I rolled down the crater of Mount Batur into the caldera, where there are multiple little towns that apparently occasionally get wiped out by minor eruptions. Life’s tough on a volcano.

Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia, Mount Batur

I followed a fork away from what looked like a more touristy area and went into the first hotel I saw. Here I fell victim to one of my top weaknesses in life – persuasive and persistent middle aged women. For whatever reason, if a middle aged lady insists that I try/do/buy something, I will probably try/do/buy it. This Balinese lady got me by the elbow, waved her other arm vigorously, and insisted in broken English that this was a super nice hotel for an alarmingly low price. Neither of those things were true, but she was persuasive and my proposed hotel room had such an ornate door that I couldn’t help but take the room.

Bali, Mount Batur

Seriously though, look at that door!

The bed was dirty, with suspect stains, the bathroom was disgusting, and the entire room smelled like people had been smoking in it for the past 25 years. It did have a nice door, though.

It was 9 AM and my day’s only goal was to scout out the base of the volcano within the volcano that most people climb, so I hopped back on the scooter, sans the giant backpack, and cruised around gorgeous Lake Batur.

Mount Batur, Indonesia

This was the first time on the trip I had ridden without my big bag and it was SO much more enjoyable. I found the base of the volcano and the path up pretty quickly and, with an entire day at my disposal, decided to just cruise around and duck into some of the little towns.

This, as many of you already know, is one of the most rewarding ways to travel and get an authentic look at a country. I stopped for a lot of photo opps, got local food at a little restaurant, and found this:

Lake Batur, Bali, Indonesia, Mount Batur

Why is that house underwater? My only two conclusions are that either it flooded or eel people live in it.

Lake Batur, as you can see, is gorgeous, and I highly recommend getting a place in the caldera and budgeting some time to explore, rather than just climb the volcano. Just don’t be fooled by ornate doors.