The 26 July was a full day of just travel. The alarm went off at o-dark thirty for the first leg of our trip back to Bali. We flew back to Kuala Lumpur had a 6 hour layover then another 3 hour back to Denpasar, Bali arriving on a rainy night at 1900. We returned to the AP Inn where we had stayed 26 days earlier. The following morning 5 of us packed our bags and hired transportation for the 1.5 hour journey north to Ubud. Distances are more measured in time rather than distance like in a big city due to the volume of traffic. Ubud is only about 30km or 18miles from Kuta, Bali so 1 hr, 30 minutes is a slow journey. We arrived around 1230 and the first order of business to lunch. We were all hungry since breakfast was 6 hours earlier. While we waited for our order Chad used the time to secure some accommodations. He found a nice room at basically a home stay for the 5 of us. It was a great place for the night in a quiet location away from the main roads with lots of bamboo trees and a patio overlooking the creek. After dropping our gear we went to wander around town and to set up a service project. Chad found a school that could use some outside assistance and we made arrangements to meet with the headmaster the following day. The day was quickly coming to an end and evening arrived. As we walked back to our place we were accosted by some ticket sellers for a Balinese dancing show later that evening. We bought some tickets for the front row then set out to eat dinner before returning for the show. I was not familiar with Balinese dancing but it was an amazing 1.5 hours of traditional Balinese dance and music. The subtle facial expressions and fine movements in the dance were amazing. Chad, Drew, and I really enjoyed the show and were very impressed. It began to rain and rain it did, it poured for several hours that night making for a wet slog home. I have used my travel umbrella quite extensively on this trip.
The following morning, 27 July, we went out and rented scooters. We needed to have some independent transportation for several days while in Ubud. Chad had made some arrangements for us to work at a local school helping teach English and basic computer skills for several days. The school was about a 30 minute ride from where we were staying. It is a good setup. Students have to apply and most come from poor families. The school is 3 years and focuses on hospitality and tourism. It is tied into a resort so students get to learn in a real world setting the theory they learn next door in the classroom. The plan is to teach three days, computers in the morning and English in the afternoon. After we set our plan for teaching, it was time for lunch then to do some exploring. I was interested in riding about 15km to Gunung Kawi one of the oldest temples in Bali created in the 11th century. It was a beautiful ride through the terraced rice fields. We arrived at the temple after 45 minutes of riding/routefinding and spent about 30 minutes wandering around taking photos before loading up and racing back to Ubud before the late afternoon rain came. As a mirror image of the prior evening around 1900 the clouds opened up and it began to rain just as we arrived back at our new hotel (we changed from the previous day). It once again rained off and on for several hours and at times very steady. I was glad we made it back before riding through the downpour with my camera and other electronic gear.
For several days we did some volunteer teaching at the Suli School in Ubud. We built and delivered lessons in English and basic computers for freshman and sophomores for three days. It was a real joy. The students were eager to learn and had a great time with us. In between teaching, we spent time on our scooters riding around the countryside which was a real joy just to go and explore the area. I am leaving on Saturday the 31 back to Kuta, Bali about 15 minutes from the airport for my flight back to the states. It’s hard to believe that I have been on the road for 7 weeks and my trip is at its conclusion. This trip has been amazing and I am looking forward to building a slide show and sharing my experiences.
Until next time,