Trek to the Top of Mount Batur

Marti Morenings

Part of my Indonesian adventure was the hike to the top of Mount Batur, the second highest mountain (about 5,600 ft. above sea level) in Bali and the site of one of several active volcanoes on the island.

In order to make the 3 hour trek to the peak for sunrise, I started the climb at 3:30 am. With a flashlight in hand and with Kadek, my friendly Balinese guide, leading the way, I made it to the top with time to spare.  Volcanic ash and sand plus rocky–sometimes slippery–terrain made walking a bit tricky, but I found it was very doable as long as I stayed intensely focused.  Later, with the light of day, I realized just how precarious it was when we hiked back along the same narrow rim around the perimeter of the crater–this time I could clearly see the crater wall falling steeply to one side.

Sunrise on top of Mount Batur

The last major eruption of Mount Batur was in 1917 when the lava destroyed an entire village, killing thousands.  The most recent eruption, although moderate, occurred in 2000.   Throughout the trek, Kadek pointed out various vent holes which were spewing steam from the smoldering volcano inside.  These vent holes provided natural convenience, as Kadek used one to prepare our breakfast: a hot banana sandwich and a hard boiled egg. It was delicious—I had worked up such an appetite.


I found the entire hike meditative; the intense need to concentrate on navigating safely in the dark allowed me to clear my mind and to be completely present in the moment, something I haven’t always been successful at doing.  After coming off the mountain, we went to a natural hot spring that offered instant relief for our overworked muscles.

Kopi (coffee) beans at the plantation

Lastly, we visited a kopi (coffee) plantation where the aroma of roasting beans decadently wafted across the landscape. As I sipped delicious Balinese coffee, I learned more about the varieties and the process of creating pure kopi powder, one of the key ingredients in Ritual Alami products, which are all handcrafted in Indonesia.  My next post will tell about my meeting with Jay Rohrer, the founder of Ritual Alami, and our visit to the chic, elegant W Retreat & Spa.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>