So lately I’ve been trying to talk more and more Bahasa Indonesia, and surprisingly, it goes better than expected. I’m far far away from being fluent. But sometimes I can understand what people are talking about or answer simple questions in Indonesian.
*Fun fact Bahasa Indonesia = Indonesian = literally language Indonesia. So Dutch would be Bahasa Belanda = language Netherlands. There is actually a logic behind the language. I just have to find it.
So what does the title: ‘Pengunjung dan Gunung Rinjani’ mean?
Pengunjung = visitors (YES! I had visitors here on Bali!)
dan = and
Gunung Rinjani = mountain Rinjani (or Vulcano)
So this blog is about my visitors and climbing the Rinjani Vulcano! Welcome to my new blog!
Let’s start with my visitors: MY PARENTS. My parents went to Bali for 12 days. They arrived October 23th on this beautiful island. I just had to go to school and to my project, so I couldn’t meet with them right away. Instead they had their own driver Ngurah who showed them around. Before I saw my parents they already saw and heard a lot about Bali and they loved it. They went to Ubud, Tanah lot, ricefields, tried Luwak coffee and they saw some more temples / places.
Thursday was the day I would see them again. It was kinda weird. I’d been living on Bali for only a month and they would already visit me. A month goes by really fast, so it didn’t feel like I hadn’t seen them in a long time. It was just a couple of weeks. So after going to my project in the morning I went to Lovina later that day with Sanne to welcome my parents. I booked a hotel for them 2 weeks prior to their arrival while I was sitting at the pool of the hotel and video calling with my parents.
In the noon my parents, Sanne and I walked to Lovina beach which was very close to the hotel of my parents. Sanne just relaxed at the beach while my parents and I went snorkeling in the sea. First we did not have the best places to go snorkeling (only sand), but a little later we found a spot with some coral and pretty fishes. My parents really loved it! (Orangtua saya suka snorkeling in Indonesian). After we went snorkeling I took the time to enjoy the warm shower in my parents’ hotelroom. The first month I stayed here we did not have warm water in the shower at home because something was going on with the boiler and they didn’t bring the boiler back yet. By now they luckily brought it back after having to shower cold for 4 weeks. So we can finally take warm showers at home again. At night I showed my parents how ‘cheap’ food could be here, we ate at apple where you can buy a good meal for €2 or cheaper. Way different than the Netherlands where you easily pay €15 for a meal. Here I usually go out to eat because prices are not that high. In the 1,5 months I’ve been here I never cooked at home. I only made some eggs and French toasts.
On Friday I decided to join my parents. I woke up at 4.45am to watch the dolphins at Lovina, on the way back from watching the dolphins we stopped at the snorkeling point and went snorkeling for about an hour. Then it was time for (second) breakfast at the hotel of my parents. While we ate breakfast Mylène also came. Her project was not working out well and she couldn’t do anything that day.
We decided to go to the Buddist temple which is not that far from Lovina. Walking around in Lovina we found a taxi driver who could bring us there and afterwards to Singaraja where I showed my parents where I live during these months. We also ate lunch at the harbor of Singaraja and I brought my parents to the traditional market which is on walking distance from my house. Here my parents bought bananas to give to the monkeys on the way next to the road to the South. Later that day we wanted to go to the waterfall, but this was further to drive and our taxi driver asked more money for that. We decided just to go back to Lovina and go snorkeling (again) at Spice Beachclub, the place I have my diving classes at. From my parents’ hotel we had to drive here with the scooter.
Sanne, Mylène and I would join my parents for the weekend in the South of Bali. On Saturday morning 10am we got picked up by my parents and their driver Ngurah. On Saturday it was just a lot of traveling with stops on the way. The first stop was at a restaurant with a view on mount and lake Batur. Here we ate a little before we would go further. On the way Ngurah tested our Indonesian skills. Here we told some of the stuff of which we had learned. One of those words is Hati-hati which means: be careful. But our teacher also told us it could mean have fun. Well the moment we told that to Ngurah he started laughing, because that meaning of the word is definitely not possible. He made fun of us the rest of the weekend…
The second stop on the way was at the temple Tirta Empul. Here we were able to ‘clean’ ourselves in the holy water. For this we had to rent a special sarong, because you are not allowed to walk around in a temple with a wet sarong. It was a very pretty temple and you could already see some of the preparations of Galungan, the holiday that was coming up.
The third and last stop before we went to the hotel was Best to Buddha. At this place they make the Buddha to Buddha jewelry. Here we stayed for quite a long time and everyone bought something (except my dad).
Then it was time to go to our hotel. It was very busy on the road and some road were closed. So it took some time until we reached our hotel. In the evening we went to eat at Hard Rock Café. Unfortunately way more expensive than all the other food that I usually eat here, happy I still had a coupon. With this we could get one of the meals for free. After eating and buying my souvenir shirt we walked around in Kuta and visited some stores.
We did not buy anything that night, but Sanne did see swimwear that she really liked. So the next morning Sanne and I went back into Kuta looking for the one store with the swimwear. We also had to hurry, so not being able to find the store at first did not really help us. We had to be back by a certain time because Ngurah would pick us up again for the next day. After a nice walk on the beach, and walking around all the stores we finally found the store we were looking for. Here Sanne tried on and bought a bikini and a swimsuit in less than 10 minutes. After that we had to be fast going back to the hotel. We were already looking around us, because our driver would have to go over the same street but we did not see him. After finding out we were really late we took the first cab we saw to go back to the hotel. Driving in the taxi to our hotel we saw that the car in front of us Ngurah was. So if we waited 10 seconds longer we could drive with back with him to the hotel. Now we just drove the last 100 meter on the driveway of the hotel with him.
That day we went to Pedang-pedang beach and to Uluwatu. At the beach we had some time to relax, enjoy the views and to swim. It was very pretty here. Then at Uluwatu we were warned that there were monkeys who would get anything from you that is shiny. So we left all our stuff in the car including our sunglasses. That was the worst decision ever. I am that person who cannot see when it is bright outside. So I was sitting with my eyes squeezed all the time and I got a little headache. I really missed my sunglasses during the time we were there.
Then it was time to go back to the hotel already. Sanne, Mylène and I got our bags at the hotel, bought some snacks at the store and got into our next taxi which was from family from Ngurah. We still had to go to the university the next day. On the way back we gave the bananas my dad bought in Singaraja to the monkeys. They didn’t really feel like taking a lot. So I just put all the bananas that were left on the side of the road where the monkeys usually are. My parents would stay for a couple more days in Bali before going back to The Netherlands. They also wrote a blog about their trip to Bali, feel free to read it at http://www.aafkeprinsen.nl/bali-2017/ !
And here a picture with me, my parents and icecream. My dad is like obsessed with the Creme brulee magnum over here haha
In the night I had to do my laundry very fast and pack for my next trip to the Gunung Rinjani. Monday morning I still had to go to school, but Tuesday we would be off because of Galungan. Galungan is a holiday on Bali where they celebrate that the spirits of the people who had died come back to Earth. During Galungan there are a lot of ceremonies at the family temples. We heard that there are not really parades or something, so we decided to go to Lombok to climb the mount Rinjani during our holiday. There are people who went there by motorbike, but I decided to join the group who went with the bus. We left Monday after school. I just had a little time to buy some extra groceries for on the way and to finish packing.
It was a long trip to Lombok. After a 3 hour dive we had to get on the boat, which took us 4 hours to get to Lombok. This was during the night. But we could not be that comfortable to get in sleep well. Towards the end of the boattrip I got so tired that I fell asleep easily. Then at Lombok the next taxi was already waiting for us with some students of the University at Lombok. These students would also be our guides the next days. The first night we stayed at a homestay somewhere towards the East in Lombok. We arrived late at night, so the first goal was to go to sleep. I shared the room with Sanne. At this homestay many things were open which I didn’t like. I know the malaria mosquito is active on Lombok so I did not like that our ‘window’ in the bathroom was just a hole in the wall. So we tried to keep all doors in between closed. Also from our bed we could just see the roof tiles through the hole in our ceiling. There were also huge spiders at the homestay which I didn’t see until the next day. They were as big as your hand and some might even have been bigger. We stayed during the day at the homestay and at a shop nearby where some students bought some more stuff for during the hike, we would hike up the Rinjani with a total of 12 students. After lunch we left with a bus to the next homestay from where we would leave Wednesday morning to do the three day hike. On the way we stopped at a place where we could enjoy the view of the Gunung Rinjani before we continued. Arrived at the next homestay we got our bags ready for the hike, ate, got some information for the next days and we went to sleep.
On Wednesday we had to leave early for our first day hiking. After breakfast we left Sanne and Lieke behind who did not join us hiking but did other fun stuff instead. We had to sit with 12 students in the back of a truck and drive for like an hour. It was a fun experience. But just before we arrived at registration I lost my cap. So the car had to stop so I could get my cap back. The rest of the ride I just held the cap in my hands. Then it was time. We were really gonna start our hike. No turning back anymore. The first part was still a little flat, but we were walking full in the sun. So we had to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. At the 2nd pos we had lunch: noodles with veggies, a boiled egg and fruit.
After the lunch we had to climb further. I just walked easy because I knew I still had to save my legs for the next two days. After a few hours, and a small nap of our guide, we arrived at the crater rim where we would spend our first night in tents. We arrived just in time to see part of the sunset, but after that we still had to find the rest of our group. After finding the group Mylène and I went to our tent. After dinner we went to sleep because it would be a short night.
At 1.30am we woke up again. We were going to climb up to the top and see the sunrise from there. It was a very hard climb up to the top. There were parts that looked like dunes. So just a lot of sand that we had to climb up to, and it was pretty steep too. I also noticed that my body was not entirely awake yet because I had the feeling I could fall asleep while walking. It was also very cold and windy. So 200 meter before we reached the top Valerie, Merel and I decided not to go further and we made some great pictures at that point. Later Mylène and Puck came to the same spot. Mylène went down with me and Puck would try to go a little further up the mountain. No one of our group reached the top. It would not be save there. I also heard someone saying that this climb at that day would be as hard as climbing the mount Everest. So I think I can be very proud of myself of coming that far.
When we got back at the tents we ate our second breakfast before we would continue for the day. This day was going down to the lake and going up to the crater rim on the other side. I like going down a lot more than going up to be honest. Our descent took a little longer than expected. At the bottom of the crater we went to the hot water spring which is warmed up by the volcano. For me it was too hot to ‘bath’ in, so after walking further and further away I found a spot that I could handle to sit in. Only, the water was not that clean. So after smelling because we could not shower these days, we smelled even more because of the hot water spring. After the hot water spring we still had to walk up for a while. During our walk up it started to rain. So we had to get our ponchos out. After walking further for a while it started to get dark. So at the end we had to walk up a scary path where we had to climb straight up with a ravine next to us in the dark. When we got up we were at the place our next camp was at. Back in the tent and after a game of UNO with some of the other students we got our dinner. The tent of Mylène and me had a problem. The zipper was broken and it could not close. Our sweet guides helped us and fixed the zipper of the tent. So after that we could go to sleep.
The next morning we had an amazing view from our tent. We got ready for the next hike and made a group picture. We had to wait a little before we left, because one of our group lost her phone. Unfortunately we did not find her phone. With a little delay we started the hike of our 3rd day, the descent back to the living world. On the way down we went through a jungle. Here the monkeys were almost walking down with us. We also had rain on the way down, it looked like a rainforest. Later it didn’t rain anymore. But it still felt like rain, because water stayed dripping down the trees.
After many hours we arrived down where we got picked up by a bus. This hike was so amazing! I want to thank our guides / friends for the great time I had. And I also want to say I have a lot of respect for the people carrying lots of stuff for us and preparing food. They were just walking on flipflops or bare feet up and down the mountain.
After a great week of hiking the group met up with Sanne en Lieke again. From there we went with the bus to the first homestay we stayed at in Lombok, here we got some dinner and picked up some stuff that was left there. Then from there we had to drive a couple more hours to the hotel we booked. The drive was long, but I think our driver might not have understood that we weren’t going to the harbor. He missed exits and because of that it was very late when we finally arrived at the hotel. First we were afraid all gates were closed. But after yelling for a while and trying to open the gates someone came, let us and brought us to our rooms. All of this was around 1.30am. So it was a very long day again. We just slept in the next day. Our breakfast at the hotel was very good and we just relaxed at the beach and pool. Around 11am we left to the boat to go back to Bali. On the boat it was storming! There was water everywhere. At the time I could not stay dry anymore sitting outside I went inside where it was very crowded. A couple of hours later when we were back on Bali our taxi driver was already waiting. He drove us back to Singaraja with a break to eat dinner on the way.
So it was a busy week with 2 trips. On Sunday I just rested and Monday school started again with our cooking class. But I think this blog is long enough for now, so more about that the next time! I hope I get time to write soon about that soon, because I’ve done a lot more after that already.