“Climb an active volcano and watch the sunrise while eating eggs cooked in volcanic steam”. Sounds like a brilliant line item for a bucket list. Although it wasn’t on my list, I have since added it…because some things just NEED to be checked off a list, right?! Done. Boom.
Bali is a small island in Indonesia and a popular wedding and honeymoon destination. It is beautiful. I never dreamed we would get a chance to go there but Singapore is less than a 2.5 hour flight away. We left on a Thursday morning, the day after my birthday, and came back on Monday evening- giving us 5 full days to explore. Today I’m going to highlight climbing the volcano; I’ll showcase the rest of our trip next time.
The highlight of the trip came on our last day. Dan was surprised at my suggestion to climb a volcano, but was gladly on board. We checked out of our hotel on the beach Sunday afternoon, and someone picked us up and drove us 2.5 hours to the Sunrise Bali Villa, nestled into a hillside overlooking a beautiful lake and walking distance from the base of Mt. Batur.
This place had so much character; we loved it! Here are some more picts leading to our villa:
And through this cute little doorway…
…and into our rustic abode.
The bathroom had a tree growing through the ceiling. I tried not to think about what might find it’s way in during the night!
There was a quaint little restaurant overlooking the lake. It’s a different pace of life here. Even though we were usually the only ones in the restaurant, it would take about 30 min. for each course to arrive. 🙂
In spite of the incessant chatting between roosters and barking wild dogs we managed to get at least a little sleep before we met our guide and hiking buddies at 3:30 am. With multiple layers of clothing, water bottles, flashlights, and cameras…we began the trek to the top of Mt. Batur at 4:00am.
Our fearless guide:
Now, Dan and I hiked the Grand Canyon 5 years ago- 24 miles from rim to rim in 13.5 hours, and though that nearly killed me- I survived. This volcano is only a 2 hour climb to the top so how hard could it be?! Needless to say, I was not too concerned about the fact that other than taking 38 flights of stairs in our condo a few times in preparation, I really hadn’t trained. Thank the Lord it was only 2 hours, because about 20 minutes in, I thought this climb was going to be the end of me! It was extremely steep and very rough terrain. My legs were barely long enough to step up onto many of the huge rocks. Several sections were too steep to even stop and rest. There was a long section that consisted of deep lava sand so we would take one step up and slide back a half step. If Dan and the guide hadn’t literally taken my hand and helped me up, I’m sure I would have fallen right off that volcano into the deep dark abyss. The guide was great – after each short rest he would say, “5 more minutes, then we rest, ok”?” Those bite size goals sustained me…along with lots of prayer! 🙂 Dan thinks I’m exagerating, but I’m not. Really. Trust me.
Well, I have to say, it was 100% worth the pain! We reached the top just before 6:00am. It was still dark as we put our eggs and bananas in a little crevice full of volcanic steam. While they cooked, we waited and watched as the sun rose from behind another distant volcano.
It was frigid at the top, so we huddled together while soaking in God’s glorious and majestic beauty!
We hiked with this young couple from CA, although she is Balinese. I took comfort in the fact that though they were 20+ years younger than me, they huffed and puffed their way to the top as well! Dan? Well, he’s a beast. He could have jogged to the top.
Time to eat eggs!
We took a different path back down to the bottom. It was not as steep or rocky. In fact, much of it was very deep volcanic sand so we “skiied” down the volcano! I fell three times, but only sustained a small flesh wound. 🙂 We met some wild monkeys on the way down and I got to feed one.
We stopped several times to empty our shoes of volcanic sand.
We finally reached the bottom of Mt. Batur by 9:00am. Even though this climb seriously challenged my abilities, I am so thankful we did it. We were both richly blessed by the magnificence of God’s beauty and majesty as we watched Him paint the sky before us.
“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord. The skies proclaim the work of His hands”. Psalm 19:1