Monday, October 25, 2010

Bali: Gunung Batur

The north-central region of Bali has several volcanoes which are the genesis of the island.  Several  of the volcano peaks can be seen from some areas of Ubud.  Gunung Batur (Mount Batur 1717m high (one map says 1412m) is one of the larger peaks.  The volcano last major eruption in 1963 causing several deaths.  Lava fields of Gunung Batur can be seen in the picture below, which are now quarried for the lava stone, used in construction and stone carvings.  The stone carvings are one of the export craft products of Bali.

Gunung Batur--  The volcano is 1717m high and had its last major eruption in 1963.

Gunung Batur is the most popular trekking site in Bali.  Trekkers will often stay at one of the local villages, and begin the ascent as early as 3 AM in the morning.  It is best to be up and down from the mountain by late morning before it becomes too hot. (the trip takes about 5 hours).  It is also advisable to be off of the mountain before the afternoon when storm clouds can form over the mountain. 
We did not descend into the crater (nor do the trek).  We stopped at the small village of Pelolokan, on the crater rim for lunch.  This is a major tourist center--  a small fee is required to enter the area (5000 Rp if I recall correctly), and the hawkers here were particularly aggressive.  The lunch was good (an Indonesian buffet), and we were treated to a splendid view of the mountain and lake below.
Danau  Batur (Lake Batur), is a fresh water lake formed from the old crater of Gunung Batur, at the base of the current peaks.  The lake has several villages on its shores, where fish farming of Ikan Mujair, a type of Talapia are raised.

Lake Batur--  At the base of Mount Batur is Lake Batur.  The fishing villages of Kedisan and Buahan can be seen.

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