Monday, 3 October 2016

Week 24.2 - Kuta

As you know we took a mini bus from the harbour to Kuta, this journey felt like forever and we got lumbered with "sick note". Sick note is a right dick head from the boat, her and her boyfriend thought it was ok to take up 4 seats so she could lie down, she felt sick. Love, get a grip the whole boat feels sick! Turns out she's just a lazy cow, slept all the way to Kuta too didn't she?! Along the way though we got to see some beautiful Balinese buildings, with huge wooden doors and ornate carvings, statues and altars...and some of these were just people's houses! All along the way the sea was at our left hand side and the towns to the right. My favourite moment was when we came to a huge roundabout with a statue of a god in the middle, mini gods and monkeys surrounding was beautiful.

Road rules in Bali may be some of the worst which we have experienced. You can drive through a red light as long as you beep first, the lane for turning right is actually used for getting to the front of traffic and if you feel like it you can turn 3 lanes into 7.  
It was a massive come down from the Gilis driving by a McDonald's and a Pizza Hut, signs for elephant trekking and seeing the sheer amount of people. The street around the corner from our hotel, The Loft Legian is filled with bars, clubs, surf shops and rip of goods…our idea of hell but I’m sure we’ll make the most of it, and that we did on our very first evening. Broco and Charlotte were in Bali at the same time as us celebrating their honeymoon, and we were very happy when they decided to take some time away from their fancy 5 star resort to try some street food with us “gap-year” folk. After some Mie Goreng and spring rolls we headed on a bar crawl, it was a hilarious evening and fantastic to catch up with some familiar faces. The night was made when some dirty tramp farted really loud in the bar and looked at Charlotte like it was her fault! 

With hangovers the next morning the four of us met up at Kuta beach, I wouldn’t call it a beach though its more like a surfers retreat, and whilst us girls got settled on our loungers the boys went to hire some boards. During their pre-surf prep some poor guy got smashed in the head by someone else board and emerged from the sea with blood pouring down his face. There were so many people surfing and it left me and Charlotte nervous for the boys. Luckily, they were sensible and took themselves off to the intermediate surf and were actually pretty good, enjoying themselves that much we didn’t see them for the next 4 hours! This left me and Charlotte free to sunbathe and attempt to swim, though the waves were that strong they just pulled off our bikinis and pulled us under. I’ll give Charlotte credit where its due to, she had a good go at body boarding, but the sea was just too rough and she ended up with a nose full of sand and almost half a bikini!

After a delicious evening meal, at a restaurant this time, we said goodbye to the honeymooners and took ourselves to bed at 6pm to prepare for the mornings hike! I managed to fall asleep around 8, Kyle however only got in an hour before our alarm went off at 12.30am, he managed a little snooze but we had to get a wiggle on as our driver was ready and waiting outside at 1.30am. The drive to Mount Batur was long, and the car was too uncomfortable to sleep in so it was a sleepy dark drive to the car park at the summit of the volcano. Once we arrived we were met by our guide for the day, Gede. Gede lives close to the volcano with his pregnant wife and 2 year old son, he was great guide, patient, helpful and funny.

It was pitch black when we started walking and all we had was our little hand torches and the bright stars above to the guide the way. The initial walk was easy enough, a little rocky but mainly a black sand path, it was after we’d stopped for a banana at the half way point when things got difficult. For 45 minutes we climbed up rock and ash, still in the dark, being ever so careful about where we put our feet for fear the ground would crumble. Looking up and down the volcano all you could see were stars and lights from other peoples torches, and even though there must have been 1000’s of us it was still peaceful and quiet. About half way up the second half of the hike I started to feel sick and faint so we took a short rest stop, it’s not easy climbing up huge rocks with such little legs you know. Whilst we were resting Gede and the other guides stopped to pray for safety at a small temple, it was a really nice moment and another show of commitment to a religion from the people in Asia.

4 rest stops and 1.45 minutes later we made it to the first stop, which was pretty busy and not the best place to see the sunrise according to Gede so he took us a little further up the volcano. The place Gede picked was perfect, he set us up with a blanket, banana sandwiches an egg cooked in the volcanos steam and a cup of tea and we watched the most amazing sunrise from the top of Mount Batur. You could see across the sea all the way to Lombok, a small lake in front and Bali’s biggest mountain, all with the sky changing colour and the clouds passing by, it was beautiful. Once the sunrise was over we went to one of the craters in the volcano, here you could see and feel the steam rising, it was a crazy hot contrast to the cool mountain air. We also got attacked by monkeys, Gede reckons that they’re tame but I’m still not that sure and I panicked when Kyle let one hop on his shoulder for a banana.

The descent back down the mountain was pretty hard, it was slippy and rocky but thankfully Gede led me down, much to the dismay of all the people that got stuck behind my snails pace. About half way down we were lead down a different path….a fucking road!! A road that mopeds and cars went up, nice and smooth if not a little steep, had I known that I could of got a lift half way up I think I would of seriously contemplated it. During the journey down we passed many farms and houses filled with the local people, tending to their tomatoes and chillies and running their little shops from the front of their houses. It was nice to see what we couldn’t see on the way up! After we bid a fond farewell to Gede we took ourselves for a relaxing break at a hot spring overlooking the lake and mountains, it was just what we needed after such an epic day.

We could hardly keep our eyes open once we got back, so it was a quick shower, change and tea before movie night tucked up in bed. Today we have mainly done the same, muscles are hurting in places I didn’t even know could hurt and Kyle’s coral injury is causing him some grief. I don’t feel too bad about having a lazy day, the weathers miserable and we’re heading to another island, Nusa Lembongan tomorrow for a few days of sunshine, surf and swim…hopefully the boat journey won’t be as rough as last time!

Love Carrie xxx

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