So, I land in Bali, almost a full 2 days after I left Houston, with my backpack full of stuff and the determination to successfully get a cab on my own to Ubud. I did manage to do that btw, although it was maybe a bit more expensive than I thought it would be; that’s mostly due to the accidental charter of a limo service rather than just a taxi. But I pressed on! If anything, I continue to live by my Aunt Sarah’s friend’s motto of “I’ll pay.”
I get to Ubud and into my hostel and start to kind of get a feel for those around me. This was my first stop on this trek, and I think it was a great choice. It was cheap, but spacious with a nice view of a rice field that I am fairly certain was just planted there to appeal to the tourists. Either way it was full of people.
I managed to befriend a few, who mentioned that they were going to take a 2 am trek up a volcano to see the sunrise that night. Wanting to experience it as well, I signed up. And thus began me attempting to summit a volcano.
I allowed myself to crash at 8:30 the night before citing that I would need my sleep to be awake during the hike. However, it seems like my inability to sleep followed me to Bali and I managed to wake up multiple times during the night until I finally gave up and just listened to music and waited for 1:30. I was going with 3 other girls in my room, so as we got up and quietly dressed.
7 of us managed to cram into a taxi - where the driver proceeded to blast a Vengaboys cassette tape that I am fairly sure was actually a relic from the 90s. The first stop was a plantation where they fed us coffee and breakfast - banana “pancakes.” Next was another 45 or so minutes in the taxi until we reached the base of Mt. Batur. Then began the hike.
All in all, I would say that we hiked about 2 miles straight up this volcano. One girl likened it to climbing like Gollum in Lord of the Rings and I would agree. I used my hands about as much as my legs. It wasn’t like a nice smooth path either - it was all hardened, porous volcanic rock. Bits and pieces would dislodge as you were climbing and create mini-rockslides behind you. Being completely out of shape (unless you call round a shape), it was pretty difficult for me to do.
Either way, I made it! I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. I was also rewarded with a hard boiled egg and a banana sandwich. Eventually the sun rose completely and after wandering around the caldera a little bit, we headed back down to the base. We managed to somehow end up in the bed of a truck for the final part of the journey, which i will admit made it a little bit easier and a ton more fun.
You would think it would end there, but the locals, determined to feed us as many different types of cooked bananas as possible, returned us to the plantation where we were given banana fritters. Finally, we were driven back to the hostel where all of us dispersed to nap or read as we saw fit.