My Trip to Bali
Juggling a lot of things to start. Falling in love with Tucker, my new horse, and trying to get the sale and boarding coordinated.
Figuring out luggage for the trip. International flights list everything in kilograms. I’m only allowed 1 checked bag up to 44lbs. I had to pay extra to have 2 bags with a total of 66lbs because I am planning on bringing my fins, mask, wetsuit and dive computer for my scuba wreck dive. Carry-on backpack only allowed 15lbs. so I have to be picky. So just a backpack and pillow for onboard. I was confused about the whole luggage thing, so I went and bought a suitcase smaller then the two I have for my dive stuff and a couple other things.
I also remembered to get a converter to plug in, because they use different style plug overseas and it is 220v instead of 110v.
I have chosen 5 things to do for planned events. The first two days, nothing planned (Saturday and Sunday). Monday is all day tour of the area in and around Ubud. Tuesday, I scheduled a wreck dive. Wednesday is going to a temple and a couple things near it. Thursday is all day trip to Heavens Gate Temple and things in the area near it. Friday is an ATV Ride.
I hired a girl to check on Apache twice a day. She seems very nice and lives in Aiea which is about 15 minutes away. I put up a second camera on the deck so I will have good views of him while I am gone. Bought some more 5-gallon jugs so she will have plenty of filtered water to give to him.
I booked the Bali Hilton which is probably more expensive than I needed but I wasn’t sure on where a safe place would be so figured I would go with a brand name.
Thursday - Flight Day July 7th
Woke up very. Uuugghh. Decided to get up and take my time getting ready. I scheduled an Uber pickup last night for 6am. Boarding is at 8:00am, so wanted to give extra time to check-in since I have no idea what is involved in doing International Flights. 5:50am and no notification from App that driver is on the way. Decided not to chance it and called for another Uber. Then it said Declined because they had old card info. Got it figured out and driver on the way for 6:10am pickup. Got to the airport at 6:30am to meet with a very long line for check-in. Crap! Was hoping to get through it and not miss my flight. Got through passport checking and security finally and arrived at the gate 10 minutes before boarding. First flight to Sydney, Australia was 10 hours. I watched movies, played on my laptop and rested a little. I brought snacks so didn’t get food on the flight. You are required to pay for everything except soda and water. Landed in Sydney. Went the wrong way in the airport following people. Stood in a line and then found out I needed to go to International Flight Transit instead of Customs. I got a sandwich, chips and soda from one of the stores. A little over an hour wait before boarding for the 6 hour flight to Bali, much like California to Hawaii. Landed on time. Crossing the international Date Line, it is now actually Friday here. Went through Customs and got luggage. I was walking out to taxi area and a guy approached me asking if I needed a taxi. I said yes, but in retrospect, it was not a smart choice. He could have been a crook because he was waiting before all the taxis. He seemed like a very respectful guy, but I prepared myself to take action if needed. No problems. Guy just trying to make some money. It was a 25-minute ride to the hotel. He charged me 40 dollars and I tipped him an extra 10 dollars. I arrived at 11pm. The hotel ended up being in the middle of nowhere, but right on the beach. I got the drivers name, “Komang” and his phone number in case I needed a ride somewhere. So I began thinking I screwed up on my choice of hotel location, but too tired to worry about it tonight.
Saturday July 9th
Check out of the Hilton
Woke up early before breakfast time and walked around the hotel. It’s a very nice hotel on the beach. Took pictures of the sunrise. Went to the breakfast buffet. They charged 20 dollars, I think. It was a big buffet with lots of food.
So now the bad news I was feeling last night. The hotel is away from everything. They do not allow food deliveries from outside. It is basically a do everything there at the complex. Don’t get me wrong. It has all the frills but more for richer lazy people that want to sit on the beach all day. It has swimming pools, kids zone, fitness center, spa, etc.
I asked to checkout, but they said no refund. So, I decided to eat it and fight that battle later. I found another hotel in Ubud where there is a lot to walk around and see if I wanted.
Called Komang to pick me up and bring me to the Sumhita Hotel. Couldn’t check-in until 2pm, but they let me leave my suitcases there. I asked Komang to take me a couple places to kill some time.
First stop, he took me to a Silver Factory, where they make all the silver jewelry and objects from start to finish. They do everything from melting the silver, processing the jewels they use, to the finished products. It was quite interesting to see. They sell a lot there and I am sure they sell to other shops and export to different places. It was set up like a sweat shop with at least 30 or 40 individual work areas but there were only a few people working cause of a religious ceremony going on in the village. I picked up a pendant and matching earrings for Melissa. The price was relatively inexpensive compared to the USA.
Left there and headed to a Coffee Plantation. This place has all the different plants they grow for all the type of coffee they make. Guided me around, pointing out all the different plants. There is one coffee they make from animal poop. Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans plucked from civets' feces. It's the world's most expensive coffee, and it's made from poop. Or rather, it's made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by the civet, a catlike creature. Yuck! At the end of the tour, the girl brought out a tray with samplers of all the coffees and teas to try. I think there was around 12 or 15 of them. I tried them all, which was definitely different, never having drank coffee or tea.
Left the plantation and headed to the Monkey Forest. It is a huge place that you walk around in and Monkeys roam around freely. One Monkey got mad at me because I got too close with my camera. I also looked at it straight in the eyes which they warn you not to do. He was sitting on a wall and starting “growling” at me and headed towards me showing his teeth. He just about jumped off the wall towards me, Yikes. In another section, it looked like a small arena where you can sit and watch the Monkeys in the grass area. I set my telephoto lens on one of the benches to take pictures of a Monkey. It walked towards the lens and started hugging it, trying to lift it up. It fell over and scared it and got upset at me and started aggressively coming towards me. He grabbed my camera strap that was hanging and I had to pull it from it. As I was leaving the forest, there was a mama and her little tiny baby. So cute. There were so many Monkeys everywhere and of course, they were not afraid of all the people.
Leaving there, I had Komang drop me off at the hotel. I decided to go for a walk down the street for a way. The streets are lined with lots of shops and little restaurants, people selling stuff wherever there is a blank spot on the street. You have to watch where you walk, as people drive really crazy here on the opposite side of the road. There are tons of mopeds and motorbikes on the road that drive even crazier, weaving in and out of the traffic. As I was walking, I ran into a huge religious celebration (like a parade). Hundreds and hundreds of people from the local village. They were playing musical instruments and bringing holy water to the village temple.
Got back to the hotel and called it a night.
Sunday July 10th
Bali ATV Ride
Tegalalange Rice Terrace
Tirta Empul Temple
Today headed out at 10am for an ATV Ride. Supposedly a course like we did in Hawaii but this one turned out to be a lot bigger, driving through streams and pools of water. Loads of fun!! I invited Komang to do it with me. He had never been on an ATV before. They let us do the course about 6 times. The guide kept asking if we wanted to do it again, and of course, the answer was always Yes! They took us out of the course and down the road through nearby village and rice fields. A cool part of the ride also. The staff took a bunch of pictures, so I bought them all. We also took video and pictures from Komang’s phone, and the guide also used
Komang’s phone to take some pictures and video, so that was great to get so many pics and videos. Showered and changed at the facility and got ready to head to the next stop.
Next stop, Tegalalange Rice Terrace. Huge area where they grow rice on cut out levels on the hillside and around the bottom. It had tourist type things like big swings and ziplines. Also, an infinity pool about the size of two hot tubs that you would find at a hotel pool. Around six or seven people were relaxing inside it. There was a big stream at the bottom and two women were digging into the dirt wall to collect the dirt to mix with the cement for the things they were building there. I asked Komang how much money they make a day and he said about 8 dollars. Holy crap. Hard work for only 8 dollars. Its basically the same for servers at the restaurants we have eaten at. Of course, they get tips, but no wonder why the girls have loved me when I gave them an 8 or 10 dollar tip.
Next stop, Tirta Empul Temple. Had to put on a sarong to show respect to the religion and to the temple. Its like a wrap-around material covering the waist and legs. They certainly do have a lot of temples here. Each village has a main temple. Every family has a temple instead of what we would call a house. The bigger the temple, the richer the family.
Headed back to the hotel after a long day.
Monday July 11th
Lempuyang Temple (a.k.a. Heavens Gate) and Mount Agung
Tirta Gangga a.k.a. Kings Water Palace
Tamanujung a.k.a. another Kings Water Palace
Woke up around 4am. Couldn’t fall back asleep so I put my abs belt on and laid there on the bed, falling in and out of sleep for a little while. It started raining super hard around 5am or 6am. Steady downpour. I planned on eating breakfast right at 8am because Komang was picking me up at 8:30am. It is a 2 hour drive to the first stop today, Lempuyang Temple, also known as “Heavens Gate”.
Arrived and paid at the bottom to get a sarong and given a number for getting my picture taken. I didn’t understand what the number was and how it came into play. Got on a bus and they took us up a steep and thin winding road up to the temple. Paid again to enter the temple. I took a bunch of pictures inside the temple and then realized that my number “150” was for my turn in line to get my picture inside the “gate”. They were only at “92” when I walked over by the “gate”. Ugghh. So it was going to be a while because the guys were taking 4 or 5 poses for each person or group in line, and some people in a group also did individual pictures. The guys taking pictures were using each person’s phone with a black mirror to get this really cool special effect. It was a long drive to get there, so I figured I might as well hang out to get my picture taken. It ended up waiting 2 hours, but in the end I think it was worth it.
Headed out from there to the next stop, “Tirta Gangga”, also known as the “Kings Water Palace”. Pretty neat place with pools of water filled with huge gold fish. There were stepping stones inside the pools so you could walk around on top of the water. Evidently the King wanted this place for the Queen, somewhat like a fancy garden place for her.
Left there and went to a nearby restaurant. It ended up being $23 dollars for both meals. I treated Komang. I had Chicken Satay with rice, a banana shake and coke. He also had a meal. Prices definitely cheaper here although it sounds expensive, 262,000 rupiah lol.
We headed out from the restaurant to the next stop, “Tamanujung” which is another water palace from a king of a different generation. It was a very serene place with a building for each different thing like meditating, receiving guests, sleeping, eating, etc.
After seeing all I could see, we headed back to the hotel, with heavy rain all the way. It was raining in Ubud at the start of the day but as we got further away, the rain stopped. Some streets were flooding a little bit and I felt sorry for all the people on Mopeds and motorbikes.
Tuesday July 12th
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Woke up at 4:00am again. It started raining hard second day in a row. Headed out to see 4 waterfalls and Elephant Cave, which is inside a temple.
First stop, Tukad Cepung Waterfall. Climbed down a lot of steps to get to a stream. Actually turned out to be two waterfalls. One to the left and one to the right. Walked through the stream to the left first. Beautiful, tall waterfall with a large tidal pool beneath it. Took a lot of pictures and then headed back down the stream. Stopped on the way to take pictures on top of some huge boulders. There was a convenient ladder built into the side of the boulder to climb up the side. Kept heading down stream and came upon the other water falls. They were nice but not as spectacular as the first falls. At least hiking to these falls was not like hiking to Hawaiian falls. Just a lot of cement steps and walkways to get down to them. I think it was 50,000 rupiah to go to them which is about $3.50.
Next stop Tibumana Waterfall.
Arrived and paid the entry fee. Same as always, 50,000 rupiah. Walked down a paved path, down cement stairs and across a suspended walking bridge to the falls. Large, heavy flowing falls, with a big tidal pool. A smaller falls pretty close to it. Very beautiful.
Komang found out from a friend that Kanto Lampo Waterfall was not accessible due to a rockslide on the road so we had to skip going there.
So we headed to the “Elephant Cave”. When we arrived at the parking lot, people were trying to sell stuff everywhere. A lady tried to sell me a sarong. I kept telling her no thank you but she wouldn’t go away. Just ended up walking and ignoring her. Same thing happened when we were leaving. This old guy was trying to sell me some statues. Started at 20,000 rupiah and I said no. Kept changing the price and kept hounding me. Got in the car with the window closed and he kept tapping on the window. Jeez. Did not want to accept no for an answer haha. So, its not really a “cave” to speak of. It’s a religious structure inside a temple. The inside was filled with religious offerings and smoke from a bunch of incense burning. Komang said it was a very religious place for people to pray inside it. Had to wear a sarong because we were inside the temple. Walked around the temple and then walked up some stairs to a buddhist temple. Honestly speaking, nothing really special at this stop. People are super religious here so I guess it means a lot to them. A lot of work definitely goes into all these temples.
Stopped at a pretty descent restaurant for a late lunch. Tried an Indonesian Chicken and rice. Pretty good actually. Komangs meal and my meal which included a banana shake, coke and salad came to $30 dollars. I think this place was a little pricier then yesterday but I think this meal would have been at least $60 dollars in California. I tipped the server 150,000 rupiah which is about $10 dollars. She was ecstatic. They are so grateful for a tip because like I said earlier, most only make about $8 or $10 dollars a day wages.
Last stop of the day is “Tegenungan Waterfall”. A lot of cement stairs walking down to this one also. Very nice viewpoints along the way. Not that long of a walk, just steep stairs. These falls were probably the most powerful falls I have ever seen, except of course, Niagra Falls. Big, high and wide waterfall. Komang said some people were killed when they swam underneath the falls. The weight of the water falling on you and pushing you under would definitely be a battle for even the strongest of swimmers. Took some fun pictures holding a sign they had there. You could pick from a bunch of different sayings. I chose “I Love Bali”.
Headed back to the hotel. Got back around 5pm and cleaned up. Walked across the street from the hotel to a bar called “Why Not”. Had a couple beers and wrote in my journal. Live music starts at 8pm but I decided not to stay tonight.
Wednesday July 13th
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Gave Komang the day off today. He said he would go to his village which is 3 hours away and see his wife and son. She is working the rice fields there while he stays local. I wanted to get some hiking energy going so I went on a 2.5 mile ridge walk called “Campuhan Ridge Walk”. It was a little bit of a walk down the road from the hotel to get to the hike. I was following AllTrails directions and actually passed by the entrance. I stopped and asked a local guy where it was. He wasn’t sure but a freelance taxi guy stopped and asked if I needed a ride. I told him maybe later to the zoo. I asked him if he knew where the trail was and he told me, and then, of course, offered his service to give me a ride to and from the zoo. Gave me his business card for me to call him when I got back to the hotel. Got to the trail. Paved stones all the way. Just a basic walk through nature with not much exciting things to see. Some rice fields at the very end and just walking by people’s homes. Took a couple pictures of locals along the way. I always ask them if it is okay if I take their picture. Rained a little bit off and on during the walk. Just drizzling instead of a downpour like earlier this morning, and the last couple days. A little shop on the way, there was an older gentlemen that is an artist. He had many paintings and painted wooden eggs. I watched him paint one and took his picture because I was going to buy one to give to Steven and Emma.
I got back to the hotel after the hike, changed clothes and gave that driver a call to pick me up. His English was not very good at all, but just enough to communicate. He was willing to wait at the zoo until I was finished and then bring me back to the hotel. I invited him to go into the zoo with me. I thought it was stupid for him to just sit in the car and wait for a few hours. He walked around for a while with me and then it started drizzling so he asked if he could go to the car and wait. I finished seeing the rest of the main zoo and then took a shuttle bus up the hill to the area where they have the elephants, tigers and orangutans.
I finished up at the zoo and headed back to the hotel. I was going to have him stop somewhere and buy us lunch. He stopped at this restaurant but it was too fancy. Short table like Japanese style with pillows for seats. I looked at the menu and it was “fancy” foods, so I decided to leave. Told the driver to pick somewhere not so fancy but he didn’t seem to know places like Komang did, so I just had him drop me off at the hotel. It ended up being a 14 mile round trip, which of course takes longer because of the roads and I paid him 400,000 rupiah which was around $26 dollars.
Back at the hotel, I decided to go across the street to that bar again and have a few beers. It was around 5:30 so I stayed there and wrote in my journal. Live music was starting at 8pm, so I decided to hang out and listen. I stayed there until 10:30pm. Pretty good little band. Headed back to the hotel to sleep and get ready for another day of exploring.
Thursday July 14th
Scuba Diving in Padang Bai
Bali Traditional Village
Mount Agung (Volcano)
Early day today. Komang came and picked me up at 6:30am. I had to be at the dive shop, which was an hour away, by 8:00am,. Got setup with equipment. They were nice to put my sending unit on their regulator so I could use my dive computer. Since I was the only diver, they took me out in a large outrigger style boat. Had to do rolling entry off the side which I have never tried before. Went to two different dive sites. Honestly, not as spectacular as I had hoped it was going to be, but diving is diving and it is always fun no matter what you see. Got back to dive shop and they fed me lunch.
Headed for the next stop, which was a traditional Bali Village. Actual village where you could walk through each family temple and they had each temple marked with how many families lived in it, as well as the make-up of the family. Very interesting.
Next, I headed to Mount Agung, which is a volcano. You look at it from a viewpoint on the road. Constantly harassed by all sorts of people selling cheap trinkets. Same thing, wouldn’t take no for an answer. Had to keep walking away.
Friday July 15th
Leke Leke Waterfall
Nung Nung Waterfall
Temple on the Sea
Today, started out at 10am. Planned on seeing 5 waterfalls, a temple on the sea and a visit to Canggu Village which is party town with nightclubs, bars, restaurants on the beach, etc.
First stop, Pengempu Waterfall, about 40 minutes away. On the way, I had Komang stop at a little tiny shop to see if they had lined paper and a pen. Their lined paper is different. Big sheets folded in half and longer then our regular 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I got roughly 50 sheets after I cut them in half and a pen. Came to 67 cents. Incredible!
Arrived at the trail to the Pengempu Waterfall. Quite a few cement stairs down to the falls. It was a very high waterfall set back into a cove of rock walls, It was a thin waterfall but flowing pretty good. Had a pretty good tidal pool beneath it that was shallow so I could get close to the water for pictures.
Next stop, Leke Leke Falls. Arrived at the road that leads to the falls. Cars not allowed because the road goes through a small village and I guess they don’t want the traffic. If you were on a scooter, you would be okay. It would be about an hours walk down the road. They had a booth setup with several guys that would take you on motorbikes. 15,000 rupiah for the ride to trail entrance and back. Basically one US dollar. It was actually a cool part of the whole visit to the falls. They dropped us off at the trailhead and it was 50,000 rupiah to enter. Trail was dirt steps most of the way and a suspended walking bridge. This falls was pretty high also. Water flowing pretty good, with a large tidal pool below it. I was able to get pretty close to the water for pictures.
Next, we headed to Nung Nung waterfall. Walked down a paved path for a little and then cement steps the rest of the way. Another large falls with heavy flow. Again, I was able to get pretty close to the water for some great shots. So there were so many steps, I decided to count them on the way out. 497 steps. Oh my. I definitely felt it.
It was starting to get late in the day, so I decided to skip going to the other two waterfalls, and Komang said that we wouldn’t make it to the temple on the sea before sunset, so we just headed to Canggu Village for dinner. We parked and walked along the beach road and found a nice restaurant to eat at. Drove around through town after, seeing all the nightclubs. Stopped at a really big monument to the bombing that happened at a nightclub there. The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on 12 October 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The attack killed 202 people. A further 209 people were injured.
Saturday July 16
Blanco Renaissance Museum
Taman Beji Griya Waterfall
Pura Taman Beji Temple
Gave Komang the day off. Wanted to go explore on my own and save a little money. I had breakfast as usual because I didn’t know when I would be stopping for food. I rented a motorbike, which is a cross between a moped and a motorcycle, but a lot more power. 150cc engine compared to my 50cc Moped.
I looked last night to see where I might go. I decided on going to a big temple about an hour away, and looking at the map, I saw there was another waterfall near it. So, I at least had a little bit of a plan. I went across the street from the motel where they rent motorbikes. I asked the girl if they had any Mopeds. She said maybe at their other location down the road. She had me hop on the back of her motorbike and gave me a ride down the road. Two nice ladies at the other location. She asked where I was going, and after I told her, she said I should rent a motorbike instead of a Moped since I was going an hour away. I asked how much for the day and she said 100,000 rupiah which is about $6.67. She said I was a handsome man so she would rent it to me for 90,000 rupiah. I laughed and said thank you, but gave her the 100,000 rupiah anyway. Then she said she would give a new bike that they used for a display, and it was red. Haha. Went back to the hotel, grabbed my backpack and used my airpods to listen to directions and headed on down the road.
My first stop was just down the street at the Saraswati Temple. Nice temple, as most are in Ubud, except for the fact it had a Starbucks inside the entrance.
Next stop was to the Blanco Museum, just a couple miles away. Beautiful, two story museum with beautiful artwork. Walked all through it.
As I was heading down the road, it started pouring hard, so I pulled over in front of the stores and sat under the overhang. I waited for about 20 minutes for the rain to slow down. I asked one of the stores if they had any rain parkas and they did, so I bought one and put it on. The rain slowed to a drizzle so I headed on the road for my next stop, the Taman Beji Griya Waterfall. My gps signal kept going in and out, so I kept pulling over to check maps. Pulled over a third time and realized I was going the wrong way, so I turned around. Only 10 minutes out of the way thankfully. I stopped for gas along the way at a little mom & pop store. They put 3 liters in the bike which is about a gallon. I didn’t know how far I was going so I wanted to make sure I had enough. Gas is only 50 cents a liter or about $1.50 a gallon. The gas was put in with gravity feed. Had a clear glass cylinder about 6 inches wide and 2 feet tall, with lines marked on it to see how much they were giving you.
Headed out again, in the right direction, this time haha. I drove down the road leaving Ubud behind. It was so cool going down the different roads, away from the tourist areas. Actually, out where the people live. Its one thing riding in a car, a totally different thing being on a bike, giving me the feeling of being more in touch with the surroundings. Some of the roads are so different from here. Every now and then I would miss a turn because some roads looked like alley ways and if maps was lagging, I would miss the turn and have to backtrack. I drove through many villages along the way.
I arrived at the waterfall. The parking area was just a muddy dirt parking lot. Walked down the path a short way to where the falls were. The waterfall was next to a temple. At the bottom of the path was a place to buy your ticket and where they did offerings. Right behind was the waterfall. I paid the entrance fee which was 100,000 rupiah. Twice as much as the other waterfalls I have been to. One of the men told me about the falls and their religious significance and wanted to see if I wanted to do a cleansing ritual (for more money of course). It would take about 45 minutes and you would be allowed to go through a short tunnel to right in front of the falls. I politely declined, as of course, not being religious, I always feel weird about doing things like that. So, I went down rock stairs to the right of the falls. Could still get pretty close but not right in front of it. The water was running very forcefully, so I couldn’t get too close unless I wanted to get soaked from all the mist. I still had other stops so didn’t want to get too wet. I got some pretty good shots of it thanks to my telephoto lenses. After I was done with my pictures, I went back up to where I got my ticket, and some girls were doing the ritual, making offerings to the statues of the “gods”. Headed back up to the parking lot. The guy wanted to collect a small parking fee, but I didn’t have any rupiah left. I told him I had just used all my rupiah that I had on me, because of the gas stop and the higher entrance fee. I told him I was sorry but all I had on me was US dollars, so he said okay and did not collect the fee.
I was going to head to my next stop, the Pura Taman Beji Temple, so I checked with the guy on how far away it was. I believe he said about 10 minutes away, but I wasn’t sure. Very hard to understand some of the locals trying to speak English. I looked it up on the phone and google said it was temporarily closed. He assured me it was open, but since it was still raining off and on, I decided to skip going to it. Don’t get me wrong, all the temples are worth visiting, as they are all so beautiful.
I headed on down the road back to Ubud. Arrived. Lots of traffic on the road, bumper to bumper, mopeds and motorbikes weaving in and out of it. I followed them as they expertly weaved in an out haha. I was looking for a place to eat and passed an Italian restaurant called “Uno”, that caught my eye. I pulled over as soon as I found a spot to park. The streets are always lined with Mopeds. I ordered spaghetti and steak. I don’t remember how much, but I know it was very reasonable. While I was eating, another “celebration” parade came down the street. So many people from the village do it. All dressed up. As I mentioned earlier, these ceremonies are very important to them. They are done when there is a full moon and dark moon.
Finished eating and headed to the hotel around 5:30pm. Turned in the motorbike and the guy that was there asked me if I would give him my rain parka, if I didn’t need it, before I left. Said he had one, but his wife didn’t. Ummm possible story, but I looked on the bright side and gave it to him to hopefully help. They don’t make much money so I hope his wife really needed one. Wish I would have kept it to use on my Moped back home. I have been rained on a couple times.
Decided I was going to clean up and go to the bar across the street again. It was my last night in Bali, so I wanted to hear the live music again and have a few beers. I headed over around 7:30pm. Band starts at 8:00pm. I was sitting there and overheard a guy and his wife talking next to me, and they had what sounded like an Australian accent. A lot of Australians visit Bali. Got into a pretty good conversation with them for about an hour. They live in Melbourne and took my number, since I told them Australia was on my list of places to visit. They said to give them a call if I make it there. The band was good. Stayed there till around 11pm when they stopped for the night. Headed back to the room. Tomorrow, I finish packing and get picked up by Komang, to spend the day in Denpasar before being dropped off at the airport.
Sunday July 17th
Bajra Sandhi Mounument / Bali Provincial Public State Museum
Bali Arts Festival
Turtle Conservation Center
Gerda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park a.k.a GWK
Time to check out and head to Denpasar. Had a light breakfast at the hotel and packed up. Two guys from the hotel showed up to help with the luggage. I told them it would be about 10 minutes, so they just waited outside. Komang showed up on time. I paid for my laundry that the hotel did for me. It was like $3 dollars. Said my goodbyes to the staff.
Headed down the road. First stop, Bajra Sandhi Monument and Bali Provincial Public State Museum.
Absolutely gorgeous museum. Stone sculptures everywhere and beautiful architecture. Inside the museum, they had large re-creations of all the points in history for Indonesia. I took pictures of each one. After completing the tour inside, we walked up to the Bajra Sandhi Monument. Very beautiful large stone sculpture.
Leaving there, we went over to the Bali Arts Festival area. Not much going on. Walked around a couple buildings that had art, sculptures and “high end” clothes for sale. There were several places where they put on shows at night. Usually Balinese dancing.
Left there and went to the Turtle Conservation Center. As the name sounds, they rescue turtles that are hurt and also rescue eggs from the beaches to allow them to hatch in a safer environment. A few turtles that were there were hurt badly, ie. cracked shells, loss of one or more flippers, etc. due to being hit by a boat or trapped in a fisherman’s net. We had a guide that walked us around the small area, telling us about all the different tanks and processes. I tipped him when we were done seeing everything and he was ecstatic. He said it was the first tip he has ever received. He ran around and showed his coworkers. Funny, funny.
Next stop, McDonalds for lunch. Denpasar is one of the only places that has a McDonalds. They had some different things on their menu like spicy chicken wings and rice. Komang got 2 chicken legs, rice, soda and a sundae. I had 2 double cheeseburgers, large fry, large soda and a sundae. Side note, their large is like our medium, the cup is just a little bigger. Whole thing came to $11 dollars. Half as much as the US.
Headed from there to GWK. This is home to a 400 foot tall statue of that “God”. Took a shuttle up to the top of the hill to see it. Took pictures and walked around inside it where they had a lot of sculptures of all the symbolic figures in their history. “Symbolic Creatures”. Took the shuttle down to the middle level which had a temple. Upon leaving , I decided to support one of the merchants and buy a couple of souvenirs. One was a wooden surfboard clock. He burned “Bali 2022” on it for me.
Leaving there, we still had time to kill so we went to dinner and had pork ribs and rice. After dinner, we drove around through Kuta Village and Legian Village. Kuta was a built up area like Canggu. Not the real Indonesia. It also had a lot of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Most appeared to be empty around 9pm. Komang said Kuta used to be the hot spot, but now Canggu is the hot spot for all the younger night life crowd.
Drove through Legian Village. Second time his gas light has come on. Guess he tries to conserve as much money as possible and only put enough gas in to last for what he is doing.
Got dropped off at the airport at 10pm. First, had to scan checked bags coming in. and then stand in line for a while to drop bags off, show passport and get boarding ticket. Then onto a longer line to go through security, passport check again and have carry on x-rayed. Probably around an hour to head to gate. Got a big bottle of water and laid on my pillow at the gate, which I didn’t pack because I wanted to have it on the plane and especially have it for the 11 hour layover in Seoul, Korea. Got a message that the flight was delayed 45 minutes for maintenance issues. At 1:15am, it was exactly 45 minutes like they said, and I boarded and took my isle seat on the left. Guy next to me was heading to California. Before takeoff, a girl sitting in seat in front of me, with her husband/boyfriend moved to the center row next to us that had 3 of the 4 seats empty. I figured she was going to lay down, which was a great idea. I happen to spot a similar row, a few rows up and quickly moved to take advantage of being able to lay down. I slept in and out for the next 6 or so hours of the 8 hour flight, so the time went by pretty quick. Snagged headphones, temporary slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste and a couple blankets, just because…why not haha. Need to get something for the price of their tickets. Landed in Seoul, Korea at 9:53am. Walked around the airport slowly for a little bit to kill some time. Looked up what food joints they had. A lot of places were closed, which sucked. Ended up finding a Dunkin Donuts which was a bit of a walk from where my gate was. Had time to kill anyway. Ran into an older guy from the Netherlands, now living in Australia, after I got some breakfast. He talked my ear off. Nice guy though. Stayed talking with him for a little while, eating my donuts, but my breakfast sandwich was going to get cold so I faded out of the conversation and left.
Stopped at one area on the way back towards my gate to listen to some young musicians playing classical instruments. They were very good. Decided I was going to take a shower in one of the “shower rooms”, but after walking around trying to find them, I asked one of the girls in a store, and she pointed me in the right direction only to find out they were closed due to Covid. There was a “nap room” right there, which is a bunch of curved, comfy beds with partitions in between to, yes, take a nap. Laid down and fell in and out of sleep until 3:00pm. Decided to try again to find a descent place to eat. Ran into a robot almost 6 foot tall. He was an interactive robot. You could search for stuff on its touch screen and it would lead you to the destination. I found a place with hamburgers and the robot lead me to it, quite a ways in the other direction. It turned out to be closed like the rest. Uugghh. I don’t know if they open later in the evening or what?? Decided I would head all the way back to Dunkin Donuts to at least get some more donuts to munch on. Got there finally thanks ever so greatly to the people movers. They actually sold hot dogs also, so I got one, a couple of donuts and an OJ. Headed to my gate to sit and wait for boarding in about 3 ½ hours. I was hoping the plane was not full so I could snag 3 seats again to lay down.
Boarded the plane for an uneventful trip back home. No extra seats available unfortunately.
Although it was a great trip, it will be nice to get back to Hawaii.
Streets are thin. You think my driving is bad. OMFG, people don’t know how to stay on their side of the road here. Tons of motorbikes and mopeds driving crazy. No real stop signs or stop lights. Everyone cutting in front of each other, especially at intersections. Shops of all sizes line the streets. Driving through all the villages, people just hanging out in the streets or building on their temples. Woman walking everywhere with big items on their heads. Men and women working in the rice fields. Kids all wear uniforms to school, like Christian schools in California. Bali dogs all over the place, sitting in the roads or walking real close to the edge. I’m surprised we didn’t hit one. People trying to sell you stuff on the street everywhere. People are definitely poor here, but I guess comparatively speaking its not that bad. Things are much cheaper here so I guess it works out. The women are definitely sub-servient to the men. Just watching how they approach and talk to you and watching how Komang talked to them. His wife is busting her ass in the rice fields for 8 dollars a day while he tries to give rides. Now, granted, he caught the golden goose with me as I am paying way more than others would pay, and treating him to lunch and the ATV ride, etc. People are so polite here. Especially to an older white guy who they probably assume is rich lol. Its kind of cool, but at the same time, a little weird. Don’t know how to explain it. Its almost like a guilty feeling because they are trying to serve you or help you like they are a “slave” for lack of a better word. I don’t know if I could ever have a woman like that. I could definitely live like a king here. My instructor that taught me to be an instructor, was from Bali, and he said with what I make, I could have a villa on the beach here.
Its funny to see all the people driving around on there mopeds with big loads on them. All sorts of stuff sticking out everywhere. The people walking down the roads don’t seem to care if they might get hit. I’m not sure if this is a symptom of living in poverty or living a hard life.
For the cultural side, most children live at home until 21.
Girls are not allowed to marry until they are at least 21.
Kids are allowed to start working after they finish high school.
When someone dies in the village, they lay the body in a wooden structure for a couple days so all the people in the village can come to view and pay respect.Most are cremated with a ceremony down the street.
Some kids after marriage will live at home because of income.
For fun, kids go to the “mall”.Not really sure what he meant by that, as there are no real malls here.Maybe just part of the streets where shops are.They go to movies, play soccer, volleyball and badminton.
A lot of villages allow more then one wife.
Some places sell gas in liter glass bottles.7,600 rupiah per bottle.