Sunrise Hiking on Mt Batur

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December 22nd 2019
Published: December 25th 2019
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Trail to Mt Batur

Our 315a alarm came very early, but our guide was meeting us at 330am for our Mt Batur Sunrise hike. We had just enough time to brush our teeth, pull on clothes, walk up to the reception area and have a quick coffee before being handed flashlights and heading out. The hike is approx. 2.5 miles up the 5,300 foot mountain and timed so that the average person will make it up in 2 hours, for the 6am sunrise.

Because we were staying at the foot of the mountain, we were lucky to start at 330a and not the 2am that those staying in the beach areas were forced to endure. However, it also meant we could walk through paths around the village for about 1 mile to the start of the trail. Ken was disappointed as he thought we would get a bit of a lift part way up….Nope!!

With each of our flashlights lighting the small path, we followed our guide…yes, another Gooday, through the dark to the start of the trail where many other hikers were also starting up. And up we did go. Since we were already at about 1500 feet elevation, we were still going to need to do some serious up hills to get to the top in the needed timeframe.

As we started up, there were motorbikes heading up the trail for those who wanted a little “extra boost” to the top. We waved them off and kept chugging up. As it got steeper, there were more hopping on the bikes, who would take them up and then the driver would turn around and pick up more who were realizing the difficulty of the climb. Ken has been having leg issues for the past month and just recently has felt back to normal, so this was going to be a significant test as if he was truly OK. Well, he was one who finally succumbed to the bike as he was never going to make it on his bum leg.

So, it was Paige, Gooday and I continuing the climb the steep switchbacks. We could see the top and as it became closer, it kept us motivated to keep moving. We were also starting to pass others, which felt great! At about 530am, Gooday advised that Ken was only about 15 minutes ahead, which meant we were almost there!

We arrived to find Ken rested and ready for the last 15 minute leg to the top. This portion of the trail was the most technically difficult due to medium sized rocks that we had to scramble up and for which I had a local who lent me a hand to get up and over. When we got to the top, I was more than happy to buy a bottle of water from him for his wonderful help!!

The views from the top were amazing and we had made it in time for the sunrise with no issue. There were at least 200 people at the top, which was surprising as on the trail everyone was spread out. While we relaxed and took in the views of the sun coming up over Mt Agung, Gooday was getting our snack of banana sandwiches (white bread with banana between…very weird but kinda good) and boiled eggs. We relaxed for about an hour, watched the people (which is almost the most fun) including some guy with a drone who totally ruined the vibe and took in the incredible views.

Finally,we headed back down, no motorbike needed. Gooday was great about helping me down the top part which had the big rocks and then we were on the normal path which while steep, was easier to navigate. And, it was light out!! Going down, while easier, was definitely harder on the knees and by the time we hit the hotel, both Ken and I were ready for the end.

We arrived back to the hotel at 9am, hot, sweaty, sore and in need of the pool. We then enjoyed a great breakfast of either banana pancakes, eggs, toast or a combination of all. It was then time for naps and a lazy day!

After a nap, Ken and I decided to walk into the little village and ended up stopping at the JFC, otherwise known as Java Fried Chicken a knock off of KFC. Not recommended, but we figured what the heck. The only other thing we did was have a nice dinner at a little place on the lake, which was so peaceful and a great way to end the day.

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