A whirlwind 2 nights in Ubud Bali
Arriving in Bali
I flew from Singapore to Bali, on a 5am flight so arrived into Bali just after 7am. I was due to be meeting my friend Dom at the airport but unfortunately her flight didn’t arrive until 12:15 so I knew I had a long wait.
After wrestling myself away from the million taxi drivers wanting to take me to my next destination I found a little café in the arrivals court.
I hadn’t eaten since waking up at 2am so got myself some avocado on toast with a mango smoothie. Then I settled down to read a book Burning Moon by Jo Watson if you were wondering.
I got a lot of strange looks from the waiters in the cafe, I could tell they were thinking ‘when will she leave?’ But there really was no where else to go so I stayed firmly put.
Finally Dom arrived at 1pm and we got a taxi to Ubud for 200,000 rupiah. Our taxi driver was slightly crazy. He asked us the same question lots of times and drove the wrong way down a one way but we eventually made it.
We had booked a really sweet Air B&B on the main road in Ubud called Kunang Kunang Guest House. The decoration was really ornate and the staff so incredibly hard working and kind.
By the time we arrived at the accommodation it was already 4:30pm. We were starving so we quickly showered and headed out for dinner.
We went to the Mexican restaurant called Taco Casa we shared enchiladas and nachos. Enchiladas were great nachos not so much.
As you can imagine by this point, me on 2 hours sleep and Dom having been on a long haul flight we were absolutely shattered. So we stopped by the supermarket grabbed some bintang and headed back to sit on our balcony.
Climbing Mt Batur
We had a very early 1:30am alarm, we were getting picked up at 2am so we chucked on our trainers and gym gear very sleepily and headed to meet our guides from Mount Batur Bali (tour cost 65 USD).
It is about a 45 minute drive to where you stop for breakfast. You are given a banana pancake and some tea and coffee to fuel you for the climb.
After breakfast you do the final drive to the base of the mountain where you will start the hike and are provided with a little torch.
The hike starts off reasonably easy. But after 20 minutes or so of steep incline you really start to feel the burn in your calves. It’s pitch black and the path is bumpy with lots of trip obstacles.
Dom was suffering with jet lag and kept apologising when she had to stop to catch her breath. She felt like she was slowing me down. But truthfully I was really happy to have a break as well!
The walk is fairly fast pace and the incline is steep so you quickly get out of breath and very hot. The final part of the hike is literally a vertical scramble over sand and rocks.
Neither Dom or I have hiked before so maybe if you are more experienced you wouldn’t find it as hard but we definitely found it challenging. Though after an hour of climbing I felt like my breathing had regulated and I was finding it a little easier.
The top (finally)
When we finally reached the top it was still dark and we found a bench from which to enjoy the view.
We were provided with banana sandwiches and hard boiled eggs. Banana sandwiches are not my thing, in my opinion bananas should be eaten cold and straight from pealing. But I scoffed down half a sandwich feeling bad.
The hard boiled eggs were great to warm you up. At the top of the mountain it is really cold, we were surprised how we could go from sweating to freezing in such a short time but it really was cold.
The views from the top made the whole 1:30am alarm and mission of a climb all worth it. They were spectacular and really something beautiful to see at the end of a hike.
The way back down was interesting. Significantly easier than the climb up but also hard to stay on your feet. The sand crumbles away from your step and the rocks act as a roller sending you sliding down the mountain.
I ended up with a trainer full of sand and rocks but managed to stay on my feet. Dom however being a self proclaimed clumsy woman, managed to slide off a rock and straight onto her bum in front of lots of people grazing her elbow. Though she is she bounced back up a little red in the face and carried on with out a fuss. It gave me something to giggle about (I did try and save her if you were wondering I but ended up just holding her rucksack as she fell).
After getting up so early, hiking a mountain and being covered in sweat dirt and dust, the thermal spas were a dream. As part of our package we had entry to the thermal spas so our tour guides dropped us there to enjoy the warm water.
When we arrived back to Kunang Kunang, we got ourselves changed and it was still only 10am. How had we done so much and it was still so early?!
We wondered down the to monkey forest and paid the 50,000 to get in. Both of us slightly nervous of the monkeys we decided not to buy bananas as we didn’t want them climbing on us.
This logic of ours did not work. We had been in the forest for about 5 minutes before a monkey had taken a liking to Dom and used her as a climbing frame. I think the picture of fear on her face says it all.
Lunch at Atman Nourish Kafe
This cafe is really quirky. It has little pod seating areas were guests sit on raised comfy flooring and the table is just below neck height. Lots of people on laptops seemed to be working away here. It had really good wifi so I guess a good spot for people needing to get online.
The food was yummy and I tried my first matcha latte. I had seen the drink being loved by lots of Instagram travel accounts but had never tried it so thought I would give it ago. It was nice but i didn’t love it, maybe it’s like beer the more you drink it the more you like it?
View was also really lovely!
There are loads of cool arty shops and clothes shop along the main road towards monkey forest. We pottered along looking at the various bits on sale.
By now it was 3pm and I was flagging. I was so tired I felt spaced out and a little delirious. 5 hours sleep in 55 hours was taking its toll on me, and I think I started to become a little weird.
So we headed to the pool and chilled for the rest of the afternoon.
By this point we were exhausted. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to sleep so badly but knew if I went to bed at 5pm I would be awake in the night. So after flopping about like a weirdo and googling takeaway pizza (I actually felt drunk despite not consuming alcohol) I resided myself to the fact that there was no delivery services. I needed to brave going out in public to get food.
We didn’t want to walk far so we grabbed a pizza a place just a little way from our accommodation. I have no idea what it was called I was to tired to think.
I was asleep by 8pm. People who know me well know It is essentially unheard of that I would go to sleep before 11pm let alone 8pm. But I was so excited to be in bed!
We fell asleep within minutes and didn’t wake up until 7:30 the next day. It was definitely needed!
Climbing a mountain is harder than I thought, especially on no sleep. But it’s honestly one of my favourite experiences, the feeling you get when you get to the top is such a massive sense of achievement and the view is just stunning!
I have said it before in my previous blogs but watching the sunrise/set is something I have only come to appreciate since starting this trip. It really is a natural beauty and I can’t get enough of it.
Doing the thermal spas after the climb is amazing and so relaxing.
The monkey forest is smaller than we imagined. But it was cool (and scary) to get to close to the monkeys.
Thank you for reading.
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