Monday, February 25, 2008

Mt. Batur

Hello again!
Two more fabulous days here in Ubud.
Yesterday I had a Balinese cooking class. It was lots of fun. I was taken on a market tour and introduced to all the spices, vegetables, and fruits that are traditionally used in Balinese cooking. The dishes we made were fabulous, several of them I had already tried in restaurants. Rich and I hung out in the afternoon enjoying the many fabulous cafes in Ubud.
Today ( or last night...?)
At 2:30 in the morning Rich and I were picked up at our hotels and driven to Mt. Batru. We were going to clime the famous volcano. Mt. Batru last erupted in 2000. It is an extremely active volcano. Not every eruption is massive but they do all spew lava, if not a massive lava flow.
Our guide, Mabang, met us at the base and we started our climb. Now I was expecting more of a, well, "trek". "Climbing" is rarely ever really climbing, but more of a strenuous walk around a mountain slowly winding your way to the top. Not this climb. No we went straight up the face. Granted we did a bit of winding but the majority was very steep over craggy sharp and often loose molten rock from previous eruptions.
It was difficult but climbing but the light of the moon over ancient lava flows was magical. The views were stunning, and watching the sun rise over Lombok was probably the most stunning sunrise I have ever seen.
After the sun had risen and we had regained some body warmth (massive sweating then cool summit winds... not so cozy) we walked along another creator ridge so we could cook our breakfast in the steam rising from deep within the volcano. FABULOUS!! -if not the food then the cooking method. We hung out and chatted to Mabang for about an hour as we took in the views. I told Mabang I would be coming back and that he was going to be my guide and take me all over Bali. I need to come back. I need to be here. Everyday I fall more in love with this island. I can't believe I will be leaving in a few days, I am so not ready.
Our walk down the mountain was mostly uneventful, well besides being separated from Mabang (briefly lost), my landing on the side of my foot wrenching my ankle, and running down the side of the mountain on powder fine volcanic rock.
I need more sleep, but otherwise I want for nothing but more time here.



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