My trip to Bali was long. From Korea with a layover in Kuala Lumpur and then to Bali, I think it came to be around 10 hours. Total travel time was perhaps 20 hours, when I include stepping out of my apartment and making my way to the hostel I booked. When I did finally arrive, it was pretty late and there was really nothing to do but check in, grab a beer, and go to sleep here in Ubad. Ubad is where I spent the whole time while in Bali.
I had taken an International Marketing class for my MBA about a year before this trip. Myself and one other student from UW-Whitewater were paired with a group of students taking a similar course in Cologne, Germany. We were required to work together on a paper about Black Tea. A week or so before this trip I was able to host two of the girls from the German group of that class at my place in Korea. I gave them a place to crash and took them out for a Korean BBQ. Here in Bali, I was able to meet up with my team partner, Sandra, for breakfast. It was great that the timing had worked out and we got to meet each other in person. One of the things I enjoy most about my international travel life is reconnecting with people I have met and shared moments with in this little life journey.
After breakfast, Sandra was nice enough to give me a lift down to the Monkey Forest in Ubad. Since she has lived in Indonesia the last five months, she has been a wealth of information and suggestions that have been an enormous help for me.
At the Monkey Forest, I had a fun stroll around the park and I got some nice pictures of monkeys and statues that littered the place. After I made my loop I decided to make the 4.5 km walk to the Elephant Caves.
Getting to the Elephant Caves wasn’t that bad. I like walking instead of taking transport because it gives me the opportunity to hear, smell, and see many of the things that are missed if flying by in a car. There were three other travelers also walking on the other side of the road heading in the same direction. We bonded at the entrance and grabbed an Uber back to the hostel. Fortunately they were staying on the same road as I. That night we grabbed dinner together and had a few drinks. We planned to split a tour around Ubad the next day.
Today we started our tour at 9:30 am and stopped at a painting school and traditional clothing store before getting to a waterfall. I didn’t swim, but the other three did and we enjoyed hanging out for a bit. From there, we then went to a place that made coffee from poop. After the taste testing, we stopped by some rice terraces and headed back to the hostel. I was hoping to hit up the Hard Rock Café today, but traffic was a little insane at this time and I decided to shower up and go to bed early because my tour starts at 2am in the morning to climb Mt Batur.
Today is the day I climb Mount Batur. I did go to bed a little earlier so I could get up for the 2 am pick-up. The climb ended up being more taxing on me than I ever would have expected. I’m usually the person ahead of the pack, but the humidity and perhaps elevation kicked my butt. I did not make it to the summit, but I still had a good time. I had originally planned to take on a number of mountain treks on this trip, but may need to adjust my plans. If I come to Bali again, I intend to prepare myself and take on some treks I won’t be able to do this time. The scenery was beautiful regardless!