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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DAY 9: Massage and Rice Paddies!

DAY 9 was all about relaxation in the morning, and exercise and adventure in the afternoon!

We started the morning with our usual breakfast at the place, and then did some blogging and interneting. It's a good thing I enjoy writing my blogs, because they take FOREVER! As I was sitting, writing my blog, I could hear kids screaming and crying outside the door, so I went out to see what was going on... and this is what I saw! Yes, they are weighing him! haha

When I was finished, we rode the scooter for a while and decided to grab some lunch at the same place we went yesterday! We noticed the same European man as we saw yesterday and decided to strike up a conversation with him. Turns out, he's lived all over the world and currently lives in Bali doing some sort of interior architectural design. He grew up in Austria and knows German, Italian, French, Chinese, and English! He was a Psychiatrist for a while in Austria and then began some business ventures. He told us all about the secret side of Indonesia... Here are some things, we had no idea about:

1. The dances were created by Europeans when tourism became popular 40 years ago. They did have dances before this, but they were very simple, and the clothing was not colorful, bright, and beautiful.

2. The temple structures within the living compounds were built for their ancestors... and many times the families will try to build the nicest, with the most gold, to impress their neighbors.

3. Women have virtually no rights in Bali.

4. Bali doesn't follow Indonesian law.

After talking with him and eating lunch, we rode the scooter over to the market to meet the old man who offered to give me an hour long massage for 20,000 Rupiah. When we arrived there, he didn't seem to recognize me, so I asked a man standing by where I could get a massage, and he said, "This man, here" and pointed to the old man, sitting on the curb. Aaron asked, "Where does he do it?" and his answer was, "Here on the street!" hahaha. Not exactly the massage I had in mind... So, we jumped on the scooter, in search of a REAL massage place.

We landed at Massage Bliss, where I had a 1 hour Balinese Massage, a sea salt scrub (boobs included... that was weird), and a warm bath with fresh flower petals! It was incredible... all for the measly price of $10.00!!!!!

After massage time, we rode the scooter for a bit, to check out the surroundings! I found this beautiful entrance to a home!

We had read in the Bali Lonely Planet book about a beautiful 2 mile hike through the jungle, rice paddies, and Ayung river, and decided it sounded like fun. So, we found the starting point: Sayan Terrace Hotel. What a gorgeous view huh?!

We asked where the trail was that lead down to the water, and we were pointed in the direction of a very old, warn out, and overgrown pathway. We laughed at what was staring us in the eyes, and started the trek down the VERY steep and muddy jungle hillside!

And, finally, with no broken bones (thank goodness!) we made it to the river!

Then, about 200 feet away, we found this staircase leading to where we had started! hahahha!

We began walking along the river and were stopped by this lady, who informed us that the land was private land and that we should cross over to the other side of the river and walk through the rice paddies instead. So, we followed her into the river! She promised us it wasn't very deep, but by the time we made it to the other side, my clothes were completely soaked and I had had a good laugh along the way!

As we were walking through the jungle, she pointed to this banana tree! She said I could try one, but that it wouldn't taste very good, because it wasn't ready! But, you know me and fruit, it can NEVER taste bad... so, I pulled one off the tree...

... and bit into it!

and then I spit it out! She was right! It was disgusting. It tasted like biting into a piece of chalk! She laughed, of course, and said I'm like a monkey!

We saw coffee beans...

... chocolate...

.... a snake, which she found slithering across the pathway... ehh!

... papayas...

... mango stein (which is absolutely delicious!!!

... and the most gorgeous Banyan trees I've ever seen! These were thought to be over 2,000 years old! Can't find that in Cali!

She lead us through a small village where we met these adorable kiddos, who were more than willing to have their picture taken! It was a nice change from the Korean kiddos, who shy away when a camera is around!

As we were walking, I saw a woman, walking ahead of us, with this huge basket on her head, and asked the lady who was guiding us, if I could try carrying it on my head! She laughed, and asked, "Really?!" Before I knew it, she had yelled for the woman and asked her if I could try!

It was WAY harder than I would have thought, and I could barely balance it enough to let go! Looks like I've got some practicing to do!

When she put the basket down, we saw that she was carrying huge chips made from local vegetables, rice, and __________ (I can't remember... I'll fill this in later!) So, we bought some!

and I walked over and gave them to the neighborhood kids! They apparently are BIG fans, because they were sooo excited when I handed them to them!

More local kids on the road.

We got into the main village and she called 2 of her friends to take us back to the Sayan Hotel so we could get our scooter.

They were VERY nice and stopped here so we could take a picture of the volcano in the background, which we are going to be riding the scooter to this afternoon! Aaron, Mr. Mountain Boy is ready for some hiking!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, eating, walking, and riding the scooter! :) We are huge fans of this area, and are gonna stay at least one more day!!

Time for our Volcano adventure!!!

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