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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bali Trip "Sun, Sea and Surf!" - Day 4: Hiking at Gunung Batur

Day 4 (4th May, Monday)

The alarm woke us up at 2a.m. We groggily changed into our tracksuits and gathered at the lobby by around 2.30a.m., ready for our adventure. After an hour or so, our Avanzas reached the foot of the mountain and by 4a.m., we were making our way under the cover of darkness toward the peak of Gunung Batur.

According to Wikipedia, Gunung Batur is an active volcano, but I'm not sure when was the last time it erupted? The first part of the terrain was a gentle, upward slope, flat for the most part, but slightly difficult to walk on the loose volcanic sand. It was a brisk walk, especially with the guide and Nic keeping up the pace in front. The second part posed a real challenge - it's not called Gunung Batur (rocks) for nothing! We started hiking up a very uneven trail filled with sharp, craggy rocks on both sides. Our mountain guide beckoned the girls to the front so that it would be easier to guide us. The third part - here our guide said, "Now we begin the steep part" - was as steep as Bukit Jambul, minus the helpful man-made steps! The mixture of soft sand and loose rocks on the trail made it very hard for my feet to grip the surface, and I was hanging on to my guide for dear life. Any mis-step, and Jack and Jill fell down the hill! Here it started drizzling, and my guide was rushing (and dragging) me faster all the way... "cepat! cepat!"... he didn't wanna get wet! =_='''

We reached the first peak of Gunung Batur at 5.45a.m., just before sunrise! My hiking exercises up BJ and Penang Hill had done wonders again. During the 1 hour 45 mins hike, I was able to control my breathing and pace very well, and I felt good, despite my illness. At this time everyone had reached the top, except Xuan! "Would he be able to make it?" was THE QUESTION on everybody's mind... and after 10 mins, we saw him emerge, drenched from the rain! *Applause*

The first glimpse of sunrise

Dawn break - Hau tries to slim his face by sucking in his cheek!! x_X

We were waiting and waiting for a perfect sunrise but the fog came instead...

The sun just couldn't shine through the fog... our guide asked us to climb to the second peak on the left to gain a better view... and we all said "No!"

Group pic with Nyoman, our driver - I love Leo's San Francisco fleece sweater, it kept me so warm in the freezing dawn...

The money we paid for the climb was inclusive of breakfast - coffee, bread, hard-boiled eggs and banana! There was a small hut at the top with kitchen, but no toilet! Guess what Nicholas left at the top... @_@

The descent...

A picture's worth a thousand words! See how slippery it was?? Hau almost fell... but no...

I fell!!!!! And cried like a baby somemore... ;-(

I was going down on my own, with my guide already far in front, when my right knee suddenly gave way (already weak from falling too much while skiing in the States), causing my left knee to crash on the sharp rocks! So painful!! ;-(~~~~~

One more for the camera! I think I took this before my fall...

Can you believe we climbed all the way up there? To where the dense fog is centered...

That's Gunung Agung and Lake Batur.

OK, enough adventure for the day. We went back to the hotel and zzz for a while... then woke up to go for the famous IBU OKA BABI GULING in Ubud town!!!

Four of us ordered all the 1, 2, 3, 4 food choices

Xuan looking at his Babi Guling

Hau looking at his Babi Guling

Nic posing for the camera with his Babi Guling

Last but not least, me and my very own Babi Guling...! ^__^

Large piece of Babi Guling (before cut and served...)

OK to tell the truth it wasn't that fantastic after all... I think our 烧乳猪 is a much better version of this... even yesterday's Bebek Bengil roast pork ribs beat this!!

4 Ipoh-yan... I can't believe I've known 2 of these guys for almost 10 years now!!

After we had our swine fill, we crossed the road to the Ubud Palace just opposite. Entrance is F.O.C. What I can say of the Ubud Palace is, the king must have been really frugal way back then...!! Now, the Palace also doubles as a hotel.


Sacred idols are wrapped with sarong

Uncle, say cheese!!

One of the nice sculptures in Ubud Palace - 同甘共苦?

Next stop, shopping at Ubud Market! This is where I bought most of my souvenirs. Next trip, I'll come back for paintings and sculptures!!


Aunty blessing the stalls...

Barong

Angels in the sky

In the evening, we ventured out of our hotel for our long-anticipated massage... which... didn't turn out so well because we didn't know we had to book in advance!! So some of us, like Hau, went for a luxurious hotel massage of which he described in full glory to us... while the rest of us ended up having a not-so-great time in a not-so-great spa... sigh... I also couldn't try the salt-water swimming pool which is one of Greenfield Hotel's main attractions because it would mean, literally, adding salt to the wound! Next time, NEXT TIME I will go!!! >.<


Stopped for a while to view this beautiful lotus pond nearby our hotel

This was our non-fabulous spa: Lulur Sehati or something like that. Sigh, see the place also lost appetite already... :-( Oh well, I had my traditional massage + body scrub + body milk mask + milk bath + manicure package for only RM50...




These were the beds on which we did our massage...

While getting my manicure done I was chit-chatting with the 2 masseurs, a girl and a guy (the guy seemed rather effeminate).

Guy masseur: Oh! Why do you have a wound?
Me: We went hiking to Gunung Batur in the morning, to catch the sunrise. Have you been?
Guy masseur: *flicks his hand* No, never!
Me: Why not?
Guy masseur: Oh I just don't like these kind of stuff...
Me: =_='''... how about you?
Girl masseur: Never been to Gunung Batur yet... don't plan to go!

OMG! We just spent a morning doing something even the locals wouldn't do! *sweats*...

At night my fever was acting up again so I just joined them for dinner for a short while and went back to my room to sleep... sigh... wet blanket again!

7 comments:

Invisible said...

hao is ur babi guling? oops.....
wahahaha

leonardlcy said...

Its like that one. I bet many Penangites have not climbed Penang Hill also. As for me, I did not actually go to all the tourist attraction in Melaka until i actually bring people around to my hometown.

libelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
libelly said...

haha.. I agreed with what leonard said, the same thing apply to me. XW, who plan for the trip and arrange the itinerary? How long was your trip?

Xweing said...

Invisible: Haha... 他像不像?很像是吧?哇哈哈哈哈...

Leo: Hey, but I'd hiked Gua Tempurung in Ipoh before woh!~

Libelly: 5D4N, I'm gonna upload my last Bali post soon.. stay tuned!~ Very good itinerary hoh?? Our dear Seng Keat arranged the itinerary for us... can visit his blog at jie.chencafe.com.

josze said...

the last time i went to Bali i did not climb the volcano hill =( coz the guide told me had to drive many many hours there and need to climb so i say no thank you haha.

i didn't think babi guling is fantastic also. in fact, i don like it at all man.

but their pork satay damn nice lor

Xweing said...

Ipoh "tin jun" breakfast place at old town also sells pork satay wat...~ can try that nx time ur in Ipoh!