Rising With Light on Mount Batur

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Rising With Light on Mount Batur

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There are so many experiences to be had on this magnificent planet, and while I was in Bali, hiking Mount Batur to witness the breaking of light was one of the most soul-expanding adventures I’ve ever observed.

It’s called the sunrise hike; you wake up at 2AM to drive an hour and a half to reach the start of the ascent towards the peak summit of the second largest active volcano in Indonesia. It’s pitch black with darkness, and the only thing guiding you is your personal flashlight, the tour guide, and the stars above. It’s a steep climb up 1717 meters, which takes about one and a half hours. It’s freezing but if you go fast enough, your body heat keeps you warm. Stopping to catch your breath, and take in the view of the stunning starry sky, the lights below from the towns, and fellow hikers, is a view in and of itself. You keep climbing and finally you reach the top!

Our tour guide Mudi grew up on this mountain. He knows every path, every dent, and every nook of majestic Mount Batur. Once we arrived at the peak summit he guided us along this path which glided along the inside wall of the volcano, where crevices spewed out hot steam from the lava below. Mudi had us warm our hands and bodies with the steam from one crevice, as he placed whole bananas and eggs into another one, covering it with the surrounding straw. This was going to be our breakfast in about 15-20minutes. I’ve never had a more memorable breakfast at 4AM. We were sitting on wooden benches under an open tent, eyeing the crack of dawn, and biting into banana sandwiches that took over our bodies with sweet surrender to the bitter cold. The boiled eggs and hot coco kept us going as the three of us huddled up in anticipation along with about ninety other brave adventurers.

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And then it happened. Pink made it’s first appearance onto our precious sky. It was deep a luscious and was followed by hues of purple and red. But then the piece de resistance made her entrance to the world around us. The biggest star, the brightest light appeared! Enlightening every deep shadow of the night with warm love and acceptance. We all stared in awe as the shadows transformed into soft white clouds that just seemed to float in serene joy coupling up with neighboring ones and helping the sun to paint the sky with shapes only nature has the imagination to create.

Time disappeared as the concert of light gracefully and powerfully painted the earth with every color of the rainbow. THIS moment, this experience defines the epitome of life....LIGHT.

After a breathtaking performance by superstar Sun, we made our way down above the pillowy white clouds, feeding monkeys, and feeling the black volcanic sand slip through our shoes as we glided down with a memory, an experience, that forever marked our souls – the witnessing of light prevailing in a kind of grace that balances power and love in absolute perfection.

With Love & Light, Leyla