Our afternoon in the Monkey Forest

In the afternoon of 7th June 2016, we planned to go to Monkey Forest after lunch. The walk to the forest with a rendezvous of monkeys was quite long from the center of Ubud, where we started. I also don’t advise you to rent a car or motorbike to the forest as the only street which directs to the forest is jammed for the almost the whole day! Moreover, it’s best to be eco-friendly and have some exercise to stroll the 15min walk.

At the entrance of the sacred forest, adults have to pay 40000 Rupiah and kids have to pay 30000 Rupiah to start the exciting and natural exploration which could end up with content memories.

We decided to walk slowly so that we could enjoy this the best as we could. Soon enough, we arrived at the centre of the forest which had many choices on what to see next. We chose the route that would let us catch our eyes to many complex structured temples. Mostly, I reckon Balinese temples.

At one point, we came across a temple wall made of stone. My dad asked me to be photo shooted, sitting on the steps on the wall. When I did, 2 monkeys, one on my hair and one on my lap, pounced on me. Fortunately, I remained calm and once it was done, I left them alone and looked at the photos. The monkey positioned on my hair was eating it, which meant maybe the monkeys liked the taste of my hair. Who knows?

_DSC9577_01 Our afternoon in the Monkey Forest

Monkeys liked the taste of my hair

After that weird experience, we headed downstairs to find a monkey trying to break open a coconut to suck its juice. The monkey tried to breach it with all its might. The unusual thing was that he was also trying to keep some green leaves together as he broke it, which was humorous. Unfortunately, he was not able to break it and was starting to be quite impatient.

_DSC9587 Our afternoon in the Monkey Forest

_DSC9583_01 Our afternoon in the Monkey Forest

As it was taking quite a long time, we soon left and were heading back to the central of the beautiful forest. We were going to leave soon as it was nearly 4pm already.

As we left sadly, we saw the last of the mischievous and playful monkeys. We said goodbye to this unique forest and walked away by the same way we took entering it.

The sun was setting and we were really hungry for dinner. We planned to eat at some cool place we could find around Ubud.

Finally, during our fast stroll back to the busy main road of the central of Ubud, I watched a thrilling soccer match which had a huge pack of spectators. The field is located a few hundred meters away from the main road. So, you could spend some time watching it at around 5pm-7pm, as a normal soccer match is 2h long, which includes the half time, too.

Overall, our retreat to the realistic and religious monkey forest was quite a hit, especially when my hair was eaten by the fond and young monkeys! To be treated like me, you must remain calm and do not panic. Just sit down near them and hope to wish you luck on what may be a good one for you!

Moreover, this monkeys are called Balinese Macaques monkeys, just for your info. Well, most of them.

Oh yeah, you also might see a few monkeys outside the forest because the street outside the lush green surroundings is called Monkey Forest Street!

_DSC9565_01 Our afternoon in the Monkey Forest

 

Our trek along Capuhan Ridge Trail

We woke up at 6.20am to prepare ourselves for another tiring morning. This time, fortunately, would be I should say 95% easier than our challenging ascent to Mt Batur. For that morning, on 8 June 2016, we would be having a leisurely walk on Capuhan Ridge Trail. It is 10km long (2 way) and would have nice sceneries and lush green hills.

After our 10min preparation which consisted of brushing our teeth and washing our faces, we headed to the reception where to our surprise, no one was there to serve us. No guard, no driver…nothing! We were taken by surprise and had to waste 40min calling, texting and searching for a single Indigo Tree staff.

At around 7am, finally, the breakfast waitress arrived and we had caught her in the nick of time as she was in the brink of losing our sight. We asked her for any clue where the staff of the hotel might be and she helped us by calling the drivers and staff. We all hoped it would be a success. Despite the pure patience of the waitress, she was not able to find anyone to resolve the unexpected matter. Luckily, she kindly let us have early breakfast as the hotel was supposed to start serving at 8am although it was only 7.15am.

Once our tummies were satisfied and hunger has been blown away into thin air, I went alone to the reception to have a peek whether there were staff at the counter. As I suspected, there was. So, we got ready once again, frustrated by the inconvenience caused and would really want to have some words with the lady who served my mom yesterday. We left at around 8.15am without any drama just yet as the receptionist who came to our service was not the one we were looking for.

To get to the trail, you must search your way through the 1 way or 2 way streets of Ubud until you reach this dark area which has a small road leading to this place called Ibah, where you take the other alley which goes downhill.

 

You would soon see another alternative route which has a short flights of stairs. That’s the route you should take. It goes under a bridge and up, once your back on the surface, beside you would be a temple where you might want to take some photos.

Once that area’s been left alone with, you’d be having a relaxing walk up rice paddies and you could see another cliff at the opposite side of the trail. It was awesomely relaxing and you’d feel like in a vast garden with tons of greenery waiting for you. Well, you also have to be careful of lizards and millipedes that you might see crossing the trail from one side to the other. The pathway was like a natural pedestrian crossing! We were able to catch a glimpse on some big lizards!

_DSC9665capuhan_013 _DSC9659capuhan_012

We had just finished 1km 200m when we came across a village which is quite small and has many guest houses for rent. There are also many famous local painters and many other type of stores you will encounter as you advance.

We ended our trek at Karsa Café where you could go overhead and relax in front of the peaceful rice paddies which were thick and green! There were also 3 huts on the 1st floor which is also a relaxing hotspot to many tourists. To be honest, we prefer having a seat at the 2nd floor than one in the huts.

After getting some energy from my delicious French fries made from sweet potatoes, we washed up our dirty or oily hands and headed to the rice paddies where we had such a relaxing…and wet walk!

We started of near the extravagant café and left the main road to enter the tranquil terrain. We explored their fields and saw the farmer’s different types of scarecrows way out in the green fields. It was like the famous walk of a lifetime, it was scorching hot which we liked a bit and were able to hear many types of sounds from nature’s sleeves.

In spite of the high steps we had to take across the farm, we eventually ended the walk with only my shoes wet when I lost balance and got my shoes sucked and dipped into the water which was supposed to be absorbed by the plants, not my hiking boots.

_DSC9736capuhan_028

From then on, all we saw was cloned from what we saw at the beginning as it was the exact same route we took from the starting point.

Since we had the unfavorable turn of events back at the hotel, it was noon when we had finished this walk of a lifetime. Well, it was time to have lunch!

As an end to this journal entry, I should point out that the surroundings of the ridge was beautiful!

 

Our Trek at Mt Batur

It was nearing 2.30am in the morning. We slept early on our first day of our retreat in Bali as we were going to have a tedious trek at Mt Batur from 3.30am in the morning to 9.30am. And, it was extremely tough and tiring, especially for my parents! Mt Batur is 1717 m, which was a great achievement for us as we totally nailed it!

We had an hour drive to the bottom of the mountain where Agung, our driver helped us to hire a trek guide, called Made. He said our trek would be private, which we were happy about. He also provided us torchlights to shine on what was in front of us as it was pitch black.

The first part of the trek was easy as it was nearly flat, except that we were gradually gaining ground and going up little by little at the same time.

Every now and then, we would have short breaks and would continue going up as we passed by a sequence of plain fields, tomato, chili and corn farms. We were one of the 1st groups to start the trek, that was why we didn’t see many people ahead of us. Along the way, we saw many stars in the dark sky and even saw a portion of the Milky Way which lifted my heart up!

Mt Batur

The path started to bend in a sharper angle as we started benefiting the use of our trekking sticks. Along the way, there were many people playing with their torchlights making an ant-like uphill path.

We also encountered more rocks which made us have a harder time, the road to the summit would be more slippery. We soon arrived at our second checkpoint where we had a major break. As we started to experience fatigue, we ate our packet of biscuits and drank a sip of water from our bottle and made a steep ascend towards our next break point.

For the 2nd half of this exciting walk, we encountered sharp rocks and slippery soil. We were also near terrifying cliffs where one mistake could cost your life. Fortunately, we overcame them and continued our walk which made me slip every now and then!

After another continuous 25min trek, we came to our final break point where we had the longest break there. Sunrise was also starting which made us pressured to begin.

In our last and hardest stroll, our sticks were like our only hope as it was the hardest walk I ever did! That time was a combination of sand, soil and sharp or big rocks. Thankfully, our guide gave me a helping hand and held my hand for that area which I mastered with my footwork and mind combined. Light was starting to illuminate the pitch dark surroundings of Mt Batur. So, we made the walk the best as we could since the rewards of finishing the task would be wonderful. Particularly the beautiful sunrise.

At one point, I asked my guide, how many more minutes to the rewarding end. He answered that there was only 5 minutes left! We gave it our all from that point onwards until we saw a small satellite, a mini cafe and a few groups of people. I heaved a sigh of relief and shouted softly yes for finishing half of the action. Sunrise has just started. We were able to see the other neighbouring mountains around us like Mt Agung. Our guide also mentioned Mt Agung is  3031m, which would be extremely harder than this mountain. Actually, before I forget, Mt Batur is a volcano! Which made it accessible for our guide to boil the eggs in the volcanic liquid which is scorching hot.

We took some breathtaking photos by the cliffs of this mountainous area which were like something we never took before. Below us was a valley of fluffy clouds beautifying the scene above much more. Mt Agung also added a little icing to the beautiful sunny occasion. We didn’t really eat much for breakfast as we wanted to prevent ourselves from vomiting later on during our scary and skidding walk down!

 

20160606_061111 Our Trek at Mt Batur

I’m above the clouds

20160606_055534 Our Trek at Mt Batur

Before the dawn

20160606_063126 Our Trek at Mt Batur

Sun starts to pop-out

20160606_060703 Our Trek at Mt Batur

Tranquil scenery

 

20160606_071044 Our Trek at Mt Batur

The marker with 2 macaque monkeys.

To avoid being in a human jam, we left as one of the 1st groups again downwards back to the mountain bottom’s base. That was where our driver would be anticipating us to pick us up to our next zone.

While trekking downwards, our walking sticks were massively helping us stay on our legs while walking down as in my opinion, it was much slippery as going up for some random reason. Despite the strange downfall, I succeeded from conceding any topples, slips or falls which made one groan in pain. Unfortunately, my mom fell three times during that period of time. Eventually, she was ok but she had a huge pain on her bottoms!

We soon breached our halfway point and suited up for our warm-down, which would be easier as the road to the finish line would be quite flat, not much rocks and would ha hard material as the road downwards is also used by cars or motorbikes, meaning we didn’t have to use our sticks anymore.

Finally…after 30 excruciating minutes, we met our driver once again after walking by all the farms we saw once again! And overall, I surely had to say this, it was way more harder than the trek in Vietnam and the rewards were more worthy.

20160606_072257 Our Trek at Mt Batur

20160606_091822 Our Trek at Mt Batur

We couldn’t believe that we made it to the top of this mountain behind. #familygoals

Feeling tired and sleepy, we decided to head back to the hotel for a good rest.