Two weeks ago Ben and I made a trip to Bali, and it was one of the best trips of my life. I was stoked for it, the only dampening factor being that I had the worst tonsillitis for just about the entire duration of the trip.
We turned in for an early first night in order to be well-rested to trek Mt Batur the next morning! By morning, I do mean leaving the hotel at 0130H in the morning and starting the trek up at 0330H. Apart from feeling physically terrible, I felt so bad towards our guide, Mangku, because he literally had to drag me up the mountain. When I asked him if I was his weakest customer, he just laughed, which I guess is euphemism for "yes, you weakling"?
When we finally made it to the top slightly more than two hours later, I felt like every drop of sweat and aching muscle was worth it. The sunrise we caught at the peak of Mt Batur, and oh did I mention the stars? When we first arrived at Mt Batur at 0300H, there were more stars in the sky than I have ever seen, than I could have ever imagined seeing with the naked eye. It's a pity we weren't equipped enough to catch a shot of it, much less, a star trail. Lesson learnt!
I very much preferred the way down, than up. We were practically sand-surfing, and while that required quite a bit of control, it was generally less tiring than heading up.
We soothed our muscles at a nearby hot spring and pretty much chilled around for the rest of the day.
Day 3's shenanigans included us visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest and enjoying the sunset at Tanah Lot, followed by a picnic dinner back in our hotel room, of corn (well we finished this before we reached our room; the corn cobs I had in Bali were the best!) and cup noodles and takeaway roasted chicken and chips (which we didn't eventually consume as we were too tired) while watching Fight Club, and on Day 4 we headed to Nusa Dua for water sports, which were amazing. The day ended with dinner at Jimbaran Bay, which included, of course, seafood and a sunset view.
The last day in Bali Ben and I got out of bed early to enjoy the last bits of the morning light at Kuta Beach. In the evening, we caught the last sunset of the trip.
Some of my favourite moments during the trip were the times when Ben and I weren't actually doing anything. On the first day we reached so early everything was closed, and so we were at our breakfast place for a couple of hours, sitting facing the traffic. We talked about life - London/school stories, his friends, my friends, repeated stories because they're always interesting to listen to. On the third day during our long car ride back from Tanah Lot, we sat at the back of the car as day turned to night and laughed at silly stories and at each other. Truly when I think about this trip it isn't Mt Batur that first comes to mind, nor is it the Flying Fish/Parasailing activities that we did, epic as they were. But moments such as these; quiet moments, silly moments, inside-joke moments... These are my most treasured takeaways from the trip.
Every chapter has a reason, and that of the past 112 days was to make and collect as many memories as we could, to make up for when we are 10,850 km apart. Now that summer's over and Ben is back in London, I guess it's also time for me to settle down, get a job, and start saving for the future. Of course, we're still collecting memories every day, but I guess being physically together beats Skype/FaceTime hands down, anytime.