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Published: January 23rd 2006
My favorite was the Kecak Dance (fire dance), more photos that were on the camera.
October 17 to November 15 -
Kuta and the south bit of Bali is very developed and was very empty, just two weeks outside of the latest round of bombings so I wouldn't call it a festive place anyway.
Back on a motorcycle for 11 days, Bali requires an international drivers license, which I don't have, but I do have photoshop. Alright, it may not be smart but it should at least reduce the amount of the bribe I'll need to pay should I get pulled over.
Some dive sites around Bali feature bleached out coral due to El Nino several years ago and fishing dynamite style, I picked a gorgeous site in the north west tip of the island, Manta rays and eels were the highlights.
Lovina, north Bali, was a ghost town, maybe 6 other tourists, low, low season I guess. I did find a gym filled with skinny Indonesians which was surprisingly well equipped, for 50 cents you could work out to Indo pop. Funny to be the biggest guy in a gym for a change.
I got sloppy again and had a fruit shake with bad ice = four days of the
One of Bali's more elaborate temples - amazing rice fields all around, have a coffee at the top and soak it in.
runs and vomiting. Wouldn't of been so bad but I was travelling light and had one book which was finished after the first day and nothing to keep my mind occupied. Boring. I wasn't well when I got back to riding but it was feeling more and more like paradise prison, a swimming pool which you couldn't swim in, food you couldn't eat and no one to keep company with. Unless you count the inn keeper with a nervous twitch and propensity to dance alone in the cafe.
Off to Mt. Batur one of Bali's volcanoes, I arrived in a cold sweat and chills but other wise feeling much better. The volcano is in a perfect caldera at least 15 ks in diameter and only 1200 feet or so in independent height. Feeling stable but weak I headed out the next day to crawl up the mountain. Take five steps and rest. It was there I encountered my first instance of being threatened on the whole trip thus far. It seems that a group of guys have a monopoly on guided treks to the top of the volcano, completely pointless to have a guide when its one peak and
impossible to get lost. When I told them no thanks and walked around they would hurry up and get in front of me and say I couldn't go for the danger as if the volcano might erupt with out them. After walking around them for the third time I started to get pissed but scrapping condition I wasn't so I bluffed and acted much tougher than I felt. Guess it wasn't a reaction they were used to so they finally backed off. I spent the rest of the day dragging my feet up a hill I can normally run up, the days work did seem to finish off my illness.
Rolling into Ubud was next, I felt lucky for the bike, so much color and tradition fills the days of the Balinese it was a joy to pull the bike over and watch it go by. Ubud is the center of it all, more craftsmen and artists seem to fill the town than common laborers. Every night features several traditional dances held in different performance venues and the days can be filled cruising to temples or rice fields or shopping. Buy a huge item, say, a wooden nearly life
I had a motorbike for ten days, in Ubud the owner of the guesthouse would place one on my bike each morning.
sized elephant, and ship it home no problems.
Returning the bike to Kuta made me want to leave it as fast as possible and I caught a public bus to the east coast waiting for a ferry to Lombok. On the ferry I ran into an Englishman, Chris, I met months ago in Laos, good timing heading to an island known for partying and lounging about. I also met Sofie and Sebastian, a couple of Swedes with the most adorable little girl, Lea. Gili Trawanan is the size of an island most people would think of when they think of being stranded. I walked around it in a little over two hours, the only traffic being pony driven carts. Within a night we met a crew of at least ten and from 11pm to 5am Trawanan was a blast. The rest of the time I got a bit restless, only so much lying about you can do before you go crazy. So I planned on climbing Indonesia's second largest mountain, Rinjani, at 3700 meters a decent climb. The night before I was to leave my camera was nicked out of my room putting me in a non climbing mood
North of UBud
indeed. I said it several times that travelling for close to two years I would lose a few things along the way so I wasn't too upset but for the photos I lost of my entire trip in Indonesia. Fortunately, I managed to get a few from a couple of people I spent time with.
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