Bali day 9 – Monday 21 Dec 2015

 

0430 and I’ve been awake since 0245. I had a good sleep from 10pm, so it’s not too bad. I want to be awake for the sunrise, you see, and it’s got me alert so as not to miss the alarm.

I’ve just had a look outside and I can clearly see the lights of Trunyan and a very bright star to the SE. It’s not sparkling, so it must be a planet. (Tues – It’s Venus, you idiot.)  It’s very bright and clear, so the sky must be clear. Bagus!

But it’s 0430 and the trucks are roaring their way along the road just below my room on their way to the job. Noisy, in other words.

WTF?! Sitting here at the end of the bed with headphones on, I suddenly heard a commotion from the bathroom, like some animal running around. I carefully looked but can find nothing. A rat? From where? The noise came and went. Bloody ‘ell. I’ve got the door to the outside wide open and I can hear, intermittently, an insect flitting around. A big moth, I suspect.

I should add that you can’t lock the doors to the room. They don’t meet properly, so the mortise lock just can’t engage. The key is useless. Oh well, I hope no thief would want to come all the way down these steps to rob me.

0600 I’ve been outside standing behind the tripod waiting for the sun to rise and it’s all over. Not much of a show, I’m afraid. There’s too much cloud around and the air’s quite misty.

The mozzies are out too, swarming around although they don’t seem to bite me. That’s good.

0630 Now that the sun’s up, I’ve realised that it’s risen much further to the right (south) than I thought it would. My photos are not much use, in other words.

I’m afraid this location is hopeless. I can’t move around. Getting up those steps is too bloody hard, and that’s only the first set. To get up onto the road and then onto the main drag is impossible. Oh well.

Had a good shower, took a few more photos then hit the bed again at 0730 for one hour. Brekky brought to the room, thank goodness. Mixed fruit juice, two boiled eggs (I asked for poached, cooked in water, and they misunderstood), a nice big pancake but with honey and chocolate sauce drizzled over it.

So, to paraphrase Ogden Nash:
I eat my eggs with honey
I’ve done it all my life
It makes the eggs taste funny
But it satisfies the wife.

There aren’t many words that rhyme with life: wife; strife; knife … ?

I thought I had internet access for a little while; I was able to connect and load my blog, but when I try to upload my text, it just constantly drops out. I’ve tried again and again, but it seems hopeless.

1300 Aaaah, good sleep. I know I shouldn’t sleep in the daytime but it feels so good, and how can something that feels good be bad for you? Well, … don’t answer that.

The guy has sprayed Baygon on the curtains to try to control the flies.

The morning started out beautifully sunny but it clouded over and we had a heavy rainshower. Now the thunder’s rumbling. Plus the trucks are still roaring through the gears as they slog up and down the road just below. Roosters are crowing. Motorbikes are crackling. This is a noisy place.

Now that I’m connected to the internet, I can see that my posts have got mixed up. I’ll have to fix it later when I have a more reliable connection, sorry.

1600 I finally decided I had to “go up the mountain”, i.e. climb the steps, to arrange tomorrow’s transport. I asked Dina (Balinese name Putuh Made) to phone Yanick and arrange it. She was at pains to ask me not to say that her driver is Rp.300,000 vs Yanick’s Rp.400,000. Anyway, it all worked out. We didn’t even mention the price. It would have been crazy for him to drive 2hrs up here just to drop me at Ubud anyway, so he’s better off.

I had a good chat with Dina. She’s 23 and not yet married (Belum). I thought she was part of a family owned hotel, but no, she works for a boss as they all do, but they like him. We talked about food and they all eat the same, usually vegetables with rice. Well, that’s what she told me, but it must be more than that. Good diet, anyway.

I complained about the flies, how they are attacking my sore toe, and she said, Oh, it’s OK. Flies in Kuta are bad (i.e. unhealthy) but here, “No problem.” Oh yeah? No way.

So I’ve got their Baygon spray and I sprayed my feet. That fixed it. But just as I was finishing my beer, I found a fly in the dregs. Uuuuurrrrgh. Too late.

There are 18 steps between me and the dining table/bar. They’re going to bring my food down – sayur urab – steamed veges with grated coconut Rp.20,000, plus sate babi, pork sate, Rp.30,000. Plus I had two Bintang besar @ Rp.40,000 ea, plus French fries @ Rp.20,000. No lunch, you see. Too hard to go up those steps.

I admit I’ll be happy to leave tomorrow. It’s been nice here due to the friendly staff, but it’s no place for someone like me who can’t “climb mountains”.

 1800: Dina came to the room and asked me to pay. It had to be cash, no credit cards. The bill was Rp,1,570,000. I didn’t have that many rupiahs, so I asked to pay with US$ and A$. It took a while but we worked it out. I got Rp.40,000 change, or was it Rp.400,000? I can’t remember.

Dinner in the room was Sayur Urab, green veges with shredded coconut, and sate babi, pork satay. I find it a little difficult to say I’m eating babi. After the meal, cukup! I was full. I had a small Bintang poured but I couldn’t drink it – most went down the plughole.

And so to bed.

Advertisements

Bali day 8b – Sunday 20 Dec 2015

Sorry for the lack of photo. Returning soon.

I’m at Kintamani now, at the Batur Mountain View Hotel. It rained heavily at Kuta overnight and it was still raining when we left at 10am. It’s grey and pretty cloudy up here, but no rain (yet). A big mist/cloud rolled in across the lake just after I arrived. At 9pm it’s cool! I was sitting in a table area open to the view and it was chilly, and I don’t mean chilli.

I’ve been driven here by Yanick, my friend Geoff’s Balinese transport man. His car is a new Toyota Fortuner 4WD, quite an expensive vehicle, I think. How do these Balinese guys afford to drive such cars? They’ve all got them, flash, new, shiny SUVs. Making money from us tourists, obviously. It cost me Rp.600,000, A$60 to get here. I was hoping that might cover the return trip, but no such luck.

The hotel girl asked me how I am getting back on Tuesday. I said, “Yanick, at Rp.400,000.” She offers a driver for this trip to Ubud for Rp.300,000. Bargain, bargain, haggle, haggle,

We got here at about 3pm and wow, I should have expected it, but steps! This hotel is built down a steep slope and there are steps everywhere. I’d estimate I came down about 30 steps to get to my room and there are about 12 steep steps to get back up to the dining area. I find this very tough going. My right knee nearly gives out on me (sharp pain) and I have to be super careful of my balance. Therefore I won’t be venturing far from my room tomorrow. Huh, I had visions of walking up to the main road and along, looking for photos, but we’re a good 500m down a steep road. I just can’t handle many steps and steep slopes, I’m afraid.

It’s lucky there’s so much to see, then. Trees are in the way, but I can see Trunyan way in the distance (30Km?) on the other side of the lake. I’ve got some good shots already, I hope.

No photos, but fireworks are going off on the far side of the valley. At first I wondered what those red flashes and intermittent bangs were, but then I saw a sky rocket and click!

I had a sleep when I got here and I slept two hours! I was awoken to the sound of loud, LOUD, crickets, or a frog. I suspect a frog, because there were regular BINGs, but the hotel people say no frogs here. I find that hard to believe.

We stopped on the way at a coffee and tea plantation, where I tried Kopi Luwak for the first time. This where the raw beans are given to civet cats to eat (I have photos) and they shit the beans out as indigestible. The beans are then cleaned and roasted and are supposed to taste better. Oh yeah. My palate is not good enough any more to tell, I think. I tried both Luwak and normal Bali coffee together and sure, there’s a difference, but I don’t think either is as good as my Italian capsule coffee at home. The cup of Luwak coffee cost me Rp.50,000 ($5), by the way.

We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant, near Mas, I think. I was just enjoying the Balinese music playing on the speakers when LOUD music started up on the grassed area below, Western style music. Huh.

So now I’ve eaten, omelette for starter, then nasi campur, and a BIntang besar, and it’s time to try to find a TV channel to watch. Crumbs 60 channels, but most of them empty, blank, and all the others local Indonesian programs. The PayTV box captions show that there should be CNN etc available, but nothing shows up.

As for internet, sure, I can wi-fi connect to their router, but it just shows “No Internet”, so forget that. To ask, I would have to go back up those steps. No can do. No phone in the room, no fridge, power point near this table to charge the laptop, no lamps next to the bed to read by. Light switch on wall opposite the beds. Only one small glass in the bathroom. No bottled water. I’d like some hot water to make my chamomile tea, but how do I ask? There’s no phone, so am I supposed to go outside and shout? Bit annoying for A$50 per night. Oh well.

Bali day 8a – Sun 20 Dec 2015

Sorry, pics coming I hope. When I find card reader etc.

I’m at Kintamani now, at the Batur Mountain View Hotel. It rained heavily at Kuta overnight and it was still raining when we left at 10am. It’s grey and pretty cloudy up here, but no rain (yet). A big mist/cloud rolled in across the lake just after I arrived at 3pm. At 9pm it’s cool! I was sitting at a table area open to the view and it was chilly, and I don’t mean chilli.

I’ve been driven here by Yanick, my friend Geoff’s Balinese transport man. His car is a new Toyota Fortuner 4WD, quite an expensive vehicle, I think. How do these Balinese guys afford to drive such cars? They’ve all got them, flash, new, shiny SUVs. Making money from us tourists, obviously. It cost me Rp.600,000, A$60 to get here. I was hoping that might cover the return trip, but no such luck.

The hotel girl asked me how I’m getting back on Tuesday. I said, “Yanick, at Rp.400,000.” She offers a driver for this trip to Ubud for Rp.300,000. Bargain, bargain, haggle, haggle, I think I’ll take her offer because it doesn’t seem sensible for Yanick to drive all the way up here again, just to take me to Ubud.

We got here at about 3pm and wow, I should have expected it, but steps! This hotel is built down a steep slope and there are steps everywhere. I’d estimate I came down about 30 steps to get to my room and there are about 12 steep steps to get back up to the dining area. I find this very tough going. My right knee nearly gives out on me (sharp pain) and I have to be super careful of my balance. Therefore I won’t be venturing far from my room tomorrow. Huh, I had visions of walking up to the main road and along it, looking for photos, but we’re a good 500m down a steep side road. I just can’t handle the many steps and steep slopes, I’m afraid.

It’s lucky there’s so much to see, then. Trees are in the way, but I can see Trunyan way in the distance (30Km?) on the other side of the lake. I’ve got some good shots already, I hope.

It’s too far and too late for photos, but fireworks are going off on the far side of the valley. At first I wondered what those red flashes and intermittent bangs were, but then I saw a sky rocket and click!

I had a sleep when I got here and I slept two hours! I was awoken to the sound of loud, LOUD, crickets, or a frog. I suspect a frog, because there were regular BINGs, but the hotel people say no frogs here. I find that hard to believe.

We stopped on the way at a coffee and tea plantation, where I tried Kopi Luwak for the first time. This where the raw beans are given to civet cats to eat (I have photos) and they digest the coating and shit the hard inner of the beans out as indigestible. The beans are then cleaned and roasted and are supposed to taste better. Oh, yeah. My palate is not good enough to tell any more, I think. I tried both Luwak and normal Bali coffee together and sure, there’s a difference, but I don’t think either is as good as my Italian capsule coffee at home. The cup of Luwak coffee cost me Rp.50,000 ($5), by the way.

We stopped for lunch (for me only) at a nice restaurant, near Mas, I think. I was just enjoying the Balinese music playing on the speakers when LOUD music started up on the grassed area below, Western style music. Huh.

So now I’ve eaten: omelette for starter, then nasi campur, and a BIntang besar, and it’s time to try to find a TV channel to watch. Crumbs 60 channels, but most of them empty, blank, and all the others local Indonesian programs. The PayTV box captions show that there should be CNN etc available, but nothing shows up.

As for internet, sure, I can wi-fi connect to their router, but it just shows “No Internet”, so forget that. To ask, I would have to go back up those steps. No can do. No phone in the room, no fridge, no power point near this table to charge the laptop, no lamps next to the bed to read by. Light switch on wall opposite the beds. Only one small glass in the bathroom. No bottled water. I’d like some hot water to make my chamomile tea, but how do I ask? There’s no phone, so am I supposed to go outside and shout? Bit annoying for A$50 per night. Oh well.