During our honeymoon we climbed up Mt. Batur on the island of Bali. Minutes before sunrise we reached the rim. Gunung Abang (foreground) and Gunung Agung (highest peak of Bali, 9,944 feet) are prominently visible.
Since our trip included a sunrise view rom the rim of the crater our alarmclock exploded at 2:45 am - shudder. 15 minutes later a car picked us up at the hotel. There were a couple and another woman from Great Britain with us. Our driver brought us to the entrance of the volcano park were a guide took over. It was totally dark outside. Unfortunately we hadn't brought flashlights. Our guide gave one to the Britsh woman and took one himself. Due to the darkness the ascent was quite unspectacular concerning the outlook which was simply non existant. It was very strenuous, though. Not because of the ascent. But our guide apparently tried to break the record for the fastest ascent ever. Instead of walking at a consistent but moderate speed he pushed us to our limits.
Me at the summit of Gunung Batur (1,700 m).
We were actually running up this mountain! The speed was break-necking. And we had to have breaks every five minutes. At one point I stumbled and fell to the ground. Knocked my right knee but didn't pay attention. Well, that changed later... Unfortunately we had no idea about how long the trip would take and were too tired and puffed to complain. We simply held on.
Having reached the top we quickly forgot about the tedious ascent. The view from the top was admirable. We experienced a wonderful sunset. Mt. Agung was visable at the horizon whereas Lake Batur was covered by a layer of clouds. Must have been a fascinating sight: Dozens of weirdos sitting on top of a volcano eating steam cooked eggs...(no kidding!).
After a while our guide took us arround the summit area and showed us the most recent craters. One of them was just one year old. The eruption had killed several people. In some areas the ground below our feet was warm because of the thermal activity. Finally we left our guide behind and made the descent to the waiting car on our own.