Yesterday afternoon we motorbikes into Kuta to see one of Clément’s friends who had been there for a few days now.
We thought we would do something touristy while we were here and take a drove to Tanah Lot. We motorbiked through the hectic, heated, smoggy centre of Bali. We passed through the party/backpacker area of Kuta, entered into the shopping street of Seminyak, (There are so many Australian clothing labels for an Indonesian island) and finally broke out into smaller residential roads where smaller puras (temples) could be seen at every block.
We relied on signs and asking for directions to find our way. This led to many wrong turns, meeting many faces and seeing so many parts of Bali that could have been missed. The poverty driving through was apparent. The grey and grime of poverty contrasted logically with the terraces of green paddy fields we rode past. The drive was therapeutic aside from Clément’s Asian style driving. I’m proud to have him as my husband-to-be.
When we got to Tanah Lot we saw the rows of cars and buses in queue to get in at the ticket windows. We manoeuvred the bikes into a no entry area which was the back of the car park. So far so good. We may get to see an area of Bali that makes Bali unique and we may be able to get away without a ticket. When we walked across however there was another checkpoint where we failed to get through without a ticket.
We decided to take another bike ride back to Kuta. The view of bright green rice paddy fields against greener banana trees and tall coconut trees was more than enough. You could feel the atmosphere on your skin, or maybe that was the heat and the humidity.
It was easy to navigate your way around Bali but it was also easy to lose your way. Well for us at least. We would have been happy to keep wandering. The motorbikes only took 3-4L of fuel to fill it up and it would cost between 25000IDR to 40000IDR depending if you decide to fuel up at a legit gas station or the latter price would be the result from buying fuel from those side shops that sell them in 1L alcohol bottles.
However we were racing to end our journey this time as dark, heavy grey clouds were already over us and it was apparent in the air that we would be drenched in heavy, heavy rain if we didn’t make it back in time.
The moment we had the opportunity to stop on the side to ask a passerby or even on the biker next to us for directions, we did.
Several overtakes, driving on sidewalks, cutting through traffic and accelerations later, as well as probably directions from a dozen people we made it! Just as the clouds finally gave way to the weight and rain heaved down but as we parked our bikes.
It rained and rained for hours.
Our scooter had a busted light and I’m not much of an adrenaline junkie to drive back to our accommodation without one. I mentioned previously on our first day in Bali that the paths to our host’s house had no streetlights and we had passed the nights of the full moon.
That night we stayed in Kuta.
The next morning, we woke up in the spare bed in a dorm at our friend’s hostel. I woke Clem up in case someone was coming around to check the beds. We grabbed our helmets and headed out the door… Well after we helped ourselves to a cup of Balinese coffee that was a self serve at the front.
He wanted to take me to Lovina Beach which was 148kms north from Kuta. It would be a challenge to cover that on bike, especially when we had to keep stopping for directions every 10-15 minutes or so when the signs failed to inform us.