Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A motorbike ride

We decided to rent a motorbike while staying near Amed.  I looped my camera bag over my shoulder, and hopped onto the back of the bike.  Keep in mind that it's probably 85 degrees F and humid, so I am wearing shorts, flip flops and a tank top.  Your standard motorcycle gear.  Let's go for a ride!
the green blur, motorcycle in motion.

To see a larger version of these photos, just click on the image.
What you want to avoid when riding a motorbike on hot, narrow, empty streets is a flat tire.  We ended up stranded (after the motorbike repair shops had closed) with a flat tire and ended up walking for about an hour back to our hotel.  Funny how a quick motorcycle ride is so different and much more time-consuming on foot.  Don't worry, upon reaching the hotel, we recovered with cold Bintang, and the motorcycle was rescued not long after we returned.
As you can see, the streets near Amed were much quieter than Denpasar's streets.
 Bali is predominantly Hindu, which sets it apart from the rest of Indonesia, which is mostly Muslim.  Religion plays a major role in the lives of the Balinese.  As we rode along, we noticed these bamboo poles along the streets.  I believe they are called penjor, and they decorate the entrance to each family compound.  They are put up for the religious holiday called Galungan, which occurs every 210 days, according to the Balinese calendar.  The Balinese form of Hinduism is really a mixture of Hindu, Buddhism, Javanese and ancient indigenous beliefs.  
A closer look at the ornament hanging from the penjor.
I read in The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok travel survival kit that every village in Bali has several temples, and each home has one as well.  That means there are more temples than homes. 

In addition to exploring the area on motorbike, we also signed up to do some scuba diving while visiting Indonesia.  I haven't gone scuba diving in a decade, so I did a refresher dive in the pool with the dive master and a darling young woman from Holland.  M and I also spent some time reading our dive manuals and getting ready for wreck diving, drift diving and navigation diving.  Fun.  I don't have an underwater camera, so you will not get a chance to see what I saw underwater.  I am sorry about that, since it was amazing.  I did do some quick little drawings, while sitting by the pool one day.  Maybe I will share those with you...


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Cynthia Schelzig said...

And what a green it is at that! What shades of green,,,and the light a totally different shade too...of course I am under a foot of snow so what do I know about seeing the light:) Living at the foot of the Alps obscures your vision sometimes:) What a fun adventure you had...can´t wait to see more!

ArtPropelled said...

I enjoyed that but am glad i didn't have to walk back to the hotel in the heat.

Terry said...

Karine, that's one thing we notice when traveling. EVERYWHERE is more green than where we live. Shades of green we've never seen. And flowers in shades unknown to So. Cal.

Your photos are wonderful. And you and M are very brave to ride a scooter like a local.

Sounds like your trip was worth the long plane ride.

Hope to see your drawings of what you saw under the sea.