evoTrip | Day 9 – Scootering, more monkeys and temples!
We kicked the day off with some Yoga over at Temple Lodge…. the setting couldn’t have been more perfect. It was just our group and Claire our new friend who is staying with us over at Mu Bali lodge. It was really the first time I’d ever done yoga… it was so incredible. I am going to try and keep doing this when I get back home.
To ice the cake I signed up for a massage following my yoga and breakfast. An adorable Balinese woman touched me in ways that I can not begin to describe…it was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced to date…both spiritual and physical ecstasy I only paid $100,000 Rupia for it, which equals less than $10 US dollars.
So the one thing that I remember people advising was, “I wouldn’t get scooters when you’re in Bali,” apparently its super sketchy to drive on Balinese roads. So what did we do? Of course we got scooters, are ya kidding?! Ive always toyed with the idea of getting a motorcycle and taking it to the open road like to the coast or Eastern, Washington…somewhere you could just cruise with incredible scenery all around you. That was my old fantasy. After meandering the coastline of Bali from surf spot to surf spot my new fantasy is and was riding scooters (or a motorcycle) amongst the rice fields and coastline of Bali. Sweet, check another one off the list!
We rented some super sketchy, almost literally held together by duct tape scooters from a little shop down the street and Mu Bali arranged to have them delivered to the lodge. After figuring out how to keep them started, sorting out helmets and figuring out where we were going we made our way towards the world famous surf spot Uluwatu. I was a little weirded out by driving on the left hand side of the road but its pretty easy not to mess that one up if you just follow other people. So I did.
The landscape was absolutely breath taking. One side was lined with the most lush, vibrant terrain id ever seen, and on the other nothing but blue skies, crashing waves and magnificent rock formations greeting the sand at the base of the cliffs.
After leaving our little villa we basically cruised around all day. We stopped at a petrol stand on the side of the road, they’re all over. Its basically a stand with about a dozen of liter bottles on a shelf, sold for $50,000 Rupia ($5 US Dollars). It was interesting to see how they do it out there. There was one older man (or at least weathered looking) and about 5 children chilling under a small hut. As our 5 bikes rolled up the kids were all smiles and jumped on the opportunity to service us. I think all of the kids even helped, or at least looked on as each of us filled our tanks.
After we were all juiced up we continued to head towards Uluwatu. The roadside was lined with petrol stands every so often, magnificent temples every couple minutes and pharrel dogs here and there. In the area that we were staying of Bukit, and really most of Indonesia, things appears to be poverty stricken maybe… that’s not the word im looking for though. Primitive is more fitting, but as I gain more perspective and understanding of the culture I’d like to swap out primitive for simple or minimalist. …anyhow I digress, back to the scooter journey.
We made it to Uluwatu after taking our time zipping down side roads, nearly evading a scooter accident and taking in the smells and sites of this place that fairy tales are made of. At the parking area some locals tending their souvenir shop greeted us. Now let me preface this by saying that so far ive decided that Balinese people are about the most kind, considerate wonderful people (as a whole) that I’ve met to date…. however these vendors were brutal and in some of the more touristy areas ive seen it a bit. We ended up springing on some tees, a hat or two, some bottled waters and I looked at some jewelry, but for some reason I think they still thirsted for blood! Haha, not really but I felt like they’d never be satisfied no matter how much money we spent!
After passing yet another super cool temple and dropping in on a short flight of stairs we descended upon an interesting collection of shops that were kind of resting in the cliffside. There were a few cafes, and one hell of a viewpoint.
The water was this slightly milky but a radiant blue in some spots, then green towards the shore. The waves pounded up against the rocky shoreline, and it was pretty windy where we were at… from what the guys were saying, the surf looked somewhat tame and I guess it is the off season, but all I know is that this place looked huge to me. We hung out there for a bit, drooled, and headed out for more wandering on our scooters.
At some point I think after the surf spot we ended up randomly at this huge temple that we decided to check out. As we were coming in there was a couple just leaving and they said it was amazing, and also that there are some devious little monkeys in there. At the gate we paid a couple thousand Rupia per person, purchased some fruit to feed the monkeys and they put these purple wraps around our waists with yellow sashes…they were quite lovely… it was some kind of tradition, respecting the temple or something to that effect. Venturing in the monkeys weren’t too far off. These guys were way cooler than the monkeys in japan that’s for sure. They had these little mohawks, and almost looked like gremlins! They were way more tactile and aggressive not to mention. They would run right up to you, start tugging on your purple skirt thing and just look at you with these adorable eyes. If you didn’t feed them and they saw the fruit in your hand, some times they would even jump or start climbing up your leg. It was comical and adorable…until you tried to pet them! It was like Outbreak, these guys had some chompers on them. One guy let me touch him and actually pet him for awhile, but all the others were super sassy about touching.
This temple was like in the movies… cliff walls, walk ways, sculptures, and temples were adorned with elaborate stone work… you could look down the way at the sea wall and it was so breath taking to see the stone work that had gone in to this structure.
At one point we came to this monkey pool… these guys were just diving in head first, swimming and playing with each other. We the stupid tourist stood around and watched them in the pool while their mischievous friends would frolic all over us, trying to steal sunglasses, jewelry, and pretty much anything they could get their hands on. One of them scored my hair tie and we tried to barter with him using some fruit we had purchased but the little guy was totally messing with us. Finally we threw in the towel. So yeah, needless to say we took a million and a half pictures of monkeys, Japanese tourists and the temple… with no monkey bites or serious monkey theft to report we called it a day and headed back to the villa.
That night we did dinner with Cristiana, the owner of the neighboring villa, Temple Lodge. She prepared a mahi mahi dish that was prepared in a fried banana leaf, we enjoyed wine, and our new Australian friends Tim and Claire joined us. Cristiana shared with us her story of how she arrived in Bali. An Italian native who’d spent the better half of the past decade with her husband and children in Cape Town. Both retired from a bustling life and were drawn to the area on a holiday and decided to stay. Again on a holiday they landed in Bali on a holiday and were determined to call this place home. Stories from all ends of the table were shared… bellies were filled….it was a perfect way to cap off the night.
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