Our last night in Indonesia was spent in Bali. We had about half a day to spend in Bali and we chose to spend it visiting the magnificent cliffs and precariously placed temples of Uluwatu on the Southern most point of the island. It is also known for it’s gargantuan waves, which were, even in the low season, and even from our high vantage point, quite impressive.
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I was disappointed when the original plan for the trip (which was motorbike island hopping from Bali to Flores and back) fell through, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still get some riding in while I was still on Bali. I had been told that I needed to check out a little town called Lovina in the North of Bali. Standing between us and Lovina were some pretty formidable mountains that surrounded Bali’s volcanoes, so it was going to be a fun trip.
It was low season, so the fabled ‘Gili T party scene’ was pretty lackluster. The island is only 3 km long by 2 km wide so there isn’t much to do on land besides eat, drink and relax. Oh, and do drugs. Since the 1980s Gili T has been known as being an easy place to get shrooms. This was sort of a shock to us because drug related offenses carry the death penalty in Indonesia, at least that’s what the immigration cards we had filled out on the plane told us. During the one night that we did go check out the nightlife we were solicited shrooms so openly and frequently you’d have thought they were selling candy.
Labuan Bajo is a city that I had looked at least 100 times on the map. I don’t know what I expected it to look like but it was looking pretty amazing from the deck of the boat as we blew closer to the harbor. It was looking amazing simply because it was land. If you’ve read my past few posts you know that this had been a pretty traumatizing voyage. It was high seas that day as we approached the end of our trip but I stood out on the open deck counting this minutes down until we got to the harbor and I could live the rest of my life on dry land.
Komodo National Park opened at 7:30am and the dragons were said to be most active during the early morning. We were told to be up by 7am in order to have breakfast and get ready to venture into the park, so naturally everybody woke up at 5:45am. On our agenda that day were Komodo Island and Rinca Island. Those are 2 of the 4 main islands that compose Komodo National Park and they are the only 2 islands that are open to the public.
The rest of us, strangers to one another at this point, looked at each other, and then with an uneasy shrug climbed down onto the deck of this tiny boat. It bobbled precariously with every passing wave. One thing was certain: this was going to be interesting. So let’s fast-forward a little bit, shall we?
Our boat trip was set to depart from Lombok, the island directly to the left of Bali. This meant that we would need to stay in Lombok the night before the trip in order to get an early start the next morning. So the day before the trip started we set out early for our ferry across the Bali Sea.
Although Mount Batur has been active as recently as the year 2000, its last major eruption was in 1968. In the 47 years since, Mount Batur has been (mostly) dormant. What does that mean for us? It seems to be the general consensus on Bali that this means it is about due for another eruption. So naturally, we decided to climb it.
I had been briefed on what to do in this situation and it played out more or less how it had been described to me. The policeman asked for my registration and license. I obviously don’t have an international driver’s license so he’s got me there. He sat me down in their police station and scolded me as a shook a small booklet full of prices and descriptions of various fines in my face.
I haven’t been working weekends for the past 6 months for just a short little trip so I shrugged and blocked out about 3 weeks. I have known that I wanted to do something a little bit crazy so I had been brain-storming things I could do during Tet for the past few months. So without further adieu, here’s the plan.