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Bali Day 8

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.

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