Mt Batur, one of Bali’s most active volcanos with its most recent eruption being in 2,000, is located in the Kintamani District and sits 1,717 meters (5,633 ft) above sea level, offers great views of Lake Batur; a crater lake considered a scared site to the locals.
Most people hike Mt Batur in the early morning in order to watch the sunrise at the summit, we however decided that we would wait until after sunrise to attempt the hike solely because we had the girls in tow and we thought allowing them to sleep a little longer was in everyones best interest.
Our driver, Badra, picked us up in Ubud a little after 6am; still plenty early but at least we had over an hour drive before we had to start the climb.
Once we arrived we met up with our guide, Wayan, that Badra had arranged for us and immediately begun our trek up the mountain.
Eden was pretty eager and at the beginning and was actually running at times, that was before it got too steep to do so. Wayan allowed Eden to set the pace, and a good pace she set too. Often they would need to stop to allow the rest of us to catch up!
Since we were late starting the hike we appeared to be the only ones making the ascent up the mountain while everyone was descending. It was so heartwarming the many, many people who encouraged Eden along the way; giving her high 5’s, rounds of applause and words of encouragement.
There were of course the few pessimists who would make comments, not directly to us just within our ear shot like “no way thats going to happen” or even laughing at our attempt.
What they didn’t realize is that their rudeness only motivated us more!
As it turned out the sunrise hikers didn’t get many views until they were almost down the mountain due to cloud so I don’t feel like we missed out by hiking later on, well not on that particular day anyway.
The higher we got the steeper it got but Eden still soldiered on while Clio continued to be carried by Matt.
Once we reached the hut at the top we stopped for 20 minutes to admire the views and feed the many monkey. We took the obligatory photo with the summit sign and warmed our hands with the steam rising from holes in the mountain.
Wayan then asked if we wanted to proceed to the very top (still confused as to why the sign for the summit was here and not at the very top!) which of course we did; after all we had made it this far.
This was probably the hardest of the climb because it was like walking on very steep sand and as we climbed the short distance up the cloud just rolled on in and we got cold and damp.
Once we made it to the actual summit we ate food that Badra had bought us and that Wayan had carried up for us.
Recharged we began our decent down the opposite side of the mountain where of course it started to rain. Wayan gave Eden a piggy back and virtually skied down, it was pretty fun to watch and once Matt & I tried it we realized it was so much easier.
Eden of course wanted to walk herself but I think Wayan was in a hurry to get down since none of us had wet weather gear.
Part way down we made it to a hut where we huddled in with about 10 other people who were making their way up the mountain. When the rain eased a little we continuned on our way in the same fashion as before, Eden on Wayan’s back, Matt carrying Clio, while we all skied/ran down.
It was unfortunate the rain was so heavy at this point as the scenery was really beautiful and I would have loved to take photos as we walked back through a forest but of course I forgot to bring my rain sleeve.
Once at the bottom Badra was waiting to pick us up and we said our goodbyes to Wayan so we could warm up in the nearby natural hot pools.
I am pleased we didn’t attempt to hike this with the kids for the sunrise, while Eden did great I think it would have been that much harder in the darkness and Matt virtually carried Clio the entire time, often there was lose rock which would have been a little more scary/dangerous in the dark.
Climbing Mt Batur was a highlight for all of us, well apart from Clio who not only complained a lot but also made the comment about how tiring it was…pretty funny since she got carried like a wee princess!
If you are heading to Bali I would definitely recommend doing this hike. We purposely didn’t bring any kind of child carrier for Clio because we knew this was the only place we would have needed it and we didn’t want to have to carry it around the rest of our trip. Having said that it would be a lot easier if you did have one for young children.