At 2:00AM, Nengah picked us up from our villa in Kuta and we slept in the car as he drove us to Mount Batur to meet his cousin. Nengah had so far pulled an all-nighter because of the long lines at the voting stations, so he called in help from his cousin to lead us up the volcano as he got a quick nap in. Upon arrival, we sat and enjoyed coffee and tea at the foot of Mount Batur while waiting for our guide to arrive. Then, we began the climb.
Nengah’s cousin was very fast and it was no wonder, considering he does this twice a day during the busy season (for sunrise and sunset) which is insane. Mount Batur is about a 2 hour climb to get to the top, and it’s not all that easy. In fact, after tripping twice within the first kilometer, our guide said, “Maybe we do easy route today.” That one hurt, but I’m glad he said it.
This was, as Miley Cyrus would say, an uphill battle for the entire 2 hours and only got more steep as we went. In fact, there were people driving motorbikes up and down all morning that you could hire in order to get a ride up to the top, as it was not an easy climb. However, we weren’t one of the weak ones and got to the top of the hill about 30 minutes before the sun began to peak over the mountain tops.
As we watched the hills surrounding us come to life and were able to see just how far we had climbed that morning, our guide went off to cook us breakfast, banana sandwiches and eggs, in the steam coming out from the volcano. It was delicious, which was a good thing because we needed to finish up before the monkeys began to wake up and get hungry.
They would stop at nothing. I saw one monkey steal a chocolate bar, peel it open perfectly and just eat it right in front of the guy he stole it from, as another one drank out of a water bottle [the humanly way]. You could tell they owned this turf.
The steam coming out from the side of the mountain was extremely hot and it felt like I’d stepped into a sauna when I climbed inside of one of the popular steam holes. We decided to start walking back down before the sun got too toasty, and the way down was arguably harder, as your momentum made you want to run, but with all of the rocks and corners, it would be difficult to do so. Nonetheless, it went a lot quicker, especially keeping our next destination in mind: The Hot Springs.
The Hot Springs are located only a few kilometers from Mount Batur, making it the perfect place to relax your muscles after a gnarly hike. We lounged around here for a while until getting hungry and ordering what seemed to be the only vegetarian entree I could find at any restaurant this whole holiday: spaghetti.
The servers put the plate of spaghetti on a floating table and literally sent it out into the hot spring toward me. I felt like a queen with my kids cuisine. We lazily lounged around in the pools for a few hours before getting some of our last-minute shopping in at the Ubud Market.
The Ubud Market is one of the most well-known markets in Bali because it is located in a central tourist area. Most of the markets we went to all sold the same types of things that you’d expect: local produce, clothing, dream catchers, jewelry and tons of souvenirs. I tried to stay strong for the most part, but everything is so cheap and bargaining is pretty fun for me, so I did get a few local items to take back home.
Nengah dropped us back off at our villa and we packed up the rest of our things to head to the airport and catch our 1:30AM flight to our next destination: Bangkok.