The best view comes after the hardest climb

I really like hiking. Even though I don’t do it as often as I would like to I really enjoy it when I go. I’ve done several tough one-day hikes but never more than that. But when I heard about the 3-day mountain climb to Mt Rinjani on Lombok in Indonesia I immediately felt tempted. The pictures looked beautiful and like something from my imagination. So I booked my 3-day hike and to be honest I didn’t think more about it before I was leaving Ubud to go to Lombok.

When I arrived in the very simple city of Sembulang it hit me that this might not ‘just’ be a 3-day hike. But I was up for the challenge – and I’m actually really glad I didn’t know what to expect, because I’m not sure I would’ve gone through with it then.

I could use page up and page down describing the feeling, the moods, the struggles etc. throughtout the whole climb. But I wont. What I will do is to tell you about all the great things and about the not-so great things that turned out great anyway.

Making it to the top of the campsite

The first day is tough because you basically hike and climb up for the whole day. But at the same time the nature around you changes all the time and same with the clouds on the mountain, so you got some amazing views when you look up!But be careful with looking up to much because especially the last part of the climb is difficult – uphill and sand and veeery easy to stumble and fall on. That being said it is all worth it when you get to the camp site which is in the middle of the clouds. It is truly amazing!

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The surprise of actually making it to the top of Mt Rinjani

I see myself as a person with a pretty strong willpower – if I want something I’m gonna get it or do it or whatever. But I did doubt myself on making it to the top. I started climbing at 3 in the morning, and the whole trip up what dark, exhausting and sweaty. Especially the last 40 minutes killed me. You climb in big, lose rocks and it is an udnerstatement to say that it was exhausting – it was completely draining and debilitating! When I sit here writing this I cannot believe that I actually made it. But I did – and just in time for the sunrise. The feeling of standing at the top was beyond words. I do not have anything to compare it to that would reach to size it.

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The starts and the ends

.. of the days. And by that I am simply talking about the amazing night sky filled with the clearest shining stars, the deep colours of the sunrise and the shadows on the mountainsides at sunset.

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When everything went wrong 

My guide got sick, so I did the last part of the Mt Rinjani hike alone, which went great. But the porter got really sick and couldn’t walk, which is more of a problem since he carries the food, tent etc. So instead of going to the 2nd crater opposite of Mt Rinjani my guide told me that we had to stay at the camping site one more night, but that he could take me to some hot springs and mineral lakes in the valley which we’d have had to cross to get to the other camping site. That sounded perfect for me, and off we went. On the way down to the valley you climb through the clouds – literally – and halfway down we stopped because of a loud, alarming sound. It sounded as if we were in the middle of the biggest thunder I’ve ever heard. And the deep, rolling sounds kept coming. After a minute or two (though it felt like more) we kept walking on. That was only until the next hill with a clear view. There we saw the darkest cloud, I’ve ever seen. It was a cloud of ash and the air smelled like gas – the small volcano at the big mineral lake had erupted. It was terrifying and mesmerizing at the same time. The guide told me that it would be a good idea to hurry back, since the ashes and gas could spread in the valley if the wind turned, so back up we went and on the way annoucing all the down-going hikers, guides and porters about what we’d seen, heard and smelled. Even though I never saw the hot springs, the experience was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime thing I’ll never, ever forget!

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In the end I must say something very corny and clichée – it changed me. Not in a permanent way, but after living 6 weeks in another country, meeting a lot of wonderful people and thinking about a lot of new things, it helped me get my head around things.

“In the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac

About Bali…

I’ve so far lived in Penestanan at Bali for a bit over a month and figured that I’d tell you a bit about a few of the ‘special moments’ you’ll have when you live somewhere instead of just travelling from place to place all the time.

THE PEOPLE

You get to know the people. Not every single person in the village but the people you interact with on a daily basis. For me that is first of all the family I live with. At Bali you live in big compounds with a whole family together – the family we live with just have a few more houses in their compund where us volunteers live. Especially the mother in the family, Made, the father Waryan and the two sons Waryan and Waryan hav made the stay extraordinary! They are the loveliest and most warming people I’ve met in a long time! Apart from that there are some of the guys working at the organisation who also lives in the village, who’s made the stay so great! We hang out with them, listen to them playing music and just have a great time throughout the day. Furthermore the owner of the local cafe Kopi Desa is a funny guy who’s doing movie nights and letting us pick the movies 😉 Apart from all of these lovely people the Balinese people is very helpful and smiling all the time and it is by far one of the most welcoming countries I’ve been to so far when it comes to the people living here.

PENESTANAN AFTER DARK

When we walk around Penestanan in the evening it’s often the same people sitting in the shops and on the corners who greets us. The sun goes down around 6 o’clock and the time around sunset is my absolut favorite time of the day. First of all because of the temperature – it’s so comfortable. Second of all the light. The light around sunset is so calming and beautiful! It makes you feel like your in a fairytale. And at last it’s when the locals start playing pingpong next to the taxi corner. You can always hear them shouting and clapping whenever you pass by.

THE SECRET PLACES

Sometimes you can be lucky enough to stumbl upon some small secret places in your neighbourhood. It can be an empty building filled with painting all over the walls (on the way to the Bintang supermarket). Or it can be a temple you didn’t know was there.
One evening I was walking back to the house with two of my friends and we suddenly hear what sounded like bells ringing near by. We’ve walked that way several time every day for the past month, so we where surprised to hear new sounds. We followed the sounds and found a big temple with around 20-25 women playing on bells and drums. It was amazing to listen to and to watch, and reminded me about that even though I feel like I know the village I live in I’m still a stranger in so many ways.

 

Bali’s beautiful East Coast 

Ubud is a perfect place to stay because it is almost in the Middle of Bali so you can do a lot of one-day trips or maybe weekend trips. At the same time there are a lot og attractions in the area around Ubud.

An idea for a one day trip is to go to the East Coast. It is a good idea to book a taxi a day in advance. But be prepared to bargain for your price and that you might have to find a new one if the pre-booked doesn’t show up.

Start out by going to the Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave temple). There are a lot of people because both tourists and Balinese people go  here. Remember your sarong and to cover your shoulders as well as to put your hair up. If you dont have a sarong you can rent one for 6,000 IDD.

From the ceremony at Pura Goa Lawah

The day I went to the Pura Goa Lawah was on a national holiday so I couldn’t get close to the cave itself because there was a ceremony. But you could still hear the bats and see the cave and the not-so big temple. And it was really nice to watch the ceremony and all the people praying in their beautiful and very colourful clothes.

After the Pura Goa Lawah cross the road and watch the beautiful black sand beach – a bit polluted on the right side but if you look left you’ll see a more pretty side of the black.

Black Sand Beach

If you feel like exploring and dont mind a long drive you can go to the  Putih Pura in the Northern parts of the East Coast. This is a small beach where you have to walk 1.5 km and on the way walk through a small temple. But the beach is picture-perfect!

If you’re not up for the long ride you can go to the Blue Lagoon Beach and enjoy the postcard view. There are a lot of good snorkel opportunities and if you feel up for it, or you can just relax on one of the small beaches in the area. DO be aware of the following: a lot of the beaches are quite small and you have to rent a chair.

In the evening when you drive back to Ubud, go for a stop in the city Gianyar and go to the famous night market! It is a street market that opens at approximately 5 o’clock in the evening. You can buy all kinds of food there but it might be a good idea to eat after or prior if you have a sensible stomach 😉

After the market return to Ubud and relax for the rest of the evening.

Exploring Ubud

I’m currently living in the small village Penestanan close to Ubud and yesterday I went to Ubud to get to know the biggest town in the area a bit better. I’ve made a suggestion for you – a timeplan for a day in Ubud 🙂

First of all if you are not staying in Ubud you will need to get there, and the traffic is just impossible to predict. You should book a cab a day before you are leaving and bargain about the price! If you are going other places than just Ubud it might be a good idea to book a cab for the whole day – I booked a big one for 400.000 for a whole day together with 6 others. This might give you an idea about how much you should expect to pay.

There are a lot of things to see in Ubud, but because of the Eat Pray Love movie and book, which takes place in Ubud, the town has become quite ‘touristic’. So take you precautions and don’t underestimate the sneaky salesmen on the markets trying to make you pay overprice for everything.

Anyways you should start out by heading towards the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. In the afternoon there will be a lot of tourists there and it will be so hot! Apart from the monkey running around everywhere looking cute (and being little devils! dont understimate them) the scenery in the sanctuary is very nice. Beware of monkeys jumping on your back and do follow the precautions they give you at the entrance. When I was there a monkey stole the glasses out of a bag of a tourist while he just thought the monkey wanted to say hi! But most of the monkeys are just cute, and it is a must, if you go to Ubud.

After the monkey forest you can enjoy some coconut juice, a smoothie or maybe an ice cream in of the many stores on the Ubud Monkey Forest Road. The road is well-known for the many shops, so if you are in the mood you can take a look!

For lunch just pop into one of the many restaurants and maybe order some of the awesome noodle dishes or some springrolls with glassnoodles. If you like beer you must try the Bintang beer! It is so good and really fresh and light but with a great taste!

After lunch head towards one of the many temples in Ubud and maybe stop by a marked on the way there. But be prepared to turn down a lot of taxi offers on the way there if you are walking.

If you are up to it you should take a cab to Tegenungang Waterfall just North of Ubud (15-20 min from the center of Ubud). It is really beautiful and a great way to cool down while taking in the beautiful scenery away from the traffic.

You can finish of you day with a nice dinner in Ubud or head back to where you are staying. No matter what Ubud and it’s surroundings are worth a visit!

What am I doing in Bali?

This spring I decided to stop at University of Copenhagen where I had been studying for a bachelor in social studies (more about that another time) and I had no doubt about what I was going to study instead (a professional bachelor in communication). But I also wanted to travel. So I worked hard from mid-March until, well, the day of my depature to Bali. At first I’d planned to go to India, but that didn’t work out, so I decided upon Bali instead. And thank god! I’ve only been here for one day and I already like it – except for the extreme humidity and constant 29-30 degrees celsius.

I am going to be a volunteer at the Green Lion projects in Ubud, which for now involves teaching children English and about the environment. This I will be doing for 6 weeks – or actually only 5 weeks, because the first week is a so called cultural week. In the cultural week I will learn about the Balinese culture and get to know the other volunteers.

In the weekends I have time to explore Bali on my own and I can’t wait to do so!

After the 6 weeks with the volunteer program, I have 1.5 week before I head back to Denmark.
For the first 3 days I will be doing a mountain climb in a volcanic area, which among other things involves some pretty extraordinary sunrises I expect. After this I’ll go to the famous Gilli Trawangan island. I will be staying there for a week and I’ve prebooked a few dives but apart from that I think I’ll just relax and look back at some amazing weeks in Bali.

 

Bali on my mind

FIY I’m going to Bali for 2 months and the posts will mainly be about Bali, voluntary work and travelling alone for the next – yeah – 2 months :p 


Me getting ready to flyyyyy awaayyyy

If you have any questions about Bali or Maybe even something you would recommend me to do/try/taste, feel free to tell me❤️

Travel journals

When I was a little girl my mom always told me to write a little something every night whenever we were on a holiday. Just what I had been doing that day, what I’d seen or something new I’d tried or tasted. Sometimes I hated it – I was just tired and didn’t really want to. But God! I’m so glad I did what my momma told me! First of all it is so nice to be able to look back at all my family vacations/holidays and read about what we’d been up to. Often you forget about small incidents – something special you’ve met, something extraordinary you’ve seen,  or maybe just something you’ve overheard on a small café. I really appreciate all my travel diaries more and more with time. Apart from that it has followed me throughout my whole life so far (okay, okay I’m only 20 – but it still counts). Every time I travel – even though it’s only short weekend trips – I write a travel journal. It can be nice to end a journey or trip with looking back into the journal you’ve been writing while on the trip, but it is just as nice to read the years after.

To me it is kind of meditative to write and I’ve always had something for pretty little notebooks. Earlier on I used the funniest, prettiest or most colourful notebook to write my travel journal in. But a coupple of years ago I got my eyes up for Moleskine. They make the loveliest notebooks you can imagine. And yes. You always have to pay for it! But it’s worth it if you ask me. It feels so good to write in something as simple yet good as a Moleskine notebook. Therefore I have a whole bunch of Moleskine notebooks filled with memories and notes from my travelling. On my longer journeys I bring two different ones – one ruled and one blank. One to write in and one to draw in. My drawing skills are not anything to write home about but I often enjoy LAVE KRUSEDULLER OG SMÅ SKRAVLERIER.

If you are not already writing a travel diary/journal I suggest you to start doing it! I bet you’ll thank yourself in the future J

 

Take me away

If I could afford it I would be on the go all the time! I would always be on the move – except when I’m enjoying a gt in a bar or some coffee in a park or some pineapple juice at a bounty beach. Unfortunately I am no millionaire and I also have a plan about getting an eduation within the next few years. So I’ve had to bury a little bit of my travel arche (and that is so so hard after travelling for at least 4 months the past year). But to get me through my constant travel lust, I’ve filled my insta feed with lovely travel blogs – and of course I’m reading a few or maybe fifteen travel blogs on the side. Some of the best aaarrreee:

Blogs

Melting Butter (my all time fave!)

Travel Noire

12hrs

Hipshops

Adventure Journal

Along Dusty Roads

And North

Classe touriste

Petite Passport

sydney