We arrived at Lovina Beach and made our way through the channel in the reef to find a nice spot in 30 feet of water with good holding. We got the boat all put away and then decided to go to shore for dinner. It was Steve's birthday so the crews from Tin Soldier, Scarlett, Pó oino Roa, Baraka, and Airstream all joined us to help him celebrate. The band even sang "Happy Birthday" to him. We had a great time and an excellent meal.
The next day we joined Chay, Katie, and Jamie from Esprit for a drive down south to Despensar to shop at the Carfour grocery store. We drove up steep, winding roads to the ridge, and then descended into a valley. Along the way we enjoyed the lovely scenery with all the terraced rice paddies. In one small town we enjoyed seeing all the traffic, which were almost all horse-drawn carts and motorcycles. We arrived in Despensar where we stopped at a dive shop and Ace Hardware. At the mall we purchased a new camera to replace the one that we lost, and we then we ate lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Next we took care of our grocery shopping and grabbed an ice cream sundae before leaving.
The drive back was by a slightly different route that proved to be just as lovely. This island is quite green and beautiful, and many crops are grown in the central valley. Most Balinese are Hindu so we saw many temples on our drive. There was also the usual monkey forest where one could see more monkeys, but we declined this time.
On the 22nd we spent the day taking care of government paperwork and patching our dinghy. In the evening we attended the welcome ceremony and were treated to some wonderful Balinese dancing. One dance by a beautiful young woman in a stunning costume included picking men from the audience to dance with her. Steve was chosen once again and put on quite a show for the audience. He was a very good sport. About six men danced with her including one young local man. There were three dances in all, and the costumes were amazingly beautiful and colorful. After the entertainment we walked to the Sea Breeze Restaurant for a buffet dinner, which was quite good, and we enjoyed the music that was played for us.
On September 23 we left on a road trip with Esprit and Tin Soldier. We decided to go to Ubud, which is an artist and handicraft town in the south central part of Bali. Our first stop was at a beautiful temple called Obyek Wisata "Ulun Danu" at the edge of a lake. We walked around the peaceful grounds, and we had a chance to watch men making a new roof for one of the buildings. One type of palm tree on the island has a thin, black fiber that grows around its trunk. These fibers are layered to create a thick roof for the temple buildings. Next we stopped at a coffee plantation where we sampled Mongoose coffee, which is made from coffee beans eaten by the mongoose. The beans are then recovered from the poop of the mongoose, washed three times with boiling water, and then roasted. The coffee was good but very expensive. One taste was good enough for us.
We arrived in Ubud around noon and checked into Sama's Cottages, which is a quaint place with small cottages and a lovely pool. We walked into town and enjoyed lunch at the Lotus Café. After lunch we walked to the central market, which was huge. Everything you can imagine was sold there, and it was a maze of isles and shops stacked to the ceilings with goods. I bought another hand fan and some small wooden spoons. The vendors are open to bargaining, so I usually paid about half the asking price. It then began to rain, so we decided to return to our cottage. That night we decided to eat at Miro's Restaurant because it was still raining and the restaurant was very close by.
The next day we went with Tin Soldier to the Monkey Forest on Monkey Forest Road. We hired a taxi driver named Yomen, who turned out to be very funny and helpful, and he waited while we went through the forest. We bought some bananas to feed the monkeys and entered the park, where we were immediately set upon by the monkeys because they could smell the bananas in our pockets. Steve decided right away to ditch the bananas, but Glen held on to quite a few. One monkey jumped on Glen's back trying to get into his pockets to get the bananas and actually got quite aggressive. Glen then decided to hand out his remaining bananas, and from that time on we just enjoyed the scenery and watched the monkeys carrying on. It was very entertaining and a nice way to spend an hour.
From the Monkey Forest we drove to a weaving shop where we purchased some nice pieces for back home. We then had Yomen drop us off back at the market so that we could walk through it again. Steve and I left after a short time and found the Mumbul Restaurant where we could have lunch, and Tin Soldier soon joined us. Steve ordered pumpkin bisque, which was exceptional and chicken curry. I enjoyed a lovely chicken avocado salad.
We returned to the cottages and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool. For dinner we decided to return to the same restaurant because the food had been so exceptional. This time Steve had fish curry, and I ordered a tuna steak, both of which were excellent.
At 10 o'clock the next morning our drivers picked us up at Sama's, and we drove back to Lovina Beach by a different route. This trip took us to the very large Tuluk Biyu Batur Temple in Kintamani. Before we could enter the temple, we had to rent a sarong with a tie sash so that we would be appropriately dressed. We were very lucky because It was a special day in the Hindu faith so the temple was decorated with brightly colored flags and banners. The locals were all bringing offerings of food such as whole roasted pig, fruit, rice, etc. It was quite interesting to watch them make their offerings and then sit down to say prayers.
After the temple we ate lunch at a restaurant that overlooks two of the volcanoes on Bali. Mount Batur was spectacular, and we could see where the last eruption had blown part of the cone away. The larger Mount Abane was hidden in the clouds. We all decided that we were now ready to return to Lovina Beach so that we would have enough time to stop at the local Carfour grocery store for some last minute items, which just happened to include ice cream.
In the evening we went ashore once more for more dancing. After the dancing we returned to the Sea Breeze Restaurant for the Regent's dinner, where there was the usual speech and buffet dinner, but it was a lovely evening, and we had a very good time.
Our last day in Bali was a busy one. We enjoyed lunch with Scarlett O'Hara and then took care of posting a blog. About five boats got together at Tropis Restaurant for dinner and then walked to J.B.'s to enjoy a dessert of Death by Chocolate. What a way to end the day.
We left for Kumi the next morning. The passage was mainly motoring because of very light winds. It was a challenge with all the fishing boats, cargo ships, and tugs pulling barges. We arrived in Kumi on Kalimantan on the 30th after a three-day passage. I will write about our adventures in Kalimantan in the next blog.
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