We hadto wake up before 2am for the trek up the Mt. Batur volcano. Crazy right? Crazy. So both Suanie and I tried to get some shut eye at about 8 something, 9pm the night before. Actually unknown to Suanie who I found out the next morning could not sleep a wink, I woke up almost every hour because the walls were too damn thin and there were too much noise from people moving about. However, I was determined to stay in bed because zomg trekking up a mountain is no bloody joke and the thought of having no sleep for the next 24 hours is not very appealing to me.
I'm not the most adventurous person on earth, but I've done my share of out doorsy adventure stuff, ie - trekking up hills and through forests to know that this fun-filled activity requires a lot of energy, water and some fitness levels to go through it. It's hard work. It's nonstop hardcore walking and trekking through rough, uneven, unpaved lanes. I already know the drill. But I had found out a little too late that Suanie expected something a little different, but more on that later. So when Suanie very excitedly told me a few weeks before about wanting to do this VOLCANO climb to catch the sunrise, I was a little skeptical. VOLCANO? TREK? A FEW HOURS? SUANIE? IS SHE KIDDING?!?!? Then again, I reminded myself that this was the same person who organised a trip to the quite challenging Chiling Falls and then I felt fairly confident that Batur wouldn't be a problem either.
So Yande, our hired tour guide for the weekend (Suanie fixed this up for us, because I'm a lazy bitch and left all organising details to her and she did an exceptional job at it!*kiss ass kiss ass*) picked us up from our hostel at about 2am. When we had to wake up at about 1 something I had a good mind to tell Suanie to do this herself because I really badly wanted to bloody sleep and it's a damn holiday and I'll sleep in if I want to but decided to just go with it. It took us about 2 hours to get to the mountain, and I slept through most of the journey. You could say I'm the worst/best passenger on earth because every time a trip takes longer than 15 minutes my system would automatically shut down. ZZZzzzz. Whenever I woke up I would notice that everything around me was covered in darkness. ZZzzzz. 2 am is still too damn early to be awake lah really.
Finally reached the foothill of the mountain and Yande arranged for a guide to take us up the mountain. It was about 4am and we were still surrounded by blackness. Without a torchlight you couldn't even see your own toes. So whoever thought they could've done this without the local guides either had a death wish or were out of their freaking minds. Paid for our guide, quick toilet break, quick intro to our mountain guide (wayan) and off into the darkness we go.
We were on the way to trek up a live 1707 km high volcano. In almost complete darkness. With nothing but a guide and our tiny LED torchlights. Walking through uneven clearings filled with rocks, pebbles and lava ashes. After about 15 mins to half an hour, we took a quick breather. We still couldn't see much but outlines of the path immediately ahead of us with the help of our torchlights. Apart from Wayan, another small guy named Ketut (who would sell us drinks when we are up on the volcano later) accompanied us too. Some small talk was made between the guides and us. Noticed a few other smaller groups ahead of us and behind us. It felt chilly, decided to put on my jacket. Nothing to see. Still too dark. This was work man. It's not some leisurely walk by the flower park. We had to focus and just keep moving. March on.
After our second or third quick stop within the first 15-30 minutes of our trek, Suanie began to show signs of cracking. At the first and second stop she was saying the expected "omg, i'm not fit man shit" which I was also also thinking to myself about myself. But after the third or fourth stop she felt I think, exponentially worse with each stop and we had to stop after almost every 20 steps. You see, she had for some unexplainable reason, JUST realised that the trek up the mountain was NOT going to be something as easy as say, a walk by the beach or even a trek through a forest reserve. We were going uphill most of the time, on very uneven ground, navigating around rocks and which stuck out at every wrong angle possible. We were both carrying backpacks with some essentials, eg, water, jackets etc. She had NOT foreseen that it would be so tough. In her mind we would just reach the peak and take pictures of the sun rise. Her brain did not process that we actually had to CLIMB this thing.
Suanie looked like she was ready to pass out, from my point of view. I shit you not. She was in very bad shape. Panting very hard, pale as a ghost, sweating, she wore the most miserable expression on her face that would shatter the hopes of even the world's biggest optimist ever. I had also suggested that we should slow down our pace because we were going quite fast, but Suanie would have none of that. She said that she was used to walking fast and that slowing down would be somewhat of an effort. Through the entire time I had also tried to encourage her through very poorly chosen words and tone (imagine how a perky cheerleader would sound like) which not only did not help her situation, but I think also made her felt so bad that she had to asked me very nicely, to STFU. I felt really stupid and horrible for making her feel worse. :( At this point in time, I have to honestly say that I also had thought Suanie wouldn't make it to the top. I didn't know what else to do or say anymore to perk her up. We still had at least another 1.5 hours to go at least and we were barely 3/4 of the way to the top. Groups which started later than us were passing us by. At this rate my OCD mind thought that we might not make it to the top in time for the sunrise. Suanie was in bad shape. We just can't go on. I was already making up my mind that this was climb was a crazy idea and that we should head straight down.
Suddenly, Wayan suggested that I should go ahead with Ketut and that he and Suanie would take it slow and catch up with us later. I had never thought that this would be an option before but it took me less than 10 seconds to agree to his suggestion. While I hoped with every fibre of my being that Suanie will make it to the top, apart of me wasn't too sure anymore. There and then I thought it was best that one of us go first so that at LEAST one of us would at least attempt to be on time to catch the sunrise which we both can enjoy later digitally. So I left her with our very abled Wayan and continued trekking with Ketut.
Read Suanie’s version of our third day Part 1 here.