I have a confession.
I like to do things. Lots of things. I like to do lots of things whilst on holiday.
So when the girl friend asked if we would to like to hike up a volcano, I was in! Little did I know that she was going to book it for our second day in Bali. After a night of little to no sleep. Starting at 04h00. I shouldn’t be complaining as I like to do things whilst on holiday.
The day started at 04h00. It was dark. It was cold. And I was tired. I slept on the way to our start point, Jati Temple. I was half asleep walking up the first quarter of the volcano. I had three quarters left. I was restless. I didn’t have the energy to walk like the others did. The girl and one of the boys went ahead, leaving the other boyand myself behind with the guide. I took many pit stops and disguised them as view points. This is what I saw.
The guide told us this area near the bottom of the volcano is an area where European backpackers like to set up shop and party. They do this every year. Random?
This is Mt. Agung towering in the background. It is the highest point on the island standing at approximately 3100m above sea level. The friends want to tackle it next time. I’ll be at the bottom waiting.
We are at the halfway mark now. Just another hour or so.
The sun is rising. We are meant to be watching this at the top. Look at the amazing colour coming through the clouds. At this point I was not sure I was going to make it. But our guide pushed me. Ten more minutes he would say. Only to be told, ten more minutes again, after thirty minutes had passed. I was starting to think he was taking the piss. Or motivate me. I still think it was the former.
So I finally made it and this is how I time stamped the moment. I have conquered Mt. Batur! And now, we had to make our way down. I decided I would treat myself by putting my feet up while the others when white water rafting (lesson one down the drain). Looks like my definition of “putting my feet up” is a bit skewed as I decided to torture myself by walking all around the town of Ubud.
Ubud is a beautiful town. The streets are buzzing yet tranquil gardens exists. It is a place to go if you are looking to get a sense of Balinese art and culture. Prior to becoming a tourism hub, Ubud was the home for many famous Balinese artists. And this is evident from the range of arts and crafts available.
So the torture consisted of walking around Ubud market, twice. Strolling the main road, twice. Dragging my feet along the two “long” roads, twice. Stumbling into an artist’s house. This continued till my little size 6.5 feet screamed for “HELP!”. And the result of my walk?
This is Ubud Palace. It is where all the important people are buried. I was told one of the King’s relatives had died and the funeral was going to take place in 2 weeks.
I stumbled upon an artist’s house which doubled as a studio. The doors were open and visitors were allowed in. Look at the detailed artwork on the front door panel. And the temples in the outdoor area. There was at least 10 temples like this scattered around the first house level. I found out the Balinese house plan is split into 3 levels. The first level is for the gods, so this is where the temples are. The second level is the family house and the third level is where the animals live.
The Ubud market is where most of the tourists hang out. You can find all sorts of things here; ceramic home wares, jewellery, clothing, kites, wooden penis bottle openers. Why anyone would buy one of these, I’m not entirely sure. Maybe for the novelty of it?
This is just one of the quiet, lush, tranquil areas I found set back from the main road. A majestic looking temple sits in the back drop.
I learnt my lesson today. And I learnt it the hard way.