After the success of Day 1, I was sure Day 2 wouldn’t disappoint. Ben and Faye (my friends from the UK) wouldn’t be joining me as they had left for Lombok. Sad. However, I was determined to live like a Bravo celebrity for the rest of my holiday, so the plan was to do as many activities as possible while capturing it all on film. Day 2 was about to begin.
DAY 2 – BALI UPS AND BALI DOWNS
I walked over to the garden to find out how I best I could reach my destinations for the day. Like good Airbnb hosts and workers, Rudy’s staff offered great suggestions but I already had a plan. I had to ride the elephants. We sat for a while deciding the best place to go. Being on a very tight budget (more like cheap) I scoured the internet for price I was comfortable with. Would you believe me if I said, I found a discounted price of 20 USD instead of the usual 100 USD? I was happier than a kid in a candy store. Theo, the guy who’s in charge when Rudy goes to his day job, chimed in by stating there was no way that price was real. I thought to myself, how the heck does he know anything? Expedia doesn’t lie! Wayan Sudar (driver) jumped in to defend his coworker and asked to see for himself. I gladly showed them my phone and their eyes almost popped out of their heads. Victory was mine. (I never like to lose an argument). It was then decided we’d ride the elephants…um, I’d ride an elephant, since I was riding solo, after which we’d go to Besakih Temple (Bali’s largest temple).
Sudar was actually the birth name of my driver and soon to be tour guide. But in Bali the first born is called Wayan. Every child has a title before their name. When it gets to the fifth child (I think) it starts again from Wayan.
GO, KEIRN, GO!
As luck would have it, Mother Nature decided I needed some blessings and what did she do? She sprinkled all over my head. LOL LOL LOL. I wasn’t about to cancel my plans especially because we started off a little later than the day before.
Wayan had no clue where we were going, so it was up to me and the trusty GPS to guide us to True Bali Experience for an extraordinary elephant ride. The GPS took us for a heck of a ride. It felt like an episode of Go, Diego, Go! or should I say Go, Keirn, Go! We went uphill, then downhill, then uphill, then down…you get the picture. Talk about a never ending rollercoaster ride. Finally we arrived and it also stopped raining. I hoped.
Upon entering one of the men at the gate approached the vehicle. I was so unbothered cuz I suspected he was just going to give us directions. That’s when he said “85000 IDR (7 USD) to enter”. I was absolutely, shattered. I thought everything was included in the 20 USD entrance fee. Yes, 7 USD is not really a lot of money, but hey, with budget and the Balinese currency, that was like two very good meals. The universe favored me at that point because the guy further told us I’d get a discount of said 7 USD from the cost for the elephant ride. You know that moment when your heart flutters and you feel like you’re floating? Well that’S exactly how I felt. Grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
“Elephant ride is it? That’s 1 300 000 IDR (100 USD) please.” the lady at the receptionist uttered. They’ve obviously lost the plot I thought. The internet didn’t say that. Wayan was off to the side looking as if he was vindicated. Someone was lying and I felt duped. I showed the receptionist the price on the internet and I bet you couldn’t tell me what it said. The freaking day for the discount wasn’t until the next day. Might as well put me in the corner with the dunce cap on. How could I have made such a mistake? Now I was stuck at this place and had no other choice but to pay the 100 bucks, well 93 USD (yay discount!) No turning back now.
The elephant ride was calming yet bumpy. I’ve never experienced anything like it. There were moments when I felt like I was going to fall to the ground but I held it together. It wouldn’t be cool to fall off an elephant. I wouldn’t live it down, not with Wayan as my driver. Haha! Besides, it would have been doubly embarrassing to fall off an elephant cuz they never forget anything.
Did I mention that the cost for riding the elephant also included a drink before the ride, chocolate tasting and a full course lunch? I suppose it wasn’t so bad. Once again, I cared not about taking pictures of my food because, like the day before, I was starving at that point.
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY!
The elephant ride took about 30 ~ 45 minutes. Chocolate tasting and lunch went for another 20. It was 2’o clock and we had 1 more place to visit, Besakih Temple. It was an hour and a half away with no traffic and good weather. But Mother Nature’s had this sick sense of humour, so she unleashed her showers of ‘tour cancellation’ on us. Not today, I thought. That song from Barney & Friends popped in my head. “Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day…” My driver wanted to catch the words but I could only do so much of Barney at my age. >.< Instead I opted to blast some music from my phone to pass the time and mess around with snapchat.
What felt like an eternity to get to Besakih, came to an end when we stopped by Wayan’s hometown. Dude lives 2 minutes from this awesome tourist location. Anywho, we stopped by so I could get a sarong. I wasn’t about to give a mandatory ‘donation’ to wear one in the temple when I still had to pay for entry (3 USD). Nope! Wasn’t having any of it. Like true Balinese, Wayan’s family had sarong’s by the dozen. I hurriedly put mine on and headed for the temple. I really was enjoying my day. I was seeing parts of Bali that some people probably would only drive through.
This was by far the most spectacular display of architectural beauty I’ve ever seen. Besakih wore lush green grass, and charcoal pagodas. Each pagoda meant something different and the highest (11th) represented the highest god in their religion. Mother Nature struck again but she was more thoughtful this time. Still cautious, I pulled out my umbrella cuz you just never know. Step by step we ascended until we got to the very top at the last temple. The view breathtaking. I felt at peace. Like all my troubles were minuscule. I whispered, thank you, to my creator. I was doing what I never thought possible for someone like me. Besakih was, Besakih is BEAUTIFUL.
The day was winding down and I had just one more thing to do, EAT. Being from Jamaica, I love a good boxed food/lunch/dinner and that’s exactly what I wanted. Mind you, I didn’t expect it to be the same but I knew what I wanted. Wayan took me to his hangout spot where he goes after work. This was in a local market, one of many across Bali, where I could get me some food for 1.50 USD. Wild! I have to admit, I was a bit scared because it felt all too familiar. Almost as if I was in the downtown Kingston, Jamaica. I hated going downtown. I mean, I was only a tourist in a foreign country’s market, at night, with a ton of cash on me. What could possibly go wrong? I quickly snapped myself out of this crazy thought and remembered where I came from and who I was with. Fear, was no more.
We sat down for dinner in the food court. To be honest with you, I don’t remember the name of what I ate but I know for a fact I enjoyed it. Looking back, I probably should have asked the name but I guess hindsight’s 20/20. However, I should make a guess, I’d say it was Betutu.
I had such a great day riding the elephant and touring Besakih, I didn’t want it to end. Day 3 was only 7 hours from the time I had dinner and got back to the resort. I was ready. Stay tuned for part 3.
Till next time.