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The headline is not in the right order, but it makes more sense to me like this. Its about the places I’ve visited in Indonesia. I wrote way to much to fit it into one article so I divided it into two. In the last month I have been a bit lazy updating this blog cause enjoying traveling pretty much consumed my whole days and nights. So now that I am back home in Berlin since the 10th of October I will try to rebuild the past with my notes as long as I remember. And hopefully finally finish this travel journal.

Have fun reading of Part One

Jakob Schille

 

 First night on Bali - 27.9.2012

IMG_1804I didn’t spent my last day in Singapore very well, but I did see all the stuff I wanted to see and just stayed at my Kiwi Hostel in the lounge using the internet and writing the blog post about Singapore and finalizing it. I had to leave anyway around 2pm with the MRT back to the airport. So I did pack my belongings and left in pouring rain. Not the nicest weather to walk around but at least less hot then usual. I tried to get a but to the Lavender Street MRT but in the end I walked the whole way in the rain. My flight left pretty late and arrived around 9:30pm. Not very exciting but better then shaky. Within the plane we eyeballed each other already and after I got off the plane this girl followed me and asked if I’m from Germany, She did see my Esprit shirt and thought either Dutch or German. She I from nearby Aachen. And her name is Aline. Funny, aye. She asked if I wanna share a cab. Taking into account it is 9:30pm and I had no idea or plan where to go to … I was happy to say yes and take the advantage of her knowing a nice hostel in Seminyak nearby Kuta. We both knew how much it should be to get there with a taksi (not a spelling mistake, that’s their name here). So nobody was able to rip us of this time.

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IMG_1812The currency here is funny. At the airport I had to withdraw my first money to buy the visa. Yes its weird here, even for the tourist visa you pay 300000 Rupiah. Around 25€. So everything you buy has ridiculous high numbers like a water for 4500 Rupiah, renting a scooter 50000 for a day. Its ridiculous cheap but the numbers are high. Usually when I did withdraw money my wallet was filled with millions of rupiah.

So we took the taski and paid for two 70000 baht for a 30 minute drive to our hostel, around 3€. The first impression of Bali was just busy. A lot of cars driving crazy, everywhere but never in the right lane. always somewhere in between and way too fast. Despite that we ended up safe after a long talk about what to eat, that I should eat goat sate coz it makes men strong. The people here are funny but later more.

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IMG_1844After a long conversation with the taxi driver we finally arrived in our new home for the next few days. We both checked in in a dorm room sharing it with 3 others. The room was nice, air conditioned (thank god) and nice manmade bunk beds out of wood. way better then most of the metal standard ones you mostly find in western hostels. It has way more charm as well. And for just 150000 Rupiah. around 12€  Aline paid even less, just 100000 coz she booked online. That’s cheap, but here on Bali you can get it way cheaper if you’re fine with less amenity’s. So the first need was satisfied. The second one needed to be tackled. We where hungy. It was already later but at around 10pm it still should be possible to grab some decent food. Right? In the end we found at least one nice spot where we got some good pizza to avoid starving this night. We walked around quite a bit to find it and the things we recognized where that here on Bali you have to take care where you walk. Especially in the dark. There is no pavement, so you have to walk on the unlit road with heaps of crazy car drivers and especially scooter pilots passing by. If cars passing or scooters chances are pretty high they are taxi drivers harassing you to take a taxi. They trying to start a conversation with you to somehow get you in there. Even though you are in front of your hostel already. These guys also hunk the horn frequently … lets say always. When there is a curve, another car, a temple or other religious shapes or buildings (so in general everywhere) and also to get customers. So it is loud and a bit annoying in Seminyak/Kuta until you have your own scooter and do so too. 

 

Another big thing here seems to be to have shitloads of straying dogs cats and holes between the road and the grass patches starting next to it for probably rainwater or even sewage big enough for a couple of people to get trapped down there or just break some legs or so. Always pay attention to these risks on Bali. You should definitely have a valid travel insurance here.

Discovering Kuta - 28.08.2012

I missed breakfast coz I woke up after 10am. Bugger. But Aline told me anyway there is nothing to miss out on. Just plain toast and some bad coffee you can always have, all day long. We left our hostel and scooter for just 50000 baht. Without insurance of course and even better with just random passport information. Usually you have to leave your passport there but at this place it was enough we’re staying in the hostel opposite and some fake names and a random passport ID. We rented only one scooter and I told Aline directly I’m not driving with somebody in the back. So it was on her, but she was confident enough doing it. She had a scooter for three years and way more experience on it than I have. The only problem she had was keep driving on the left side, coz that was new for her. But it worked well in the end.

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First task of the day was driving around to find a bank she can withdraw money with a temporary visa card without pin. Aline lost all her important stuff except her passport in Kuala Lumpur. On her first day. A scooter was passing by and ripping her backpack of her shoulder. How unlucky is that. Anyhow, now she had to deal with it and the problem not getting any money from any institution in Kuta and nearby. We drove around for quite a while until we gave up. Its not possible here. Either the people don’t understand you and send you away or they understand but don’t do it. So we gave up and lived with plan b. Her parents transfer money on my German bank account and I withdraw it for her here. At least that worked fine and stopped her being broke.

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IMG_1816It_ did cost us half day and also some nerve driving around on the left side of the road in crazy Kuta with all the other sicko scooter driver in heavy traffic. We stopped a bit longer on Legian Street the main party road in Kuta for lunch. We went to a very basic but nice small restaurant with cheap as food. Every meal was 25000 Rupiah (2€) and a big water around 4500 Rupiah (30 € cent). Wicked. The road looked interesting enough to come back in the night to drink some cocktails or so, we still have our scooter until the next day noon. Actually if we wanted to even longer coz they have some Hindu celebrations going on the next day and nobody is in the shop anyway. They already told us just drop it here and leave the keys at the reception. so if it would have made any sense we could have kept it for a bit longer.

 

IMG_1829We headed back to the hostel but topped up our thirsty scooter with a bit of petrol which is ridiculous cheap. It has the same price as water. Insane isn’t it, a liter 91 for  4500 Rupiah. I cant believe it. That means we filled the whole tank with 9000 Rupiah (60 € cent) Smiley. And after a short rest we moved out again. Aline is very active anyway and can’t just relax for around 2h without doing more than one thing. Just watching a movie or chillin at the beach. Crazy girl Smiley. We drove to the famous Kuta beach which is supposed to be a good surfing spot. That seemed to be true but unfortunately the beach itself isn’t something to get crazy about. On the way there we stopped at a shopping market to get some sunglasses for Aline. She is probably the hardest negotiation partner a Balinese ever had to cope with. She gets the price she wants to have. No matter how cheap it is. At the beach we didn’t rest long in the sun. We went for a nice swim and headed afterwards into a very nice beach bar with café del mar music. So the typical cliché kind of bar with colorful bean bags to sit on and an awesome collection of cocktails and snacks all day long.

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IMG_1825We didn’t wait for the sun to set completely cause we had to find the way back to the hostel. And we had to somehow get our scooter back on the road. The lock was locked somehow. It looked like filling the police could use for scooters parked in the wrong spots. For example in a small alley right at the beach. We asked some locals passing by if they know how to fix it. They where laughing, did take our key and opened the lock with the plastic back of our key. It was the steering lock we never used before. It must have locked itself somehow after we left. Anyhow, we where glad that we didn’t have to deal with the police Smileyhere. It would have involve bribing and that’s not too nice to spent your own holiday money on the police mans wife’s expenses or their own. We unlocked our little beast and raced home. Even though sitting on the back of it its such a nice feeling to drive in these country’s around as I experienced on my own later.

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IMG_1839There we gained some energy for the night. The plan was just to get some food, drink a cocktail at Legian Street and have a look how it goes and drive back. It went slightly different. After dining out while interested watching a Hindu ceremony we went to the party center of Bali. Just to have a nice cocktail. But not here. On Legian Street everything comes as a special or in a big pitcher. So if you drink one you probably get two. So we did share them. And of course one of us paid first which leaded to another round. And another separated drink coz the special ones are strong but taste like crap. IMG_1837So we ended up a bit tipsy. Good we had to drive back together on our scooter, right?!?! But actually both of us felt quite well and confident that moment. Worst case scenario would have been to leave our vehicle behind this night and take a taksi. But we decided we are all good and should drive Smiley. At that time of the night Legian Street was bursting crowded with everything but mainly drunken Australian hipsters. Funny as, believe me. And the road was packed with cars and scooters. Fortunately Aline managed to get us through, safe. Every time a mate jumped in front of our vehicle we honked him away. We had our fun doing this and they being scared off. Anyhow everybody was happy and in a good mood.

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IMG_1840After half an hour we arrived the safe harbor and hopped off our scooter. And here we noticed how drunk we where in reality. Lets say walking straight wasn’t too easy. It is a miracle Aline was able to drive without any problems. We where lucky and happy that the roads where so empty at that time of the night and nothing happened and fall into bed.

 

Ubud – 29.8.2012

We wasn’t sure how we should leave from Seminyak to Ubud. It is roundabout 1 1/2h away and of course it would have been cheaper to go by bus. But the bus goes from the center of Kuta, so we would have had to catch a taxi first to approach the bus. So may not worth saving couple of bucks for the additional stress. Aline just went out to get a taxi and it took around 1h until she was back. I thought she was far away somewhere. But actually she went next door to call a taxi. But here, nothing is done in a fast efficient way. She was outside and the lady inside calling a taxi and talking to the guy. For every question she went out asked Aline e.g. where do we wanna go to, and went back in with the answer, came back out for asking how many passengers, back to the phone and coming out with the next question, price, when …. One by one. After quite a while the taxi was on its way to pick us up. We took our luggage and waited in front of our hostel at the road until a taxi stopped and answered yes, it is the one we called. But now this guy wanted to have more than the agreed on 175000 Rupiah (15€) for both of us. We had a little discussion about it and that we not directly wanna go to Ubud but further to our hotel. Which we found out there is far out of Ubud. While negotiating again another taxi stopped there with a guy telling us he is the one we called. And he is the real one.

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IMG_1850And he was the right one. He was fine with the negotiated 175000 Rupiah to drop us in Ubud. From there we knew we can take a courtesy shuttle bus to our hotel. We got the timetable from their website and we where on time to make it. Do we said goodbye to the other asshole and jumped into the right taxi. But now we where trapped in a taxi with a very annoying self confident arrogant Muslim for 1 1/2h. But it could have been worse. He didn’t stop talking about he is a special taxi driver cause he speaks and understand English like no other, he knows the whole island and people advice to book him for tours around the island. Nobody else is better then him …. He had a good English compared to others here but everything was so repetitive. And the discussions between Aline and him where hilarious. Every time she said something about local food  and that we want some and explained why we didn’t had some so far it was wrong in his opinion. He wanted to bring us to a restaurant on the way with real local food.

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In the end it was good food but still not what Aline wanted to have. What she was explaining the whole time. We wanted to eat at a local food stall with food affordable for locals. Not another restaurant in a hotel. But again it didn’t work. Our driver was happy cause he got his free fried rice for bring us there and we at least full.

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IMG_1878We arrived in Ubud not long after our stop and have been happy to farewell our driver. With a bus it would have been half price roundabout but this way it was way more convenient. First we needed to drop our bags somewhere in town to not carry all our shit around for hours while waiting for the courtesy shuttle to arrive. Especially after finding out the shuttle comes an hour later then on the website announced. We directly left our big backpacks with all the replaceable stuff at the tourist information in the back office.

 

 

 

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IMG_1891Now we had to spend around 3h in town until we had to be at the meeting point. It was around 3pm and sunny and hot as usual. Good enough to stroll around and have a look what Ubud is famous for. Temples. And they have heaps. The whole town contains of buildings each looking like a small temple. Every house has a garden with a family temple and nice garden flowers anyway. So it looks quite nice and unique there. And that attracts a lot of other tourists too. So it is pretty much crowded everywhere. Especially nearby attractions like the monkey temple where we went next. We planned to do it the next days but why waiting when you can deal with now.

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We walked through some shopping roads and arrived in another nice temple area packed with these little bastards. Some of them are really mean. But most of the monkeys at that daytime just lazed around. It was too hot for them being active enough to steal sunglasses and bags from honest tourists. Even though one of them did try to steal my daypack. But he didn’t expected my backpack to be twice as heavy as he is. If you show them your feet close enough its easy to scare them off. I guess everyone of them has some bed memory’s regarding humans feet.

 

 

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IMG_1869On the way back Aline went on a shopping spree and bought some gifts for her family. No wonder her backpack gained a lot of weight already since leaving Germany a week ago Smiley. Compared to my lightweight backpack with 16kg hers with 24kg is heavy as. While shopping we discovered some weird penis can openers and other, seems to be typical, Bali gifts. Like I said earlier the Balinese must have a bit different approach regarding the visual presence of genitals. Remember the turtle with penis head, all the ashtrays with phallus symbols or copulating couples attached to it …. Way more as I discovered later. And not only on Bali. Anyway, Aline got her gifts again with her merciless negotiation methods ridiculous cheap and we went on strolling through this charming town.

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IMG_1884We bought some ice cream and discovered a nice old area next to a dirty but still beautiful river area with loads of old buildings. But nevertheless even such old towns have nowadays a Starbucks in a faked old building. We avoided stuff like that and rather went into one of the temple garden area to rest and wait until the shuttle picked us up. We didn’t believed our eyes when it arrived for real. Somehow up to now we weren’t very convinced stuff like being picked up and booked tickets work, but they do. Even though everything is analogue written on checks and handwritten receipts without online booking systems it just works and usually on time.

 

 

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IMG_1876It took us with the minibus as expected around 30 minutes to drive northerly from Ubud into the middle of nowhere. Enough time to get to know the other passengers. There was a driver with one of those white masks covering the mouth and nose area. Somebody told me it is because he wanted to protect others. He ate rice and got them into his trachea. Now he is coughing a lot with a high chance of spewing grains around. Everybody I told this is laughing. It might be not true. Then there was another guy who came buy just for our comfort taking care of our luggage and stuff, the hotel cook, a Asian family and a Canadian women with her child.

IMG_1895She was very interesting and talkative. Her son must be around 4 years old. She, around 30, has a boyfriend in Korea whom her child is from and she is usually living there since 4 years too. But she had an affair with one of the hotel guests within the two weeks she is staying here on her holidays. She told us about the two accidents with motorcycles/scooters she did see. One deadly and another one with broken legs. And a lot of other stuff. She was a bit esoteric I think and very open minded. Anyway a very interesting person. But definitely not the first or the last being I did meet and am meeting in the future. There where a few more people like this and it seems that a lot of them in this part of the world who did see Eat, Pray, Love or read a book about Buddhism.  Nevertheless most of them very interesting.

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IMG_1898Finally after around 30 minutes we arrived at our accommodation for the next two days in a at least a bit more rural area . Surrounded by rice fields. The employees treated us like kings. We where the only new in the bus so just our luggage. It is a funny feeling as a backpacker when two people come and carry your backpacks for you. And that for 7€ a night!!! And they where unbelievable polite. First we checked in just for one night but it was nice enough to decide to spent one more night. This complex contains two big typical Bali resort buildings with a huge lounge room in the middle, three big bedrooms with each 2-3 beds and a nice spacious and luxury shared bathroom. So not really dorm rooms with bunk beds as usual. Then there was a center building with more rooms and a tiny kitchen, a nice pool and two pool houses used as accommodation, one of them with the Canadian women. Everything pretty nice but pretty much abandoned. That day we didn’t see anybody.

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IMG_1901Hungry as we tried the restaurant that comes with the hotel. We also didn’t have any other choice. Without a scooter and long drives there is nothing nearby. And renting a scooter is no option atm after the story’s of the Canadian women. But she said the food here is good so we tried. And it was good. And fresh cooked for you. We ordered each a soup and two mains (they are pretty small so) for just a couple of bucks. Regarding the fact they cook everything fresh it also takes ages until the first meal arrived. You would think enough time to deliver the ordered drinks within this timeframe. She made it but very very very sloooooooow. One by one. They don’t carry two drinks at a time, no each drink is carried to the recipient separate with very slow movements. It was a bit funny how slow it was here. So far the worst. After half an hour the soups arrived, one by one of course, and did taste .. good. Another 20 minutes later the rest did arrive and also tasted pretty good. So after a unexpected long but nice dinner we went quite early and stuffed to bed.

For tomorrow morning we booked a driver for a personalized 5h tour around the center of Bali. Aline is going back to Kuta after the day after tomorrow for catching up with some friends to party there. I will then head towards the Gilis.

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Bali sightseeing - 30.9.2012

IMG_1908We where picked up this early morning around 9am by a nice guy around 23 years old. Way nicer than the annoying taxi driver from the day before. He had a good plan what to do with our time. Just some minor changes and we started right on driving towards our first stage. Some famous rice fields. If I still would read the lonely planet I could tell you the name, but I don’t. The way there, actually the whole day was a bit complicated for our driver. And we very glad having him, cause we would have never survived that day with all the Hindu ceremony’s going on and all those even more narrow roads andIMG_1914 spots populated by hundreds of people and motorbikes.

We passed some nice scenery and some fishing festival where they release fish in a tiny river nearby a small village to catch it afterwards again. The one who catches most of them wins two cows, second one one cow, third a sheep …. Funny as.

 

 

 

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Then we finally did reach our first destination the rice plantation. It was such a nice scenery and it was hot as hell. It didn’t kept us from departing the car and walking down to the rice fields and around them to take a closer look. Our guide said most of his guest just stop stay in the ac car taking pictures and leaving afterwards. How stupid is that. It was such a beautiful area, some nice paths, bamboo bridges where you had to pay a toll. But I think the guy was more just a beggar at a good spot. Even though he wanted just 8000 Rupiah (not even a euro) I negotiated to pay 1/4 of it. Even though it is nothing for us you start to always pay the minimum possible amount for everything. The locals try to scam you anyway in any possible situation. And when you see how many of the normal guys there run around with their I-phone 4 you know either they can afford it or you can just buy cheap I-phone from tourists who “forgot” theirs there.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_1934I wish I could tell you about how rice is grows and how they harvested it but I did forget it completely. The same with our tour guides name. So I will continue referring to him as the tour guide. On the way back to the car waiting for Aline appearing back from the toilet we attended a scooter accident. Not visual cause we have been below the road but the sounds created a pretty good picture in my head of somebody opening a car door and the scooter crashing into trying to break with squeaking wheels. He didn’t make it. I mean avoiding the door. When we passed the road minutes later no evidence was left indicating a accident. I guess it wasn’t too bad. But anyhow driving here on Bali with scooters is dangerous. That’s for sure. The traffic is just crazy.

 

IMG_1949IMG_1950We continued to our next stop a very nice really old Hindu temple. Not a fake one just for tourists. A real one. But first we got a delicious vegetarian spicy snack. Similar to spring rolls with sate sauce and chilies. Some real local food for locals cheap as served in a banana leaf. Exactly what Aline was looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_1865Today the Hindu Balinese have their ceremony. So all hell has broken loose. It was unbelievable crowded. Not so much in the entry areas but further in their rituals where full on. People, mainly women where bringing huge plates and baskets full of delicious cakes and fruits for offerings. The poorest people save up all their money to be able to afford these offerings or at least build these tiny square boxes with flowers and bamboo figures. These things you find usually every day daily fresh in front of every shop door, grocery store, 7 11 … everywhere. I stumbled over a lot of them here on Bali. But today they bring all this stuff to the offering spots with the symbolized golden chair where their god is being projected to. Cause in this religion god can be anything and everywhere and everybody.

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IMG_1962But I digress a bit so back to the reality. We got our sari to cover knees and shoulders. Not so much for me but at least we looked less out of place there. We went into the area where heaps of locals jumped into the different pools washing their sins away in a huge polonaise. Aline thought about jumping in there too but she probably didn’t had enough sins to wash away. We continued walking around through the temple site passing the Indonesian presidents holiday home and a beautiful clean looking freshwater basin where you can see more incoming water from the ground pressing into the basins. The water colors where amazing and reminded me of something like this in New Zealand.

 

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IMG_1964After passing some other areas, handing our sari back we where back at the car and soon at our next destination. It wasn’t really fancied by us but it was better and nicer then expected. We went to a small coffee and cacao plantation. And they not only had that also on the way we passed heaps of things we in Germany just buy and have no idea how it grows or where it is from. Maybe it is just me who didn’t know stuff like this but maybe you didn’t know too. E.g. we passed a tree where he asked us what it is. We had no idea. He ripped a bit of the tree bark off the tree and crumbled some pieces to let us smell.

 

 

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IMG_1979Its Cinnamon. He showed us a tiny green plant looking like some palm fern. Just a bit like those jukka palms but just the leafs growing out of the center. Or Aloe Vera. We had no idea what it is. Have a guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_1983It is the pineapple plant without the fruit. Also we did see vanilla, ginger and of course cacao still on the trees. The coffee was already harvested. Then there was a cage with a small animal looking like a mixture between a cat and a monkey, a Kopi Luwak. The animal who eats coffee beans but cannot digest them. But it changes the taste of the coffee beans in his poop and in parts of the world pay shitload of money to get this very special coffee. Some people even try it here Smiley but cheap as in comparison. But he was sleepy. All the work and digestion he has to withstand. We reached after this short track the production and sampling area.IMG_1980 They showed us how to slowly roast the coffee over an open fire and try it our self. We sampled some regional fruits, some better then others some worse but no memory about their names. Nothing common for sure. Afterwards we reached the sitting area with a beautiful broad view over the whole plantation area and got a bouquet of 9 different coffee and tea variations delivered. For free. Additional free tobacco, papers and a lighter. Sweet.

 

 

 

IMG_1992I ordered in addition a Luwak poop coffee for 30000 Rupiah. Cheap as and taste wise also not too bad. I wouldn’t pay more for it than for normal coffee and I never have to drink it again but it was okay. Only the idea about how its being processed is a bit yuck. The sampling pots where very good. I liked most of them but favored Bali Mocha Coffee.IMG_1993 I wished I could have bought some and brought with me home. But it wouldn’t be backpacker style if you don’t do it in the end. All the shit I carry is already heavy enough. They also had very nice chocolate with a higher amount of coconut fat so it doesn’t melt at 32°. But like I said no options to buy anything.

 

 

 

 

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IMG_1976Aline noticed all the cocks (finally without the tail). Haha, maybe I should say rooster at the coffee plantation and the ones carried around by locals on the road. Our guide explained they still have periodic cockfights here. They usually swap the villages cause officially it is illegal, but you know money can solve a lot of legal issues. So the fighting roosters get some small knifes tied onto their feet and then they enter a small arena and fight until one of them dies. The locals bet on them and the winning rooster gets quite a bit of money, the local some more pride and has his cock for the next fight. They treat the winning roosters very well to make them strong and train them somehow. It is a very common hobby here. This may sound barbarian and backwards, but on the other hand we kill millions of chickens a day by cutting their throat. Maybe we anesthetize them first but is it way better?

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IMG_2007Our last stop for this tour was a short one. The ride to get there a bit longer. We went to Kintamani, a here famous volcano, but also a holy place for Hindus. So as expected shitloads of scooter, Hindus and tourists on one spot. And of course the obligatory dealer as usual. But anyway the volcano and the lake in the background where beautiful and worth a visit. Even though it just made it more obvious we are missing out on doing the hiking thing there. It is very common for tourists to get up really early and start hiking at 4am in the morning to be around 6:30 nearby the top to see the sunrise. It must be awesome and I regret I didn’t do this track.

 

 

This whole round trip did cost us 315000 Rupiah (27€) for both of us. It was a great value in my opinion.

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We headed back already. The drive back took a while as well and left some time to reflect the visited places. Back at the Hotel we did a thing you have to do on Bali. We did watch Eat, Prey, Love. You can find this movie in almost any place on Bali, as a bootleg copy. Anyway that’s done, I finally watched it. We had some snacks we bought from the reception lady. We also had dinner again at our hotel restaurant supervised by heaps of lizards, frogs and other weird sounding wild animals and we did meet finally our housemates. A group of 4 German students spending their holidays on Bali. One of them is even in the same course Aline is and they met before. What a small world. We played some card games and listened some of their story's. E.g. the one where they have been stopped with their scooters by the Balinese police. None of them has a international drivers license. A friend once told me in this case either you have to bribe them or just don’t stop when they try to stop you. But they stopped and they where seating all over afraid of getting into trouble. But the policemen just asked if they can take some pictures with the white tall blond German guys. And then they drove away. No license check, nothing. How nice is that.

 

Padang  Bai - 31.08.2012

So far I didn’t mention the breakfast in our nice accommodation. The reason is: it wasn’t nice. Actually our small resort is separated in two parts. Number one gets a really nice rich breakfast with eggs, bacon, salads …. We get a glass of very thick fruit juice you would never guess the origin from tasting it. Two slices of white toast without the crust and each a small plastic pack of butter and 5 jars of jam. But you cannot complain for 7€ per night.

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IMG_2031So half starving like every morning here Aline and I did leave with the courtesy shuttle back to Ubud to split up. She took the bus a bit earlier back to Kuta and I up to Padang Bai for just 70000 Rupiah (6€). The trip was as usual a bit rough. The drivers are crazy, the bus is overcrowded with all the luggage stored in the passengers cabin and the seats are ridiculous. At least it did block the view so nobody was able to see what happened in the front and outside. I sat in the back and every tiny bump on the road resulted in my seat to push pretty hard lifting my whole body weight. It was a very bumpy ride. But a bus ride is always good for socializing. IMG_2050I met a very nice couple, of course from germs, grrr, Lea and Ben. Both from nearby Augsburg. They did remind me a lot of George and Julia. At our destination around 12am before even the bus engine stopped you did hear GiliGiliGiliGili GiliGiliGiliGiliGili and did see waving hands with speedboat tickets in the bus window. When we hopped of the bus these annoying Balinese approached us directly shouting GiliGiliGiliGili GiliGiliGiliGiliGili. In these moments you cant help it thinking fuck of you dicks. But that’s how they do their business. I already knew where I wanna book my ticket, way cheaper as usual, online. Via http://www.auslandssemester-bali.de/ for almost half price.

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IMG_2057We broke through the group of tourists and trader, Ben and Lea following cause they didn’t have a place booked but they took the first decent looking place on the way.I did book but haven’t had any clue where exactly. I only knew I headed into the right direction. The rest should be easy to find with asking around. It was hot, fucking hot. Walking with heavy daypack in the front and even heavier backpack up some hills, down some hills always in the bare sunlight. No clouds. I walked for quite a while, nobody knew where my place the Lemon Tree House is or they didn’t understand me. I already thought I am way to far out of town already. And I knew I am right when I asked a Balinese family at a pretty rough and basic looking property where the Lemon Tree House is. The answer: “Coca Cola? Coca Cola?” and I knew most of them didn’t understand a word English. And it didn’t help I tried to visualize a lemon.

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So I turned back up the hill and down again and asked again random people. Some of them must have understand me cause finally I turned, pretty close to the bus stop, actually into the right lane approaching the last ascent. A couple of roundabout 100 steps. Of course it must be pretty much on the top of the hill I already crossed twice. Anyhow it offered at least an awesome view over the small fisher town.

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IMG_2060I checked in, inspected this hostel, nice, and went back down to rent a scooter with Ben and Leo. It took a while but in the end we had it. Cheap as as always but for nothing. Cause the best beaches where right around the corner anyway. But we didn’t really know that in the beginning and maybe also the fact that we desperately wanted to drive scooter affected our decision as well. So we did leave with them for having a look around. We went to Blue Lagoon Bay, at least we thought it is and afterwards we tried to get to a hidden secluded beach but ended up at a nice but not too nice lava beach with black sand. IMG_2062So back to Ben and Leas place. From there we walked via a small lane, passing a horse, a lot of garbage and a old abandoned construction site to reach the so far most beautiful beach so far. So we could have survived without scooters. It was a  10 minutes walk from our places. Anyway we passed a little hill that opened up the view down on this awesome white sanded palm tree scattered idyll. Some sheds have been there as well and low reggae music. Sounds like heaven, aye? As we reached the beach we did see the reggae band playing live and the wonderful blue green clear and clean ocean.

 

IMG_2072IMG_2077We where a bit hungry already so we did sit down under some shed roof on some handmade seats tuck into the sand and ordered. But one thing about Asian country's is the different order mentality. Everywhere you go here it is very likely you sit down and the menu is there before your bum reaches the seat. Then the waitress is right next to you waiting. The menu contains usually around 50-100 dishes. They have everything you can imagine. On the menu, not in reality. But you sit there read the menu sometimes twice, through all those pages and they wait. You can tell them to leave and come back later. Some do, most don’t. They don’t understand. It stresses me out from time to time. At least until you get used to it.

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We ordered some nice food, I only remember my fresh BBQ fish and some stir fry with rice. It was good. And as a drink I had a coconut. not too delic but it looks like a thing you should drink in this environment. Funny thing was after my coconut Ben ordered a drink, when she brought it I ordered another drink too and after I got mine Lea ordered hers. Poor pregnant waitress walking up to the shed and back all the time.  After our feast we did a bit sun bathing, swimming and snorkeling in this crystal clear clean water at this wonderful place listening to reggae tunes.

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This was the first time I actually enjoyed snorkeling a lot. I did it only once before at Goat Island in New Zealand. But there the water was murky and it wasn’t sunny. Here it was perfect and in water beautiful colored fish, sunrays illuminating the floor with caustics. It was amazing colorful. Maybe not as it is at Great Barrier Reef but still with wonderful fish like Parrot Fish or Angel fish and way more I don’t know the name from. I loved it enough to buy my own snorkel gear the next day. Today I had to borrow it from Lea and Ben.

 

IMG_2092Before darkness we went back to our accommodations. I directly left afterwards to at least use the scooter a bit racing out of this little town back to the main road and a bit further north. There at least I was able to get my green goblin up to 80 km/h. I love it so much. It’s a lot of fun I can tell you. I raced back and met Lea and Ben again on their scooter and we went together to the Blue Lagoon Beach. This time for real. The one we thought it is was the wrong one. The real one is way better. We ended up at a supposed to be Full Moon Party. It was Full Moon but not really a party. They tried hard but there where only us and a few other guests. We had some drinks, the one I mostly memorized was Arak Attack, Ben loved it Smiley, some plain Arrack and a few other drinks. They had nice live music and later a child who did a typical fire dance. It looked pretty impressive but they seem to have no laws against working children as well as children driving scooter. Anyhow the party never really started even though the longer we stays the more crowded it got. But we didn’t stay too long and left around 1am.

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I drove back to my place and met some of my hostel mates, talked to some random, but nice Dutch, chicks about god and the world and drank some more beer out of the honesty fridge. Of course I paid the day after everything …

 

One more in Padang Bai - 1.9.2012

IMG_2119… and moved into another place. I unfortunately booked just for one night the Lemon Tree House but wanted to spend two nights in Padang Bai. It was Saturday and all rooms fully packed. In this case a mistake just booking for one night. So I had to move to another accommodation. Fortunately I found one, unfortunately instead of 100000 Rupiah for 240000 Rupiah. But it was a nice bamboo hut and a private double room with a nice double bed with mosquito net, ensuite bathroom and walls thin like paper. I drove with my backpack and daypack packed with my scooter over to my new place named Alola. I love scooters. Afterwards I drove around to buy a mask and snorkel as well as a beach towel. Regarding negotiation problems it took a while. Aline is way better then I am. In the end I got all I needed and went back to the nice beach from the day before.

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IMG_2109After a while Ben and Lea joined me there. So again we did a bit of swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling. It is so nice here, a really nice view,  cool fish in the water as if it is a gigantic aquarium with an awesome species diversity including corals. We had lunch like  but I left alone around 4pm to drive to the bat temple. One reason: because I love driving on Bali, the other reason was: it is a temple in a bat cave and I love caves and caving.

 

 

 

 

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Before entering it some idiotic locals tried to convince me I have to buy a sari before I can go into the temple and they where very penetrant. But I left them behind ignoring their idiotic try to scam me. I went to the temple entry and got a free sari after paying a small fee for visiting the temple. They also begged to get my towel I bought just this  morning and I bet all of them had Iphones, I can tell you this temple was crap. So not what I expected. There was a cave but not for the public. So you did see a temple at the entry of the cave and heaps of bats sitting in the shade at the cave ceiling. But that’s it. Nothing more. I was soooo disappointed and left pretty soon after strolling around a bit more. On the way back to this nice beach I took some videos while driving. Bad luck the camera was too low to capture anything else then the speedometer. But at least I have a proof of driving 80 km/h Smiley.

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IMG_2113Back at the beach I met Lea and Ben again. Still in the sun and a bit burned Smiley and there we had the funniest chat with a Balinese local trying to sell massages, Gili speedboat tickets and the future. If you dont wan’t that he sells you massage oil or henna tattoos. Somehow we didn’t got rid of him. Yesterday we somehow ignored is tourists catchphrase where he asks where we are from and replies with random famous German names like Podolski and some German words. But not this time. He took a seat and we chatted for a while. It was soooooo funny, he said my nose is big and Bens small, which means small edong (penis) as he explained, hahahahha. The next thing we had to discuss was who is it on his patriotic looking shirt. The Indonesian president he replied, he directly said the president is corrupt and he doesn’t like him. So Ben asked why do you wear it then? Its for free?!?!? with a bit of lack of understanding why we asked that. The other topics usually contained food increasing the male strength again, the penis shaped bottle opener and some more hand size relation things    ... we had such a good time talking to him,but in the end had to get rid of him by going snorkeling. But he was a nice funny guy just doing his job. The other traders and guys came by the same time to offer us coconuts, sunglasses and way more stuff joking about themselves.

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IMG_2105We stayed until the sun set and went hungry like wolfs later to a nice local restaurant in the harbor bay are. But first I visited Ben and Lea in their cheap as 125000 Rupiah bamboo hut. They swapped their rooms too today. But then we went dining. We did have a huge meal and it was so funny again with these guys. We discussed the too sweet fruit drinks they brought one by one again. So we had good times talking about diarrhea and puking and had such good laugh about the people here in the restaurant as well. I had tears in my eyes. Ben and I ordered appetizer, two mains and a couple of drinks. The food was very good but of course way too much. Ben didn’t stop eating even though he was stuffed. He started even sweating because he tried so bad to finish all his food. In the end he did while we where joking about the problems Thai have pronouncing things like like phis (fish), and heaphy (heavy). Hilarious when you ask 10 times what???. I think the employees and other guest where happy when we left the restaurant. I guess we haven’t been the easiest guests.

 

IMG_1866Outside Ben showed us his back. His pants where soaked and his shirt as well. Worth another good laugh. I think they took a picture of it. It was hilarious. But as an excuse his food was spicy and even in the night it is hot as here in Asia. It was another very nice evening with Ben and Lea especially when I think about that I just met them yesterday in the bus. They are such a nice couple and already 4 years together. I hope they are more lucky than I was with my relationship.

 

And tomorrow I am on tropical Gligilililili. Yehaaaa.

Eat, Prey, Love – Bali, Lombok, Gili, Returns aka Part Two is coming soooooooooon, big big promise …

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