One of the "must do's" in Ubud, Bali is hike to the highest volcano - Mount Batur - for sunrise and for stunning 360 panoramic views of Ubud. It was only after I booked my tickets that the agent lady thought it would be useful for me to know that we leave for the hike at 2am! Arrrgh! But I was so excited, I couldn't sleep. Being an avid hiker, this was something I was looking forward to. 2am. I get in the minivan taking myself and other eager tourists to the base of the volcano. We got given extra sugary egg coffee before our climb along with snacks and a torch and off we went. The first half of the hike was pretty standard. Pitch black, lots of torch lights and hushed chatter. There were approximately 300 people climbing so we made a chain which looked pretty cool in the dark. As we hiked further up, the ground turned into thousands of pieces of volcanic rock and it became difficult as we trudged on up. Nearly on the verge of a heart attack, we finally reach the top and WOW! The sunrise and views were definitely worth it! After watching the sunrise and having my photo bombed 10 times, we walked around the volcano. It was a running joke that the volcano was near to erupting due to the amount of smoke seeping out from the base. Some people even cooked their eggs and roasted their bananas! But no-one seemed to be worried. The smoke was so intense, it made spirals in the sky and covered some views with a thin layer of fog. We made it back down with no problems and I added that experience to my travel achievement list. Only two weeks later, warnings came flooding in from Bali reporting of a potential eruption. 1 day later, Mount Batur erupted. I remember watching that news thanking my lucky stars that I didn't go on my volcano hiking trip 2 weeks later like I planned to...
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