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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kintamani, Bali Indonesia

First Solo Travel

First Day in Kintamani, Bali

Vacation Checklist:
- Jacket 
- Camera
- Sunglasses
- Thick Socks (sleep time)
- Bonnet (optional)
- Travel Adapter

I've searched for activities to do in Bali right after I've purchased my ticket. This will be the first time I'm travelling alone to a country where I don't know anyone at all. Its not exactly my first one I came to Singapore on my own too but then I knew someone there. Now I'm literally going alone to a place where I'll be a stranger and I'm crazily excited about it. 

While I was sneaking at work reading blogs and travel sites I've noticed that a lot of travellers have been talking about Mt. Batur Sunrise Trek. By tracking down their local guide in the reviews that lead me to Pineh Travel Tours. I've immediately sent a personal message through the websites email address. I meet Mr. Pineh through my inquiries and he was patient and kind. He answered all my questions promptly and honestly. I decided to booked my trek and dolphin tour with him, with that said he offered me to stay in his humble guesthouse free of charge. I couldn't believe it at first so I asked again clarifying if my accommodation will be free and yes the offer was confirmed. I was all smiles because everything is going perfectly. My Bali trip is going to be Legen wait for it.. Dary! Legendary! (How I missed my favourite TV show, 'How I met your mother')

The day I've waited for so long had arrived however I had a two hours delayed flight with AirAsia. It was exhausting knowing that I should be on the island by that time and even making my way to the guesthouse. Good thing my pick up transfer from the airport waited patiently. I knew Mr. Pineh wont let me down. Pick up transfer fee from Airport to Kintamani worth 300 000 IDR/32 SGD/26 USD with approximately three hours of travel time. ( According to the website it should be just around 1.5 hours away from the airport but then the traffic jam made it's way with our journey.)

I was greeted with a very smiling face from my driver Mr. Maan. I'm not quite sure with every one's name and spelling so I will try to remember correctly and type in the names according to how they say it. We talked nonstop and I was at ease around him.  He's a kind, knowledgeable man with a good vocabulary of English words. We arrived in Kintamani after a series of traffics from the nearby towns around the airport. I actually didn't know that the place I'm staying at was in Kintamani, all this time even in my research and itinerary I believed I will be around Ubud area. I was surprised. 

The roads were packed with private vans and motorcycles, a slight traffic is then expected for such a small island. We passed by lots of temples, lush rice fields and houses that looked like temples. Bali is considered as the Island of Gods, that explains all the temples I've seen along the way. Each town in Bali has its own environment, thats means a variety of choices is laid out for backpackers and tourist. If you like shopping stay in Seminyak , Ubud for art enthusiast , Party people and nightlife lovers in Kuta, Tulamben for Divers. As for me I love the mountains and seeing the simplicity of village life warms my heart, that's why I was attracted to Kintamani. I also believed in breathing in life and breathing out love, the Serenity Eco Yoga Guesthouse in Canggu (pronounced as Tsanggu) Beach was the place for me. The place truly offers serenity, the 2 minutes walk to the beach to see the sunset was priceless and I've even meet the most calming yoga teacher in the guesthouse. Check out my experience with Serenity Guesthouse from my following post soon.  

Some mistakes were meant to be blessings after all. One lost backpacker was fortunate to be in good hands and that person was me! I expected the unexpected and I got what I want, which I never knew is what I want. Fate has a tricky mind that works in mysterious ways. 

Check in The Green Bali Guesthouse, Kintamani for 3 days and 2 nights.
( 3 Days 2 Nights ) $45.00 for one room/night

The Green Bali Guesthouse is located in Sekardadi Village district of Kintamani Bali. All this time I thought the whole island of Bali has the same weather condition. I was wrong. Kintamani is considered to have the coldest temperature in Bali. My bag was packed with thin and barely there clothing so I knew sleepless nights are coming my way. Good thing I was well equipped for my sunrise trek so that got me through the nights in The Green Bali. I know the weather changes abruptly when you're on top of a mountain so I readily set aside a bonnet and a jacket.

The Green Bali Guesthouse late in the afternoon reminded me of the book entitled "The Secret Garden" a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A passageway crafted with leaves and flowers opens to a small garden full of fruit bearing plants and root crops. The smell of rain forest was all over the place and that immediately puts a bigger smile on my ecstatic face. Mr. Maan was so kind that he picked one passion fruit from the tree using a big, tall bamboo to feed me. At the corner of the garden next to the guarded coffee plants was my beautiful guesthouse. It was like a fancy cottage in the middle of the woods. 

I settled my things inside the guesthouse and after a few minutes I heard a knock from the door, where I was greeted with warm Ginger Tea and Banana Fritters made especially by Mr. Pineh's wife, Mrs. Ang. A sweet gesture of welcoming their guest marks a great sign for my first day in Bali. While I was enjoying my special treat Mr. Pineh knocked on my door and humbly welcomed me to his place. He reminded me of my sunrise trek and even joked to wake me up in the morning with an ice bucket. They have warmly provided all my meals during my stay. 

I've booked my trek ahead of time with Pineh Travel tours. Mount Batur is Bali's active volcano with a height of approximately 1717 meters above sea level.

Mount Batur Sunrise Trek: $40 /400,000 IDR. 

Itinerary for the Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking Tour :

02.00 Hotel pick-up, drive directly to starting point
03.00 Breakfast banana pancake with chocolate + tea or Bali Coffee.
04.00 From starting point about 2 hours to reach the peak of Mount Batur accompanied by licensed organization trekking guide.
05.00 Stop will be made for short break and drinking water.
06.15 Arrive at the peak of Mount Batur, while waiting the sunrise a packed breakfast will be served with a special volcanic steamed eggs.
07.00 Descend the path down to other crater, crater 2 & 3 and last crater erupted on the year of 2000.
09.00 Arrive back on the shore of Lake Batur, drive more further where a stop is made and get banana fritter, drink, pick fruits on the trees, enjoy fresh organic fruits at Pineh Colada Bali.
10.00 Drive back to the hotel/guesthouse.

Sneak Peak for next post:

My first alarm woke me up around two o'clock in the morning but as usual I was fully awaken after 30 minutes. I already took my bath before I went to bed so getting ready was totally quick for me. Mind you even if there's a water heater its not a good idea to take a bath, aside from the fact that laziness kicks in that early to do anything, you might risk yourself getting sick too. The temperature is down during those peak hours and having yourself wet is definitely not a good idea, you need all the available warmth in you body for the trek. Good thing is the meeting point for all the climbers was in The Green Bali. Mr. Pineh's travel tour offers free coffee and banana pancake in his Pineh Colada Hut. As early as two in the morning people were coming from all over Bali to Kintamani. Lucky me that I stayed in Mr. Pineh's guesthouse so waking up as early as everyone was not really on my list. 

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