Saturday, April 07, 2012

Thursday - Day 2 of Bali

Haha - I totally had to go back and count my days so I knew where I left off - but Thursday it is (That's the Thursday before Easter).

Kim and I both hadn't been having the greatest of sleeps (in the fact that we woke up a couple times throughout the night and were up earlier than need be in the morning despite no alarm being set) and so since our massage wasn't until 9:00 we were quite confident that an alarm would not be needed. Well - after we both had the best sleep of our trip, I woke up, checked my clock to see it was 8:53 - the mad dash was on! We quickly scrambled around and found ourselves at the massage hut at 9:00 sharp. As we were running down the stairs - Kimmie jokingly commented - funny that we are running just to go lay down again - but we were.

After a delightful massage complete with body scrub, yogurt mask and flower bath we headed back to our rooms to change and head into town. First stop - a scooter rental place. Never having driven a scooter or motorcycle before was apparently not a comfort to the guy renting me the bike but never the less - I gave him my best smile, confidently assured him I could figure it out and screeched off.

Really - how hard could it be - I didn't even need to prove that I had a valid drivers license nor did we need to leave a credit card imprint - I was going to be fine. I learned the gas and the brakes - everything else was optional. Thankfully the first leg wasn't very far and we only had one corner that I scarily made - my legs flying out to balance me and my brakes grabbing. I wasn't too close to cars or people really - a good foot at least. Whew - Kim pulled over - good thing as we were starving (having missed breakfast for our massage of course) and so we parked the bikes for lunch. Our only stroke of genius for the day was remembering to take a pic of our bicycle license plates so we could find them in the world of scooters!

Lunch was okay - a sub par salad - but it filled the void! We then proceeded to do a little shopping, eat some delicious gelato and get some gas so we could make our way back to the hotel to get Kim's yoga stuff. I had decided to pass on yoga so that I could spend some time wandering around taking pics - the day before I had hardly taken any and I was so enamored with Ubud that I wanted to make sure I had some good pics.

As we were prepping to depart we realized two critical things: we didn't know how to get to our hotel and we didn't know where to return our bikes Ooops - the latter wasn't a big deal because we could figure that out later but the hotel was a bit more important. So we stopped at the info booth to buy a map.  Apparently maps are expensive in Ubud so we decided we just needed to ask the guide the directions.

Off we went - weaving our way through traffic. Kim had taught me an important lesson: others are not going to make sure they don't hit you before they go; rather they go and it is your responsibility not to hit them. Good to know - that means I can just go and others must make sure they do not hit me. Got it! Robert taught me the other important lesson - just look where you want to go! Hope this works for bikes the same it does for cars cuz my corners leading up to this point have been crazy!!!!

I blocked most of this ride out but it included filling up with petrol, making school girls laugh uncontrollably as i got up on the sidewalk with my bike, crazy corners that I didn't think I was going to make, getting honked at in an angry way and in a warning way, passing dead things that smelled awful, blown glass artwork, custom chess boards, gorgeous wood carving and Hello Kitty markets, scents of hot sour things and of incense, trucks with chickens and buses passing until finally we pulled over and were asked if we were lost - funny enough - yes we were!

We received directions to the monkey forest, found a place to turn around and were off again. Once at the Monkey Forest - we knew we could find our way to the hotel. By this point I noticed that people still used signal lights but I had nooo idea where mine were. Every now and then I would play with some of the buttons to see if I could figure it out. It must have been tricky though as Kim would turn hers on and then it would stay on for the next 10 minutes before it finally turned off!

After driving a bit we realized we must have missed our turn - again! No worries - I had finally figured out the signal light situation. But then we found ourselves in crazy traffic.  Kim was able to dash between vehicles in the oncoming lane but by the time I was ready to follow suit - traffic was moving again. I managed to screech into the gas station and decided that it was time to turn the bikes back in - we really didn't need to still head out to the hotel and do country roads. Thankfully Kim was ready to skip yoga as well and so we weighed our options - ask someone to guide us back to the bike rental spot or try it on our own.

Dually noted that we weren't sure the address on the contract was the real address (as Kim pointed out) so we decided to chance it. Kim was sure if we drove down the road a bit she would recognize something. Off we went, merging into our lane and heading back the way we came, After getting honked at over and over, we found ourselves in front of the restaurant we had dinner the first night. Yay!! Kimmie got directions back toward the monkey forest, we pulled a u-turn yet again and headed down this crazy road that was jammed with traffic. At some point I ended up taking the lead for the first time our journey - by now I had found my groove a bit with the bike - okay - let's just say I sucked less than I first did and we knew if we followed the road we would get to the bike place. We also remembered it being around a corner!  One corner, then two, then three and after a couple more, I finally spotted the place. I cruised to a stop across the road and noticed the guy who rented the bikes standing in the driveway waving frantically at us.

How he happened to be out there watching just when we came around the corner, I am not too sure. Was he standing there watching the entire time nervous that we were not going to survive it or??? Regardless he was there, We got turned into the driveway and unloaded our wares from under the seats! Laughing and giggling we were quite proud of ourselves for surviving.

Yes mom and dad - it was as bad as you are probably imagining it - driving on the opposite side of the street on these roads that would be considered a small two lane road back home that has multiple bikes and huge trucks and cars driving. Potted with holes at the most inopportune times. Dotted and solid lines are not a concept they understand. Nor is sticking in any semblance of order. Helmets and seat belts are optional. As it was hot, we were wearing flip flops and tank tops. But we did it!!!!

After that hair raising experience - we walked up the road and found a lovely restaurant overlooking a beautiful rice field. We relaxed there for a couple hours and grabbed a snack before doing a touch more shopping and heading over to the Balinese dancing at the palace.

What a perfect way to end the day - the dancing was beautiful and the head dresses and costumes so extravagant. It was a funny story about love between a prince and princess. The live music was so relaxing and it was as much fun to watch a couple local girls that couldn't have been more than 6 mimicking the dance as it was to watch the dancers!

Bed felt delightful that night - as we fell asleep listening to the sounds of the jungle! Incredible experience!!

No comments: