By Kim Nowicki
Yoga brought me to Bali, but the impulse for adventure and one scary review on TripAdvisor brought me to the base of Mt. Agung. The review read, “If you are not conditioned physically to climb mountains of this scale or haven’t prepared for the climb beforehand you’re not going to make it to the summit.”
The reviewer then goes on to suggest stair climbing and long distance running to prepare for the trek. If that doesn’t sound enticing I don’t know what does! I immediately knew this mountain would become my friend and my enemy. A warning sign was all the Good Sign I needed.
(Related: Crush 2015, DJ Sonik)
Our driver picked the group up at 12 am the morning of our ascent, and we were standing at the base of Mt. Agung ready to climb two hours later. It was dark. The stars and the Milky Way littered the sky as the moon lit up the temple on the mountain side. After spending some time in the city of Ubud I forgot how amazing a clear night sky could be! The tiredness that comes with three hours of sleep was replaced by excitement and fresh mountain air. I was ready to climb.
The full ascent took about four hours and was made in complete darkness. I was only able to see the Earth through the range of my headlamp. Once out of the sleeping forest that started the hike the group took a break to look up at the stars and down on the city lights twinkling below.
It was now time to begin the ‘ol rock scramble where one moves from rock to rock with disregard to what is below. The goal is to move up any way possible. Even if I wanted to see the steepness of the slope we were scaling it was impossible. There was no way of knowing if one wrong step would hurl me off the side of a cliff. As the climb got more difficult I remember seeing the outline of a cloud right in front of my face. I knew being in the clouds was a Good Sign we were close to the summit.
(Related: Village Care, a new solution to an old problem)
With an Indonesian tune on his lips our guide had finally lead us to the top of Mt. Agung for sunrise! Six am and the sun was right on time. Frozen from the blasting wind that occurs 9,800 ft above sea level I stood in awe as the sky slowly changed from black to blue, to red to orange to pink. I couldn’t believe I was standing on top of the world watching this natural phenomenon from above the clouds!
I could see everything! The moon and the sun, the cities and craters below: the ocean wrapping around islands I didn’t even know the names of! What the hell was I doing on top of this mountain freezing my ass off with a bunch of people that didn’t even share the same language as me?! I broke apart my raw cacao and orange chocolate bar, yes us vegan yogis cherish our raw dessert treats, to share with my new friends. We were now connected; connected through our journey that lead us to that exact moment in time. We all followed a Good Sign that brought us together to celebrate the beauty that exists in every corner of this world.
Open your eyes and follow your heart. They will always lead you to incredible things. Even if you injure your ankle on the trek down and are writing from your bed with your foot elevated on a pillow, it’s all worth it
This is my Good Sign.
Follow Kim on Instagram @iamninjas1
What is your Good Sign? Write to us for a chance to be featured