Amed and WTF mountain

After Lovina, we headed east to Amed – a beach town with a coral reef right off the coast line. It was pretty much just one road the whole way there but we had to drive through a city, Singaraja, to get to it.

People were motioning for us to slow down on our motorbikes and we could see traffic building up ahead. There was a Hindu funeral procession walking through the street. They had the body raised up in a casket and were sprinkling what I assume to be holy water on it (I know very little about religion) as a parade like procession of music and some dancing surround it.

We passed the funeral procession and hit traffic again. We couldn’t see what was up ahead but all the motorbikes were riding between the two traffic lanes so we followed suit. A few minutes later motorbikes were completely taking over both lanes.

We got to a guy trying to reroute traffic down a different road. Some people just went passed him and we knew we needed to go this way so we just went right passed like the tourist assholes we are. And…another funeral procession. This time they were spinning the casket in different directions. Alan thinks it’s to confuse the demons of where the body is (I have no clue).

We quickly were able to pass the funeral and had only clear road ahead. We took the coastal road for about two hours until we arrived Amed.

Amed beach
Amed beach

We were getting picked up at midnight to do a sunrise trek up Mount Agung so we just went hung out and tried to go to bed for a few hours as early as we could. Mount Agung is a volcano that last erupted in the 1960s and is the highest point in Bali sitting almost 10,000ft above sea level. It’s a 10 hour trek, 5 hours up and 5 hours down.

Our driver Kadek picked us up and drove an hour to the mountain to meet our guide, Ketut. We got to the start, paid Ketut, put on our headlamps and started up the mountain.

15 minutes in I was already like, “fuck this volcano”. The start was a shit ton of stairs leading to the trail followed by a steep incline of loose dirt. My calves were on fire, it was one in the morning and I was questioning why the hell I was doing this.

The steep dirt turned slowly to rock, my muscles loosened up, and I got over my internal hissy fit. There were a handful of other groups trekking up for sunrise so wound up mostly hiking together. We stopped an hour and a half to the top and the guides made us a fire to warm up.

It was starting to get pretty cold at this point. We were told it gets cold, but we’re from Boston so we took that with a grain of salt and wore shorts. Bad idea.

As we continued up it got colder and the wind was insanely strong. Even the guides were cold. They said it gets windy but not usually as windy as this. The wind kept blowing the loose dirt into our eyes to make things worse.

We continued climbing up the mountain, which at this point was just straight rock with no trail. At this point rock climbing shoes might have worked just as well as hiking shoes. We got to a point where we were 10 minutes from the top. The catch? We still had an hour until sunrise.

Even everyone that had prepared and wore pants and jackets were freezing. A group of guys from Holland just piled up to stay warm. The three of us found a spot to huddle up. A girl from the UK and her boyfriend made it up to our point and she just walked right over and joined right in, no questions ask. We were using our backpacks as blankets and cringed every time the wind gusted. The general sentiment: fuck this mountain.

Alan went to find a spot to pee and came back saying he found a spot with less wind. We hiked/climbed over that way and found a little nook. There was less wind but there was also something else. Alan wasn’t the only one that thought this was a good bathroom spot. Someone took a dump right in front of where we were standing. So much for that plan…

photo 1

We went back to our original spot and maybe 10 minutes later it was sunrise time. Everyone got up and hauled ass up the volcano. We came this far to see this sunrise and were not about to miss it.

We got to the top found a spot to prop ourselves up without the wind knocking us over at the top of mountain. The sunrise was definitely worth the trauma. We were up above the clouds and the sun slowly made its way up. We couldn’t catch the color of the sunrise on our cameras but it was something I don’t think we will forget.

We would have stayed up there to watch the sun completely come up but the wind was too much. I’ve never had so much dirt in my eyes and the strength of the wind was kind of terrifying looking at the giant crater behind us.

We headed down and once It got less windy our guide made us some tea and coffee and gave us some banana pastries for breakfast. We took in the view now that we were below the clouds and continued down the mountain.

Alan coming down Mount Agung
Alan coming down Mount Agung

Behind us was this guy hiking alone, dressed in orange with a big orange pack, playing music and dancing down the mountain. I declared the man in orange my personal savior. Dylan took a little bit of a digger and the man in orange played Bob Marley’s “get up stand up” for him. He passed us and continued down the mountain with some speed. We later saw him further down making himself tea and fresh eggs for breakfast. Who is this guy?

After a few hours and a few tumbles on the loose rock and dirt, we made it down the mountain. Kadek was waiting for us at the bottom and took us back to our accommodation.

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