Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mount Batur

We had read some great reviews on the climb to Mount Batur but were really unsure of whether we will be able to do it. Finally a part of the group decided to "go for it". (The youngest was 9 years and the eldest was 66 years).

The climb to the top of Mount Batur needs to start early enough so that you reach the top to catch the first rays of the sun, which is a spectacle. We started from our hotel at 2:30 a.m and reached the starting point for the climb by 3:00 a.m. We arranged for a guide from the Mount Batur Guides Association for the climb, which is a must, given that the entire climb happens in the dark. The guide services come along with a package deal for breakfast which includes eggs, bananas and tea/coffee. These taste divine after the exhausting climb to the top. Torches are provided for, which prove useful. Carry sufficient water along, but ensure that it doesn't weigh you down during your climb. You can also get pull-overs on hire here as well. We opted for pullovers as the air was chilly, but they soon became an unnecessary load to carry as we started the climb. 

It took us a around 3 hours to get to the top which enabled us to be there in time for the sunrise. The sunrise was spectacular. We sat down to watch this spectacle unfold before our eyes, sipping on our warm cups of coffee. It was a very peaceful experience and took away all the fatigue that was felt due to the hard climb.

Mount Batur is an active volcano. It has a height of 1717 meters. From the top you can see the Mount Agung in front of you and the beautiful Lake Batur below.  Mount Batur last erupted in the year 2000.  The last major eruption happened in 1972 in which a village below got destroyed. You can see the black patch caused by the lava flow.

After seeing the stunning sunrise, and having the energy boosting breakfast, we walked around the area to see the caldera. One can see a number of crevices through which volcanic steam is coming out. 

When you start the descent, you actually realize the height and the steepness of the climb which had happened in almost total darkness earlier in the morning. Climbing down was fairly fast and took us around 2 hours.

A tiring experience, but I would say one of the must-do experiences in Bali!!

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