After a very short night of intermittent sleep, interrupted regularly by a barking dog outside the door of our guest house, we set out at 4:00 a.m. up the side of Gunung Batur. We got to the top just in time for me to set up my camera and capture the first light. It wasn’t a difficult hike by any means, but spectacular.
I’d love to know what planet or star is visible in the top left of this photo. It was really bright in the morning sky.
The sunrise was absolutely spectacular; quite possibly the most beautiful I’ve seen in my travels.
Gunung Rinjani was visible off in the distance (above and below left). The other side of the old Batur volcano was silhouetted in the foreground along with Gunung Agung (below, far right).
Of course, this being Indonesia, a warung was set up at the crest of the volcano. Admittedly, a kopi susu was a nice treat after a two hour walk up hill.
The lava flows from the 1974 eruption are still visible as a black desert on the landscape.
The guides are regulated and will harass and threaten anyone without a guide on the mountain. Our official guide cost IDR 300,000 per person and was a lazy jerk. You have three options for a trek: short, medium, and long as shown their map. We paid for the long trek, and got something similar to the medium trip with a lot of sitting to stretch it out to the full time. We complained when we got back to the village of Toya Bungkan where we were staying. It seemed the village was ready to roast one of their own.
Despite the annoying guide, I’d still recommend the hike to anyone as it was clearly spectacular.