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Sunshine almost always makes me high
 
It is next to impossible to catch sunrise on Mount Batur and not hum Denver’s classic. If not loudly, at least in your head
It came at the end of a seemingly endless trek up an active volcano in pitch darkness and a long wait in weather that kept getting colder as the sweat on our backs dried. But sharp at 6:15 all discomfort, all signs of exhaustion and achy limbs disappeared. Instead there was the sudden glow of warmth that just increased at a rapid pace till a bright orange ball sprang out from behind what had till then been a hazy pink horizon.
The top of Mount Bator in Bali is a popular spot for catching this magnificent spectacle. But like all things in life, you have to earn the majesty of this sunrise. You start at the bottom of the mountain and claw your way up a trail that would make mountain goats proud, blindly following your guide. What’s more, you’ll have to start at just a few hours past midnight when it’s still pitch dark. So if you happen to start on a full moon night, then you’re good, otherwise you’ll have to make do with the scant light of stars and the sharp beam of an LED torch that will illuminate the path ahead but cover the rest in even greater darkness.
That the mountain is in fact an active volcano only adds to the sense of adventure. Sometimes the foot sinks up to the ankle in what feels like soft sand but is actually a mix of soil and ash. Should you dare to look up you will see a string of lights, some moving up, others clustered in places. You’re not alone. There are others too who are making the effort or taking breaks when it all gets too much. No one seems to give up and head back down. Not even our 13-year-old and 7-year-old. The chain of light keeps moving up. You know none of them but you feel a strange sense of solidarity with them.
After two hours of climbing, you suddenly realise that the pitch black of the night has given way to a dull blue grey above and charcoal below the orange and pink haze that defines the distant horizon. At the end of the final step you reach a clearing with a shop selling odd snacks and knick knacks. They will even rent out blankets for it gets bitterly cold as the wind picks up from time to time and the sweat of that thorough full body workout starts to dry. Even at five in the morning the rough wooden benches aren’t empty and you can’t help marveling at how early some of them may have started to make it here on time. Thankfully, we had come and camped out at the only camp that is allowed now at the base of this holy mountain. A thrilling experience for the kids, complete with staying in pup tents and eating dinner around a warm and crackly bonfire. And at the end of this all, we wait for one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – sunrise. Bringing with it, as it does every day, a sense of hope and new beginnings.
I grew up in a family that liked to travel, so summer holidays were filled with trips to hill stations where we children were woken up at ungodly hours to catch spectacular sunrises from carefully designated viewing points packed with tourists still shaking off their early morning stupor. I can still recall our childish reluctance at being woken up too early and our occasional feigned indifference to the spectacle. We must have thought it a good way to spite a bunch of over enthusiastic parents. Decades away from those childish foibles that day atop Mount Batur was nothing short of magic.
 
 
Quotes
 
“SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS MAKES ME HAPPY
SUNSHINE IN MY EYES CAN MAKE ME CRY
SUNSHINE ON THE WATER LOOKS SO LOVELY
SUNSHINE ALMOST ALWAYS MAKES MY HIGH”
 
“THERE WAS THE SUDDEN GLOW OF WARMTH THAT JUST
INCREASED AT A RAPID PACE TILL A BRIGHT ORANGE BALL SPRANG OUT”
 
“AT THE END OF THIS ALL, WE WAIT FOR ONE OF
THE WORLD’S GREATEST  NATURAL SPECTACLES – SUNRISE”
 Sunshine almost always makes me high
 
It is next to impossible to catch sunrise on Mount Batur and not hum Denver’s classic. If not loudly, at least in your head
It came at the end of a seemingly endless trek up an active volcano in pitch darkness and a long wait in weather that kept getting colder as the sweat on our backs dried. But sharp at 6:15 all discomfort, all signs of exhaustion and achy limbs disappeared. Instead there was the sudden glow of warmth that just increased at a rapid pace till a bright orange ball sprang out from behind what had till then been a hazy pink horizon.
The top of Mount Bator in Bali is a popular spot for catching this magnificent spectacle. But like all things in life, you have to earn the majesty of this sunrise. You start at the bottom of the mountain and claw your way up a trail that would make mountain goats proud, blindly following your guide. What’s more, you’ll have to start at just a few hours past midnight when it’s still pitch dark. So if you happen to start on a full moon night, then you’re good, otherwise you’ll have to make do with the scant light of stars and the sharp beam of an LED torch that will illuminate the path ahead but cover the rest in even greater darkness.
That the mountain is in fact an active volcano only adds to the sense of adventure. Sometimes the foot sinks up to the ankle in what feels like soft sand but is actually a mix of soil and ash. Should you dare to look up you will see a string of lights, some moving up, others clustered in places. You’re not alone. There are others too who are making the effort or taking breaks when it all gets too much. No one seems to give up and head back down. Not even our 13-year-old and 7-year-old. The chain of light keeps moving up. You know none of them but you feel a strange sense of solidarity with them.
After two hours of climbing, you suddenly realise that the pitch black of the night has given way to a dull blue grey above and charcoal below the orange and pink haze that defines the distant horizon. At the end of the final step you reach a clearing with a shop selling odd snacks and knick knacks. They will even rent out blankets for it gets bitterly cold as the wind picks up from time to time and the sweat of that thorough full body workout starts to dry. Even at five in the morning the rough wooden benches aren’t empty and you can’t help marveling at how early some of them may have started to make it here on time. Thankfully, we had come and camped out at the only camp that is allowed now at the base of this holy mountain. A thrilling experience for the kids, complete with staying in pup tents and eating dinner around a warm and crackly bonfire. And at the end of this all, we wait for one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – sunrise. Bringing with it, as it does every day, a sense of hope and new beginnings.
I grew up in a family that liked to travel, so summer holidays were filled with trips to hill stations where we children were woken up at ungodly hours to catch spectacular sunrises from carefully designated viewing points packed with tourists still shaking off their early morning stupor. I can still recall our childish reluctance at being woken up too early and our occasional feigned indifference to the spectacle. We must have thought it a good way to spite a bunch of over enthusiastic parents. Decades away from those childish foibles that day atop Mount Batur was nothing short of magic.
 
 
Quotes
 
“SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS MAKES ME HAPPY
SUNSHINE IN MY EYES CAN MAKE ME CRY
SUNSHINE ON THE WATER LOOKS SO LOVELY
SUNSHINE ALMOST ALWAYS MAKES MY HIGH”
 
“THERE WAS THE SUDDEN GLOW OF WARMTH THAT JUST
INCREASED AT A RAPID PACE TILL A BRIGHT ORANGE BALL SPRANG OUT”
 
“AT THE END OF THIS ALL, WE WAIT FOR ONE OF
THE WORLD’S GREATEST  NATURAL SPECTACLES – SUNRISE”
 Sunshine almost always makes me high
 
It is next to impossible to catch sunrise on Mount Batur and not hum Denver’s classic. If not loudly, at least in your head
It came at the end of a seemingly endless trek up an active volcano in pitch darkness and a long wait in weather that kept getting colder as the sweat on our backs dried. But sharp at 6:15 all discomfort, all signs of exhaustion and achy limbs disappeared. Instead there was the sudden glow of warmth that just increased at a rapid pace till a bright orange ball sprang out from behind what had till then been a hazy pink horizon.
The top of Mount Bator in Bali is a popular spot for catching this magnificent spectacle. But like all things in life, you have to earn the majesty of this sunrise. You start at the bottom of the mountain and claw your way up a trail that would make mountain goats proud, blindly following your guide. What’s more, you’ll have to start at just a few hours past midnight when it’s still pitch dark. So if you happen to start on a full moon night, then you’re good, otherwise you’ll have to make do with the scant light of stars and the sharp beam of an LED torch that will illuminate the path ahead but cover the rest in even greater darkness.
That the mountain is in fact an active volcano only adds to the sense of adventure. Sometimes the foot sinks up to the ankle in what feels like soft sand but is actually a mix of soil and ash. Should you dare to look up you will see a string of lights, some moving up, others clustered in places. You’re not alone. There are others too who are making the effort or taking breaks when it all gets too much. No one seems to give up and head back down. Not even our 13-year-old and 7-year-old. The chain of light keeps moving up. You know none of them but you feel a strange sense of solidarity with them.
After two hours of climbing, you suddenly realise that the pitch black of the night has given way to a dull blue grey above and charcoal below the orange and pink haze that defines the distant horizon. At the end of the final step you reach a clearing with a shop selling odd snacks and knick knacks. They will even rent out blankets for it gets bitterly cold as the wind picks up from time to time and the sweat of that thorough full body workout starts to dry. Even at five in the morning the rough wooden benches aren’t empty and you can’t help marveling at how early some of them may have started to make it here on time. Thankfully, we had come and camped out at the only camp that is allowed now at the base of this holy mountain. A thrilling experience for the kids, complete with staying in pup tents and eating dinner around a warm and crackly bonfire. And at the end of this all, we wait for one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – sunrise. Bringing with it, as it does every day, a sense of hope and new beginnings.
I grew up in a family that liked to travel, so summer holidays were filled with trips to hill stations where we children were woken up at ungodly hours to catch spectacular sunrises from carefully designated viewing points packed with tourists still shaking off their early morning stupor. I can still recall our childish reluctance at being woken up too early and our occasional feigned indifference to the spectacle. We must have thought it a good way to spite a bunch of over enthusiastic parents. Decades away from those childish foibles that day atop Mount Batur was nothing short of magic.
 
 
Quotes
 
“SUNSHINE ON MY SHOULDERS MAKES ME HAPPY
SUNSHINE IN MY EYES CAN MAKE ME CRY
SUNSHINE ON THE WATER LOOKS SO LOVELY
SUNSHINE ALMOST ALWAYS MAKES MY HIGH”
 
“THERE WAS THE SUDDEN GLOW OF WARMTH THAT JUST
INCREASED AT A RAPID PACE TILL A BRIGHT ORANGE BALL SPRANG OUT”
 
“AT THE END OF THIS ALL, WE WAIT FOR ONE OF
THE WORLD’S GREATEST  NATURAL SPECTACLES – SUNRISE”

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