I left this morning my nice cozy bed, air conditionner to climb 1200 meters above sea level over less than 20 km. As usual, the weather was very hot. Usually, by mid-day, it reach 32 ishhh celcius (humid). This morning, I drank more than 3 litres of water and still, I had an headache because I was dehydrated.
This morning, I found a restaurent with written prices. Ye !!!! Another one ! After few km, the road was already climbing. I got ungry very quick and they had not so many restaurents along the road. Few Km before the top, my legs were shacking. I had to eat. I had only one chocolate bar which was not enough. I had found a restaurent along the way but because she did not gave me a good price, I did not want to eat there. I know, I’m stuburn ! I had to eat ! Every few hundren meters, I had to stop. At about 4 km before the top of the hill, Ihave reach a small market. The market was connected to a house. In Asia, everyone has rice ready in the kitchen. Then I stop, bought a water bottle and I have offer them to buy some rice. She gave me a nice bol of rice and a big piece of fish. When I left, my energy was back and I was feeling much better. Suddently, a car stop infront of me. It was the couple I had meet in Singaraja at my hotel. When I had meet them first in the hotel, she was wandering why I was able to speak bahasa indonesia. I had told her I was travelling on the bicycle and staying with local families at night. Today, they have invited me to stay with them when I will reach Denpasar tomorrow.
Tonight, I found a nice family to stay near the lake at the top of the mountain. I had a good night in my tent. The temperature was colder.
This morning, I have left the family and I have reach Denpasar at around 9h. I ate a second breakfast in town and went for the immigration office. I had change my plan again. Now, I wanted to take the Pelni (ferry) to Flores island on Saterday. So, I had to extend my visa before to go to Flores.
Today, as been an EPIC day ! When I got in Denpasar, I went at the immigration office to extend my visa. My plan had changed. I wanted to go to Flores’s island. A boat was leaving from the harbour on saterday afternon. Keep note of this. Denpasar is NOT a good place to extend a visa. It take 5 days to do it and you need to go to the immigration office back and forth. Step 1 : fill the documents, Step 2: on the third day, pay and take photo, Step 3: get your passeport back. When I shown the officer my passeport, he then notices no one had stamp any entry date on my arrival visa at the Jakarta’s airport. The officer could not understand why….but it was not too bad because they had stamp a date on the receipt. Because of it, he could not proceed to the extension. I had to go to another immigration office that was located about 15 km away. It was about 11 am, it was really hot, I had no map other than an adress on a piece of paper. I had already bike 50 km. Then, I took my bike and went for this place as quick as I could. It was far…It took me over 1 hour to reach the second immigration office. When I got there, they did not understand why the officer had send me here. I was really upset. I told myself: Ho no ! Don’t start to play ping pong with me. It’s hot, I’m on my bike and I’m exhauted !!!! According to them, this process has to be done in the nearest kantor immigration where I was staying. Penatih, my friend area, was not part of this area. After I had explain my situation, they finally agree to help me. However, to extend my visa, I had to purchase a return ticket which, I did not had ! I have never book a flight ticket as fast as I did ! Of course, they did not had internet at the immigration office. I took my bicycle again, went for the nearest Mc donald for Wifi, book my flight, went to another place to make some copies of certain documents. It was 15h 00, I was exhausted !! At 15h 30, step 1 was completed but my mood was not better. As written previously, I had to come back two days later to pay and take my photo. My friends were living far away (about 20 km). Plus, what would I do…I cannot stand to stay couples of days at the same place. I had told my friend I would stay with them for 2 nights but now…I was stock for a week ! Until now, Bali had not been my favorite place, bumping from one tourist area to the other one every 30 km. I just wanted to be on a more remote island again… This imigration office is located near Kuta, a famous place for surfing. Everyone was looking good, surfing looking. I was exhausted, not smily, I was smelling bad, wearing my big biking clothes. But…. I this moment….,I did not know yet that the couple I had meet previously on the road would turn this nighmare into a dream coming tru….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have reached my friend’s place at 17h 00. I had already bike 95 km. After having explain my situation, Ayu offered me to stay with them for the time of the process. They had to go back to Singaraja, on the north coast, for the weekend. They had a wedding and Hindu ceremony in a temple. GREAT ! Then, she said her husband, Agung, was the king of the Majapahit’s kingdom in Singaraja…. What !!!!!!!
I was so confused ! What was all of this ! He was the king of the Majapahit’s kingdom of Singaraja ! Why were they living in Denpasar and not in the Kingdom in Singaraja. Their were not living in a palace. They were so nice and simple. At first, I though they were joking. Agung is rarely serious and he likes to make jokes. Then, she shown me her tattoo on her finger. Only the king and the queen has this tattoo.
They were calling servants few cool looking young guys (mohak hair cut) that were always with them. I was so confused. I though they were friends of them. They were always joking all together, looking like nice old friends. They did not look servants to me. Then, one after the other one, they removed their T-Shirt to show me their tattood 😉 Every man in the kingdom has this tattoo.
In the afternoon, we went to their office. In Denpasar, Ayu and Agung have a silver’s compagny. His exporting jeweleries in my countries. At the office, I went on internet and did some researches. It was hard to understand the informations on wikipedia. After a short chat with her, here is what I have understood. Long long long time ago, Indonesia was running by the Majapahit’s kingdom. The king’s name was Prabu Siliwangi. This kinddom was located on java’s island. Later on, for some reasons, the kingdom has moved to Bali. Now a day, the country is not anymore running by this king. Since 1945, Indonesia is a republic. However, in the tradition, the locals are still recognizing the King over the generations. In Bali, currently, there are about 5 kings (one for each district). My friend, Agung, is the king of the Majapahit kingdom of Singaraja, located on the north coast. She also shown me some video on You Tube. Agung has some kind of super power or special energy. He’s able to see in the future, to turn water in oil, to light a neon tube by only touching it. After looking on internet, he brought me upstair in a room. This room was composed of one holy room for mediation, which only him was allowed to go in. Also, in this room, had a big table, a trone and few chairs. When sitting at this table, Agung has the abilities to talk with the first queen and King. If you are interested, you can look on you tubve for Bali spiritual center.
At night, I meet few people. With some of them, I have discussed about the tourist in Bali. I told them some people did hard business with me and that I did not enjoy it too much. Both agree it was like that and they said they did not like this massive tourist industry. It was too much ! This industry was taking over the tradition. One said an artist had paint thius somewhere : Bali is not for sale. I’m happy to hear that and I hope more artists and people will stand up for this cause ! One of the guy told me that some locals people are selling their nice rice terraces to rich foreigners in order to build big hotels. This is why I enjoy travelling on the bicycle and staying with the people at night : leave no trace !!! However, sometimes, I feel so bad when for one night or two, I enjoy a nice bed in a tourist area, encouraging a industry that I’m not agreeing with and which give me so much troubles sometime when I travel on the bicycle.
Today, I had my own driver 😉 He drove me to the immigration’s office to complete step number 2 (payement and photo). I feel so thankful. The immigration’s office is far away from their home. He will help me for all the process. This is very helpful ! Today, after this, me and my friend were supposed to go all together back on the north coast to Singaraja for the weekend (wedding and Hindu ceremony). At 10h 00, after I paid 35 $ for the visa, I had to take another ticket number for the photo. The officer has suggested me to go for lunch and come back at 13h 00 because my ticket number was 123 and they were serving number 40. When we came back at 13h 00, the computer was indicating # 90. At 13h 30, still # 90. At 14h 00, still the same number ! What happen ! Everyone were sweating, getting upset…Then, someone said: the system has shut down !!! No way !!!! No way, no way !!!! Will I get this stupid visa ! I love to be with my friend and I’m thankful for their help but, this process as to end one day. I want to go back on the road, I miss the road ! We will need to come back again for step # 2 ! I could not even come back on Friday. My friend had already left for Singaraja with all my belonging because the process was taking more time than expected. The driver drove me back to Singaraja to my friends’ house on the north coast. Now, I will have to come back on Monday to complete step #2. After, I need to go back Wednesday to pick up my passeport between 14 – 15 hrs. What next will happen ! Will I get it ! For few seconds, I got very upset. I love to be on the bike ! I don’t stand it to much if I’m to long time at the same place. I enjoy very much my freedom. Plus, I love biking Indonesia and I don’t have so much left. However, this is not a positive of thinking. I told myself I was living a unique experience with very good people. The process was longer than expected but I was lucky that I had to meet Ayu, Agung and all the people from thecommunity of the Kingdom. They are SO good with me. Its unbelieveble. I will never forget it! I’m having the royal treatment lololol !! On Saterday and Sunday, we are going to a traditional Indonesian wedding and I will see a Hindu ceremony.
Tonight, I almost died ! No, almost…but…not really. Agung shown me a tradition weapon. I took the weapon (tombak runcing), have tried to remove the cap and then,…Ayu just screams at me. Don’t do that ! I though I was not allowed to touch it.Then, she told me to never touch the Iron part. This part of the weapon is poison. When they are making this part, its is mixed with poison (snake or frog’s poison). If you touch it, its ok..but if you cut yourself a little bit, you need to get the antibiotic within 15 minutes. If not, you die. My godness !!!! So scary and so smart !
This morning we all got ready for the wedding.We left at 10h30 escorted by the police.
The ceremony had already happen. There were serving meal for all the guess. I have enjoyed more traditionnal food and I had the chance to see what was a traditionnal indonesian wedding dress.
We stayed there about 1 h and left for Ayu and Agung’s temple. Not so far away, in the Balineese’s montain, they are builing a very pretty temple. The place was so beautiful. Its very difficult to capute the beauty of the place with photos because its quite a big place. However, I could say the place was very quiet, green and peaceful. A lot of people were coming for the ceremony and I could feel the love between everyone. It felt like a nice and big family. The place was very inspiring and I went for a little bit of meditation at night.
While I was meditating, I got suddently disrupt by some praying. It was coming from Agung and Ayu’s house. Many people were sitting together and praying infront of what they call, the wife of Shiva (name: Durga). This was the opening of the ceremony of the Odalan.
The balineese are still very close of their traditions. This morning, everyone was getting ready for the ceremony, using the natural element of the nature to create beautiful offering for the gods. This ceremony is meant to celebrate the birthday of the temple.
This morning, I have helped the women to distribute the offering all over the temple and playing with Agung’s toy.
Here is a photo of the ceremony:
At the end of the ceremony, few womens were dancing traditional balineese dance. I think, one women, was in trance.
Many were facinating about my journey on the bike. I had few discussions again with some of them about the tourist industry. I’m happy, some of them are now able to make the difference between a tourist and a traveller. Here is a sentence I found in the book of Christophone Cousin, Le bonheur au bout du guidon: Le tourisme dévrateur est un autre cataclysme et je culpabilise de parfois me sentir un rouage de cette industrie du voyage industrie inevitable et non sans consequence – mais me rassure car le voyage n ‘est pas un tourisme. Here is my definition of a traveller. When is travelling, the traveller has a full consciousness of his impact and tries to minimise it has much has possible.
At the end of the ceremony, I have started to cry in silence. Few tears dropping on my cheeks. I was SO thankful to finally see the Balineese beauty, feeling the love of this community and be part of it, having been rescue by two angels. I don’t believe in any particular god. I’m not a religious person. However, I believe something / someone up there is taking care of me.
Went back to the immigration’s office. Step 2 completed ! Need to pick up my passeport on October 29 between 14 – 15 hrs. After, I’m heading to Sumbawa’s island.