May 14, 2015 | talktraveltome | Leave a comment To start our sunrise volcano hike up Mount Batur, Bali’s second largest volcano, we woke up bright and early at 2:00AM, dusted off our hiking boots, packed up our nerdy head lamps and filled up our Camelbak. From Ubud it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to reach the starting point. The last 20 minutes of our ride were down a very bumpy road, crowded with trucks carrying gravel from the mountain. At some points it felt like we were riding around in bumper cars. Thankfully we made it to the base of the mountain in one piece and ready to start our 1,700 meter ascent. Like most people climbing Mount Batur, we had to hire a guide to help us navigate through the dark. We ended up starting our hike around 4:00AM and it was still pitch black out… we felt like we were in an episode of Are You Afraid of The Dark (Nickelodeon 90’s reference). With the confidence of Chuck Norris, we started off on a quick pace passing several groups that left before us. Our guide, Sogi, who has completed this hike close to a 1,000 times, even seemed to be impressed… that quickly changed. At first, the walk was fairly flat with a slight incline, but after about 30 minutes it got much steeper and harder (that’s what she said!). The flat ground turned to jagged steps with loose rock between them. We were both starting to get dizzy, since all we could see was the small patch of ground in front of us being lit up by our head lamps. Our cat like reflexes failed us… if we took our eyes off the path for too long we would start to stumble and trip over the rocks. It was like watching a baby try to walk… make it a few steps, stumble and repeat. We never thought it was possible to get motion sickness just from walking. We were starting to get tired and ended up taking more than a few breaks, but the view made catching our breath that much more enjoyable. When we looked towards the top of the mountain we could see a line of lights weaving back and forth through the designated path. It looked like the stars were not only in the sky above the volcano, but also on the volcano itself. It was pretty amazing. After two long hours of climbing we finally reached the summit just as the sunlight was starting to peak above the clouds. To quote one of our favorite movies (Home Alone 2), “Harry, I’ve reached the top!”. While we sat and watched the sunrise our guide, Sogi, made us a delicious breakfast consisting of two hardboiled eggs and a banana sandwich. Breakfast of champions! We’ve seen a lot of great sunsets during our trip, but this was our first sunrise and there is something amazing about watching the sun come up over the horizon. As Sogi so eloquently put it, “It looks like an egg”, but we think Forest Gump more accurately described our feeling, “…when the sun comes up, I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It was beautiful”. The sunrise over Lake Batur After watching the sunrise, the monkeys started waking up. All we needed was for the monkey in the picture below to be holding Simba and the opening scene from the Lion King would be complete. It’s the circle, the circle of life! Next, our guide gave us a brief history on the volcano’s previous eruptions (the first one was over 20,000 years ago and the last one was in 2000) and showed us around the crater. After exploring a bat cave and checking out a couple of the active vents we started our much easier decent. The walk down only took us about half the time it took to climb to the top. For those of you that aren’t very good at math (Justine), that means one hour on the way down. Checking out some of the active vents on Mount Batur Endless Chili Peppers growing as we walked back First Mount Doom now Mount Batur… apparently we’ve become people who hike up volcanos for fun :-). Although we had a hard time climbing this volcano, on a scale from 1 – 10 (with one being a literal walk in the park and a 10 climbing Mt. Doom) we’d probably say that this hike was about a 6. The hardest part was having to climb on such a short nights rest, but being able to watch the sunrise was definitely worth it! What’s the best sunrise you’ve ever experienced? Don’t forget to comment below, we’d love to hear from you!