Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 2 - to the Volcano...

Our hotel has everything you need. The free shuttle service will take you anywhere local for free. The restaurant is good, cheap, and always open. The front desk has tour brochures and will arrange everything for you. They have massage facilities and local artists (woodcarvers) work on the compound.

The first day out we had a hotel provided driver take us around the island. We had 8 hours to go wherever we wanted for $60. Better deals are easily found in town.

We made a few stops along the way. The first was a shop with vintage painted signs. The next was a grassy terrace with a view. As soon as we stepped out we were covered with locals who inundated us with their wares. They literally put their stuff in your hands and all rapidly yelled numbers. It made me a little nervous and Katie flipped out - it was worse than China she claims. Their other trick was to say something like "1 dollar" or, equivalently, "10,000 rupies" with something like chopsticks in a holder or a chess set, referring to 1 item. After awhile you get used to walking past and ignoring them.

On the way to our first real stop, a volcano, we were stopped by the police. Our driver got out, handed him a few bills, and we were on our way. There were similar payoffs every place we parked and at the main entrance to the volcano. We experienced an interesting aspect of Balinese tourist culture 10-20 cents at a time.

We enjoyed an Indonesian buffet outside, overlooking a vast panorama that included the ocean, volcano, and green shrubbery growing around the black magma from the last eruption. You can hike the mountain. We chose to eat lunch, take some pictures, and move on.

No comments: