Somewhere between shopping, yoga retreat and indulging in sumptuous banana pancakes, I decided to get some serious cardio workout by including a trek to Mt. Batur in our Bali itinerary, and I drag Yen along for her first climb.
Set in North-eastern part of Bali, Indonesia, about 45 minutes from Ubud, is the highlands of Kintamani. It’s picturesque view of Lake Batur and Mt. Batur (Gunung Batur) volcano makes it one of the top Bali destination for backpackers, trekkers and cycling enthusiasts.
Our guesthouse host helped us in arranging our transport and guide for our Sunrise trek to Mount Batur. The cost for the package tour is USD 25 or IDR 250,000 per person. This is why I forgo on staying in villa resorts in Bali, I can still use the savings for other things such as this, but for a cheap rate that they quoted us, it was such a steal!
Still sleepy, our transport picked us up at around 2:30 in the morning. We shared the van with other Caucasian strangers.
After a long ride, we hit our first stop, a Bali Coffee Plantation, which sells the most expensive coffee in the world called Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee. Since it’s still nightfall, we didn’t get a glimpse of the farm, but was served an early breakfast of traditional bali coffee paired with banana crepes.
few more servings please. Power breakfast, anyone?
We continued our journey until we reach the gateway to our starting point, Pura Jati Temple. Summit attempts are usually done before the crack of dawn to gaze upon this amazing nature performance. Lake Batur seen here emerging quietly to a foggy morning with Mount Abang as backdrop.
Mt. Abang is the highest point in the rim of the Batur Caldera, and the second highest mountain in Bali, Indonesia.
Rising to 1717 meters (5633 feet) above sea level, Mount Batur is an active volcano and considered sacred by locals. The ascent takes about 2 hours in a rugged path. It is relatively an easy climb for the physically fit but having not done any exercise and training lately, my lazy bum was put to a challenge of strength, endurance and sacrifice. By the time we reached the summit, my body was pretty much beat up and exhausted.
Yen did well on her first climb despite not wearing the proper climbing shoes. I swear her shoes have magic spells that I don’t know how it survived the weathered trail.
The remote viewing point delivers great vantage point when the sky cleared up. Our guides prepared a unique breakfast, volcanic steamed eggs to go with the bread.
We explore the surrounding area to small steaming calderas and found this thirsty wild monkeys. They are everywhere, apparently guarding their home and scheming on your breakfast set.
The descent is easier, while the slopes can get a little steep and slippery particularly during rainy days. The view is still breathtaking despite the rising temperature.
Can’t believe we just scaled the Bali mountains. It’s definitely exhilarating and I’m almost out of breath. Haha. Next to Sunrise in Mt. Bromo, hopefully this will not be the last of my mountain climbing career. The craters of Mount Batur is further up and I believe a separate package tour.
Lovebirds at Mount Batur
On the way back to Ubud, we passed by the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. The striking rice paddies are set in the balinese village of Kintamani.
Siesta at Teba House is not an option but a must after the tiring hike. So we did a power nap to get ready for another afternoon of exploring and shopping in Ubud.
The shrines and intricately designed guesthouses imbibes a truly balinese lifestyle. Laid back, quiet, artistic and passionate. Please adopt me a little longer.
Our task must be to free ourselves…
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”
Back at Pura Taman Saraswati, our view from our previous dinner at Cafe Lotus. A temple complex set in beautiful lotus pond, devoted to Dewi Saraswati, Goddess of Learning, literature and Arts.
Whenever you feel lost, just look for Starbucks, yes this town is developing fast enough, the temple is just tucked behind.
While waiting for Yen on a shopping spree, I made my way to Casa Luna for a caffeine fix. What could go wrong with authentic balinese coffee and tiramisu?
This day turned out just as great as our first day. The locals, culture, nature and art scene tainted my soul with fascination that I will forever treasure. Dear Ubud, please outlive the changes and stay amazing.