So I went to Bali in early 2000 with an ex girlfriend. Indonesia is a beautiful country. I don’t remember all that much, but I do recall that some parts of it where as scenic and green as Hawaii was to me.
In the picture above it was during a day trip to some waterfalls. We were there with a driver we had connected with and hired to get us around. The place was beautiful. It was interesting because you can’t tell who works for real, or who’s there running game.
In any case, my driver told me to go to some kid, pay him, and that he would take us in and show us around. It was like an escort of sorts, but I don’t think this was official. I had a feeling that this was some underground hustle they have going.
This was at a restaurant that was near the waterfalls. I don’t remember the food much, but the scenery was pretty amazing. Also, there was a lot of raining happening around here.
As part of the trip we headed out to check out some hot springs. Now the hot springs were not quite what I expected, but it was nice. I thought they would be more natural, but it seems that the pool is filled with hot spring water. Meh, okay.
So on our way here though, we were stopped by some sort of militia on the mountains. We had to pay them as per my driver so that they would let us pass. They had firearms and machetes. This was kind of scary but I can’t help feel that our driver set us up on this. My ex was fighting and didn’t want to give them anything. She said, “Those guns are probably fake.” My response was, “Those machetes are not!”
Despite being coned out of our money, we got to see monuments and all other kinds of neat stuff out there. It seems to me that these folks are heavily influenced by Indian culture and tradition. Though once out of the Bali area, it felt more Muslim influenced.
One of our dinners was right on the beach. We had lobster and all manner of amazing seafood.
The place we stayed at was a villa. We had our own pool, backyard and a two story place. It was pretty nice.
Bali had a lot of construction happening at the time. Its been a while, but I recall seeing a hell of a lot of construction equipment and work. This was even the case even near our villa, lots of construction.
Another thing that stands out in my memory is the level of poverty we encountered. I remember a kid asking me to give him my towel when we went to check out the rice patty region. I was baffled that he wanted the towel.
I recall also seeing a lot of stray dogs over there. We saw that and the monkeys which steal your stuff too!
Visiting Bali was nice play to visit. I wonder how it is now compared to then? I’d love to return someday.