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$24k Bali hike horror 

Bali holidays can be blissful but one mistep can send your holidays downhill. Find out what happened when 1Cover customer
Catherine Curtis went tumbling down Mount Batur. 

Mount Batur Tumble

Catherine Curtis had been to Bali before. But in 2024 she was headed there with a special purpose. After years of lockdowns Catherine was set to reunite with eighteen family members, including some from abroad. But while taking a sunrise hike up Mount Batur, her trip went rapidly downhill.
 
Catherine Curtis

Catherine (left) enjoying her time in Bali and right, just after her accident

Catherine says that despite the mountain's slippery, precarious trail, she managed to make it up the summit. 

“On the way up, I remember worrying about the climb down. Everyone was slipping and sliding as it was very rubbly and treacherous.”

True to her fears, Catherine lost her footing and found herself sprawled across the mountain.

“Out of nowhere I had a massive slip on the gravel and my leg went underneath me, and to my shock I heard it snap. I was in lot of pain and when we looked at my leg, you could see the bone sort of sticking out.”

Due to her injury and the precarious terrain, Catherine had to be carefully transported down the mountain on the back of a motorbike.

“It was decided that I would sit on the back of the motorbike facing backwards, without having the engine on, just rolling the motorbike downhill slowly. There were about ten people helping all around the motorbike, stopping it from going too quickly.”

catherine curtis accident

Catherine's injuries before and after her accident.

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Catherine curtis injury

Catherine had to be wheeled down Mt Batur on a motorbike with the help of ten others.

Although it took two hours to get Catherine back down, she said anxiety kept her focus off her leg.

“I was frightened that somebody else might slip or fall and I think my fear overrode my pain at that time.”

After her descent, Catherine was then transported via jeep to a field hospital, and then on to a major hospital after speaking to her travel insurer, 1Cover. An X-ray would later confirm that she had fractured her right ankle in multiple places and would require surgery the next day.

"I would have had to borrow money and go into debt  to get myself through it

Due to having broken her leg in two places, Catherine’s ankle surgery was extensive and detailed.

“I had two breaks in my leg, so I got two long screws on the inside of my ankle and nine screws and a titanium plate on the right-hand side of my ankle.  I've got some significant scars to show off now.”

All in all, Catherine’s medical costs, additional travel expenses and flight upgrade home, came to a whopping $24,323. By contrast, her travel insurance policy cost just $397.

Catherine says she wouldn’t have been able to afford her ordeal without travel insurance.

“It would have been horrendous. I would have had to borrow money and go into debt and so on to get myself through it. It was a real comfort knowing that I had travel insurance with 1Cover.”

catherine curtis recovery

 

 

staying safe in bali


Bali is one of the world's most beloved tourist destinations, however, as with any foreign country, it's important to keep your wits about you and take neccessary precautions. Keep yourself safe by following these tips:

  • Get travel insurance

    Whether you're a regular traveller to Bali or a first time visitor, it's important not to underestimate the importance of travel insurance. While chances of a major event are slim, the potential cost of an accident or severe illness abroad could cost you a fortune, in addition to the emotional toll. In the event of an emergency, travel insurance will cover your medical costs while providing you with 24/7 support and guidance. 

  • Hiking safety

    When hiking Bali and Indonesia's famed volcanoes and mountains, it's essential to take extra safety measures. Mount Batur is notoriously difficult in terms of its terrain and hiking injuries are common. Always go with a guide, tread carefully and slowly, particularly on the decline, and avoid if you are experiencing any physical limitations.

  • Stay scooter safe

    Whether you're hopping on the back of a scooter or moped, or are planning to ride one yourself, it's absolutely essential to wear a helmet and ensure you are covered to ride. Consider your proficiency carefully before renting a scooter as Bali's roads are both congested and chaotic. 

  • Avoid bali belly

    While you may know that tap water is not safe to drink, it's also important not to eat raw or undercooked meats and seafood. Avoid buffet food that has been left out too long along with peeled fruit, raw salads and ice in your drinks. 

  • Watch your alcohol intake

    While you are entitled to relax with a few drink in Bali, if excessive intake leads to a claimable event, you may not be covered. Always drink in moderation, particularly in busy, crowded areas and avoid drinking alone. 

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Natalie Smith

Natalie wrote this article, as Head of Marketing at 1Cover she's got over 10 years of insurance experience under her belt and can answer your trickiest travel insurance questions. Natalie has written about all types of travel insurance from tips and tricks, money saving ideas, pre-existing illnesses and more.  Learn more about Natalie.