A day in Byron Bay and the farm

The famous Byron Bay, home to Thor himself along with all the free spirited people living here. We’d heard that Byron bay was a place that needed to be checked out. It’s very relaxing, the beach is beautiful but it’s packed with people and fellow travelers. I wasn’t aware of how bohemian this city was. It seems like all the hippies from the 60´s came here and just decided to stay and live out of the rest of their days in a camper van. Byron is filled with cute little shops, locally owned cafés and vintage shops. Insta bloggers would love coming here, there is not a lack of colorful backgrounds that gives you the perfect Insta picture. After enjoying a cup of coffee in the grass, and people watching we strolled through town where I picked out some cool patches for my jacket. Our attention was drawn towards the happiest man I have ever seen. A man clearly not giving a fu** about social norms, singing his heart out while shaking his pineapple and avocado shaker. “Rise and shine, rise and shine, it’s a beautiful day in Byron bay. If you shake yours I’ll shake miiiiine”. It’s quite catchy actually. If you check out my personal Insta chrissshalvorsen you can find a snippet of this adorable old man.

When you’ve had enough of sipping on coffee, eating crepes and tanning on the beach, you can always head on up to the lighthouse. You can even drive by Chris Hemsworth house, or try at least. If Mr.Hemsworth isn’t your cup of tea, then you can just enjoy the stunning coastline, then go for a swim before you venture up to the viewing point. There was no place to park our car, so we didn’t have the pleasure of snapping some photos like the dozen other people there, but we drove by and got a little taste of what it looked like. We were more than satisfied with that.

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Another thing that attracts the Gold Coasters to Byron, is a place called The Farm. We have something similar in my hometown, but not nearly as well executed in design or eating options. The Farm is literally a farm with animals like chicken, pig and sheep. We only saw the Chickens so I can’t say for sure. But the food is amazing, the sourdough bread with butter is out of this world. Each of us ordered a plate of bread with freshly squeezed juice. I can’t remember the last time I only ate bread, and it was as good as the one The Farm makes. Yum!

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The last stop of the day was Killan Falls. No worries, the walk is short and you don’t have to trek through the forest nor climb any rocks to reach the waterfall. It’s very beautiful, the drive over is scenic. Killan Falls is in the country side giving a tranquil feeling. It’s very quiet and relaxing, giving a nice break from the hectic city life. The Gold Coast is very quiet compared to the bigger cities, but there is more than enough traffic of people wandering up and down the beach. It was nice to escape the crowd, even if it was only for a couple of hours. The water was very cold, and it felt like being whipped when we stood under the drop. Not the most flattering pictures, but oh well. We can’t always be dolled up you know.

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That was that. Pretty good for a week in the Gold Coast heey. Tomorrow we’re going camping at Stradis. I can’t even pronounce the actual place so I’ll stick with the short version, Stradis. According to Tonje this is the real deal, what Australia is all about. We’ll be 7 girls and 1 guy. Morten even get’s a private tent, but I get to camp out with Tonje so I guess I’m the winner here! I’m really excited to go camping, I haven’t done that since I was 15 I think. It’s loooong over due, and I can’t think of a better time to do it, than while I’m traveling. The more memories the merrier right? What’s your plans for this weekend?

Love, Chris.

Fingal head and bird watching

Australia is filled with out-of-this-world scenery. The nature is incredulous, wild turkeys roam free, on the coastline whales splash their tails and dolphins jump up and down. As you drive from one beach to the next, you will encounter many of the wildlife living here in Australia. Just as we were on the way to Fingal Head lighthouse and Dream beach, Tonje spotted a wild parrot on the side of the road. Monday morning we started the day at 5.00 am to witness the sunrise. We didn’t see as much of the sunrise as we’d hoped for because of the cloudy sky. It was still a very beautiful one, and the colors were popping. We went down to the cock, but this time we weren’t alone. A little visitor decided to chill on the edge, a Kookaburra. It was adorable! And fluffy, and it didn’t mind me one bit playing a National Geographic photographer with my little camera up in it’s face. You can come home with me any time you’d like lil’ buddy!

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After our little sunrise walk, we retracted back to our den to get a little rest before the next adventures of the day. What’s really great about having a friend here in Australia, not only does Tonje know all the best spots I would never have found on my own, she also has a car which makes getting around a lot easier. Aaaand she is moving back home next week, so she is just as keen as us, to explore, make new memories and do as much as possible in very little time. I have to admit I’m starting to really feel the hectic days, but it’s been amazing. Great food, good company, beautiful nature and vintage shopping, who am I to complain. One of these mind-blowing places she took us to, was Fingal Head. You can’t get it any more Australian than this. It’s a short drive form Gold Coast, in a different state aaaand Fingal Head is one hour ahead of Gold Coast, which I think was really cool.

P1110528P1110532P1110535P1110543P1110549P1110557P1110601P1110615The view here was stunning, the water so clear and blue. In the horizon we spotted a big family of dolphins. Surfers were bodyboarding over the huge waves. Water splashed the rocks while fishermen tried to catch the fish of the day. Before you head down to the beach make sure to take the walk up to the lighthouse, you will not regret it because the view is spectacular. Here we even spotted an eagle! I felt like Steve Irwin or something, crawling as close as possible to get that perfect shot. I still cannot believe how the Kookaburra and this eagle, let me get so close to take a couple of photos. I was certain the eagle would try to pluck out my eyes or something, but it just stared back and eventually Tonje got bored of me taking 100 pictures, and scared it away. Hey at least I got a cool shot of the eagle flying away!

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I managed to fall asleep on the beach, and I woke up completely disoriented and half stumbling over as we walked back to the car. If this has ever happened to you, you know how uncomfortable it can be. The sun here don’t mess around, so lather up in sun lotion guys and seek some shade!

We finished our adventurous day with dinner in this cool place called Mexicali. I don’t know what’s up with me and these Mexican restaurants lately, I guess I’ll just have to get my ass over to Mexico after New Years. Get your sombrero on, order some tacos and bring your friends because the white wine sangria will have you singing along to “one more time we’re gonna celebrate” while you smile at the amazing friends you have around you. What a time to be alive heey! Oh and I started a private instagra, account – chrissshalvorsen for those who want to see more personal pictures. Have you checked out my little travel video from Eat street? Head on here to get a little inspired by all the good stuff you can munch down on.

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Cheers to the weekend

When you imagine Australia The Gold Coast is a good representation of that laid back beach lifestyle. Surfers waking up before the sunrise to catch the first wave of the day, joggers running with a stunning beach view, friends stopping by the espresso nook to get their coffee fix and families taking their pup for their morning walk. The city is well alive and bustling long before 7.00 am. I am fairly impressed. As I mentioned I would be hitting up different food markets this weekend, and the first one was Miami Marketta. We went there Friday night, and unfortunately it was too dark for pictures, in other words I did not bring my camera as it’s not the best for night pictures. Pretty much the only picture I have is of the Vegan cake tasting basket I bought from ieightcake

Untitled-4-1-850x400(Photo taken from google.com)

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So you know those nights where you didn’t plan to go out, and it ends up being one of the best nights you’ve had in a long long time? Friday night was one of those nights. We started with a espresso martini that got me wired and hyper! Best kickstarter for a night if you ask me. Tonje took us to this cool whiskey bar that just opened up last week, you have to text a phone number to get in. Lockwood bar has this cool speakeasy theme going on, there is only 30 people there at a time so it’s not crowded, and the staff is ridiculously kind. Us Norwegian have a thing or two to learn from the service provided here in Australia. Unless you know someone who knows the location of the bar, it’s hard to find it. But should you stumble across Lockwood, the number you text is on the red door. Rumor has it that Jason Mamoa likes to stop by for a drink with his possy, so ladies.. You know where to go. A little tip when going out in Australia, if you don’t have a drivers license, you will need a passport. I had to take an Uber back to my room to get my passport to could get in. Any other ID will be declined, just a heads up. We met these cool guys that we ended up dancing with all night long, and ended the night at a casino. The night wasn’t as much of a blur, but we did find this picture on Morten’s phone. Can’t really say I know what the hell I was doing, but.. We can say for sure that the night was a success. 22790806_1814090661951748_1470972235_o

There isn’t much to tell about Saturday because the weather was grim and we just stayed in all day watching movies, repairing from the night before. Let’s just skip to the good part of the weekend. Us gals kickstarted the day with a walk at 8.00 am up to the looking point over The Gold Coast. As I mentioned, by 7.00 am the city is already bustling with life, and I can’t express enough how impressed I am with the citizens of this beautiful city. Yet again, we should pick up a thing or two from these folks. The view at the looking point is amazing, you have a 180 degree view over the Gold Coast. The sun was shining and in the horizon we spotted whales splashing their tail, and dolphins jumping playfully up and down. I even dared to sit on the Cock as it’s known by the people living here. There isn’t much that scares me, but I can’t seem to get over my fear of heights. It makes me dizzy and sick to my stomach, and even though I freak out, I still try to push myself. I can seek comfort that the pictures looks hella good, and at least I’m trying not to let my fear get in the way of living (on the edge).

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After our walk we enjoyed a lovely avocado toast breakfast, a short tanning sesh on the beach, a quick shower and a outfit change before we headed to Brisbane for Eat street food market. Head on over to my next post to check out this Insta perfect food market.

Eat street food market

Eat street food market was without a doubt the hightlight of my weekend. I’d been dreaming about one of those Unicone Cronut ice-creams for 2 weeks, and I was not disappointed. Eat street is one of those cool gems you can’t leave Brisbane or the Gold Coast without at least just strolling through. There is live music, great food for all preferences, and desserts that will make your inner child squeal. I’m a big foodie, I love cafés and kitschy places with a well executed theme. Eat street definitely has this going on, you are left amazed and wondering why there isn’t such a thing in your hometown. In my hometown we do have a food festival, but only 3 days a year. It can’t even compare to this. Eat street food market is open every weekend of the year, we barely touched the surface of all the good food you can get here. Me personally I binged through the ice-cream, I am slightly obsessed with those Insta perfect photo ops so ice-cream it was..

Morten and Tonje binged on food, and helped me finish my icecreams (yes in plural). How often can you say you had an icecream taco and unicone cronut ice-cream? Exactly. All that ice-cream gave me a serious sugar rush that lasted for an hour. By the time we were driving from Brisbane I just fell asleep like a baby, all the way home. Well fed and happy, with a bunch of new awesome photo’s for my Insta collection. I whole heartedly will recommend you to stop by here, to get your fix of all the cool ice creams and treats your stomach can bare. Eat street is an adventure that needs to be put on people’s radar.

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Here’s a map on how to get there from the Gold Coast:

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What else? There is a 2.5 dollar entrance fee, and most stalls only take cash so remember to bring some. There is ATM’s in case you forget, but you have to pay a 3 dollar fee. If you are intrigued please check them out here or follow them on FB where they post all the amazing food you too can get your hands on! Now I’m off to some more adventures here in the Gold Coast before we set the night on fire in Mexicali. Tudels for now.

Love Chris.

3 little birdies in the Gold Coast

After 5 days of very little sleep our last days in Bali, we were thrilled to catch up on some sleep on our flight to Brisbane. Bali was amazing, but the last days we partied a little bit too much, which explains my insanely dark circles under my eyes when I landed in Brisbane. We were both nervous entering Australia, especially after everything we’ve seen on TV, and because we brought with us wood articles. Morten bought mask and I bought a couple of coconut bowls in Bali. We declared everything on the forms they hand out to you on the airplane, and as long as they can inspect the items, you are usually fine. The line wasn’t too bad, and moved on pretty quickly. My coconut bowls were fine, but Morten’s mask needed a more thorough inspection. A quick look from the inspector and we were cleared and ready to go! We we’re kinda bummed that we didn’t get a passport stamp when we entered, apparently they stopped doing that 2-3 months ago. All in all it went smoothly, and we were just happy that we didn’t end up on TV being deported back.

My friend Tonje came to pick up us, and man it was good to see her again. I was still pretty tired when we drove from Brisbane airport to the Gold Coast where she lives, so I dozed off the entire ride, and woke up just in time for breakfast. Of course I went for another smoothie bowl, can’t get enough of these delicious babies.

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After breakfast we checked into our apartment Tonje hooked us up with. The guy renting out the rooms is one of friendliest guys I’ve ever met. Apparently everyone here in Australia is insanely friendly, I love it! A quick shower and we headed over to Burleigh Hill to chill in the grass, eat some crackers with brie, and sip on some white wine. A perfect day for two sleepy travelers.

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The best way to see a new city is when you know someone who lives there. They will show you all the cool nooks and corners, the best beaches and look out points you as a tourist won’t find on your own. Plus Tonje has a car, which makes getting around pretty easy. Last night after dinner we went to bed early. Or more accurately, I passed out before 10 pm. I’m only a party animal until’ 9 pm, and then this grandma needs her beauty sleep.

This morning we woke up bright and early by Tonje knocking on our door 8 am. Today we’ve just chilled on the beach in Tallebudgera creek, went for a walk up to the lookout and spotted a whale blowing out water and splashing with it’s tail. This coast is seriously beautiful. First of all it’s cool to see everyone running around with their surfboard. I need to get on that too one day, might do it while I’m here. Second it’s weird being back in the western society. The first thing I mentioned to Morten at the airport was “where is all the asian people?” It’s funny how used to the asian lifestyle and people you get by spending 5 months there. And last but not least, it’s a lot colder here. It’s really warm during the day when the sun pops out, but in the evenings and when it’s cloudy.. Brrr…

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Love Chris.

 

Farewell to Asia

5 months has flown by, and it’s time to leave Asia behind for now. I’ve had the most incredible time traveling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, The Philippines and Indonesia. Bali has been an incredible adventure, and I have plenty of more stories to share. New adventures await for me in Australia and the South Pacific. I’m beyond excited to explore a new continent, visit my dear ol’ friend Tonje and get acquainted with the Polynesian culture. We have a fully packed schedule, all our flights is booked from Australia and all the way to San Fransisco. We will stop by countries like Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Hawaii. The country I am most excited about is without a doubt, Papua New Guinea. I have no idea what to expect. I’ve heard the stories, I’ve read all the travel guides and news articles but I don’t know one single person, who’s actually been there. No one who can give me first hand travel tips. This is fairly an unknown territory. Not just for me and the people I know, but for people in general. That’s why I’m so excited to share with you guys my experiences from this mysterious country. And let’s not forget the dreamy white sand beaches of Fiji. I spy 1 month of lazy beach bumming in Solomon Islands and Fiji. My flight is being called for Brisbane so I’ll cut it short. Thanks for everything Asia, it’s been one hell of a ride! Australia, let the good times roll.

Love Chris.

Bali loving

Hello fine folks, time has flown by and it feels like yesterday I landed here in Bali. My apologies for not updating as much about my everyday activities, I’m working on a different type of content, were I give you tips on things to do in the different cities I visit. This is more time consuming, but it’s a different type of travel posts. I promise I’ll be better at daily updates, also to throw it out, I do post Insta stories and snap stories with a more behind the scenes of my every day life on the road. I absolutely love to travel, but it takes it toll on the body and the mind. When you are constantly packing in and out every 3-4 days, every now and then you just need to take a break from it all so you don’t loose your mind. Bali has been that break for me, and I think it’s good to just let your soul get some peace from the constant social media world we live in. But let’s get to it, what have I been up to these past 2 weeks? Of course you post the best pictures you have, but sometimes you gotta say fuck it and just show the world, what really goes behind the scenes. Besides those picture perfect Instagram posts, this is what it actually looks like when me and Morten is traveling together. Oh what fun times we have!

P1090160We first landed in Kuta where we spent two days. After 15 hours of traveling and no sleep, we weren’t keen on doing much. We spent the first day treating ourselves to a nice dinner while watching the incredible Bali sunsets. The day after we slept in, walked around to see what the city was like, and ended the night with a blast of Bintang beers and a very drunk Christine. Let’s just say I can’t hold my liquor the way I did when I was 18. There isn’t really that much to do in Kuta, the surf is great, the nightlight is cool and the Nasi Goreng is delish, but it’s not my favorite cup of tea. The day after our blow out, two hungover backpackers got in a car and headed towards Seminyak. P109021622563612_1807198275974320_1661151991_o

Now Seminyak, is a town I can get behind. If you are wondering where those picturesque cafés and restaurant all those instabloggers post pictures from, that would be Seminyak. Basically all I’ve done here in Seminyak, is eat my way through all the fancy ass cafés, wrap my hair in a hair scarf, put on my big ass hoops and let my bohemian spirit fly. The food scene in Seminyak is insane. I feel like I’ve eaten like a queen every single meal. There is a ton of vegan and vegetarian options. My belly is little bigger than what it was when I came from The Philippines, but who wouldn’t want to eat their way through Bali. I mentioned earlier in this post that I’m working on a more tip related post, so all the cool places will be posted within the next days to come. I can easily see myself spending a couple of months out of the year in this city. It’s very fast paced, packed with travelers of all kind, but you go with the flow. From the glittery dark sand to the amazing atmosphere in Mexicola, Seminyak is a place to put on your map. 22396762_1800402669987214_1147678092_oP1090527P1090405P1090722P1090724P1090808P1100031P1090853

A trip to Bali is not complete without a trip to the infamous rice terraces. Where to find the rice terraces? Well Ubud of course. If the constant honking of car horns turns you off, then travel no further than the cultural hub of Ubud. It’s very, very relaxing. The word I feel best describes Ubud would be tranquil. Ubud is more slow paced, a stronger influence of the Balinese culture and here is where you come to get in touch with the Indonesian nature. We only planned on spending 2 days and then travel to Gili. But after a couple of hours trying to plan with our hostel host what tours to take, we quickly agreed that we would need more than 2 days. One day I will deff come back and travel to Gili, but when you have 2 weeks, and we have plenty of beaches planned after Bali, you prioritize what you normally won’t come by. We spent our days here soaking in the beautiful nature, trekking up Mount Batu volcano to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises, I have ever seen. We visited the Jatiluwih ricefields, stayed with a local family where we dined in their backyard temple, and treated ourselves to a 4 hours luxury spa treatment, in one of the best Spa’s in the world. When in Bali, right? Hmm, what else? Yes, yoga and meditation. Ubud attracts yogis from all over the world. I missed the morning flow session, but I tried Qi gong, which was interesting. We can safely say that Ubud was a success. 22396824_1800402683320546_1367924688_oP1100404P1100582P1100695P1100701P1100739P1100600P1100144.jpg

And last but not least, Bali is famous for it’s incredible diverse marine life. Ya’ll know that  I identify as Ariels long lost Norwegian cousin, I couldn’t leave without jumping into the blue and hunt for Manta Rays and Mola Mola. Our friendly host, and now friend drove us to Sanur so we could catch the boat over to Nusa Lembongan. When you want to dive, there is several islands to choose between. The most common islands near Bali is Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Ceningan and Gili. Your best chance to spot Manta Rays is around Manta Bay and Manta Point. These two spots is 30 minutes with boat from Nusa Lembongan. We chose to dive with Dive concept. Now diving here is more expensive than other places, but it’s worth the money. Morten finally finished his open water! Yay and congrats my friend! On his birthday, he saw several Manta rays while snorkeling. Happy birthday Morten! I already have my open and advanced, so I jumped in the water. Normally I just skip the wetsuit, but the water here is freezing. This time I put on layers of dive equipment because I felt like I was freezing my balls off. But not 2 minutes after depending down, our guide points of two huge mantas! Holy christ they are so much bigger than I could ever imagine. This marine creatures are so elegant and gentle. I lost count on how many mantas we saw, but I saw a black manta 3 times! There was turtles, and on our way from Manta Bay to Crystal Bay there was dolphins jumping in front of the boat and Merlin/Swordfish playing in the water. In crystal bay we dove down into a cave filled with bats!! Best day ever I squealed with joy. We dove back down into the water and tried to hunt for Mola Mola, the weird looking sunfish. The current was too strong, and we couldn’t leave the area with corals. All I saw of the Mola Mola was the contour/shadow far away from the drop. Also we saw lots of boxfish, an octopus, sea snakes and a ton of colorful fish. Thumbs up for diving here, guys! P1100812P110082722496937_1807198279307653_1162500353_o22532198_1807198289307652_1794772399_o22641910_1807198295974318_1154103917_o22555972_1807201759307305_1847148836_o22546783_1807201762640638_1621202053_o

Now we’re back in Seminyak just relaxing before our next flight tomorrow. You will have to come back tomorrow to find out where our next destination is. Have a beautiful day everyone. P1100825

Love, Chris.

Jatiluwih rice terraces – a unesco treasure

It’s 9.00 am and we’re headed towards our next destination. My legs feel like sticks, my eyes are getting heavy and I doze off in the car. When I wake up an hour later my eyes are met with green lush rice fields. “Are we here now”? I ask Morten, “No it’s 30 minutes more before Jatiluwih rice fields.” The rice fields is so green, the driver explains that the best month to come and visit is October, as next month the fields turn yellow. And today is a really good day with the weather he says. As we drive on I gaze out on the open endless fields with all it’s greenness. I’m in awe of how beautiful the Indonesian nature is, and can’t understand why I haven’t come here before. Bali is such a diverse island. Ubud is without doubt one of my favorites. The atmosphere is so relaxed. Ubud is the perfect place to get away from the crowds, do some yoga and meditation, get acquainted with the balinese traditional culture, munch on vegan food and enjoy the nature. That’s what we did yesterday, a day filled with adventure from climbing Mount Batur at 4.00 am to witness the sunrise, and visit a unesco heritage site, the Jatiluwih rice fields.

Jatiluwih is the biggest rice fields in Bali, and pictures can’t grasp how stunning this scenery is. We we’re pretty exhausted after very little sleep and trekking up and down 1770 meters. But we went on, and it’s the best day I’ve had here in Bali. Everywhere we looked there was green. Even though there is plenty of visitors, it’s impossible to feel crowded as this area is so humongous. The drive from Ubud city center is approximately 1,5 hours, with an entrance fee for 40,000 IDR. This is where you should bring your most flowy dress, fully charged camera and let your hair flow, because this picturesque scenery is not one you want to leave without. Me personally would love to have done that, but after trekking up a mountain at 4.00 am you’re not very keen on posing. You are more likely to sweat your ass off due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation. The Jatiluwih rice fields is beyond words, and you will love it regardless if you bring a flowy dress or not.

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Mount Batur sunrise trek

It’s 2.00 am and my alarm clock goes off. No please god, it can’t be 2.00 am already. I just fell asleep 5 minutes ago. Or at least it feels like 5 minutes ago. But I know I can’t just lay here, I need to get up. Our driver will be here in 25 minutes to take us sunrise trekking the Mount Batur, a volcano that takes about 1 and a half hour to drive, and 2 hours to the top. I’ve seen the pictures, and I just repeat the words “it’s going to be so amazing when you reach the top” like a mantra, over and over again to force myself out of the warmth of my duvet. 2.10 am the driver knocks outside our door. What? He’s 20 minutes early. I try to tell him to be quiet so he won’t wake the girl sleeping underneath my bunkbed, but he keeps at it. We put on our clothes in a rush, grab our stuff and head out the door. We’re on time like we were told, but when we get to the car we see two other people waiting, for us. They’ve been waiting for 20 minutes, even though we were told to be ready at 2.30 am. On the way we pick up another couple and then it’s straight to the meeting point for a quick breakfast with warm tea. It’s cold outside so the tea feels warm and good. There is a lot more people here then we would expect.

20 minutes and we’re on our way to the starting point of the trek. It’s even more cold here so I layer on with a jacket and a scarf. We’re all handed each a torch so we can see where we’re walking. It’s pitch dark and you can’t see more than half a meter in front of you. Of course I’m not wearing trekking shoes, or even sneakers for that matter. I only have Birkinstock sandals. At least these ones give support around my ankle, but still I would not recommend hiking in sandals. It’s sandals or no trekking, so I stick with trekking and suck it up. It’s not too bad in the beginning, but when we reached the last stretch of the top I could feel the struggle and the strain on my feet and ankles. I’m not going to lie, the trek was pretty hard. It’s been a while since last time, and last time I was wearing proper shoes. Poor Morten struggled a bit more, at one point neither of us was sure he would make it to the top. But he did, I did, and we all did. And what awaited us was a glorious view. Words can’t describe the extraordinary feeling of watching the sun rise with a view from 1770 meters above sea level. I can only imagine what the sunrise at Mount Everest must be like. Here’s what the gradual sunrise looked like. None of the photos are edited.

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Oh and while I was doing the time lapse on my GoPro, one of the dogs living at the top managed to knock it down. Thank god the camera survived, but I can’t say the same for my timelapse. When I manage to catch up on some sleep I will upload the time-lapse.

The trek back down was quite amazing as well. It’s a lot of rubble and stones so be careful where you step so you don’t fall. The natural light at 7 am was amazing, so remember to fully charge that camera. The family running the hostel we’re staying at helped arrange this trip for us. We payed 350,000 IDR each and that’s included with breakfast. The breakfast is simple, and only to fill you up, so don’t expect anything fancy. Remember to bring a jacket and perhaps a scarf as it get’s quite cold at the top. Don’t underestimate the wind and the cold at this time of the morning. You wouldn’t want that perfect sunrise to be ruined by the sound of your shivering teeth. What a perfect start on a perfect day. But the day isn’t over quite yet, stay tuned for what we did the rest of today.

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From Manila to Bali

What a paradise!! I’ve been in Bali for a couple of days and it’s everything and more, than I imagined it to be. We’ve talked about it, and I fully and completely understand the hype for this Indonesian paradise. When we got here we were exhausted, after 15 hours of traveling I think you would be too. On Monday when we left Manila, our flights were at 10.10 pm, but our check out was at 2.00 pm. We had already been waiting several hours at a café trying to do some planning on Bali, before we arrived the airport where we had to wait some more. Our flight had a 6 hour layover in Singapore, and we really wanted to see the gardens of the bay. The pictures from nighttime looked amazing so instead of sleeping, and checking if the gardens were actually open, we decided to explore Singapore at 2.00 am. There we were happy and excited to get our passports stamped. A bit too eager for the tired immigration officers. Of course we didn’t get to see much of the garden as it closed at 3.00 am. We just missed it. So what did we do in Singapore? Sweat. That’s what we did. Walking around trying to find a taxi back to the airport, tierd and sleep deprived, and sweaty. It was so hot! And humid. Not the kind of night I imagined when I stepped out of the airport 30 minutes before. After walking around for 1 hour we found a taxi. Our plan was to stay in Jakarta for a day or two, to check out the rainbow village in Semarang, because the flights directly to Bali from Manila was so much more expensive. But there we were at 4.00 am tired, sweaty and exhausted. We just wanted to get to Bali and skip Jakarta, so after doing a little research we finally found cheap tickets for a flight leaving Jakarta 5 hours after we would land. After we booked the next flight, had a meal we walked to the gate, I slept on the floor. Yes, once again I slept on the floor. Backpacker life, am I right?

On the internet it said we should pluck in extra time as the airport was a chaotic place, and everything would take several hours. When we landed it went smoothly. Immigration, our luggage, everything. There was a flight leaving in 2 hours, we walked to Lion air counter and changed our flights. Somewhere between the lack of sleep and the shuttle bus to the next terminal, Morten somehow lost his passport. That’s what he thought at least. As we stood in line, with 20 minutes before check-in closed, Morten panics because he’s lost his passport. He just dropped everything and took a taxi back to the terminal 3, we were gonna miss our flights, and I was too tired to be as panicky as him. There I sat watching everyone checking in, thinking fuck this is gonna cost us so much money. 3 minutes before the gate closed, Morten comes running back screaming to get for me to get back in line. He found his passport. It had fallen underneath everything, way down in the bottom. So basically he gave himself a heart attack and paid 100,000 IDR to look for his passport in his backpack… My 3 weeks traveling with Morten has been more eventful than my 5 months of solo travel. I haven’t hurt myself one single time, besides bed bugs, and after 3 weeks with this guy, I managed to scratch myself on corals under my foot and electrocute myself on an outlet socket. And that’s just me, don’t even get me started on Morten. We have no bandaid left because he keeps hurting himself.  I can’t wait for what awaits me the next 4 months. Wish us goodluck, oh an stay tuned because there will be plenty of Bali posts the next couple of days.

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone, love Chris.