Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon May 23 2016

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | May 23, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Conquering Bali's Mount Batur Volcano

    Conquering Bali's Mount Batur Volcano

    Photos by Goats on the Road

    There is much more to Bali than the overdeveloped, over-touristed area of Kuta. If you must arrive in this town, make sure you have a quick exit strategy! We recommend heading for the hills of the Kintamani area. This is where you'll find stunning natural scenery, village life and the towering Mount Batur Volcano.

    It's about a two-hour drive from Kuta in the south to Kintamani in the northeast area of the island. You can take local transport, hire a guide and driver, or rent a car like we did. We highly recommend having your own wheels for this area, as there are many beautiful viewpoints along the way — it's just as much about the journey as it is the destination.

    READ MORE: Bali: Look Past the Chaos and Embrace the Serenity

    mount batur volcano bali indonesia

    As our little 4x4 jeep rounded the last hairpin turn, we were greeted with rice paddies, views of a glistening lake, and of course, the Mount Batur Volcano. There are a few options for where to stay near Lake Batur, but we chose the Surya Hotel, which had fabulous views from the restaurant terrace. After resting and enjoying the peace and quiet for a while, we were approached by a tour guide who takes the guests of this hotel on a trek up the neighboring volcano. We had wanted to hike to the top anyways, and having the guide come to us made the planning much easier. The only issue was that we had to start trekking at 3 a.m. if we wanted to make it to the top in time for sunrise.

    mount batur volcano kintamani bali

    After a horrible sleep, we were rudely awakened by banging on our door — it was time to start hiking. We were half asleep and it was pitch black outside. Our bodies weren't prepared for this at all.

    Luckily, the first hour of the walk was on fairly flat terrain, until we arrived at the base of the volcano. Once we started the ascent, the terrain changed drastically. We left the flat road behind, and were greeted with rocks and forest at the base of the volcano. Once we were on the face of Mount Batur, we were traversing over slippery gravel while hiking straight up! We were cold, tired and wondering if we had made a mistake in getting up so early to do such a grueling hike.

    But, once we summited the volcano and saw the little hut with a fire burning to keep us warm, and freshly brewed tea waiting for us, we felt at ease. Just as we sat down to catch our breath, our guide called us over. The active volcano was so hot that there was steam coming out of the ground. We thought that was pretty interesting, but what he really wanted to show us was his method for cooking us breakfast.

    hiking mount batur volcano indonesia

    Two eggs were taken out of our guide's pocket and placed in the ground for five minutes. Once he retrieved them, they were cooked! Now we had tea and hardboiled eggs in our bellies. We made our way back to the hut and watched as an orange glow appeared on the horizon. The sun was rising. The neighboring island of Lombok and the Mount Agung Volcano came into view, and slowly Lake Batur started to appear, before we could see across the entire valley.

    These views made the hike worthwhile. After enjoying the scenery, we made our descent down the mountain. We hiked along the rim of the main volcano, and of the lower one. Mount Batur had erupted in the 1920s, 1960s and 1990s, but luckily it didn't feel like kicking off while we were up there. Seeing the hardened black lava from previous eruptions reminded us of just how destructive a volcano can be.

    READ MORE: Experiencing The Flavors of Bali

    In total, the climb took six hours and is one of the most interesting excursions we've been on. This was the first volcano that we had ever climbed, and remains as one of the most unique adventures we've ever had. If you’re ever in Bali, make the effort to go to Kintamani and hike this volcano, it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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