Now – starting the day by finding a scorpion in your shoe may not usually be an auspicious start but I think it may have forebode the excellent adventure that was in store for us. The alternative to not finding the scorpion before putting on my shoe would have been much more disastrous. Okay, the scorpion wasn’t really IN my shoe – seeing as my shoes are flip flops here – but it was underneath them when I moved them to put them on – and it was a real live scorpion – so that should count for something.
We continued our motor scooter assault of the Island of Bali today under the adept tutelage of our friends Larry and Rai Collins (pronounced rye – like the bread.) We buzzed through the rice fields of Keliki Village and met up with the dynamic duo in Ubud at 7:30am and headed for the coast. Kids in school uniforms, two and three to a motorbike whizzed by and a steady stream of folks were headed into the city while we headed out.
Along our way we made several stops – some because there was something especially interesting other times merely to combat motorbike butt during our ten hour odyssey. One of our stops was Gua Lawa – a Hindu shrine that comes with the extra special complement of a cave which serves home to several thousand long nosed fruit bats all chattering and basically just hanging out. What we didn’t notice, but I discovered through a bit more research is that the guano slick floors of this bat cave are populated by pythons all fat and lazy, their bellies full of unfortunate bats.
After walking around the temple grounds in our rented sarongs we headed back out on our scooters stopping by a roadside Babi Guling joint. Babi Guling is BBQ pork with the whole thing roasted on a pit after being rubbed in spices and filled with various goodies – here’s a recipe if you decide to try and cook it yourself.
After our snack we headed a couple hours further down the coast during which we weathered a thunderstorm in a woodshed followed by a rather fancy lunch in a seaside restaurant. On our way back to Ubud we made a side trip to talk with Larry and Rai’s incense supplier – remember these two are the proprietors of City Buddha back home and it has been the serendipitous meeting up with them that has made this trip to Bali a complete success for us.
Anyway – the whole process of incense production was pretty cool. The stuff City Buddha sells is 100% organic and made from natural ingredients, flowers, spices, natural oils and the perfumey concoctions are trade secrets to the woman who manufactures them by hand. Sara and I received some free samples and got a first smell of a cinnamon scent that was pretty darn good.
How Larry finds these folks is a mystery to me we were so far from the beaten path that the local kids came out in throngs to see us, testing their few phrases of English and squealing like Babi Guling candidates when we responded. Sara taught the throng her shortest poem by first rubbing her hair and saying “Shampoo” then rubbing her eyes and saying “Boo Hoo”. The kids chorused it back and we all laughed and laughed.