Walking on Volcanoes & Chilling by the Ocean

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Credit to Thomas Depenbusch/ Flickr

Fire, water, earth, metal and sky.

Since I was a kid I’ve had this fascination with the “elements” and nature. I was sure there was magic in the world around me and all I wanted to do was reach out and be a part of it.

The slightest hint of that kind of magic would make my head turn. I mean you’ve felt this before right? Some people shine with it! Kind of like a good friend that convinced me to take my first travel adventure leap of faith. I swear he threw fairy dust on me and *poof* we were on a tropical beach!

Credit to Mattharvey1/ Flickr
Credit to Mattharvey1/ Flickr

When I first started traveling I remember how much more “awake” I felt. I found myself gathering a bucket list based on conversations I had with fellow travelers. I love how it seemed as though every traveler I met had this “magic” about them.

One of my favorite stories was from a couple I met when I first moved to Phuket. Their story is filled with this kind of magic. Their adventure took them across 3 volcanos, hot springs and some great surfing in/near Bali, Indonesia.

While I haven’t gotten to go there yet, it sounded absolutely amazing and it’s on my bucket list. So if you’re reading this and you’ve been/or are going there please let me know! I’d love to hear/learn more!

Anyway, here’s their story.

Their first volcano was Mount Bromo in East Java, Indonesia. Elevation: 7,642 ft (2,329 metres) They said they started off very early in the morning and made their way across the flat/ashen Sea of Sand toward the mountain. The ride was mystical as the moon was just bright enough that they made the plumes of smoke look like little islands floating up toward the stars.

Credit to Ikhvan/ Flickr
Credit to Ikhvan/ Flickr

They climbed to the top of Mt. Pananjakan which looks out over Mount Bromo. Surrounded by this surreal world the entire time they said they didn’t even feel tired. Just in awe. As they reached the top the sun began to rise and a foggy mist descended on the valley. I asked for pictures. They said not even the best picture on google can compete.

Making their way east in East Java, Indonesia they made their way to Mount Ijen’s Blue Fire Crater. Elevation 9,183 ft (2,799 metres) They again started out pretty early from the base of the mountain and hiked through stars. This time though, lava and the smell of sulfur were in the air.

Credit to Olivier Grunewald/ National Geographic
Credit to Olivier Grunewald/ National Geographic

Upon reaching the crater’s ethereal and radiating blue light they said they felt a spiritual charge about the place. They again watched the sun rise and then made their way back down the mountain. After a good night’s rest they then jumped across Bali to the shores of Gili Trawangan.

It was time to pay respect to Gunung Rinjani. A holy mountain for both Hindus and Sasaks who they said they met making pilgrimages up the mountain. This was a three day trek filled with stunning vistas and things straight out of fantasy movies.

Credit to ChKESE/ Flickr
Credit to ChKESE/ Flickr

Finally, they traveled back to the Island of Bali. A culturally, sensually and experientially rich island just East of Java. I’ll do a whole other article on Bali’s temples, people, culture, expats, beaches and wonder another time. And yes, my friends spent a good week here and you should to. Warning though. Visitors sometimes turn into locals. Just saying.

After surfing and getting into the local flavor they again went in search of Volcanos. But this time they just went after the parts of them that they could soak. Welcome to Batur Natural Hot Springs in North Easter Bali, Indonesia.

Credit to Astapa/ Berita Dewata
Credit to Astapa/ Berita Dewata

After hiking the other peaks they said it was nice to just get massages and look out over Mount Batur. It was one of those places where you just sit back and literally soak up the world around you. They mentioned that finding a good hotel is important for enjoying a good hot spring experience; mentioned that I should talk to their travel company, Tourders.

While I can’t exactly do their story justice you can see why this place is on my bucket list. And again, if you go to any of these place, please let me know!

Or maybe I’ll just have to race you all there. Don’t worry. I promise to tell you more about the “magic” that I find when I do.