Asian Mountains, Bali
Gunung Abang (Mount Abang), 2155m
To the main Abang page (route descriptions and maps)
How many guides ... exactly?
We woke up to another beautiful day on Bali. We stayed at Hotel Segara in the Kintamani region and the day before we hiked Mt. Batur and visited the hot springs by Lake Batur.
The plan for today was to hike Mt. Abang - the 3rd highest peak on Bali. We had made an arrangement to be picked up by Yon Ariono, which we assumed also would be our guide. But when Yon arrived at the hotel he told us that he would only be a driver and that the guide would be Wayan Suara. Along came also Nyoman Sudirman - our guide from the Batur hike the day before.
I was a bit confused and had to ask Yon how many guides we had to pay for, but the price was the same as we had agreed upon. Part of the agreement was also to drive Anne and me back to Sanur Beach which was our base-camp during our 14-day stay on Bali. I got the understanding that Nyoman came along to learn the route better. A new Abang guide in the making...
From the village down by the lake, we drove up to the crater rim and then east in the direction of the mountain. The road was at times really bad (at least by Norwegian standards), and I said to Yon that we didn't mind some extra walking. But Yon replied that this road was of no concern and drove us all the way to the trailhead. Yon then made an agreement with the guides about when he would return to pick us up.
We headed out 07:20am and followed a visible, but not massively worn path up the forest. The rumor was that there could be snakes on the trail and that was why this mountain is not usually hiked at night. Whether that is correct or not, I do not know.
I'm not sure what I expected, but snakes on the trail and monkeys in the trees would have been quite exotic. But wildlife shone by its absence. The temples along the path were however exotic enough for us, although we had seen similar kinds on our previous hikes. Wayan and Nyoman stopped for prayers and Anne and me watched over our shoulders. Praying for a good journey up the mountain is something I can like...
We passed one more temple on our way up the forest, and it was evident that one cannot pass a temple without praying. That said, we learned that it was OK to just pass on the way down. The jungle was not as hot as I had feared it would be and we had a fairly comfortable hike.
We arrived on the summit 09:05am (1h:45m after heading out) and Anne headed immediately for the front gate of the temple. Wayan prevented disaster in the nick of time and was able to route the unworthy Anne around the gate...
Mt. Abang summit
What a great first week of our Bali vacation! We had been on the island for 6 days, bagged 3 peaks (incl. 2 of the 3 highest) and were well established in a fine hotel on a fine beach.
Our guides wanted to share their lunch with us, and we had misc. food to share with them too. But praying first, of course. Possibly for a good journey down...
We left the summit 9:45am and descended the forest fairly quick. At the end, Wayan and me was putting up a small race. I was very satisfied about not being outperformed by a local guide...
We returned to the trailhead 10:40am and met Yon who was burning up litter. Speaking of litter, there was a lot of it around. Several times during our stay on Bali, we saw locals just toss litter, like chocolate paper, etc., and we were taken by surprise over it.
Return to Sanur Beach
Yon told us that Wayan and Nyoman wanted to come along for the trip to Sanur Beach. I am not sure, but I got the feeling that they hadn't been there before. In any case, it was just nice to have them onboard. Balinese people are difficult not to like and our guides and fellow hikers were no exception.
It was also Yon who introduced us to Warungs - small restaurants which vary in products and service. But the one that Yon took us to had great food! Yon did the negotiations and we got lunch for 5 people for IDR 100,000 (USD 10,-)
We continued to Sanur Beach and Anne and me really felt the contrasts hammering upon us. Our guides could never afford to stay at a place like this and we had rooms here even while traveling around the island. It is difficult to explain this to the locals, but the fact of the matter was that the price difference between airline ticket and airline ticket + hotel wasn't all that much by our living standards...
We parted with our new friends, returned to our room and then sat course for the beach...
Anne turns 50! (Nov 17 2012)
Today was Anne's day! We started the day by signing up for a snorkeling cruise to Lembongan island with Bali Hai. For this trip, we had to embrace mass tourism and just accept that it was part of the package. The snorkeling opportunities outside the hotel were limited, so we really wanted to get to some nice reefs.
The 1,5 hour ride to the pontoon on which we would spend the next hours was bumpy and I was afraid that I would get sea sick. But normally it ends with the fear only and does not amount to anything else.
It didn't take take long from the time we arrived on the pontoon and until we hit the water. The reefs were nice, although I thought it was in general a little deep. I needed some time to acclimate to the depth. And the water was cold too! Well, at least compared to Sanur Beach.
After approx. 4 hours, it was time to return to the main island and I was pretty bored by then. The water slide was somewhat fun, but only the first (and last) time. I could have been licking sun with a tropic drink but that's not quite my style either. It was more fun to look in the direction of Mt. Abang, thinking back on the fantastic hike we had a few days earlier...
As we approached the main island, we saw many people fishing in the sea. "Surely not for recreational purposes" was my first though...
Ku De Ta
We had reserved a table at the Ku De Ta restaurant in Denpasar. According to reliable sources, this was one of the hottest restaurants in town.
It was indeed a cool place, with a distinct discothèque feeling. The music was loud, but the food was gorgeous. The most important thing was that Anne was happy about the evening, and Anne was happy with the evening ;)
The bill was an experience in its own right. The total was IDR 2,100,000 (USD 220,) - slightly less than the BlackBerry I bought in Kuta. Not that I found it to be very expensive (it wasn't), but I'm not used to this number of digits in a total.
I could only imaging how far this amount would carry with a Balinese farmer. The contrasts were mind-blowing...
All in all, I think Anne's 50th birthday was a memorable one. First of all, we were on Bali.
B A L I !!
Furthermore, we had been on a snorkeling cruise and enjoyed a brilliant dinner on one of the finest restaurants on the island. Putting it like that, yup - I would say it was a memorable one. And I think she agrees...
On the way back to the hotel, we got a taste of how the Denpasar traffic is on a Saturday night. In short - I'm so glad I wasn't driving...
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S
18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS +
GoPro Hero2 + Canon Powershot G12
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To Mt. Abang, Nov 16 2012
Mt. Abang summit
Snorkeling cruise, Lembongan islands, Nov 17 2012
Onboard the pontoon
Returning to the island
Anne's birthday dinner at Ku De Ta, Nov 17 2012
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