Bali day 4: Ubud-Motorcycle Ride in Rain

Posted by Fico , Wednesday, April 23, 2008 5:55 PM

Today we're planning to go to places around Ubud with motorcycle.
After lunch we ask the hostel owner if he had motorcycle that we could rent. His son then lead us to a shop not far from the hostel. We got a Suzuki Spin (matic) with price Rp 50.000,- (expensive!!) we had to fill the tank with our own (fuel not incld.)
First thing first, we're planning to go to Taman Ayun Mengwi.
After fully confidence around Ubud with not so very comfortable to ride motorcycle, we are perfectly lost... (woman can't read direction... oh yeah right !). Thanks to Bali government once again for not taking serious about the ROAD SIGN ! uggghh ! This province had so many income from tourism i just can't understand why they can't invest on such things as road sign ! so it made every tourist easy to access to places of interest ! its so anoyying !
We seemed take wrong turn and then we decide just to ride motorcycle around Ubud.. where ever the road lead us. Peter want to see the rice field and villages around Ubud.
So we ride out town Ubud, and see lots of rice field... its very beautiful. I don't even know the place name.. we just ride and ride.. the street goes up into hilly area. Theres this small road that said it goes to Ubud botanical garden (but we never really made it there), we did pass the botanical garden, but Peter said its not as big as the one at Bedugul, so we skip it, theres rice field everywhere, and it was beautiful with hills area on the back ground. We ride slower (below 40kmph). Enjoying the view. Peter said he went to the botanical garden days before i arrive in Bali and he said he don't really like the botanical garden because they charge expensive and its not that much to see there. Then i said.. okay.. we won't go there.
But then as the road get higher, i see the sky getting dark, and its almost raining !
And less then 15 minutes after that its raining !
We stop in a shop next to street. Talk and talk about Iraq war, G.W Bush, reason why Australia sent their troops, and about John Howard, etc. (not vacation "material" for sure). I don't even remember why we start to talk about war things hehehe... But this what i like with Peter we are up to talk about most of things ! (and i could use silly comment as as joke without afraid heard so stupid).
We ride again, i see a lot of shops that sold carving and pretty pretty things like painting, some cute kite, and a lot of colorful art like lamps and furnitures, bags, bed sheet, mosquito net with unique design.. we only pass the shops because i thought we will pass it on the way back(silly thought!! and quite regret it cause its really nice small shops) and suddenly... we already there at the famous street where the view often become pre-wedding pictures background !!! This rice terrace place name Tegalalang. The view is amazing !!


We stop to have tea and coffee. Tourist comes, taking pictures and go. I feel so good because i could sit for a while, not just take a snap shoot, not even "feel" the place and leave in hurry... thats not how you enjoy your holidays... why need to be rush ?? (remind me of my office routinity !!)
We sit there like 20 minutes, just enjoy tea and see the view. I feel my tired eyes so fresh see the green view. The air feels great too as its not hot and quite humid because its a bit raining. We talk and just enjoy our tea/coffee here. The tea price is not expensive, if you included to the "view" package which is Rp 4000,- The vendors at street are VERY aggressive. They remind me of attacking bee (scary thought !) one of tourist could crowded by 5-6 vendors that push their things on the touris face, put some batik on their shoulder, tied their wrist with hand made bracelet made from leather and ask them to pay (sigh). This is not the way to attract tourist, i am not impressive at all. We were lucky because were sit on the tea shop, so no vendors and we could rest and talk (and flirt haha !) with none disturb us.
When i open the map, then i see we could continue to Istana Tampak Siring (Tampak Siring Palace). Its a famous palace in Bali, and from the backpacker mailing i heard lots of people said its very beautiful. I heard they said it was not open for public, but then they forget to write that we cant even go further than the parking lot !!!!!
We don't know that as we ride about 15 kms with pouring rain ! i feel so cold, as i could see my fingers turn to blue. Peter said we should stop, and we stood in front of an art shop for few minutes until the rain not so hard.
After knowing that we can't even see the palace, i feel quite dissapointed, but not for so long as i know theres another place to see. Next we headed to Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave).
Not far from the palace i stop for asking direction, theres several guys with motorcycle said just follow one of them as he is heading that way (he is a policeman as their friend say). We try to catch him but he ride to fast ! and its raining !
Its not that safe to ride motorcycle especially matic in high speed and heavy rain. My glasses soon get blurry and can't really see a head, Peter give me sign to stop again.
I don't know why its raining again and again.. but then i just find out that maybe where we heading is short of following the rain cloud ! so we ride and it will be raining, we stop.. the rain will stop too ! and when we ride it will be raining again !
I just feel funny to see both of us soaked in our wet dress.. well.. Peter not really as wet as i am because he sit on the back. He is worried about my camera, thats why we stop. I feel funny cause i remember the India movie, and feels like were on an India movie set with lots of water, rain..and rain !
We do several stopping before we finally arrive at the Elephant Cave. One of the shop owner said its very romantic because we ride in rain (rolling my eyes), Peter don't know what she's saying because she talk in Indonesia, hahaha... not that romantic because were in vacation and we could catch flu !! but its does a little bit funny for me for some reason.
As soon as we arrive in Goa Gajah, i decide to buy new shirt, my dress really soaked !Peter said he is okay, so i get my self a new shirt Rp 25.000,- its ok quality, i don't have much choice tho.
We went to the ticket both, once again, i ask if Peter could charged as local, and they said okay, so each of us charged Rp 7.500,-. We had to wear sarong because we only use short. And this cave is a sacred place that still used by Balinese to pray and several ceremony still held in here.
We enter the cave area and see this:

And the guard said this water believe could made you look younger (like forever young things ?), he said we should wash our face 7 times (i don't know why, its cleaner for 7 times..errhh?) so Peter do it, and then me, the rock is quite slippery so watch your step !

The water is feel fresh and a little bit cold. Theres another spring with similar 3 females statue next to this one but it was closed. Maybe because it was used for ceremony purpose.

The woman statue does look more chubby than me, hehehe (wink at Peter).

After taking pictures, a young guy approach me and explain about the spring and the cave, i assume he must be a tourist guide. He speak with me in english, and i let him do it. After a while i speak with my indonesia, he quite surprise he said he thought i am not Indonesian (not a hot news). He then show us around the cave area. His name is I made Griya. Seemed Peter could get along with him (smile) he talk with Peter, and i leave them (because they seemed too serious) to see the ceremony that held by a family.
When they back again we take picture in front of the cave entrance and then went inside the Elephant cave.

The cave still used until now for meditation. Its not a very big cave (as i thought), and its not as dark as i thought. The cave it self name after ganesha statue inside the cave. Ganesha is knowlegde God, it form as elephant. I forget the name of person who build this cave but is said that he build this by his own finger nails (scratch the soil..ouch). The cave it self is quite mystical with the meditation place, must be very dark at here at night.


Then we went outside and see other temples near the spring. Theres old trees, it age like hundreds, huge tall tree. Made then explain that they had to dig this area to find the cave and the rest of temples. This temples and area surround is actually a meditation area that stretches until 15 km's area consist of woods and few waterfalls.
We visit a Buddhis temple, which incredibly on the cave area, so it means they were build side by side, Hindu's and Buddha's temple. Made explain Hindu and Buddha are like brothers, the belief is almost the same. And balinese respect other beliefs... hmmmm... nice...


On the way to the Buddhis temple i see a huge rock that shaped like head of statue, Made then explain that statue is falling from top of hills ahead us because of earthquake.
On the temple he also explain, theres twin ganesha statue there before, but someone stole the other "complete" ganesha and left one that seemed being damaged by time. The ganesha statue that i see have less shape with ganesha that i know, the face is broken also some part of statue.
I feel so angry because .. that person so irresponsible stealing things. The thing is not only a statue its symbolize one of Gods and a sacred one ! you can't sold sacred items ! its very low.
We then walk to a rice field to the exit.

We ride back to Ubud as its only 20 minutes from Elephant cave. We arrive at 6.15 pm veru tired. We had to find Perama bus tour to go to Bedugul tomorrow.
So after cleaning our self we went to Perama and get ticket to Bedugul for Rp 40.000 each, they will pick us up at 9 am.

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