Mar 7-9 2014
Well, one night I was alone in my room, depressed that I couldn’t control myself from expressing it to the people I was chatting with, Phil and Noel. Suddenly, N blurted out “Sama ka sa Agung” (Join us in climbing Mt. Agung). And without thinking, I said yes!
And there I was again, spontaneously saying yes to my universe, all because of this unexplainable depression. The last time I visited Bali, I already wanted to climb either Agung or Batur, but due to time constraints, I was not able to do it. This time, I told myself, “This is my chance.”
Few weeks ago, I declined the offer because I’ve already been spending so much recently and I wanted to cut on some of my expenses, but because I was lonely, I thought, “hmmm, Nevermind, afterall, it’s Bali’s highest point!”.
We all left together from Changi Airport and reached Bali at about 9pm. The plan was, for us to start climbing at 11pm, but due to some unforeseen events, it got delayed to I think, almost 1am. Jump off point was at 1,500m.
Hiking adventure started off from the car park with a warm up stair climb of about 300 steps to the temple. At the temple, our guides temporarily halted to pray for a safe climb. Our guide started giving away Salak or snake fruit. I’ve always liked it so, all along the hike, I kept on munching it.
View of the stars were amazing in that place. I somehow wished I could just place a mat, lie on my back and just star gaze…with someone special but oops, I was dreaming. Maybe I was too sleepy because hey, it was 1am.
Initial part of the trek wasn’t too challenging. After a few hours, the forest, roots and trees became less dense. View of Bali from up there was amazing. The easy part was over and my suffering commenced. Trail became steeper and exhaustion started to take over.
And it wasn’t over just yet. Next part of the hike was about 1 hour of continuous hard, steep 40-70 degrees of rock scrambling (as it was termed) in the dark! We were asked to make use of our hands as well for safety. There were no clear paths. We relied on our guide’s verbal instructions.
P and N continuously motivated me (thanks to them). The guide patiently helped me ascend, held my hands (I didn’t want to let go because it was really scary) and pulled me up every time I would chicken out to do anything and move.
While most of them were walking in straight gait, seemingly, unaffected by the steepness of the passage, I transformed into Spiderwoman. Haha. I followed the instructions of using my arms and legs together trekking similar to our guide Dog, Sempol, with 4 points (sometimes, 5-6, knees included) holding on steadily to the ground. I looked terrible, but what the heck, I was really scared!
Then, upon hearing the guide said “See that light, that’s where we are going.” I started thanking God! Reaching the crater made me want to shout but due to exhaustion, I stayed seated on one huge rock. I didn’t explore much around the crater. I just sat, felt the wind touching my face, feasted on the view of the sunrise atop, had a simple breakfast (coffee and bread) and I was happy. From east, view of Lombok’s Mt. Rinjani was visible, Bali’s coastline and mountain ranges on the west were just within our visions as well. The view was awesome!
Journeying back was more strenuous (in my opinion) but less scary. I needed less support going down because, I could already see the trails and the magnificent view of the volcanic rocks which made me able to admire the view and concurrently strategize my own moves while descending.
Reached the temple and we were all starving. Off we drove another 30minutes to our lunch place, an Indonesian buffet restaurant. We ate like mad horses and after we did, we drove for about 2hours to our accommodation for the night, at Kintamani. It was pre-arranged for us.
I decided to have a massage that afternoon. N and P were tempted to have it also. Then, we had our buffet dinner organized by the tour company. We were informed that the tour company owner spearheaded the establishment of an organization called Cempaka Putih Foundation (http://cempakaputih.org/). It was kind of cool! The aim of the organization is to teach English to the kiddos within the area, for free. It was inspiring to hear such good deeds.
Morning came and it was our departure day. Myself, N and Y, decided to take a walk around the area before breakfast and that walk somehow, became an educational introduction to farming kind of walk. Haha. N knew so much about farming and he willingly shared his knowledge to us.
After breakfast, we had a short photo-taking session with Mt. Batur as backdrop and then headed to a mall to buy auntie stuff and then to the airport.
Then, my short holiday was over.
I was physically exhausted, but for some reasons, mentally rested! And the happiness I felt last weekend has extended its effects up to now (as of writing). I hope it will stay with me longer though. I hope!