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Published: August 3rd 2011
Bargaining - In Tulamben we didn’t need to bargain much. Matahari Dive Resort had everything we needed at really good prices. When we left Tulamben for Kintamani I realized my bargaining skills were not up to par. This realization occurred when we stopped at a fruit market on the side of the road. I chose some purple mangosteens (most delicious fruit on the planet) and asked how much. 30,000 Rupiah! I should have said “too expensive” and walked away but I really wanted the Mangosteens. I paid the equivalent of 4 bucks for 6 mangosteins! From that point I decided to put my foot down. The next day we went to a buffet lunch that was a set price of 80,000 Rupiah (10 USD), which is way too expensive for Bali. I said this out loud and the waiter lowered it to 60,000. I didn’t realize you could bargain in restaurants too. We ended up paying 40,000 each no tax. Here’s the strategy. First decide what you think is a good price. In Bali this is usually about half of the asking price. Tell them what you want to pay and when they laugh just start to walk away. They will
hesitate for a second and offer another price that’s way closer to what they want. Say no thank you and keep walking. At this point they will say okay fine and give it to you for the price you want. At first bargaining takes a lot of energy but once you get comfortable with it, you feel much better knowing you’re not getting ripped off like the rest of the westerners.
Bali - Kintamani
When you look at the Batur Volacano your eyes go straight to the dark shadow below. In your mind you conclude that there must be a cloud above creating the shadow, but no, clear skies above. The volcano blew in 2002 and the lava path is still fresh. Trucks struggle up the mountain side all day taking the volcanic rock to Denpasar for sculptures and new construction, which there is a lot of in Bali. We passed these trucks on our way down the mountain to the hot springs. I saw the remains of houses in the path of the lava. Lake Batur is gorgeous. It glitters like the ground is still moving. The peaks behind it cut the fast moving clouds into a
bottleneck across the lake. We indulged in the view during our entire stay. During meals, from our hotel and from the hot springs. Kintamani is a popular weekend destination for the Balinese. It’s still a very small town. The most popular thing to do here is trekking. If you say ‘hiking’ no one will know what you’re talking about because here it is strictly trekking. People get up at 3am to trek to the top of the volcano for a view of the sunrise. We skipped the early morning rise and headed to the Toya Devasya Hotsprings. The picture says it all. It’s a little pricey to get in but you can stay as long as you like and hang out with the view and the water.
Near Kintamani is the Besakih Temple.
Basakih Mother Temple is the largest temple on Bali. As we climbed the stairs of the temple we didn’t even notice the spectacular view behind us. You can see all the way to the ocean when the clouds break. The temple structures have layered roofs that look like super thick black grass skirts. They must be made in odd numbers and are an honoring of
the mountains. So are the candy canned palms everyone has in front of their house on the street, we were told. On each side of the stairs are statues. The right side houses the evil spirits and the left side houses the good spirits. Offerings are made to both. The balance of good and evil is represented throughout Balinese temple architecture. All bodies of water have a temple in Bali and all temples have flowing fresh water springs because water is the center of life. The sea is definitely acknowledged as a purifying force. Many of the temples that we’ve visited on Bali seemed abandoned but Besakih was bursting with life when we were there. As we walked through the first platform we witnessed a cremation ceremony. A large family with kids running around them took turns kneeling in front praying while others sat on pillows and talked. A father tickled his baby daughter. It was a very relaxing environment.
Hinduism is the religion of Bali. It’s influence is seen in every possible corner of daily life. Each business places offering on the street and in front of an alter. Behind each house you will find a small cemetery
of large volcanic rock statues with alters for each deceased family members. The statues have different colored sarongs. Red means fire, black is for prosperity, white is for purity and yellow is for holiness. Offerings are also made daily. Some people make them but you can also buy them in stores that cater to all your offering needs. I have seen people praying at all times of day but early in the morning is the most active. Women carry large trays of small square baskets made of palm leaves filled with flowers to place at each alter with incense. Even on the boats there are alters tied firmly near the bow.
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