Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide: Mount Batur (Bali Eco Cycling Tour)

I am not an adventurous person. But sometimes, the desire to take in some breathtaking moments just dominates the extremely rational side of me. Questions such as, what if the volcano erupts, what if I slip and fall over the edge etc take a backseat when I booked this tour- these questions come back when the actual trek starts though. 

1) Tour 
We signed up for a tour with Bali Eco Cycling Tour. We got picked up punctually at 2:30 a.m. and the group size was 7. After enduring a bumpy ride, we reached the car park at around 4 a.m. Each person was then given a torchlight and water. Test your torchlight because you would want your path to be lit well when trekking. I also suggest that you go to the toilet before leaving your accomodation because I heard that the toilets are real bad here.

I know some reviews say that this is a relatively easy trek. I don't trek at all but I have a decent level of fitness. I didn't find this an easy trek. It isn't the lack of stamina that you should be wary of but rather the steep slopes at some points and loose gravel that you have to be careful of. 

Our group consisted of young people and we reached the sunrise point in good time (5+ a.m.). There would be a few stops in between so that you can catch your breath for a couple of minutes. There was still some distance up to the summit but our tour guides didn't bring us there. One of our group members was not too pleased about that. 

2) What to wear
It may feel a little chilly before starting the trek such that you would want to start piling on your jacket. But trust me, this trek will get you perspiring in no time and there is not much point in putting on your sweater. It is only after you reach the sunrise point where it starts to get chilly and you should have a sweater with you. It can really be quite cold so be ready to wear several layers. 

3) Expectations 
Just to manage expectations a little, just because it's a sunrise trek, doesn't mean that you will definitely get to see the sunrise. We almost thought that we wouldn't be able to catch the sunrise because it suddenly became very foggy. Thankfully, the fog cleared and we were left with a beautiful sunrise. 

4) Breakfast
Breakfast was provided in this tour package as well- consisting for bread with banana in between, hot chocolate/coffee/tea, a packet of juice and a hard boiled egg. There was a little hut where they prepared breakfast. I would suggest hiding in the hut when having your breakfast because right after the sun rises, a whole bunch of monkeys start coming out and apparently, they can be pretty aggressive.

5) Crater 
After the sun had risen, we were led to see the crater. Some explanation was given about the volcano- when it last erupted etc. There were also a few vents where steam was coming out from. Some good photo opportunities here as well.

6) Descent 
The descent doesn't get any easier and it will be good to find some good grip on the rocks etc.

7) Safety 
Always remember, safety is the most important! One girl broke her ankle and had to be carried down on a stretcher. You can take your time when climbing, let the faster ones go first, steady yourself with every step- safety comes first! 


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