Friday, August 18, 2017

SE Asia 2017 - Day 4 (8/17/2017) - Mount Batur then Singapore

I had a hike up Mount Batur scheduled this morning with Batur Sunrise Trekking.  I expected to be picked up around 1:15am, but the driver arrived at 1am - I was still in the process of getting ready, so I delayed them by about 10 minutes.  There were two other passengers already in the van - 2 male friends from France.  We made another pick-up in Ubud - a couple (Gary/Govinda and Burpeet?) from the UK on their honeymoon.

We arrived at the company home base at 3:30am, where they served us some tea and coffee (I chose tea, obvy) and gave us each a bottle of water and a flashlight (which I didn't use because I brought along a headlamp).  There I also switched to my contact lenses, as my glasses have a nasty habit of falling down my face when I get sweaty - that was definitely a good call on my part (and thanks to Gary for backing me up on that choice).  We left for the trek around 4am.


The trail was a bit crowded since today was also Indonesian independence day (though I didn't realize quite how many people were going up until we got to the top).  It became progressively colder as we ascended, and it was quite cold by the time we made it to the top at 5:40.  It didn't help that I was then drenched in sweat and not moving around much (I had 3 top layers on, but 2 were soaked).  The guide gave us each a breakfast box that included some fruit and some bread - I only ate the bread.


Sunrise came around 6:25, though it was pretty light out for the 20 minutes prior.  Unfortunately, my phone shut down while I was taking pictures (that's a story for another time, but basically the power management subsystem loses its mind sometimes and thinks that there's no more power left in the battery when there still is), and I didn't bring my power pack to revive it (because I thought the chances of it getting down in the danger zone would be low during a hike of a few hours); so I didn't get any shots of the excellent views during the descent.

We made it back to home base around 8:15am, then hit the road a little after 8:30.  I was the last to be dropped off at 11:30.  I had arranged the day before to delay my check-out by an hour so I had until 1pm to vacate the room.  So I was able to fairly leisurely shower and pack before checking out right at 1pm.  I dropped my bag off with the bellboy then had lunch at the hotel restaurant.  The Nasi Goreng Vegetarian was not quite as good as the one I had a couple of days prior, but the krupuk (deep fried crackers) were better this time around.  Since I had time to kill I also ordered a dessert of banana fritters (an interesting concept, but the execution was perhaps a little lacking) and vanilla ice cream.

I took a taxi to the airport at 2:30pm, arriving 30 minutes later.  I had to wait about 75 minutes before I could check in for my 7:10 flight.  One observation about the flight - Scoot Airlines has possibly the least knee room on their A320s that I've experienced.  Thankfully, the flight to Singapore was only 2.5 hours.


After arriving in Singapore I was too tired to deal with the extra delay of taking public transport, nor with walking in the rain, so I took a taxi to town instead.  The taxi ride cost 30 SGD ($22 USD), which wasn't too bad.  My room at Hotel G was pretty small, but nicely appointed.  They also have this amenity where they give you a smart phone (Handy Phone is the maker) that you can use and take with you during your stay, which offers complimentary calling and Internet access - very handy indeed!

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Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/GBb3cDWVzQCR9oyFA

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