks quacked, insects chirped loudly, toads croaked. I sent a quick message to a friend (thanks Shan!) to let someone know that I was walking along at night in a foreign place (which all travel advice warns against doing) – but in Bali, I knew I was safe. Until I got close to the main road and turned the corner to see 3 really drunk guys fighting each other. I quickly ducked back behind the wall and asked myself wtf I was actually doing walking alone at 2 am. Thankful to have my running shoes on, I started jogging away from the scene and wondered how the hell I was going to get to our tour meeting spot by departure time. And why had I even signed up for this? I was ready for sleep. After a few minutes I heard the guys had left, so I sprinted to the main road in the city – which was now dark and quiet except for a few bank trucks. I saw a girl waiting on the steps outside and wondered if I was actually insane for being so frightened (she looked so chill to be hanging there by herself!).
A man pulled up in a white van and told us to get in, so naturally, we did. About an hour later after picking up a few other guests, we arrived (in the pitch black dark) to the base of the mountain. We were supplied with a flashlight, water and snacks, and began following our three tour guides (who wouldn’t stop asking where we were from…) up a paved hill – with about 300 other people (and I quickly remembered why I don’t, and won’t again, do tours). The paved hill was nice, but lasted only 20 minutes. From there it was ALL. UP. HILL. And not in the positive sense of the phrase. Literally we climbed over a mile vertically in the dead of the night for this amazing sunrise. Check out the summit here:
landscape photo is what our view should’ve been
3/4 way to the top of the volcano with the cheeky monkeys – never look them in the eyes. These guys are fierce.