Mt. Batur (We Hiked Up a Volcano!)

Yeah – we hiked up a volcano.  And you know, I just need to say, as a Geologist, it’s not that scary at all.  I mean, it definitely wasn’t the first volcano we have been on – we hiked countless through our National Park Tour.  But the fact that there was all kinds of publicity and hubbub surrounding the speculation of the near-by Mt. Agung eruption (which actually happened just after we got back from Bali) that people were really scared to hike. But we are here to tell you – it’s not scary at all!  In fact, it was one of the more peaceful experiences of our stay in Bali.

But like most good stories, it didn’t start out very peaceful!  We had to earn it.  We got picked up at our place in Canggu by Bali Group Trekking Tours at about 1:00 am!  Yeah, it’s insane, but to drive and to hike all the way to the top by sunrise, we had to leave that early (spoiler alert – it was totally worth it!)

We drove for around 2 hours (most of which we slept as the dark rice patties raced by the windows).  We got to the base of the mountain, at our super-secret, “backside” trail head.  Our guide Jarru, grew up on a little farm at the base of the mountain and the trail literally left out of his backyard. By the way, you are legally required to have a guide to hike the mountain, and HONESTLY, I can’t imagine finding anyone more fun that Jarru.  He was the best.

Normally at this point, we could just start walking up the mountain.  Oh, but nothing is that simple with the Our Vie crew.  We had two explosions that morning before we even set foot on the volcano.  A yogurt in our bag somehow burst in transit and covered EVERYTHING.  Our camera, our extra layers, literally everything was coated in artificial strawberry flavoring.  Then, while dealing with the yogurt, Theo decided to add to the mess.  Major blow out. We won’t go into details, but let’s just say it was more than a one-wiper.

When we finally set off on the trail with our tiny hand-held lights, it was already 3:30 am. Giving us about an hour and a half to make the hike; we went UP and UP and UP.  Theo, having just de-bowled everything he had ever eaten up to that point in his life, slept like a rock as he hung from Madison’s chest.  About an hour in, we started seeing colors pop up on the horizon!  We were so close to the top, and the fact that we started to see the sun already, we had to kick it into high gear!

We got there JUST in time.  And either we spent all of our breath getting to the top on time, or the sunrise was really that breathtaking – cause we really couldn’t breathe when we got there!

The following is a paid advertisement by Nestle Hot Chocolate:

“Nestle, taking your early-morning taste buds to new heights!”

Just kidding. BUT it was an exceptionally good cup of hot chocolate that the Jarru Crew had waiting for us at the top.  It was pretty cool, we got to the top, had a really good time soaking in the sunrise, and then hot chocolate magically found its way into my hands.  I can’t think of a better way to start a morning!

Jarru deserves extra credit for not only guiding us up the mountain, but also doubling as a high-altitude babysitter.  He was SO GOOD with Theo! Also speaking of Theo, he is in no less than 30 tourist selfies. He was the tiniest celebrity on the mountain and everyone wanted to take him home haha.

You would think that once you are at the top, and have seen an epic display by the sun, that there isn’t much more you can ask for from a mountain.  This is where you would be wrong.  Jarru took us around the summit, and showed us how to properly cook eggs in the steam vent of a volcano!  I was geeking out hard.  While I have been on many volcano hikes before, none of those stingy mountains offered to cook me breakfast!  And I’ll just go ahead and say it – Mt. Batur makes a mean steamed egg.

After getting off the mountain we just felt good.  We had laughed all morning with our new found friends, been uplifted by the beauty of nature, and eaten tasty food.  There really was nothing else we needed.

If I were to do this all again, I would opt to do the overnight experience that Jarru puts on.  We didn’t really know about that option until we were there on the mountain, but it would be absolutely a dream to spend a night on the volcano and get both a sunrise and a sunset.

On the way back I convinced the driver to pull over to get a good shot of the mountain from afar.  She’s a pretty piece of rock, right?

For a birds eye view, check out the drone footage that Jace from Our Home On Wheels put together – epic to say the least.

To book a hike with Bali Group Trekking Tours, visit their website or give Jarru a call on WhatsApp (+6287862004152) — Be sure to mention that Cees and Madison sent you!


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