The Mount Batur trekking tour that Putu recommended to us got my BF hyped and left me appalled. I dreaded the thought of waking up at 1:30AM to catch their shuttle bus to the foot of the mountain. Nor did I fancy the idea of walking 2 hours on a pitch-black night (and on top of that having to pay them IDR 400,000 for it LOL).
To my advantage (or disadvantage?), trekking was out of the question due to the downpour the previous night. So instead we rented a scooter from Putu (for IDR 60,000) and decided to visit Kintamani area by ourselves. Btw the scooter came with two (quite filthy) helmets and a fuel tank which was already half full (courtesy of the previous customer I guess) so we didn’t need to refill that day.
According to Google Map, Mount Batur is about 40km away. With a bottle of water, 2 raincoats (just in case) and some snacks (which we never touched) from K-mart, we were all set to go. Oh and another thing, a rider that is used to riding on the left side of the road 😛
For the first 30 minutes the ride was soooo enjoyable I couldn’t help singing so loudly he had to ask me to shut up. The road was smooth. The sun was up .The greeneries on both sides were stunning. The local riders were crazy but not overwhelming. I guess very few things can overwhelm us; we come from Vietnam and India after all LOL.
Then it rained. (FML)
We stopped to put on raincoats and kept going.
We didn’t realize we were going up until it started to feel really cold and there was fog all around us. I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic change in temperature in such a short period of time. I mean if Ubud were comparable to Hoi An, Kintamani is similar to Sapa. But they are only 40km apart!
Insufficiently dressed and wet from the rain, I was shivering behind him. So when we saw what looks like a coffee shop, we were more than pleased to pull over.
Funnily, this coffee shop only had one table that was full of flies!?! But we were quite desperate so we just sat down and ordered our usual tea and coffee.
The staff here didn’t seem to care much about us silly customers. They were busy making some sort of flower arrangements as offerings for their religious ceremony.
Then I saw a white man who unintentionally brought me two very important pieces of information.
One – He asked for a shirt from the shop owner, who asked for IDR 150,000. As if it’s some kind of reflex, he immediately complained that it’s way too much and went for IDR 60,000. Both of us were impressed. I’ve always assumed 50% is the limit?! Have I been robbed off all this while?
Two – He was walking out of a restaurant on the other side of the parking lot. It was only then that we realized that the restaurant has a pretty nice view. So we decided to just head over there for lunch.
The place was filled with foreign tourists like us. They gave us two seats right on their balcony looking out at the mountains and lake. A very friendly waitress told us we could either have a buffet (for IDR 89,000/ person) or order separate dishes from their menu. She whispered in my ears that they normally charge 120/ person but for us she will give that special rate. She even reminded me several times not to “release this confidential information” to other customers LOL. I couldn’t help wondering if she tells this to everyone here.
Anyway we were having lunch while watching a (dormant) volcano. So who cares if the waitress was telling us a little white lie?
After lunch we headed for Lake Batur, another 12km away.
The problem with this stretch is that there were a lot of sharp turns and steep slopes, and we were riding a very low-power scooter. Many times along the way I contemplated jumping off the bike and walking up the slope on my feet. Luckily I didn’t have to.
During lunch stop we discussed about going all the way to a waterfall close to the beach, but soon we came to terms with the fact that the distance would make it impossible to return before it gets dark. So instead we chose to stop at the Batur Natural Hot Spring, only to realize we didn’t bring any swimsuit with us…
This prompted us to buy a pink bikini (120) and a pair of shorts (50) at the store by the gate. The tickets cost us 150/person, and for this we were each given a towel, a small glass of water and two fried bananas.
So we quickly changed into proper clothing and dipped ourselves into the water. Although the shower rooms were old and dirty, and the whole spring seemed very artificial, we were pleased to enjoy the lukewarm bath after our ride in the cold. There is a miniature water slide for kids, but an Australian family went ahead with it anyway.
The hot spring is divided into two sections: one looking out to the biggest lake on the island and one without any view. Understandably the first one was swamped with people, so we went to the other one where we had it all to ourselves.
At around 4PM when many have left, we went to the spring by the lake. The view was surreal.
As we were leaving the spring, the Australian lady who was playing on the water slide randomly told us we should visit the village on the other side of the lake, where the dead are not buried. It sounds pretty cool but we didn’t have enough time…
We rode back in a beautiful sunset (Excuse my blurry photo here please)
Since it was our last dinner at Ubud, we picked one that was highly rated on TripAdvisor. It’s a tiny little restaurant that can fit maybe 15 people max. So we were quite lucky to get two seats at the front porch.
Then it rained. Again.
The waitress was attentive enough to bring an umbrella to shelter me from raindrops splashing into my face.
Yea, so that’s pretty much our last memory of Ubud. Our awesome holiday outfits.
– to be continued