Still in Bali and going on the recommendation of our cab driver, we set up a trip to trek up Mount Batur, one of Bali’s 3 active volcanos. I don’t know if this is typical in Bali, but our cab driver kind of became our unofficial tour guide and ticketing agent. After we rode in his car the first time, he offered to give us a very good price back to the airport since we worked at a Yayasan (400,000 Rupia or about $35 USD including gas for an approximately 90 mile drive–normally 650-700,000 for that distance) and also offered to drive us around the island for a sight seeing tour as well as to Tulumben and Amed for snorkeling and for a trip to the volcano. He even gave us an extra phone he had so that we could easily call him locally and did some money exchanging for us (he somehow got a great exchange rate!). I don’t know what the name of the cab company is (the cars had no signs and we initially got in touch with him because our host in Bali called him…) but they took us all around and made all the arrangements for our volcano trek.

 

Supposedly, many people do a sunrise tour. They stay overnight in a hotel near the mountain, meet their guide and start hiking at 4:00 am to get to the top around 6:00 am. We did a sunset tour, starting hiking at about 4:00 pm.

On our tour we were joined by an Australian couple who must have been in their late 50s but who seriously kicked our butts in the climbing department. And then their was our guide who just zipped right up the mountain side like it was nothing!!

 

I do have to say that neither Mo nor I are experienced trekkers or even hikers but seriously, this trek was HARD! The guide and our Australian pals went at an exceedingly quick pace and at times the mountain felt like it went straight up!

 

Stopping for a rest and to enjoy the view…..

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Mo and I both had our ways of managing, mine was to keep my mind off of the pain by thinking of every metaphor relating climbing this mountain to making your way through life (some paths are slippery, some easy to walk up; the rocks in the middle of the path that help you get your grip are like the people in life who pull you through hard times…. etc. etc. etc.) and Mo’s was to pretend like he was fighting Manny Pacquiao. Despite this, we both seriously considered telling our guide that we quit, and would sit right where we were so they could pick us up on their way back down. We didn’t though, the beautiful scenery kept us going.

 

Some vistas along the way….

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And some monkeys too!

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There was actually steam coming from the side of the Volcano….and it was HOT!

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Our guide placed some bananas and eggs in a hole in the side of the volcano, covered them with leaves for a few minutes then took them out cooked! We ate hot banana sandwiches and hard boiled eggs as a snack to keep our energy up! They tasted sooooo good.

 

Almost there….

 

The views that we were rewarded with at the top.

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Sunset was really breathtaking. Then suddenly we realized that we had to climb back DOWN the volcano in the dark! This was almost harder than going up as it was really steep and slippery!

Somehow we made it down (good thing our guide brought flashlights!) and decided it was definitely an experience that was worth the pain.