Sunrise from Mt Batur

Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
Trip End Jul 17, 2012

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gunung Batur is a double caldera.  A crater inside a crater. The outer crater is 13 x 10 kms formed some 30,000 years ago.

Our overnight stay was at a small village Kedisan which is actually down and inside the outer crater besides the lake or Danau Batur. The inner caldera was formed 10,000 years later.

Mt Batur is considered to be sacred by the Balinese and is the heart and soul of Bali.

Rising early at 3.15 am, we left for the short distance to the Pura Jati parking lot that was quickly filling up with vans. By 3.40 am started in single file across the lava fields in the pitch blackness. Just our head lights and torches lighting up the rocky scoria route.

Soon I was the last one in our group but somehow eventually made it up to the shelter and a view point just 30 minutes from the top. Do I or do I not continue? It was said that the view from here is just as good as the top. Of course I had to try to do the last bit as we still had time before the sunrise. I could see the top from here up and judging by the thin line of lights that were in front of us it was still going in one direction - upwards! Even now the line of moving white dots below us were still snaking its way upwards towards us.

Just me, Sarah with Nova and a local guide we made it to the summit of Mt Batur 1,717 m at 5.40 am well in time to witness to me a nice, not stunning, sunrise over the valleys of Bali.

At 6.28 am the sun appeared on the horizon finally turning the black into an orange band across the lighting band of blue sky above. Yes, the low clouds below were also drifting in across the lake and this added to the mystic. The views were only a little bit better than the view point just below the summit as you could see a bit further around to the north. Either places would have been fine. Plus from the top you could see into most of the crater itself. I had expected more people to have been at the top so it wasn’t over crowded at all.

The walk took me the suggested 2 hours up, and yes, it was all UP! Yes, you can easily do it in 1.5 hours. The local guide said that it was only 2 kilometers and a vertical gain of 1,000 metres. It felt like more!!!!!

We were lucky that it was a clear morning and possible to see all the way across the Lombok Strait to the peak of the neighbouring Lombok Island and Mt Rinjani.

Bali’s tallest mountain Mt Agung 3,124 m with the smaller Mt Abang 2,153 m in front of this soon lit up with the dawning sun rays hitting their slopes.

Leaving the summit at 6.50 am and after descending one of the volcano ridges, passing through the cool forest canopy, a temple and fields including young tomatoes plants in flower, reached the Toya Devasya hot springs at Toya Bungkah at 8 am.

We all took the option to soak here for 150,000 Rp which has great views over the lake and caldera. The price included a locker, towel and lunch of either rice or fish. Glad I decided on the rice as the fish had many small bones. The 38 C hot water in the pool was a welcome relief for my now aging and aching muscles after the early morning work out. Only complaint were the relentless flies by the pool sun loungers after getting out of the hot water so I retreated down to the lake side restaurant as with the breeze, there were much less flies to contend with plus the view was relaxing watching the fishermen in their small boats laying out the nets. This hot pool soak should be part of the trip itself and not an optional extra.

After this relaxing soak, lunch out by the lovely lake side, it was time to make the 2 1/2 hour journey from the mountains down to the small coastal town of Lovina.

After putting up with the hotel internet service which was suppose to have coverage by the pool but not so, eventually had to sit in the lobby literally under the router to get a half decent signal.

Went before 6 pm the couple of hundred metres walk down to the beach to see the sunset. With the distant low bank of clouds covering across the whole horizon, I knew that it was not going to be spectacular sunset with the red sun ball dropping below the horizon hidden, but somehow I think that I made something out of nothing. Glad that the fishing outrigger were just off shore. To my surprise, hardly any others were down the shore line to see the sun set. The lights of the distant fishing boats started to appear like bright dots on the horizon.

Dinner was along at Jasmine Kitchen, a Thai restaurant. Fresh rice paper rolls filled with prawns, bean sprout, spring onion and crushed peanuts. Served with lime and coriander sauce was my appetiser 45,000 Rp. Jasmine Kitchen Fried Rice with chicken and vegetables served in a a pineapple 40,000 Rp plus Coconut and lemon grass home made ice cream 38,000 Rp. That with a banana milk shake 22,000 Rp came to 159,500 Rp (just over NZ $20 or US $17).

So roll on tomorrow with some snorkelling. This should be a welcome relief from the day’s heat.
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Eve on

Sun rise and sunset - stunning!

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