Six days in Bali, part one
Six days in Bali.
I had a friend who in the 70s told me the best place in the World was Bali. He should have known, he was captain on a cruise ship. Well that was then and now some odd 40 years later it's a different story. Bali is still beautiful, green rainforest, yellowish rice fields, long beaches, good food an very nice people. But
There are about 763.489 tourists whenever you wander, Taiwaneese, Chineese, Koreans and the odd Australian plus a couple of Danes (not the ones on Dawnbreaker) They fill the streets, tempels, restaurants, shops and the 2000 horsepower speedboats. They are just all over the place.
Bearing this in mind we chartered a taxi to take us on a full days tour to Ubud, a town some 80 km from Denpansar, the capital. It turned out t be a good choice as Kedek, the young driver had a lot of "cousins" along the way. We saw a batic factory (and 437 Chineese), a huge antique store that went on and on and on untill we got to antique fabrication departement (no Chineese, but a lot of Buddhas) and hundreds of shops along ythe way, mostly sellig gigantic Buddhas, house protecting spirits and other very strange statues.
Eventually we got to a ridge with some shops (and Chineese) with a nice waterfall on the other side. Walking down to it was not a big deal, on the contrary the view was quite nice for a while, but down at the bottom it was a bit crowded so we soon turned back anticipating a nice cold Bintang. After about 614 or 598 steps we finally made it and had one.
On we went to another valley with a nice restaurant (cousin #4) with a beautiful view over terraced rice paddies. We had a good lunch and headed for Ubud, famous for its temples and something and of course the Lotus restaurant that Ivan frequented dayly during his wild years in Bali. The place was still there, but sadly, the girls didn't recognise Ivan. We had a Bintang anyway.
After having a look at a tempel (and 492 Chineese with and without umbrellas) we headed for an atm as the fuelman wanted cash (11.000.000). We managed to rob our cards for the requested dinars and Lars spotted a barbers spiralsign. After a bit of exploring he eventually go a nice haircut. Having successfully completed our mission we headed back to the Beno and the boat.
A note about traffic. There are about 600.000 people in Denpasar, (not counting the Chineese) and about 599.000 scooters plus a lot of cars. The city streets are two + two lane which means that there are three cars abreast with scooters zigzagin all over the place. U turning is common anyplace its possible and despite this we didn't see one single accident. The Swedish police wouldn't survive an hour without a heart attack!
To be continued.......