Lee & Lucy

The Trek Up Mount Doom

Posted on by Lee Kelleher filed under World Tour 2002/03, Bali.

I didn't sleep on Thursday night, Lucy caught 40 winks for a couple of hours, but seeing as we were heading to Mount Doom (thats Mount Batur! - Lucy) at 2am I thought it was wise that one of us stayed awake.

As promised, our driver was sitting outside the hotel at 2am, so we started our adventure to Mount Batur. As soon as the engine was on I was out for the count, I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer! Woke up during the journey freezing cold! The air-conditioning really did work!

We arrived at the foot of Mount Batur where the driver informed us that we would have to barter a price with the mountain tour guides. We'd be told by a few travellers that they should cost around 150,000Rp (about £10), the guy told us that he wanted US$40 per person... which worked out at roughly 400,000Rp. Amazed at how expensive that was, we haggled him down to 350,000Rp, which he took a while to agree to. Then when I filled out my details he asked for 700,000Rp (350,000Rp each - must have been a mix up in the language barrier - Lucy) - We told him that he was ripping us off! So we got back into the car. Our driver also thought that the price was too much, so he got out and haggled for us. - We eventually paid 350,000Rp for the two of us. (but we still felt scammed - Lucy).

DSCF0067 We got to the foot of the volcano at 4am, our guide introduced himself, gave us torches, then led the way. The first 30 minutes walk was fine, nice easy stroll in the moon-lit woods. (Stop your poetic licence and trying to create a romantic setting - it was pitch black as it was 4am and no moon so we were walking by torch light - Lucy)

Then it started to get steep... now I'm the first to admit that I'm not very fit, but an hour of climbing rocks at 5am with not much sleep or food, I was knackard! Lucy was doing pretty well, she was still tired, but didn't moan about it. Unlike me, (well as least you admitted it, saves me slating you - Lucy).

DSCF0069 We made it to the top just in time for sun-rise. However we are currently in the wet-season, so unfortunately it was cloudy, meaning that we couldn't see the sun-rise in all its glory! It didn't matter as all I cared about was making it to the top of the volcano!

We found small holes in the side of the volcano that were letting of steam, we could put our hand in and feel the heat. {At the top (well the first crater which was as far as we were going but it was far enough) the guide showed some of us down a little way into the crater where you could realy feel the heat a true natural facial - Lucy}

We stopped for breakfast, a boiled egg and hot-banana butties. Took some photos, talked to other travellers/trekkers, pestered by little kids trying to sell us coca-cola. When we finally got our breath back we headed into the clouds, for the trek back down!

DSCF0075 On the way down we saw a guy carrying two heavy baskets of grass (it seems that the locals have to bring down all the grass from the top of the mountain to feed their cows). Each basket weighs roughly 50kilos - so I thought I'd give it a go - We'll post a photo soon!

At the bottom the guide took us to the "natural hot springs" of Batur... when we got there we found that it wasn't exactly natural - it was a man-made spa... and they asked for US$5 to enter. We'd heard from the other travellers that there was a real natural hot springs were a few minutes walk away, so we wondered off and found some locals bathing in the springs... bingo!

We stripped down to our costumes and jumped in. They weren't called hot springs for nothing, the temperature of the water must have been at least 40 degrees.

We eventually found our driver again, got in the car and headed back to the hotel! I was out like a light again, (typically bloke - Lucy).

{As per norm I was being too nosey to sleep even though I was knackered. The scenery was showing traditional Bali - Rice fields, coffee planations etc and our driver was more than happy to share his knowledge with me. Did you know that padi fields aren't planted with seeds but little shoots? I also got shown coffee trees up close and was amazed to see that the coffee beans I have seen ground start of like berries on a tree. - Lucy}

We arrived back at the hotel around 11:30am just in time for breakfast! During breakfast we heard a familar voice, a scouser... he instantly recognised Lucy's Reduc@te tee-shirt (well the Liverpool logo on it), he came over and started chatting... it turns out that he used to be an apprentice at LFC, he came over to Bali to on holiday and ended up coaching the local team... Kenny and his Bali Bulldogs.

DSCF0098 The rest of the time in Bali was just relaxing in the pool of a five-star hotel down the beach (and a little shopping - Lucy).

We left Bali at 9pm on Saturday night... got to Darwin at 1am Sunday morning... it was a refreshing change to hear everyone speak english and get straight answers (and helpful advice) from all the staff at the airport and hostel.

We'll tell you more about Darwin in a few days time! Tomorrow we're off to see jumping crocodiles and magnetic termite hills.

PS. We're now 9 and a half hours ahead of the UK!