Vertical Exploration

I just came back from Bali and this time, I didn’t do the usual beach trip. I trekked up Mt. Batur.

To be honest, this is my first real mountain-hike. Mt Bromo was not a hike at all. Jeep covered 80% of the trekking and horse did 15% and I just used my feet for 5% of the whole journey.

Trekking Mt. batur was a very unique experience for me. It’s not a surprise for me that I love outdoor activity, I’ve always enjoyed hiking, but so far I’ve only done horizontal hiking, like in Italy (Cinque terre hiking) and some national park in Australia. Yes, Blue mountains was vertical too, but Mt. Batur was raw. No man-made steps or anything. It was just me and the mountain. It’s raw. The feeling was mixed between exciting, scared, curious and amazed. It’s personal, intimate.

The path from the "New Crater"

The path from the “New Crater”

Technical stuffs first!

If you want to trek mount Batur, you need a car and a guide. If you want to pay around US$80 then you can book online and some tour will pick you up from hotel.

But we don’t wanna pay US$80 of course. :p we rented a car and drove from our villa in Ubud. The journey supposed to be 1-1.5 hours until the carpark of Mt Batur Trekking guide association, but we were lost so it took us 2.5 hours. :(

We finally reached there abour 4:30 am and immediatelly found a guide. Don’t worry there are plenty of guides, you won’t run out of guides. Our guide, Made, was a cheerful and humorous person and he, of course, knows a lot about Mt. Batur. Throughout the journey he told stories about the eruptions (there are several eruptions) and how once the whole village was swept off just like Pompeii.

We dealt for 750K (S$75) which shared by 5 persons. Bandi, I, Ricky (Bandi’s groomsman), Wai Sie (Ricky’s gf), and Klemens (my childhood friend). It’s super cheap if you compare with the tour that costs US$80 per person!

The guide will provide torch and he will bring your stuffs if you’re tired (just try not to bring so many stuffs!) and of course they will open the trek for you.

The journey

Trekking Mt. Batur is no joke. I’m not super fit with six packs but I exercise regularly and I consider myself fit, however… I still huffed and puffed all the way up. The trek was quite challenging especially yhe part between the first stop-base to the first summit (the one with so many monkeys).

Ain't it kiddo cute!?

Ain’t this kiddo cute!?

So the first part of the trekking was from carpark to the stop-base. It took about 1 hours, at first it was flat and then became quite steep. We left Klemens in the stop-base coz he was not fit that day and he decided to stop. The four of us continued going up and it was really tiring for me. First of all, I haven’t eaten anything, that’s probably my biggest mistake. Learn from it. Eat something before challenging Mt. Batur!

It took me another 45 minutes full of 42 degrees of steepness and total rough rocks. Super difficult for me as a newbie in mountaneering. But once I reached the top, it was worth it. :) the view was amazing. Universe is awesome, eh? I met so many cute monkeys too!

Oh life's good.

Oh life’s good.

We made it!

We made it!

There is actually another summit (maybe another 45 minutes up) and I rejected the proposal. I was effing tired. So the guide proposed to explore other area, the new crater. It was another 45 minutes to the new crater and another 1 hour to another viewing point. The journey was much more interesting than going up. We walked around the mountain to the other side and went up to the crater. It was not so difficult but dangerous as some wrong steps could lead to falling down.

I enjoyed this part so much. When we went back down, there was one part of the area that was full of sand and we had to run in order to go down and the sand would suck our feet while we ran and it seemed like we were flying down the mountains like a ninja. It was super fun!!!

My friend, Ricky made this image below as a memoir of our adventure. The four of us made a pact to trek to Mt. Agung next year!

Photo 25-11-15, 11 29 34 AM

The aftermath

Of course I slept like dead once I reached the villa, just right after I stuffed 1 huge pack of nasi padang into my mouth. Oh wait, we’re not talking about that aftermath, are we?

I swore a lot in my mind when I climbed up the trek why did I do this? How could I end up here, gasping for air to breathe? This will be the last time! Etc. But then I felt a foreign feeling when I reached the peak and I wanted more. It’s like addiction. It’s like that annoying TV commercial that plays in your head. It’s annoying but it comforts you strangely.

It’s not the mountain we conquered, but ourselves.

– Sir. Edmund Hillary

I always wanted to see the world. It turns out we can explore the world vertically ad well. I’m still unable to face my phobia of being drowning hence no diving, but I can keep exploring mountains.

Cheers,

May, keep exploring.

Meet the bloggers

Blogging has brought so many great things in my life. The intention of blogging has never changed since the very first post I posted, it is a journal for the future May to read. All the idealism, the bitching, the inspiration and the sweet romantic stories packed into one hearty journal.

I’ve never intended to entertain people with my annoying rants or my cheesy love story but if you are entertained then it’s a bonus. =)

Blogging without blogwalking is like May without Bandi, it is not complete (sorry for the cheesy reference, I can’t help it) so when I started to blogwalked last year, I’ve met so many great people with so many stories. Some will leave friendly comments on my blog, some are silent reader, some can turn out to be good friends and chat occasionally with me on whatsapp. I’m so grateful knowing everyone and reading their stories.

And then I posted this post, and Dea emailed me that invitation was accepted. Meeting her was my very first time of doing the kopi darat (literate translate as land coffee) which means blind-meet up. After that, meeting other bloggers have been one of my favorite thing. =)

Meeting Dea

Dea came to Singapore last May with Utin, her husband. We had been emailing each other to plan her Singapore trip. When the day finally came, we met in Raffles Mrt because I told her I would bring her around for a day. It was a freaking hot day! And she survived! LOL.

It was so sweet of her to bring me emping and some Indonesian snacks (and those were the culprit of my sore throat later on :p). I was with Bandi and one of my friend, Klemens, who happened to visit and stayed at my place. So five of us went to Singapore walking trail in a very hot day, I still can’t believe we survived. It was a good coincidence that Klemens and Utin went to the same college and even shared mutual friends, later on we met another friend from Utin’s old University and we ended up having a big dinner. It was a fun HOT day.

Dea was sweet and really pretty while Utin was funny and cheerful. The two of them were so meant to be (also explained by how they met, such in a movie!) and Utin is head over heels in love with Dea, I can tell! (Or I’m just being sotoy.)

The four of us, somewhere in Marina Bay

The four of us, somewhere in Marina Bay

Anyway, I hope I can meet them again some time in the future. =)

Meeting Keven

Keven was my very first reader. I didn’t know about blogwalking back then and also didn’t know how he found my blog. But thankfully he’d found my blog so we could get to know each other more.

He came to Singapore last August for his surgery (and thank god it went well) so we met up for a sushi a couple of days before the surgery. The full report was written on his blog here.

Just like he mentioned on his blog, we connected instantly, like old friends. We talked about life, love, food, dreams and one unexpected topic: GHOST! LOL.

Keven and Me, at Orchard Road

Keven and Me, at Orchard Road

Keven was cute and fun to be with. We have one thing in common: we both are romantic! Haha!

Meeting Chelle

Chelle had to come to Singapore because she needed to take care of her pregnant aunty. In her busy days we managed to meet up for a dinner. I brought her to a Korean fast food because she liked Korean things. =)

From the very first time we met, I felt comfortable with Chelle. It felt like going out with my own little sister and she didn’t hesitate to hug me and snuggle with me. Awww she was so cute.

I listened to her talking about her life and her dreams. It was so good to know that this girl is full of energy and believed in dreams. Never let it go Chelle and keep striving for the best!!! =D

Chelle and Me, in Jurong Point.

Chelle and Me, in Jurong Point.

Meeting Lia

We’ve been mentioning Sushi on each other’s comments for a while and it was finally the time to have a real sushi meet-up! We decided to try a sushi bar called KOH and how shocking it was that the queue was so freaking long that we spent one  and a half hour just for queuing!!!

Thankfully Lia was such a great companion so 90 minutes didn’t seem that long. she told me her 6 years LDR story with Robby and I was awed by how she was patiently going through the LDR. But she, herself, seems so patient and matured. She also gave me a lot of helpful advice for my upcoming European adventure. =)

Later that night Lia whatsapped me that we forgot to take photos together. Geez, how did we forget about it?! I think it means we must arrange another suhsi meet up!! yaiy!

Um, you all probably wonder whether the 90 mins queue is worth the taste of the sushi… Hmm, YES IT IS!!! The sushi is awesooommmmeee!! I would gladly queue for another 90 mins for that sushi! =D

Meeting Gillian

I have been asking to meet her since long time ago because we both lives in Singapore but then Gil was so busy traveling around to Israel and then Hongkong so we postponed the meet-up a couple of times. (Yes, blaming to her, yes!) Hahaha no lah, it was also my fault too. :p

Anyway the most important thing is… we finally met!

We ate in a sushi restaurant (Yeah yeah now I realize Bandi was right saying I ate too many sushi) and she gave me this cutie bracelet. It was handmade by her friend. Thank you so much, Gil!

Gil is so loud talkative. LOL. Nah, It’s fun to talk to her. She’s like a non-stop machine gun and she never stop talking. She’s also adorably funny. =D

We talked mostly about her being a teacher and me being interested of going back to teach so I asked a lot of questions about being a teacher in Singapore. She looked so happy with her job and she looked younger than her age, both are probably the effect of being a teacher. You know, because it’s a fun job.

And of course the other thing we talked about was… TRAVELING! About the trips that she had done and her planned trip next year. I learned that Raimond has an OCD like me too (haha), he likes to organize things to the detail. You’re one lucky lady, Gil! =D

Oh and I forgot to snap photos with her, but don’t worry we both live in Singapore so it won’t be a problem. Next meet-up is probably another Japanese food. hahaha

Meeting Noni

My medan trip was almost being cancelled because of Bandi’s passport incident, but thankfully the passport came back on time so we could go to Medan. The meet-up just happened yesterday. I’ve been eating 7 meals a day in Medan and I almost didn’t make it to meeting Noni. I felt bad because I was late, so DAMN late. T.T

Thankfully Noni was very understanding. =)

After we dropped off Matt to his office, we went to a coffee shop nearby and had a chat. The topic was of course traveling. She has good knowledge about Mt Bromo thus I asked a lot (way looot) of questions. Noni is easy going, fun and pretty! She’s surprisingly small. LOL. Don’t take this the wrong way Non, I meant you’re cute, you know. Hahaha.

It’s too bad we didn’t have more time to catch up because she seemed to have a lot of interesting things to talk about. I also only met Matt a little while (because I was so damn late duh) but actually I wanted to hear him talking about his work. =)

Anyway, not to worry, Non, cause I LOVE Medan (which was frowned upon by you and Matt, LOL) and I’m so going back… for THE FOOD! Hahahah.

None and me, in... a cafe which I forgot the name. :p

None and me, in… a cafe which I forgot the name. :p

So yeah, I met new friends because of blogging and it’s been a bless. =)

I do hope I can meet everyone!!! But that would include a lot of traveling, which is a very good excuse! LOL

But if anyone of you wanted to come to Spore, I would gladly show you around with an exchange of syomai. :p Nah, just kidding. =D

Cheers,

May, with her extended waist line of Medanese food. WORTH IT!

Bonus Photo of Bandi carrying Brownie in Medan

Bonus Photo of Bandi carrying Brownie in Medan