We decided after all the crazy running around to Ubud yesterday that today would be a simple beach day. So after being served breakfast, like the royalty that we are, we head on down to the Seminyak Beach. Now I don’t know if I told you that the beach is just 50 meters down the alleyway from our little Balinese villa, so it is very convenient.
Before we head to the beach I place a call to Kadek, the villa’s driver. I tell him that we are interested in renting a van and driver again tomorrow. He says that he has another client that he might be driving, but will cancel if we choose to go touring again. He wants our business more, since our group probably will make him more money. When I tell him that we want to go up to a town called Kintamani, he sounds agitated. He starts protesting and tells me that he is from Kintamani and that if we go there to hike Mount Batur we must hire guides. I tell him we have heard you can hike for free. He insists it is impossible.
Now we have read from multiple sources that it is quite possible to hike Mount Batur without guides. There are many postings on the web of people who have done just that. Kadek wants us to purchase permits before we go. We don’t want to purchase anything right now. We want to just go up there and see what happens. Maybe we can hike for free, or maybe we can’t.
I am tired of him being disagreeable about our plans. I tell him that I will call him back shortly and hang up the phone. I am having flashbacks of how cranky he had been the other day when he was our driver, and how he had insisted that we would have to be back at 4:30, which was way sooner than we wanted.
I have a plan. Many months ago prior to coming to Bali I had contacted a company that rents out 16 passenger vans. I remember they had sent me a quote. I spend several minutes frantically searching my email archives. Surely it is here! When I am almost ready to give up my search I find the email. So Kadek charged $75 for 8 hours. Wayan charges $90 for 10 hours, and $7 for each additional hour. That means that we can leave early tomorrow and stay as late as we want! It’s a no brainer. Plus I don’t have to worry about Kadek trying to push Guy’s expensive tours (Guy wanted $50 each person for this hiking trip).
I have to dial several times, but somehow I figure out how get my call through. Wayan is delighted to have our business, and promises that as requested there will be a van to pick us up at 03:00 in the morning. I explain to him where we want to go, and he does not have a problem with it. He does not get all snippy and uptight. I tell him again that we want the driver at 03:00 and that there are 13 of us. “No problem!”
As soon as I hang up I get a call back from Kadek. He wants to know if we are going to use his service tomorrow. “Never mind, we don’t need you.” I don’t tell him we have another driver. It is a bit awkward, and I know that Guy won’t like it if we hire another driver. I can already hear his sarcastic comments in my head. Oh well, we can do what we want!
Now I am finally ready to head down to the beach.
Our villa has a few items that we can use on the beach including this wave runner. As we are carrying it down to the beach we meet an Australian fella, who says that this is his primary source of beach entertainment in Aussieland. We enlist him to demonstrate the use of it to us, which he is eager to do.
However, the waves are huge, and he can barely get past the breakers. Once he is out quite far at sea, a huge wave dumps him off the contraption, and the wave runner floats up to the beach. Our Aussie friend has a long swim back to shore, but arrives safe and sound. Maybe this contraption is not really ideal to use in these conditions.
My little Jasmine is so fortunate that she has inherited freckles from her mom. She gets freckles just like I did when I was younger when I was out in the sun. The freckles were on my face just like this, and also on my elbows and knees, just like Jasmine. Funny how some traits pass on to future generations.
Part way into our day at the beach we get a bit hungry. There is a little restaurant on the beach that serves up some burgers. They taste a bit unusual, and when I take a bite I recognize it right away! There is liver mixed into the meat……liver burgers with egg…..mmmmm…..
Now today we decide that we no longer want to lay in the sand, but rather we rent umbrellas and lounge chairs. At first the umbrella/chair rental dude wants $21 for half a day, but we negotiate. We get him down to $14 for the setup until sundown, which is totally worth it. Bjorn still has a fever and I want him to be in the shade.
We have a little bookworm who always needs to be told to put the book away…..Bjorn is smiling even though he is still running a bit of a fever. That’s a pretty awesome parent that brings their kid to the beach with a fever!
The waves here at Seminyak Beach are incredible. We want to rent some boogie boards. The man who rents them wants 60,000 to rent one for two hours. We negotiate two boogie boards for the price of one.
Our cook, Made, has orchestrated another great dinner for us tonight. Before she leaves we tell her that we won’t need her services in the morning for breakfast, since we will be leaving early. If she is surprised she doesn’t show it. I tell her to enjoy her day off.
Everyone heads to bed early. Bjorn is still a little feverish, but hopefully by morning he is feeling better. I stay up to work on my blog, and get a visit by a squeaking mouse. What can one expect, though, when you are living outdoors.
I better get to bed because we have a crazy plan for tomorrow. As much as today was relaxing, tomorrow is going to be busy! We are going for a sunrise hike of Mount Batur’s volcanic crater, and its about a two hour drive to get there. We are going to see if we can slip past the Kintamani Mafia and hike up with mountain without paying exhorbitant fees.
I lay in the bed, but sleep eludes me. I twist and turn. I count sheep. What used to be four hours of sleep, whittles to three and then two…..I think I eventually fall asleep because I awaken to my alarm at 02:15…..it’s time to take on the Kintamani Mafia!