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.