I returned to the company of Susan, Brian and Travis Chihuahua in Ubud following ‘Tequila Sunday’ with Stuart and Kylie in K-k-k krazy Kuta.
I arranged to return to my beloved Bali Jepun for one night… at a discounted daily rate… before taking what was meant to be a shuttle bus to Ubud. Luckily for me, the bus couldn’t fit in the alleyway leading to my accommodation… so the travel agent had to sent me a private car but at shuttle bus prices. I won’t complain.
When returning to Ubud, the ‘magic trio’ had already trialled and errored ‘Gayatri II Bungalows’ to then discover a real gem – Pradha. This was set in a spa-like setting with leafy, palmy plants galore; a swimming pool; cadang and incense as found in all private and public establishments; berugas; and double rooms with two double beds overlooking the pool from the 2nd floor. Breakfast included, and not too shabby for a $15 per person per night in a premium location of Ubud. Well done, guys.
Ubud…the second time… needed to be my time to plan…have a few cheap massages…and enjoy the final company of the others. There was, of course, one thing I wanted to do – that I had yet to do – before my departure from Bali…
I needed to climb the tallest volcano in Bali: Mount Agung.
In an ideal world, I would have had unlimited time and resource, and I would have also chosen to climb the currently active Mount Batur. However, being blessed with the company of Brian, who was clear about his preference to climb Mount Agung, I was cured of my indecision…and found myself waking up to my alarm at 11:30 pm…after a 1 and a half hour nap…to embark on my first ever all-nighter, climbing a volcano at 3,170 meters.
It was dark…surprisingly chilly…rainy…steep…slippery…I wore trainers rather than walking shoes…I wore jeans rather than leggings…I wore a poncho rather than a rain-jacket…running socks rather than trekking socks. Nonetheless, there was someone far less prepared than me. Brian. This made me burst into hysterics. I realised my lack of preparedness was the epitome of preparation in comparison. After contemplating how to build a rain jacket from plastic wrap, a plastic bag and the felt torn off of a broken umbrella – I decided to lend him my female, wind breaker. He wore it reasonably well – though, removed it before posing for his picture when reaching the summit. I sneaked a picture of him wearing this anyway.
Nearly 13 hours later… we had almost been scammed; (then realised we weren’t); climbed a volcano; seen the crater; watched the sun rise (kind of); offered money in ‘thanks’ to the Mountain; eaten breakfast; asked ‘how much till the top?’ and ‘how much till the bottom?’ about 100 times; slipped; were hit on by a monkey; had seen Rinjani from Agung; befriended the guide; and acquired maximum soreness in maximum time to last for what feels like a maximum duration of time as well.
The next few days were undoubtedly shaped by my soreness… as I didn’t do much. Upon our return to Travis and Susan… we shared our Agung stories with half-enthusiasm as we were too tired to tell the stories. Jokes, food, cocktails and Bintangs in Room 5 … these were the final moments that the a* star team shared together.