1am is a time suitable for one thing, and one thing only on holidays: getting in from dinner and dancing. Or so I thought, until my alarm (and several others around the room for good measure) went off. L and I had long decided before our arrival in Bali that doing the sunrise hike up Mount Batur was firmly at the top of our bucket list…
We’d decided we’d move to Ubud from Seminyak in the second half of our holiday, so our driver picked us up from our hotel in Seminyak at 1am, ready for the 2 hour drive to Ubud. It felt surreal to be wrapped up in hoodies and wearing sports leggings and trainers (trust me when I say, you’re going to want to dress up nice and warm for this one, yep, Indonesia gets super cold where we’re headed – who’d have thunk it eh?).
Our driver dropped us off in a gritty car park which had a shed housing a toilet. We were met by Wayan, who was to be our guide, and handed 2 lunch boxes from the driver. Wayan passed us two torches and we began our hike. Starting on relatively flat terrain we wandered up and up…
Pausing when it got a little tough to peak out at the town bathed in moonlight.
Eventually the terrain got steeper and steeper, until eventually it was only 2 minutes to the top. Wayan grabbed a couple of patches of carpet, led us down a slightly hidden path which jutted onto a ledge and told us to wait there and that he’d be back soon. We had an hour to wait until sunrise, and though weather conditions were good it’s always an unpredictable science; we sat patiently waiting.
Unbelievably, we saw a shooting star streak it’s way down the sky just disappearing behind the mountain.
We made our respective wishes and waited. Before long, Wayan was back with our breakfasts. A hard boiled egg (cooked in one of the craters), and a croissant which we positively devoured after the hike up.
Slowly but surely, the morning began to get a little bit lighter
We started to be able to make out the difference between the lake below and the mountains in front
And bit by bit the town woke up too.
Eventually the sun decided it was time to get up too, and within a matter of minutes, it had made its appearance.
Wayan came to get us, ready to trek back down the mountain. The climb down was a little trickier as its pretty slippy, but it is beautiful getting in to take in the scenery that had been so dark on the way down.
The way back down saw us encounter offerings that were made at the mountain, monkeys and a few stray dogs too!
This was without doubt one of the best things I’ve ever done.
The Mountain hike is a hugely popular excursion; we inadvertently booked a private tour which cost £50 each – but it gave us a driver, breakfast, lunch, tour guide up the mountain and also visits to the hot springs and a coffee plantation tour (more on those later!). You’ll need to wrap up warm as the mountain gets super cold first thing in the morning. Take a rucksack – your guide will have one but you’ll be glad of the extra water and it’s easier for carrying something like an SLR.
Finishing off this post has made me a bit emotional! I’ve been a bit slow on getting posts up; work, flu and being back in the swing of the routine has meant blogging had to take a bit of a back seat, I miss Bali so much, and I will always look back at this as an experience of a lifetime – made all the better with one of my best friends by my side!
I hope you’re enjoying reading the travel diaries as much as I’m enjoying writing them – it feels like writing postcards to old friends!