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Thursday, January 21, 2010

DAY 10: Volcano, Scooter, and Temple!

DAY 10 was filled with scooter riding, gorgeous views, and uncomfortable, but funny memories!

We started the day with banana pancakes with coconut on my balcony at the place we're staying, some blogging, and then hopped on the scooter and headed for Mt. Agung (an active volcano).

We had a map, but weren't too sure we were going the right way, so we ended up stopping about 15 times to ask where the next town was that we were headed for. (Total adventure was over 100 kilometers.)

Sometimes we were told things like, "Turn right at the statue!" I wish we had more round-a-bouts with beautiful statues in America!

After riding for a while, we decided to stop here, between Gianyar and Sideman to get some lunch amidst the sea of rice paddies. When we walked up to the counter, the lady asked "Two?" and we said, "Yes" and then were motioned to find a seat. We had no idea what we were about to eat!

... and then this came!

We weren't sure what the meat was, or what the balls were in the soup, so after eating it, we decided to ask. I scooped one of them in my spoon and asked the young girl, "Excuse me, What is this?" I received a very confused look, so I quickly asked, "Pig, oink, oink?!" hoping that she would understand... and in PERFECT English, she responded, "Yes!" Aaron laughed at me and said, "She knows English Jillers. You should talk to people normally first, and then if they don't understand, say the animal noises." I felt kind of dumb and totally agreed, and we laughed about how she probably knows perfect English. But then, about 3 minutes later, she brought us another whole bowl of the soup and we realized she apparently didn't know any English at all! Feeling bad about wasting the soup (since it was kind of gross), I poured it into the grass when she wasn't looking. That's the great part about eating outside! :)

After lunch, we got back on the scooter and rode through the towns, until we reached the most beautiful stretch of land I've maybe ever seen! We had to get off the scooter and take a picture! (When you have to set your camera on random poles in the ground, you don't always capture the full surroundings! This is all we could get!)

You would think that there would be a highway leading to a mountain, but nope... we rode, almost 3/4 of the way through neighborhoods like this one! Everyone was so friendly and would wave and smile as we passed.

This family was hanging their laundry on a huge piece of bamboo! I love the resourcefulness around here!

We saw a lot of craftsmen along the way, working at their roadside shops. This man was hand painting this small temple.

These guys were chipping at volcanic rock to create gorgeous figures and statues of Hindi gods.

We're not sure what this was, but it looked like it was the remnants of a HUGE temple party!

The road was beautiful, the ENTIRE WAY up the mountain!

... and was REALLY, REALLY steep most of the way up!

This was probably one of the more funny experiences of my entire life. When we got almost all the way up the mountain, we saw an old man, sitting in a roadside stand who got up to greet us as we got near. He motioned for us to park the scooter, so we did. We weren't sure why, but we did it. I got off first and followed him over to this statue. He motioned for me to take off my helmet and pick up a flower, so I did, trying not to laugh! Then, he motioned for me to fold my hands and bow about 20 times. Aaron, of course, being Mr. Photographer, was busy taking pics... but the man wasn't having it. He made Aaron come over and do the same thing. So, there we were, the two of us, holding flowers in our hands, and bowing to this statue, trying soooo hard not to laugh at what was happening! But then, the best part came! The old man took a cup of dirty water and dipped a paintbrush looking thing into it, and splashed a ton of water into my face! At this point, I almost lost it! Then, Aaron was next! Then, he splashes the dirty water into our hands and motioned for us to drink it! ehhhh!!!! I heard Aaron making a noise like he was drinking it, so I went ahead and drank it too. (Come to find out later, he just made the sound) I'm not sick this morning, so I think I should be fine!

When the whole ritual was finished, he allowed us to get back on our scooter and head up the mountain, but not before giving him some money first! hahaha

When we got to the end of the road, we saw a temple on the mountain. Aaron said he had read about the temple, and knew that it was the most sacred temple in all of Bali... so, we got off the scooter and decided to check it out. We were quickly stopped by this man, who told us we needed to put a sarong on first!

Then, we started the climb! 335 stairs in all! (Yep, I counted!)

.... and then we reached this! Notice, we are in the clouds! We were soooooo high on the mountain!

There was a man worshiping there who offered to take our picture!

After spending some time looking around the temple, we headed back down the mountain. We saw this beautiful area of bamboo and decided to see where the path lead.

Unfortunately it lead to a barking dog who wasn't happy we were there, so we turned around and headed back to the road!

The views on the drive were so gorgeous! These pictures just can't do them justice!

We heard this ice cream man behind us, with his Indonesian ice cream truck music blaring from his scooter, and we flagged him to stop! When will I ever again get ice cream from a man on a scooter!? We had to take advantage of the moment.

While Aaron was waiting for the man to scoop his ice cream, I walked towards the field workers who motioned for me to come over closer. I was so excited, hoping I could help them harvest whatever they were harvesting for a couple minutes... Unfortunately, they only motioned for me to come over so they could ask for money, which seems to be a common thing around these parts! The kids seem to know about 4 phrases: Hello, Bye bye, What's your name?, and money.

As excited as we were about the idea of ice cream, it unfortunately wasn't very yummy. In fact, half of the cup was filled with this tapioca juice mixture. I pretended like mine fell into the dirt! Oops (wink, wink) :)

The views in this area were absolutely spectacular.

On our drive back, we spotted this elephant on the side of the road with a dear on it's head. Aaron is such a great travel companion, because he's always up for stopping to take a picture for me! :)

7 hours later, we were back in Ubud with sore butts from being on the scooter almost the whole time! We walked for a little while and found this restaurant that had a whole page of Mexican food on their menu!!!!! I'm never a fan of eating food, other than the native food to the area, when traveling in Asia, but we don't have Mexican food in Korea, so we had to stop!

Then, desert was 2 chocolate chip cookies at this charming cafe down the road!

We took a long walk home, past the monkey forest (which was a bit terrifying), and made it back safely to the place, exhausted from our adventurous day!

Today we're going to try to find a hidden waterfall. Not sure if we'll be able to find it, but we're sure gonna try! Wish us luck!

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