Mount Agung in Bali

Tags: Bali

After a 3 day stopover at Raffles Hotel in Singapore, my American girlfriend and I went on to Bali. This blog is not about Raffles Hotel, but I just have to compliment this hotel. I have stayed at tons of hotels, but this is just in a league of its own. You don't stay at Raffles - you live there ........... it is absolutely worth a trip to Singapore alone.

In Bali we stayed at Grand Hyatt in a "club" room ....... the extra price of the club room was a good deal, because every day they had happy hour where we would get snacks and free drinks for one hour. I think it was from 18:00 - 19:00. And every day we sat in the lounge enjoying whatever drink we wanted.

2 days before I climbed Mount Agung we climbed a small mountain together where we at the top had a nice break and got something to eat. When we got back I asked at the tourist information desk at the hotel what other mountains I could climb and they suggested a popular mountain, but I asked "which one is the highest mountain in Bali ?" ......... and found out that it was possible to climb it. I got the description and went back to look at it, and later the same day I booked this trip. I was going to picked up a little before midnight 2 days later, and we would climb the mountain in the middle of the night to see the sunrise at the mountaintop. Mount Agung is a volcano which has not been active since the 60's .......... look here for description Mount Agung Bali. That was all the information I got.

On the same day as the climb we went to our happy hour for the usual cocktails - and we sat and enjoyed our drinks together with some other guests that we had gotten to know. After one or two drinks I told our newfound friends that I better go to bed now, because I am going to climb a mountain at midnight ......... they all look at me with big surprise and one turned toward me and said .... WHAT ???

He asked me if I had prepared for this climb, and honestly I just said 'no' ......... but that I look forward to do it, and that I think it sounds exciting, my girlfriend is also there of course and I think she thinks I am a little crazy, she would much rather be laying on the beach and enjoying the sun.

He was/is the general manager of the hotel's food division, and he asked me where I booked it, and he looked a little shocked to find out that the information desk would just sent untrained guests up this mountain. He had tried it a few years ago and he told us, that he had to sit in a wheelchair for the following 2 weeks ....... even though he had prepared for it. And that he knew of guests that had called for help to be air lifted out because they were too scared to climb down.

A guest who seemed to know everybody at the hotel told him that I would sue the hotel for damage if something happened .......... it was just a joke, but we talked about it for awhile ........ to scare him a little bit

The truth is, that I really wasn't prepared for this at all ........ when we left Denmark (where we live), we didn't know that there were "big" mountains on Bali. However all the talk didn't scare me, and I go to my room at apx. 8 pm. to sleep a few hours. I didn't really sleep ........ the adrenaline started to kick in and kept me awake. I decided this time (did you read about my trip to Borneo a few years earlier ?) to take some water, unfortunately they only had bottled water ...... IN GLASS BOTTLES, and I needed a bottle opener. As I didn't have any bag with me, I take 4 bottles of water and a Mars bar from the mini-bar and put them in a plastic bag. I didn't have any special clothes with me so I wore sneakers and some trainers and brought a sweatshirt in case of low temperature.

I was picked up around midnight and we on the way to the mountain we picked up a couple from Germany ........ when they enter the car, I suddenly realize, that I should have been a little more prepared. They wore mountain boots, hats and gloves etc, and they have climbing experiences from mountains in the Soviet Union.

Anyway we get to the mountain and luckily the guides had bottled water ......... in plastic ........ they also gave me a flashlight so I could find the way up the mountain ........ I think it was 01:30 am. before we started to climb up. At first we were in the jungle but later the vegetation became less as we walked up the rather steep volcano. We have no real breaks and just kept on walking, and just before reaching the top we passed an Austrian team

Mount Agung was my first mountain and I still remember the rush when we reached the top ........ the view was breathtaking and the top is just 1 meter wide. Looking down on the inside of the volcano it is a vertical face, and the outside and on the inside it is vertical down on the inside of the volcano and on the outside it is just rocks and lava steep down. On top of Mount Agung - I felt on top of the world

Please see the video - me on top of Mount Agung

I got back to the hotel at noon and slept for a few hours before I went bike riding with my girlfriend.