Temples and traffic jams

Tuesday, Jan 17

Today, Matt and I spent seven-and-a-half hours riding around Bali on a motorbike.

I think it’s fair to say that were lost for about seven of those hours.

Yet, it was perfect.

First we rode our pink motorbike – yes we’ve been cursed with pink vehicles – to the local ‘gas station,’ as all mopeds are rented out on empty.

There’s a makeshift stand every 10 minutes or so that sells petrol by the bottle. And it’s usually an empty Absolute Vodka bottle. They use a funnel to fill the bike.

After our four-dollar fill up, we got lost in the back streets of Canggu. It’s the region we’re staying in – about 30 minutes from the main city of Kuta.

The roads were very quiet, decorated with rice paddies, corner stores and the odd local.

At one point we merged with a pack of young schoolgirls riding bicycles.

They looked like characters from the Japanese cartoon Sailor Moon, wearing white blouses, navy blue skirts and blue ribbons in their pigtails.

Most people waved at us, smiled or shouted hello.

And when we finally found the famous Balinese temple, Tannah Lot, people stopped us to take our picture.

The temple is one of Bali’s most famous landmarks and is only accessible when the tied is out.

The tide was in when we visited, but it was still a beautiful sight.

After hopping back onto our motorbike, we were lost again.

This time it wasn’t so peaceful.

We ended up neat Kuta, where the streets are beyond busy.

I’m not sure why there’s even a white line in the middle of the road because no one pays attention to it.

Mopeds were passing cars, taking over oncoming traffic lanes and weaving through people on the sidewalk.

Everyone was constantly honking their horns and spewing off exhaust.

By the time we got stuck in our second traffic jam we were pretty frustrated – and getting a little nervous.

The sun was setting and the sky was bursting with thunder and lightening.

And then something amazing happened – we realized we were following a traditional ceremony.

Matt and I weaved through the traffic to get a closer look.

Almost everyone was dressed in traditional clothing: colorful skirts, cotton tunics and matching hats.

They were walking to a beat being thumped out by a large gong and numerous symbols.

It was beautiful.

As it started to rain, Matt and I realized we were only minutes from our hotel.

We were tired but uplifted.

What a fantastic day.

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