Bruised thighs and altitude highs
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
We ended up lost in the capital Denpasar
The island soon opened up into glorious paddy fields, lots of Indonesian flags, Hindu temples, houses that appeared to have a full temple on top of them and lots of roadside statues that were fantastic. Although I think since we knew where we were for once and had already wasted lots of time getting lost turning off the road to explore some of the small villages was not the best idea. Don’t get me wrong the villages were fabulous and all the locals seemed really happy to see us I’m not sure how often people really get off the beaten track in Bali
We soon started to climb up into altitude and it got very, very cold I suppose that is to be expected when you are actually above cloud level but my worries about the bike not having enough power to get us up there were unfounded and although sometimes we almost stopped the beast got us up every climb (although it ate petrol whenever we went up hill). We got some stunning views of lakes and the monkey forests and still with maybe an hour ride to go to reach the north coast we were knackered and our backsides were numb. (Erica edit: Yes it was extremely cold so cold that I had to wear the t-shirt of Andrew’s that I had brought to stop the sunburn to actually keep warm – not exactly what you would expect of Bali.)
We descended the mountains down really steep roads in terrible conditions hitting pot hole after pot hole back to the madness of town centres although a lot calmer still from down South. There were lots of parades and groups of teens marching in the streets singing as they went, I’m not sure if it was notional day or something to do with VJ day maybe but having spent all morning doing crazy overtaking manoeuvres and having crazy overtake and undertake manoeuvres done on me but the distraction didn’t really help me much
We were now so tired we had started to get cranky but decided to traverse the north coast from Lovina Beach in Singaranja to Kubutambahan before finding a different North bound road back. The difference in the temperature is incredible one second you are roasting and the next you are worried about hypothermia dressed in just a t shirt and shorts (and my super safe helmet packed with that well known shock resister, newspaper). Anyway the perils of riding a motorcycle became obvious at one point I was hit in the face with a plastic bag creating a naked gun style comedy moment (Erica remained unaware).
Also of note on the trip around were passing the schools or school buses all the kids would run shouting hello, before making a bizarre two figure salute which turned into a V sign (no they weren’t giving us the fingers it was presumably a nice gesture) all the locals whenever we approached smiled and waved and genuinely seemed lovely.
We reached the most famous temple in Bali which was stunning but we still had temple lash and stuck to our vow of never going into another Asian temple on this trip. More stunning, stunning views and the we started to descend towards our other intended destination in Bali, Ubud
We hit the road again and instantly went numb all over again counting down the km marks one by one all the way to Denpasar. By this point the evening rush hour had really got to me and we were undertaking, overtaking, using pavements and doing all the ridiculous stuff we said we would never do. At one point trying to find the road for Kuta we were following another bike across the pavement to skip the traffic when the bike in front joined the traffic we went straight into a car and was knocked off. That was the wakeup call we needed so that calmed us right down again. (Erica edit: I love this 'we’ thing). Although lost again we eventually found Bali airport (further south than we intended to go) but this was a good landmark as we knew our bearings from there. We eventually rolled up at the hotel not long after 6pm so almost 12 hours driving not stop practically without eating anything all day. What were we saying about it being a breeze?
By this point neither of us could actually get off the bike so the rest of the pool had to watch us covered in dust and glasses covered in bugs have an argument to try and help each other get off the bike
We went to our cheapest eatery and had a special rice and Chicken Satay and soon drifted off to sleep. My last words of the day "If I ever go near another motorbike please shoot me".