Bali day 6!
Today would have to be the biggest day of all!
Kicked of by a 1am start (except MIL, who opted for resting, clever lady!), we met our driver at 2am, for the 2 hour drive up into the mountains to Batur Village.
I don’t know if it was the fantastic food at the cooking class yesterday, the Bintang, the 4 hours sleep, or the winding road up, but I was feeling pretty darn ordinary, and terrified!
I was not missing out on this volcano climb because of sickness, not after missing the coral snorkel!
I put on my bravest face, and after the adventure that was the Balinese toilet at the Mount Batur volcano trail head (heads up folks, no paper! Or flush!), I felt ready to take on the world!
Actually no, I felt bloody awful.
Really, really, sweating mouth, awful.
And oh my goodness, it was tough!
We met our guide, a village local, at the trail head, where we were handed out torches, middle sister and I, coincidentally at the rear of our trek pack, were blessed with “candle light” torches, though mine eventually faded out to “tinfoil reflecting the crescent moon” torch.
An hour (fairly slippery, ashy, steep) up, we came to our resting point, where there were other trek groups also resting, and our little group was joined by a lady from the village, this teeny lady, climbs the volcano EVERY DAY, selling Coke, Sprite and water.
Coke and Sprite.
Who on this earth, feels like hot Coke, at 6am, after climbing a volcano?
Well someone does, as there is a Coke peddler for EVERY group. Even solo Trekkers!
Our lady was so lovely, and helped the Mumma up the steep sections, until not far before the summit, when we all admitted we hate soft drinks on a good day, let alone at 5, on the edge of a volcano. Sweat and knee cartilage pouring from our bodies.
We tipped her for her help with the Mumma, and her kindness, and she skidaddled her way, back down, to find a willing group to follow to the top.
We stopped a few times to rest the Mumma, and were able to look out into the blackness, over the lake, only visible by the spattering of small village lights around its edge, and the reflection of the moon and stars on its still waters.
Simply awe inspiring.
Summit 2 was our stop, as we are a one in, all in kind of pack, and the Mumma was happy to stop there, so we all did!
We were ushered to a great little view point by our guide, before he went off to make tea for us all, and fresh banana sandwiches and boiled eggs (odd combo I know)!
The altitude, satisfaction of climbing a bloody big mountain, beautiful simple food, being with my strong, beautiful family, and icy cold breeze, combined to leave me truly feeling, on top of the world.
The sunrise was spectacular!
With our sarongs tightly around our shoulders (No one takes jumpers to Bali! Yes, thanks to all who gave that advice. It was bloody cold up there!), we ventured to the steam vents, bird cave/sacred temple, and crater edge.
The sights were incredible. Humbling.
And then some Australian tourists come along who make you ashamed to be associated.
We were from New Zealand for the rest of the summit.
The trek down was totally different, as one would imagine, for a start it wasn’t pitch black, but with a stunning view to preoccupy, plus the slippery, slippery volcanic soil!
The old lava was fantastic to descend!
The soil? Like black ice!
The slipping was out of control, and we quite literally laughed, for 3/4s of the way down, at the hilarity of people falling down. Our guide was busy helping the Mumma, but all the others who passed us, would ask why we were laughing so hard.
I’m pretty sure it had to be altitude/tiredness related.
I had a few falls, 1 bad, some skin off and my bad ankle folding up like an accordion, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It actually feels more nimble than it has since the spincident, and it gave the sisters a good laugh!
The Mumma had a bad fall though, and that is worrying us all. Tough as nails and stubborn as a Mule, she hides her pain well. And again, we laughed more than was probably necessary.
The volcanic soil all around the mountain is incredibly fertile, so the villagers have chilli, chives, peanuts, cabbage and tomato crops all over the base.
The lake also has fish farms!
It’s such a beautiful area!
Our driver took us up to a great spot to see the lava from the 1969 Eruption, and the view of the whole lake, volcano and surrounding villages! Gorgeous, yet so sad for the destroyed village.
We skipped the hot springs as it was back to being bloody hot by the time we descended, and we went on to the coffee plantation for the Mumma!
We limped in and seen the sad little Lewaks in their cages, and tasted the many teas and coffees.
We asked lots of questions regarding the Lewak welfare, gave them all names, and wished them all love.
The staff were so wonderful with the Mumma, helping us support her to and fro.
From there, back to Senur for lunch, Bintang and a quick rest, before hitting the beach for the Hindu cleansing of the temple, in preparation for Nyepi!
It was quite haunting, and very beautiful. It’s always wonderful to see people so dedicated to their faith.
That’s how I feel about my family.
I believe in them with all my heart, and am so proud of them.
We conquered a mountain together, not without sacrifice, in fact with much pain, sweat and difficulty, but we did it, we’d do it again, and we came out laughing till some of us darn near peed our trekking pants.
Coz that’s what families do!
Fingers crossed for the Mummas speedy recovery! We’ve not finished our shopping or massages!