The moment of truth today would be if I was able to get my reserved car for the drive from Santa Marta to Cartagena. After a tasty breakfast, we hurried to the car rental at the airport. As it generally does, everything worked out. I started off driving a little nervous and wobbly, but eventually fell into my groove. The drive went by quickly because of all the new things to look at (and because you had to pay attention to passing cars and motorbikes). We drove through a small coastal town, lots of toll-booths, passed many people selling things at traffic stops and eventually stopped for lunch and a small no frills restaurant. It was the type of place with plastic Coca-Cola branded tables/chairs and a straightforward menu (chicken, beef or steak). We did our best to order and ended up getting most of the things we thought we ordered. The one exception was my soup, which I ate despite a big bone with meat hanging off it floating inside. They laughed at us when we ordered a coffee at 2pm in the afternoon, but I explained we were tired from driving! The woman working there was super sweet and it made my day when I saw her face light up with the tip. We also had free entertainment by watching her little girls playing hide and seek.
I tossed and turned all night. What is it about needing to wake up early that does this to us? I still felt wide awake and I did the thing you’re not supposed to do, check the time. Well thank goodness I did! My phone was off, it had the apple symbol and the bar going across it, it was undergoing a restart. I jumped up and ran over to my laptop to see what time it was, fearing I overslept. It was 2:10am! My ride comes in 20 minutes, so thank goodness I looked at my phone or I would have been late as I doubt my alarm would ring during an update.
I slept the whole way to Mt. Batur. Fun fact, I don’t think I get motion sickness at night. We arrived and it was still dark. I don’t know why I was surprised, I mean, we were hiking up the mountain to see the sunrise so obviously the sun wasn’t up. I guess I thought there would be a hint of light, but there wasn’t. They handed up each a flashlight and we followed our guide. It was a flat path we were on and the girl next to me said she read on TripAdvisor that girls who are in their 20s and physically fit said this was a difficult hike. We laughed thinking about how easy it was right now. We laughed too soon. Slowly the hike kept getting progressively more difficult. Add in darkness and a flashlight that was losing power, and you began to agree with the review. I stopped saying I think I can see the top because each time I was wrong. However, we finally made it to a big hut with chairs and we hurried to find ourselves a good spot to sit without an obstructed view. All of the benches were wet, but who cares, we made it! But we didn’t. Our guide came over and said the break was finished. We were just taking a break! LOL
Two people in our group stayed there as they were too tired to go on. When we asked how much time was left he said 10 minutes. Well, 10 minutes to the next break I think is what he meant. It was no lie, the hike was difficult and towards the top it got pretty slippery and windy. Although I was tired, I was enjoying the adventure of it all. We eventually did reach the top, and it was clear that the sky wasn’t. The fog was very heavy, so it was evident we wouldn’t be watching the sun come up. While it would have been great to watch and see all of the views, I kind of enjoyed the eeriness that came with being able to see nothing around you. We sat on a blanket, enjoyed some hot coffee and a sandwich and chatted.
On the way down we stopped at a few caves where hot steam was coming out. They say you can cook an egg on it. There were also a lot of monkeys on the hunt for food. To our delight and amusement, there was an “easier” way down. We all agreed to take it and we slowly made our descent down. The fog was lifting and the sun was up and it was fun to see what was actually around us. The whole way down I spoke with two girls from Ireland about all the greatest Netflix shows, magic and comedy and before you knew it we were back to where we started. Our guide parted ways because he was “off to work” (apparently the 6 hour hike was just his morning job) which made me level set how tired I actually was. I guiltily had planned to lounge around and read by the pool the rest of the day. I ended up doing just that and was in bed by 6pm.