844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Mt. Batur Part Deux (Bali, Indonesia)

For an updated version of this post, go here.

January 31st, 2009 - I woke up this morning, took a look outside, saw the mountain was free of cloud cover and decided to give the volcano another shot, this time solo. I was a little concerned that I might encounter an angry mob of Balinese guides with torches and pitchforks demanding I hire one of them but it did not come to pass, thankfully.  Although I encountered two groups coming down as I was going up neither of the guides said a word.

Nyoman suggested a place away from the guide office to start the trek and that I should tell any discontents that I had already paid for a volcano tour the previous morning. Luckily, I had no problem. 
This was a great decision on my part and one of the best mornings I’ve had in a long time. As it turned out I had the volcano to myself. There was a woman near the top selling drinks and small snacks but besides her it was just I (unless you count the local monkey troop and the adorable doggy). And the views were excellent as the pictures will attest. I did have a minor standoff with Curious George and his crew but after a few threatening waves of a stick and some harsh language the tension dissipated.

This time I was able to walk around the top of the volcano rim (I gave Batur a rim job…giggle, giggle, snort, snort), something we had not done the previous morning due to fog. All I can say is that it was awesome, a sort of quasi-religious experience, made all the more memorable by the complete lack of other tourists. All you have to do is start a couple of hours later and the volcano is your oyster. Highly recommended.

Small offering stand

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