Bali trekking is very popular among toursits. We set out from Ubud at 4 a.m. with our driver, for our sunrise trek to Mt Batur. The aim was to see the sunrise from the top of the volcano. When we arrived at the foot of the mountain, we had to take a local guide, in our case a woman, although the trail was quite visible and safe. Before the climb, I had read in forums about the ‘Batur Mafia’ and why it is advisable to pay for a guide. Namely, if you try to climb to the top alone, you can very easily get into a (physical) conflict with the locals who make their living that way. And they take it quite seriously: when during the climb I had wandered off a little away from my guide who had a slower pace, I was immediately asked who I was with and who my guide was.
The climb itself is not very difficult, perhaps only a little bit steeper towards the top. Trekking is quite popular and attractive. When it’s pitch dark, a river of people zig-zagging lights up the trail going upwards, like illuminating lava. When we got to the top, it was cold and windy so it was with great delight that we accepted hot coffee and tea from a small wooden shelter. Since we were so excited, we had mastered the climb practically racing and got to the top almost half an hour before dawn, so there was nothing left to do but find the best spot in the lee and enjoy watching the contours of the cliffs, the lake (inside the volcano), and the nearby hamlets emerge from the dark. Besides the other tourists, we were also kept company by the numerous monkeys who had perfected the art of clandestine seizure of food. I lost my sandwich to them, and of course a banana, which they had stolen from my backpack when I wasn’t looking. But when I saw how they were savoring the food, I couldn’t get angry!
In the end, we weren’t really lucky with the weather, as the clouds were rather low, so unfortunately we were deprived of the wonderful images of sun rays, but in spite of this, the scene itself did not disappoint…Bali is magic.
On our way down, we passed abundant fruit and vegetable plantations, and small hovels where they keep gamecocks.
After Mt Batur, we continued our excursion tasting at a farm producing organic cocoa and coffee, the so called Luwak coffee. I, as a tea lover, bought various kinds of tea made of lemon grass, mango, ginger and rice, and spices such as chili and cinnamon.
And if after all this you still have some energy left, you can take a swim at the Tegenungan waterfall and visit the fascinating Pura Gunung Kawi temple, my favorite.