Monday, 24 August 2015

Mount Agung: A beautiful challenge!

Ready and fully pumped-up for the challenge ahead, a climb through the jungle to the highest point in Bali the summit of holy Mount Agung.  The first hour was not too bad. A bit steep. We kept on going- cruising on, just a little hike for six hours, I was capable of doing it until my friend hit the mental wall and said he is going back. What a pity. Me being me, I don’t like to be defeated by challenges, I pushed on. However,  I should have known better when I joined two native Indonesians. 

They decided to run for fifteen minutes through the dirty path, thick forest of trees and uphill, this was crazy; I knew I was in trouble. The climb was steeper and the surface more rugged. It was exhausted, I was glad when we stopped by fire to recuperate, my legs were in pain. The mental pain was hard, the terrain was getting harder and my lack of proper footwear became evident.  By the time we reached the half point it was vertical climb, the steps were big, everything was hard, we took one step and rested, could not move faster. Then I started asking myself some questions: why I am doing this? What possessed me to climb a mountain at night when I could be tight in my bed?  

Go up 75% on the way there was that amazing Temple as everyone we so tired this was where we decided to stop and sleep for half an hour.  10 degrees, I had no coat and as I rolled into a ball to keep warm, I felt stupid. Why I am doing this?
The last 25% the steepest and by far the most dangerous.  As we turned a corner a 75% vertical climb was in front of me, I scrambled and struggled to stay up, nothing to hold on to, the terrain was difficult and very slippery.  The physical exhaustion was nothing I could have imaged let alone the mental pain. We kept pushing, got to make it by sunrise. 

The worst thing was we could see the peak. It was taken for ever to reach it. We finally made it to the top and it was the most amazing view ever. We sat down and waited for the sun to rise.
We spent about one hour there and for a while I got lost in wonder. When the guide said we had to go back, I was not looking forward to it.
During the trip down every step was a challenge, cramp took over my body and I had no energy left. My muscles were so tight that I just could not move. With my hands having to be held and be assisted all the way down I knew I had reached my mental and physical capacity.  

I wanted to quit, but I kept on pushing myself. I am glad I did it as I witnessed a sunrise like none I’ve ever seen before.

If you are in Bali and want to climb Mont Agung, be prepared. Warm clothing, water, sugar, good walking shoes. I am a pretty fit people but I was not prepared for this amazing challenge. 

Many thanks to Marky for sharing his experience.
Photos: with permission.


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