Day 212: Tanah Lot For Nothing

After going into extreme detail the past few days, I am going to attempt to keep today’s post relatively short. The reason being I didn’t actually do much. For me the best part of today was spent chasing my tail trying to catch up with old work. We did do one touristy thing during the evening when we visited a Hindu temple. Other than that we took it slow for the first time since Ann and Simon’s arrival.

• Sarah and I woke up when the alarm clock rang at 9:45am. We figured that’s about the time her parents would be ready. How wrong we were. After taking the time to get up and dressed, when Sarah knocked on their door she discovered they were still in bed. Come. 10:30 they were ready, and the four of us went out for breakfast.

• There was a neighbouring resort just down the road from ours which had a restaurant open to anyone. We found a nice table in the shade and each ordered a breakfast set from the menu. The pool of the resort was a lot nicer than ours, and it had a large decorative waterfall built onto the side of it. By the time we’d finished eating, two hours had passed. Both Sarah and I were extremely tired after having gone to bed late, and not having the luxury of a lie in. Instead of going back to the room to rest, after settling the bill they all went to the beach, while I forewent it to work on my blog in my room.

• I locked myself away in the room like a recluse. For the length of time the guys were at the beach I was reading over old posts, correcting errors as I went. I didn’t realise before how much I’d actually written. Each one took me a good 40 minutes to check over. At one point the cleaners came, and like the agoraphobe I was becoming, I almost sent them away. Then I thought it best they came in and tidied up a little. It took them all of ten minutes to give the room a once over, leaving a freshly made bed and spotless bathroom in their wake. I then got back into bed and engrossed myself in my work. After typing, re-typing, reading over, and making corrections, three hours had passed. After that amount of time the guys returned.

• Sarah came in making demands right off the bat:
“Come on, we’re going to the pool”, she said abruptly
“I don’t think so”, was my response.
“I am really busy and almost done with this one post”, I continued.
“But you’ve been in here hours, and we even stayed on the beach that much longer to give you more time”, she said in an attempt to guilt trip me.
“No Sarah, you can’t say that. I didn’t ask you to stay there, and this is my trip too. I chose to stay in the room because I had work to do. That was your prerogative to stay longer”. I retorted. “By the way, you look very tanned”. I said in an attempt to steer the conversation in another direction. Sarah then stood around looking bored after only 30 seconds. After a minute she gave up and went to see her parents next door. When she came back I was all but one paragraph from the end. I saved what I’d done and handed her the phone. She went on Facebook and immediately her mood shifted. Such a mercurial being. Sarah took a quick shower, then grabbed her parents, and we all went for dinner downstairs.

• Ann, Sarah, and myself all had the same meal. A chicken burger with fries. Simon on the other hand had a spicy Balinesian dish. While we were waiting for the food to arrive Sarah FaceTimed her sister and niece. It must have been strange for Isla to see the two people she was used to seeing in person on a little screen. They all made coo-coo noises to keep her entertained, then they said goodbye when the food arrived. It was another prize winning dish by the Grandma staff. Our burgers were surprisingly heavy, and contained a decent sized patty. When we finished we had just enough time to go back to the room to get changed, before grabbing a taxi to visit a Hindu temple.

• Just before the restaurant we’d visited earlier that day, there was a tourist shop which acted as a taxi service when needed. We hired one of the drivers to take us to a place called “Tanah Lot”. This Hindu temple was recommended to Sarah and her parents by her brother Marc. I don’t think it was so much the temple he wanted us to see, as it was the sunset behind it. The drive there was very nice, if not congested in places. We passed many small rice fields, and at one point Sarah pointed out a volcano in the distance. It was then she suggested we climbed one during our time in Bali. On the way to the temple Simon made small talk in the front with the driver. He told him many facts about the differences between the driving regulations of Bali and England. It seemed anything went in Bali, whereas in England they’d fine you for simply sipping on water whilst parked at a red light. The journey took 45 minutes to reach Tanah Lot, and we had to pay 30,000 rupiah each for admittance. We then made our way down the street to locate this “beautiful” temple.

• Maybe I’d seen too many temples by now, but I felt disappointed with what we saw. Granted what we could see of the temple looked ok, but the most part of it was hidden behind bushes. There were hundreds of people with cameras in tow snapping away, and there was even one Balinesian man sat with a large python. I presumed he was making money from anyone who wanted to hold it. It was clear this place was quite touristy. The only time anyone could reach the temple was when the tide was out. Any other time it was blocked by strong waves. We made our way across the wet slippery stones only to find the main entrances were shut off, and there were Hindus sat around keeping people out. It turned out you could only enter if you were Hindu. The sun was still setting in the stormy sky, but it was nothing like the ones I’d seen before. I felt sorry for Ann and Simon as its places like that, that the sunset should be spectacular. They were let down once again by the bad weather. In the end we went to higher ground, and sat at a bar over looking the lonely looking temple. As we sipped on our drinks the sun set lower and lower, turning the sky around it a purply pink colour. All that was left visible of the temple was its dark silhouette, and in the distance we could see lots of lights coming from boats on the horizon. It was then Ann and Simon taught me a new word… flotilla. It’s a collective term for the sea baring vessels. More and more lit up as the evening went on. When it got dark it began raining, fortunately we were under a parasail and we managed to finish our drinks under shelter. Afterwards we paid up and began making our way back.

• As we left we could hear chanting coming from a second temple beside us. Ann was keen to try and look over the short wall to see what was happening, but was left disappointed when she couldn’t get a good enough view. Sarah then noticed something in a small local coffee shop next door. They had a sign which said “Luwak Coffee”. This was a type of coffee they harvested from the droppings of the Luwak. They had three of these animals on a wooden climbing frame they’d built for them. There was one adult and two younger ones. Sarah asked me to take a photo of her beside them, but I had my trepidations as I didn’t know if it was above board. The animals seemed happy enough as they had the freedom to run around, they could even leave if they wanted, but chose to stay. I just didn’t know where they’d come from in the first place. I took some pictures before the pair of us caught up to her parents. When we were all back together, we returned to our taxi driver and he took us home.

• On the way Sarah was enquiring about other places we could go that night. Secretly I was hoping she’d stop, as I was tired. All I wanted was an early night. But I knew it was Sarah’s parent’s holiday, and if they wanted to go somewhere I’d have happily accompanied them. Fortunately the driver told us all the markets were closed, and if we wanted to go he’d only drop us off. We’d be stranded. Instead we just went back to Grandma’s, but we did enquire about prices to Ubud for the following day before getting out of the car. He gave us a reasonable figure, much like the driver did the day before, and even said we could visit a nice beach before we set off. We considered his offer and returned to our hotel to mull it over.

• We each went back to our rooms, where we remained for an hour or so. I used that time to further read over my blogs. By the time I’d finished, I had only one more day to read over. After an hour or so of being back, we decided to go out for food again. Ann suggested going somewhere other than our hotel. The first place we tried was double the price of Grandma’s, but “Benny’s” next door was perfect. They sold cheaper food, but it was just as delicious as Grandma’s. Ann liked it more than the rest of us. She adored everything about the place, the small pond with a fountain, the shape of the building, the decorative lighting, and even the house band. She liked it so much in fact that she asked to have her picture taken in front of it. We were all mighty impressed with our meals. I had the chicken hot plate, it came with BBQ sauce and fries, and it reminded me of something I’d order back home. In that moment I was almost as happy as Ann. I did feel rude during tea, as I was playing on my phone the whole time. I was adamant I’d finish uploading my blogs to the Internet now that I’d checked over them, and the restaurant had a better internet connection than our hotel. I didn’t mean to come across as rude, but I feel as though I’m suffocating if I don’t stay on top of them. I am so sorry Ann and Simon, I know you’ll be reading this, and I can only hope you’ll accept this apology. It was rude of me to be so anti-social during a sit down meal. I hate it when people play on their devices during diner, and there I was being the worlds biggest hypocrite.

• After our meals Ann wanted to stay and watch the band a little longer, but nobody else did. Sarah tried encouraging Simon, but he didn’t fancy it. Sarah then offered herself, but Ann had changed her mind. We said good night in the hallway and retired to our rooms. Sarah began packing her bags, while I stayed on the bed finishing up the blogs. By the time I’d finished adding keywords and photos to each one, it was almost midnight. Even when we’d managed to get in early for once, we were still up late. After catching up with myself, Sarah had packed her bag. I picked out an outfit for the next day, packed the last of my things, and finished off with a shower. When I was dry I had the pleasure of working some more on the blog. You see, although I’d finally caught up, I hadn’t actually. As I still had today to write about. Now I am on the final paragraph the time is 2am, which wouldn’t be so bad if we were getting a lie in, but we weren’t. Instead we’d be getting up at 8:30am to travel southern Bali, before heading to Ubud. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone with an addictive personality it would be… “DON’T START A BLOG!! IT WILL CONSUME YOU!!!”

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