The most active, jam-packed, and exhilarating four days I’ve had this semester.
Climbing an active volcano (Mount Batur)
The very first thing when we got to Bali was to climb an active volcano, called Mount Batur. To watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain, we had to hike up starting very early in the morning. Here is what we did within the first 12 hours of landing in Indonesia:
11:40pm: Landed in Bali.
12:30am: Arrived at hotel, dropped off bags, bought food.
2:00am: Got picked up from hostel for a 2 hour drive to the mountain.
3:50am: Started our hike from the bottom of the mountain.
5:45am: Reached the top and watched the sunrise, ate breakfast.
7:00am: Started our descent.
9:30am: Reached the bottom.
12:00pm: Back to hotel.
Words and pictures cannot do justice on how amazing this experience was. From hiking up for two hours in pitch black with our flashlights, to the feeling of accomplishment when we finally made it to the top, and to the breathtaking view of watching the sun rise over the ocean and the clouds.
After this climb, I thought the rest of the trip would be spoiled by how amazing the first 12 hours were. Boy was I wrong!
White Water Rafting
This was my first time trying out white water rafting, but it won’t be my last. White water rafting was like being in one of those rides at a water park where you are sitting in a tube while spinning and bumping into things; the main difference was that there is no set route that the raft is supposed to go, and you might actually fall out or get stuck if you go the wrong way. Thankfully, we had a guide in the raft that did all of the steering. The stream drifted us along the river, so did not even have to paddle half the time.
When we reached a pretty flat part of the trek, we jumped into the water. We just lied on our backs, while our life jackets kept us afloat, and the stream carried us along the river. The surrounding view was beautiful, and it felt so peaceful slowly being pulled in the river while making no effort.
We stayed at a hotel one block away from Legian Beach, which was a hot spot for surfing! I had to take advantage of the proximity to the beach, so I ended up surfing three out of the four days I was there. The waves were small, which was actually really good for first-timers and beginners like myself.
The one and only negative experience I had during this whole trip was the fact that on the last day of surfing, I broke the surfboard in half when I plunged nose-first into the water right behind a big wave. They actually warned us at the very beginning that they didn’t have insurance, so I should take care of the board. Of course I didn’t listen since I had no idea that this could happen to me! I ended up paying 70,000 rupiah (55 USD) for the board, which was not too bad considering it could have been much worse had they wanted to take advantage of this situation to rip me off.
As if surfing and rafting weren’t exciting enough, we spent a whole day with water sports. I tried everything from parasailing, to jetski, to flying fish, to donut. They were all really fun, but the only complaint I have is that they were quite short. For parasailing, I was up in the air for literally two minutes. It was still very worth it though, since I only paid around 15 USD for each sport.
The one that I enjoyed the most was Flyboard. It is a water jet pack that you wear on your feet. It’s quite hard to control at first; you have to keep your legs completely straight to stay up. If you lean even a bit to one side, you quickly start swaying until you eventually fall. After having a couple wipe-outs, I got the hang of it and was able to keep still in the air. I got to do this for 20 minutes, and my legs were dead tired after then. But the experience was amazing; I felt like I was flying!
This was more of a scenic viewpoint than a temple, but I’m not complaining!
Thank you so much to Channa for taking us around, booking all hotels/taxis, getting us the local prices, and delicious (free) meals. We would have been so lost (and much more broke) without you!