Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bali - Part 2

I know it's weeks later, but I thought I would finally post Part 2 of my Bali series.  I hope you enjoy!

We left off on Saturday night when we got left in the not so great part of town and I wanted to buy a hooker.  The next morning as Made (pronounced Ma-Day) made us breakfast, we talked about what we wanted to do.  I really wanted to see the Ulu Watu temple.  The Lonely Planet book raved about it as did multiple websites I had read.  LP specifically suggested visiting the temple at sunset to get some great pictures.  The rest of the group agreed to go to the temple with me but they wanted to do something else beforehand as well.  We decided on doing some water sports in the afternoon then heading out to the temple.  Made sorted out a car for us and we all headed off.

We directed our driver to the general area where we wanted to go and just told him that we wanted to snorkel.  He dropped us off in an area that is surrounded by very fancy resorts.  All of the pools and bars were only open to hotel patrons so we were having a hard time figuring out what to do.  We finally came upon a water sports "hut" (for lack of better word - it was two guys running this operation out of a shack) and signed up for snorkeling, a glass bottom boat, and a trip to Turtle Island.  The guys sorted us for masks and flippers (I saw them sanitizing everything so I felt much better about it).  They pull up the boat and it looks like it's about to fall apart.  It was a glass bottom boat but you really couldn't see much - the water was very murky.  Our boat driver spoke no English and just kinda pointed and grunted to tell us what to do.  Everyone except for MayDay tried the snorkeling.  I didn't stay in very long.  The water was murky and dirty.  After snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, not much compares. 

All of us snorkeling

More snorkeling
 Then we hopped back in the boat and it proceeded to take us Turtle Island.  Turtle Island is apparently a small branch of the Bali zoo.  As we got off the boat, we were met by a guide who showed us all the animals and then sat with us as we ordered a beer.  I very much got the impression that he batted for the other team as he thought HA and Boris were a couple (see picture below and you'll understand why) but then when he found out that Boris was single, he made a few comments about "liking boys too".  I wouldn't suggest Turtle Island - the animals seemed cramped and it was very clearly a tourist trap.

Boris with a snake
Aren't they a cute couple?

All of us at Turtle Island
After Turtle Island, we high-tailed it back to the car b/c it was getting close to sunset and even though it was only 20 km to the temple, it was going to take 40 minutes.  Our driver finally gets us to the temple and it was about a $3 fee to enter the temple - with this fee, we also were given rental sarongs as you can't enter the temple in short pants.  We were also advised that women who are pregnant or menstruating cannot enter the temple - I haven't googled why yet though.  As we enter the temple we greeted by an older guy that advises us that he'll be our guide.  We just go with it as we have no idea what's going on.  The "guide" walks us around and saves a shoe from a monkey (the monkey's steal things).  Then he gets us into the Fire Dance and finds us all seats.  It's at this point that the "guide" tells us that it was $50k rupiah per person for the guide.  WHAT??  We couldn't really argue with him since he was like 70 and there were a ton of people around so we shelled out the $300k rupiah (just over $30USD).  I figure, he probably needs it more than we do.  This is where we get to see a traditional fire dance.  It was actually really nice and I'd suggest seeing one if you can.
In our sarongs - notice no one has glasses on - the monkeys would steal them.

One of the temples

Another Temple

Part of the Fire Dance

More fire dance
After the fire dance, we told our driver that we wanted seafood for dinner so he suggested Jimbaran Bay.  He picked a restaurant and dropped us off.  As we walk outside, we see that the tables are set up right on the sand by the water and it looks absolutely stunning.  You feel like it's so secluded and intimate.  Then you look to your left and right and realize that there are twenty restaurants in either direction doing the exact same thing and you don't feel so special anymore.  But we ordered some really good fresh seafood (the lobster was delicious) and enjoyed the scenery.

Couldn't get a great picture but this kinda shows what the beach was like
I just realized how long this blog is.  I think we'll have to continue with a Part 3 for the rest of our week - stay tuned!  

Quick Note - some of the pictures are from Finola - Thanks!