Most trekkers appeal to the Gods for support before climbing Gunung Agung, Bali’s 9,000 foot volcano. Some of us also need chocolate.
The trip began at sunrise with prayer at Pasar Agung temple. I said a few more than usual for my knees, legs, feet and lungs.
This is a volcano so there is no meandering or switchbacks or any other wimpy western trekking crutches. The trail went straight up the damn mountain. The trail began on a narrow path through the jungle which as we rose became less dense and eventually ended after about 2 hours. The last hour and a half was a scramble over rocks and boulders until a final push of nearly straight up to the rim of volcano…which overlooked this very big, ugly caldera.
We were eleven. Joe, Alex and me from America (Max smartly stayed home with Bali Belly) and eight ashram members (Wyasa 1 and 2, Artha, Nengah, Adi, Kawenuh, Komang and Sugi). Our Balinese friends were bundled up for freezing weather and wore an odd assortment of trekking gear.
Also proud that our group picked up several bags of plastic garbage on the trail and recycled it. Nengah, Kawenuh and Wyasa 1 won the prize for best recyclers.
Our final ascent to one of the holy places on the rim was delayed by a group offering prayers from a village in Karangasem. Some of us waited our turn to pray.
Some walked over to the party place to celebrate reaching the top.
Some just celebrated the fact it was over.