Longest Moped Ride Ever!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End May 16, 2005

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Today I decided I was going to go on a big adventure up to Ubud and possibly Besakih the mother temple at the base of Mt. Agung. I had a terrible time figuring out where the heck I was going and found myself driving through Denpasar in heavy traffic. That was a bit nerve-wracking and I had to keep stopping at the directional signs to pull out my map and figure out which city would take me to Ubud. The drive only should of taken 45 minutes and I finally arrived near Ubud after 2. I had pulled up along the side of the road and a Balinese guy on a moped stopped to help me. He said he would take me to Celuk where the gold and silver makers were and offered to take me around so he could "practice his English". As we were pulled on the side of the road the tourist police had pulled up and luckily I was speaking w/ this other guy b/c he helped get rid of the police. Had I of been alone they would of asked for my license which thankfully I had that international drivers license which I was beginning to wonder if I should of bothered getting at all as I hadn't need up until now. Anywho, had I of not had the international driver's license they would of fined me. So I then followed this guy to Celuk where he took me to a silver place and I of course bought a few more items. I then basically told this guy that he didn't need to serve as my tour guide because he basically wanted to show me to the same spots I had visited on the tour I had taken on Thursday plus I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I told him I was going to drive up to Besakih which I knew would be further than we wanted to go. At this time his real motives came out. It seems upon meeting Balinese guys who are single they ask you if you're traveling by yourself and if you're single. It seems that if they can get you to like them they had a chance at a better future and can get off the island. Also, what I find crazy is they love the color of your skin for it's whiteness. In Bali the darker you are the less attractive and I even saw a commercial for skin whitener on TV shortly after getting here! Imagine how good bleach can be for your skin, probably makes it feel like sandpaper! Anywho, that is why you will find may people here in hats and long sleeve shirts and pants. I even saw a girl wearing stretchy gloves on her moped, to keep the sun off! So anywho, I was very polite and told the guy that I was happy on my own and he was very flattering, blah blah blah and I was off! The trip up to Besakih was very frustrating as I again had trouble finding where I was going. Everyone was very kind to point me in the right direction when I stopped and sometimes would even pull over to help me. In stopping I encountered so more guys and have never been told that I'm beautiful or that they love me more times or by as many different men in all my life! Sorry, no thank you! At one spot where I wanted to take some pictures there were the 4 men drinking and relaxing under the shade and I was practically molestered! My god! See you later, and plus why would I be interested if you're not even working! The drive was beautiful and along these crazy winding roads up and down the volcanoes. I finally arrived at Besakih where I was suckered into paying way too much for a sarong as I needed one to visit the temple. That made me mad but it was only the equivalent of 5 or 6 dollars so nevermind. The temple was gorgeous and is the biggest temple in Bali. It's visited daily by tourists and natives alike and as I was there there were a few celebrations and worships taking place. One was a celebration or worship of a death of which they creamate their dead. I find the Balinese traditional dress beautiful. For the women, it's a sarong worn as a long skirt with a lacey long sleeve shirt tied with a brightly colored sash. The men wear the sarong as well as a skirt and layer them in two tiers, again with a shirt and bandana type thing around the head. The woman also commonly have woven boxes or tall fruit baskets carried on their heads as part of the offering! I left Besakih around 4ish and drove the long way home. I passed many rice fields on the way home which they were burning in many places. I have the feeling that this was after harvest time and they were burning the fields to prepare for next planting. You don't see a lot of activity in the fields during the day as it's way too hot but in the late afternoon and around sunset is when most activity occurs. I also passed many celebrations on the way home and wondered what was being celebrated, if it was a celebration on a new moon, or a wedding or death. On the way home I drove through Ubud which is said to be a lovely place to stay. I suppose I don't really mind where I'm staying as it's busy and has a great nightlife which I can choose to take part in or not at all and it's easy enough to get away on the motorbike! I again had some trouble getting home and it was about 7 or 8 before I actually got back! That's a lot of driving of which I was very sore from! Poor bum! I was sooo exhausted and filthy, driving a motorbike in the open subjects you to all the pollution from traffic and smoke from the burning rice fields. I felt like I had smoked a pack of cigarettes just from the air pollution. Needless to say after being so exhausted, I had a shower and straight to bed w/ my book.
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