Monday, July 13, 2009

Indonesia - Bali - Gunung Batur - a volcano trek - 2009

The tour can start from any venue in Bali but the cost will vary. It can be booked at any of the hundreds of tour agencies in Bali or arrange your own transport and hire a guide at the base car park at Gunung Batur. Purchasing on the web or at an agenct in your homecountryWe started at Ubud and the tour was 250 000 r person. This included pick up and drop off at your hotel. For the trip you need shoes, warm top, comfortable walking clothes, torch and water. A reasonable level of fitness is required though there are lots of rest stops.

The driver picked us up at our hotel at 2 am driving for approximately one hour to reach the car park at Gunung Batur. At this point we met our guide. The torches provided weren’t very good but we had our own. The trek up to the crater edge to Gunung Batur 1 is in the dark. The walk is reasonably graduated and it becomes steeper in the last ½ hour. There are many points to rest along the way. If you need more rests tell the guide. Once you reach the top you are covered in perspiration which becomes icy cold with the altitude and cold breeze. You are now glad you have a warm top. If you are still cold there is a shelter to huddle inside from the wind.

The sun gradually rises from approximately 6 am. The mountains (Gunung Abang and Gunung Agung) and misty Danua Batur come into view with the increasing light. The sun rises over Gunung Rijini in Lombok as a fiery red ball. The ever increasing light creates a magical scene of the nearby and distant scenery. While you have been watching this glorious procession, your guide has been preparing a breakfast of banana jaffle and egg using volcanic heat.

Not long after the sun rises the mountain monkeys appear. During the cold night they have been huddling in the nearby volcanic crater next to a heat vent for warmth.

The next stage of the trek is an easy level walk along trails to Batur II and views of Batur III. Batur erupted periodically in 1999 to 2000.

The trail down starts on loose volcanic sand which makes for a comfortable step/slide down the steep track. Eventually, the track joins with the upward trail, leading back to the carpark and your waiting driver.

Worse points: getting up early

Best points: views and feelings of achievement.

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