My best friend, who I had the pleasure of travelling with for one month of my journey, and I got up fairly early in the morning after a night of celebrating a birthday in Kuta, Bali’s Skygarden. For those of you who recognize the club’s name you know the type of celebrating I’m talking about. We were lucky to be staying at a friends villa for the few days we were in Kuta which was a nice change from sharing my bed with a whatever was living in my sheets in hostels before this. We were planning a hike very early the next morning and were to be picked up about 1 am so we had to kill about 16 hours. We grabbed our big and small packs and we on our way to fill our bellies first. After that we decided to try surfing for the second time but with instruction. We met a mutual friend, Jos who runs a surf stand on the beach, who was able to get us to stand on the boards finally. We spent about two hours “surfing” the waves. Only 14 hours to go. We killed a little more time just hanging at the beach with Jos, getting lunch and even had a quick nap on the lounge chairs. Well you couldn’t really call it a nap as my eyes were closed but my mind was wide open. After all that we had stretched the day to dinner. Next we found ourselves at a coffee shop to use the wi-fi in order to kill a bit more time by writing a blog post and looking up Facebook. We met a couple local kids, one who went by the name of Tony “chocolate.” I didn’t ask why. We were a bit curious about their friendliness at first but as we sat their and chatted we realized they were only trying to engage with tourists to improve their English and gain insight. We spent some time talking about life in Indonesia and their up bringing. We came to understand we all have the same concerns, interests and dreams. One of them, Ipoenx (I know cool name), was very sincere and was grateful to have met a couple tourists whom they could have a real conversation with just as we were grateful to have gained insight into their lives. By the way you can see them in my “What Makes You Smile” video when it is released soon. Thus far we had done quite a good job killing the day but we were probably only at about 10 or 11 pm. There weren’t really many more places we could have gone except to a bar, a club or a hostel. They all involved doing the opposite of what we should have been doing before a big hike. We came to a mutual decision to get a massage because after all it would prepare our muscles for a hike and we could lay down and get some rest? We had no choice. It was the perfect answer. So we found only one open and somewhat bawdy establishment. Of course, at close to midnight what else would be open? We got our massages and narrowly escaped without the “upgrade” if you know what I mean.
You remember we have been up running the streets with two heavy packs for about 15 hours now right? Okay.
Next we found ourselves sitting on the stoop outside their equivalent of a 7-11 waiting for our ride to arrive. We sat there near a crowd of teenage hooligans who were giving a drunk tourist a hard time. We were the only ones around on that street which was a few blocks off of where the action was. I was in no mood to converse with those kids who were trying to engage with us I was just too tired. Shortly after 1 am we were in the van and on a long journey to the base of the mountain. Add another 2-3 hours of no sleep. So now we’ve been up for almost 20 hours after a night of partying and a day of surfing with two bags escaping a masseuse and now crammed in a van en route to the hike. We were “definitely” ready for this hike. So we hiked in the dark for close to 2 hours until we eventually reached the peak. At that elevation without the sun you can for once during the whole trip say, “I’m freezing”. We staked out the sun until it finally appeared and what came next was magic. The clouds created a seabed of fluff while the sun sparked up the sky and warmed our hearts. Both figuratively and literally. We were offered our breakfast and ginger lemon tea while we basked in the sun and took in the view. The worst part was ahead of us. Two guys on zero sleep in the last 24 hours heading downhill through an alternate route which extended the return by at least 2 times in order to get us to buy things from the various merchants parked on the side of the trail. I was not impressed and even more agitated because I was so tired. When we finally made it to the van we were set to drive to our next destination, the waterfalls. I took the back seat shut my eyes and when I opened them I was at the waterfalls four hours later. The day finally ended later that evening and if you thought we were able to get good recovery sleep the next few days you’re wrong. You just have to get up and get going. There’s so much to do. There’s no time for sleep.
“I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” – Nas
Do you have a similar story? I’d love to hear it.