The Sunrise Trek to Mount Batur Volcano and Other Adventures

After exploring Lombok for a couple of days, we reached Ubud, Bali, with no definite plans. We only had a day left before flying back to India. On the way from Padang Bai, our vehicle got caught in the traffic jam in Ubud town. As we inched ahead, a small hoarding caught our attention. Sunrise trek to Mount Batur volcano. Wow! Plans for next day started taking shape.

Soon, we reached our resort amidst paddy fields in a village in Ubud. The first thing we did even before completing the checking-in formalities was to register for the sunrise trek.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

The vehicle came to pick us up at 2:30 a.m. After about an hour’s drive to the base at Kintamani, it was a 2ñ2.5-hour trek to the top before sun rises.
Crowded, the base camp was! We realised how popular the trek is.

Mount Batur, at a height of over 1,700 m above sea level, is an active volcano and had its last eruption in 1999/2000.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Our guide handed over torches and led us to the trail. The easy walk soon turned to gradual climb and to steep ascent at some places. The guide was very helpful and gave us short breaks to catch the breath.

Just before 6 a.m., we reached the first plateau. A few people who didn’t feel like climbing further stayed there. It was another 20-25 minutes of steep climb to the top. Panting, we reached the top to see many others who had reached before us.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

A view of the plateau mid-way from the top

There were wooden benches and a small shack at the viewing point. We took our seats and waited for the beautiful sunrise. While the guide took the raw eggs from our breakfast packets to get them cooked, we clicked away photos of the stunning skyline and some selfies.

We realized the sunrise happened without its usual splendour as darkness around us faded away. Clouds! They came in the way between us and a spectacular sunrise!

But the atmosphere was too good to be disappointed. After breakfast and steaming mugs of hot coffee (@Rs125/mug), we got ready for climbing down. The guide offered to take us back through a different trail, along the rim of the volcano, a little more adventurous route.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

And, adventurous it was!

A narrow ridge, with just enough space to keep one foot. Bottomless depth on both sides. Strong breeze for company.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

We edged ahead, feeling excited that we chose this trail to go back. The next stretch was of loose black soil. One step and your foot goes down and lands half-a-meter ahead. While the earlier stretch was adventurous, this was sheer fun. Soon the shoes become full of sand. The last stretch was easy; the trail similar to the one we see in Sahyadris.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Mount Batur Volcano Trek, Indonesia

Though we missed the sunrise, the trek was exciting and memorable. If you are heading to Bali, do try not to miss the Mount Batur sunrise trek. Stay options are available in Kintamani.

 

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