At the peak of Mt. Agung, we were able to feel like we were on top of the world. There was nothing higher than you except Mt. Rinjani, which is situated at a safe distance.
We remember clouds upon clouds that blanketed the whole of Bali, Indonesia. We remember the cold, which we ignored because it was perfection on top. We remember looking down feeling silly trying to figure out which of those miniature houses was our guesthouse.
That was on November 16, 2016, at 6:09 in the morning.
Image below: A portion of the hiking trail
Online, about three weeks before our Bali trip, we booked a hike thru a local operator called Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours. At the time, it had the best offer for solo hikers – affordable rate, free breakfast and lunch, two-way transportation, and a guide.
Our journey started at 10 PM at Nick’s Homestay in Ubud where we were picked up by the agency’s driver.
The hike would start at Besakih Temple. According to the driver, it would take about 2 hours to reach the temple from Ubud.
At midnight, we reached what it appeared as a registration area where about 6 men were waiting. We were asked to write down our personal details on a notebook. The driver then introduced us to our guide who said his name was Gede.
Based on research, Besakih Temple is the most important and largest Hindu temple in Bali. We were hoping to get a glimpse of the complex before we set off, but it was pitch-black we only managed to see stone blocks that wouldn’t make sense as a temple if we didn’t know that they were part of one.
It was chilly when we started walking at about 1 in the morning, but we had all our Mt. Agung essentials with us, so we felt confident.
Like most of our previous hikes, the Agung trail started off mostly flat before giving us some challenging uphills. It was quite difficult, but to get through, we maintained a slow-but-steady pace.
Compared with Mt. Fansipan’s trail, Agung’s is tougher.
At 4AM, we reached a rest area where Gede made a bonfire to keep us warm and gave us salak (snake fruit). From this point up to the summit, the climb would mostly be an inclined slope. Crushed volcanic rocks would also add to the difficulty.
We kept the bonfire for an hour, watching the supermoon hover over us. Later, we were joined by a group of French girls who stopped by for some chat.
As we made our way to the top, the skies started to change colors, and the surroundings became more and more visible. Before we knew it, we were looking down at the most beautiful sea of clouds we have ever seen. It was a hundred times better than what we witnessed during our Mt. Kinabalu climb.
Mt. Agung is not one of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia, but at that time, it felt like it was one of them.
At the top, we drank some lukewarm tea while enjoying the views.
Image below: At the peak of Mt. Agung, Mt. Rinjani is in the background
Image below: Crater of Mt. Agung
About a year since our hike, there have been eruptions and earthquakes caused by Mt. Agung. As of this writing, the latest eruption/activity happened on June 13, 2019 at 1:38 Bali time. Tour operators have stopped offering hiking trips.
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