One member of our group suggested we climb a mountain and see the sunrise. Challenge accepted. All were in agreement. I personally wasn’t fussed either way, all I knew was I wanted to experience a sunrise in the East. So wherever I saw it I wasn’t bothered.
So the plan was stay in a hostel in Ubud. Chill in the day. Get an early night. Get up 2am travel to the base of Mount Batur (volcano) and start the climb at 03:30 ready for sunrise. Simple. Except at the time of our early night the hostel had a power cut so our room had no electricity. This meant no light, no plug sockets, no air con. They had another room but 2 of us agreed to stay in the no elecy room. Problem was the other room had its own issues. We eventually managed to charge our phones and get some rest, a lot later than planned.
3:30am head torches on, hiking sticks in hand, we started the climb. A hiking stick!?… Not one of us felt prepared for this. We walked for 45minutes through thick jungle someone asked ‘are we on the mountain yet?’ The reply ‘no this is jungle before mountain. You will know when we are on mountain’. Uh oh… I was not feeling up for this one bit. The worst concern of mine was that I hadn’t charged my mp3 player and was so worried it would die on me. It was my only motivation.
The climb was busy. There was 10 of us and lots of other groups. Naturally they all overtook us. We had a few ill people in our group, one individual was vomiting every few minutes (she’d had a heavy night the night before). We must have averaged out as the youngest group but we took it pretty slow. When kids younger than 10 overtake you… you start to question your abilities.
We were an hour away when we noticed the sky was getting lighter and we started to panic. Sunrise was coming on fast and if we didn’t hurry up we were going to miss it, backs turned towards it and nowhere near the top. The terrain was horrendous. Volcanic ash, rock and old lava (the lava was the easiest to climb). We continued to slip and get dragged up by the guides. I bought walking boots but I was losing footing more than the others in their nike running shoes… thanks for nothing tresspass.
Eventually we made it to the top. We didn’t see the sunrise from complete darkness but we were ok with that. It was hands down the most stunning view I have ever witnessed. No picture will ever do that scene justice. Soon as we were on the top all thoughts of the climb, the sweat, the breathlessness were gone.
Our guides cooked us eggs and banana sandwiches from the steam of the volcano. That was pretty cool!
Up the top of the volcano of all things… monkeys were chilling!
The way back down was something else. It was basically like slipping down a sand mountain.
After the mountain trip we visited some hot springs, a coffee plantation and waterfall. We later went back to Ubud for a well deserved Balinese massage. Which was great when the lady wasn’t punching my feet. (I have no idea what that was all about!)