After being status 1 on the Gold Coast for over a week. Yesterday around noon we slipped back to 0. As of around midnight local Bali time we are now back at a stable 1. This makes no sense? It is in reference to the binary systems computers use to operate. You are either complete, 1, or you are not, 0. When we travel, we are either at our final destination, 1, or we have not arrived yet, 0. We traveled to Bali (0) and are now ensconced in our hotel in Ubud (1).
We arrived last night around midnight and of course it was dark. It was quite a long ride from the airport to Ubud. Saturday night and lots of traffic. The ubiquitous scooters were racing along the road weaving in and out of cars. We are back in Asia.
Buildings lined the road almost the entire way. They presented an eerie landscape. The atmosphere was very spooky. Not only the darkened buildings but there were many statues of gods and warriors that loomed just within vision.
Bali is two hours different from the Gold Coast and when we finally laid down to sleep it was well past our bed time, one AM local time. Six AM the sunrises and of course the birds don’t recognize we need a bit more sleep and right on queue they start their day. A whole cacophony of new bird sounds, different than we got use to in Australia.
Scooters, oh my, are there scooters. 4 scooters for every car on the road. It seems to be the transport of preference for the local people. There are some brave tourists that rent them but I am quite sure there is a good number that go home with road rash or worse.
There is no doubt Ubud is one of the tourist destinations in Indonesia. There are definitely more tourists (Germans, Australians, Chinese, French and more) than locals. That said, the locals are amazingly tolerant of the hordes. I think they have it figured the tourists are for the most part their livelihood. The folks are super friendly. Debbie and I have been trying to relearn the little Indonesian we had learned previously and the people we meet are helping us out. We stopped for a Coke and the shop lady taught use ‘suksama’, thank you. From the fellow at the front desk of the hotel we learned ‘salamat pagi’, good morning. And the attendant at the old king’s palace filled us in with ‘siang’, afternoon, ‘sore’, evening, and ‘patang’, night, all matched with salamat.
We sat for a rest in the courtyard of the Ubud Palace and chatted with the attendant. He is a retired school administrator that works part time at the Palace. We talked about being retired, traveling and hobbies. It was a very pleasant conversation and break from the heat.
The streetscapes that were so spooky in the darkness were so because the temples, residential courtyards, and hotels all have very elaborate entrances and as mentioned the number of idol statues placed along the road side. The daylight changes a scary facade into an interesting, ornate, experience.
Our introduction to Bali was a pleasant surprise. Again it was the middle of the night and we arrive at Sama’s Cottages. We check in at the desk and we are lead to cottage number 2. The inside is an ultra modern high end hotel room. This is a good start to an adventure.