Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cruisin' the Island

My face and my ass is sore. My ass hurts from spending the whole day riding the roads of Bali on a scooter. My face hurts from spending the whole day riding the roads of Bali on a scooter - smiling all the way. You will never find me on a motorized two wheel vehicle in the States, but here it is heaven... or at least my heaven.

Yes dad, I'm wearing a good helmet.

It's pointless for me to ramble on about the beauty of this place. My shortage of decent vocabulary, my five adjectives, will only harm any description I try to produce killing it with repetitive monotony. I will just leave it at "wow" from now on.

Got me a top end scooter for the rest of my stay here. I chose the automatic this time just to keep it simple. I don't feel too manly about it, but there are other things I'm interested in without concentrating on playing with gears.

Picked a road out of town and drove off. My aim was to get to the volcano, but I really didn't care that much. I feel any road besides the one to Denpasar would take me somewhere interesting. I drove through forests, rice paddies, and farms. I kept thinking I would come up over the crest of a hill and head back down, but it just kept going up getting cooler in temperature every couple kilometers. Then I reached the rimmed peak looking into the valley that contains Mt. Batur. The volcano is flanked by a large lake of the same name. I guess I was lucky finding it and even luckier seeing it since it is quite often too cloudy.

I went down the winding road and circled both lake and mountain. I also got a bit lost and had to finally turn back because the shape of the roads degraded into something I'm sure the scooter renters would be bummed I took on. I drove the same road home and watched the view coast by from the opposite direction. I made it back to Ubud before dark fairly fatigued.

I got the inside scoop from an elderly Dutch lady who come here often that there is a big local full moon ceremony held only once a year. Tourist shops do not advertise this celebration that occurs in some small town where all the surrounding villages pilgrimage to. I guess it's a great cultural event to be able to witness and I would have to wear the traditional mens sarong, scarf belt, and matching head rag in order to attend. The only problem was that it's hard to find and driving in the dark in the country here is suicide. There is an occasional pothole waiting on the roads to keep you honest and hitting one would take the bike out from under you immediately. This was a celebration I was going to miss. There may have been something going on here in Ubud, but after dinner I settled for cracking open Joseph Conrad's, Heart of Darkness. Now doesn't that sound cheery?


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