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.