December 11th 1983

posted in: The way back | 0

Lake Trunyan

Today, at last, we were determined to leave Ubud.  We had only thought to be in the place for a day or 2, + that had somehow stretched to 5.  But, for a while at least, we were content to be moving on from village life.  We have noticed that, apparently in contrast to other travellers we have met, our boredom threshold is very low.  Others seem happy to spend days, or even weeks, in one spot, soaking in atmosphere + coming to grips with the place.  We grow restless after just a few days, + apart from the days when we’ve stayed somewhere to work, we’ve never (I don’t think) stayed in one place for more than a week.  For myself, I think it’s something to do with my personal quest, looking for something, or perhaps, as I said to Pete recently in a letter, someone.  And I haven’t found it him her yet.

Anyway, the mechanics of our leaving : first a Bemo to Sakah (on which we met an English lady, who planted the idea of teaching English, either in Malaya or Singapore), + then another one to Bangli.  At least, it was supposed to go to Bangli, for that was what we’d been told by the driver + conductor.  We were, therefore, angry when the bemo stopped + we were directed to get off + catch another one to get there.  Perhaps I was a little unreasonable with the young feller who took our bag + started carrying it off to another bemo, but I was annoyed.  In any case, I grabbed the bag back, + , I’ll confess, I pushed him a little.  Against my nature, but there you go.  A turning worm.  I also deducted a small amount from the agreed fare (for duplicity) + we went off to find another bemo.

Mt Batur

This was no problem.  We were at a small crossroads, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but there were plenty about.  We were only taken as far as Bangli tho’, + then had to negotiate the final section, to Kintamani.  This we did, making it quite clear that we wanted to go all the way to Kintamani, one trip.  This was agreed upon, but it was some time before we left, since the bemo had to wait for enough customers to justify the trip.

On the way we passed by Lake Trunyan with its accompanying mountain, Batur.  It’s quite impressive, but according to the yellow guide, the hassles in the town there are not worth the effort, + our experiences there while we waited in a brief stopover would seem to confirm that – the people were pushy.  Once we arrived in Kintamani, the immediate priority was to find somewhere to stay.  This was a matter of some urgency to me, since I had been struck down by Val’s tummy bug, + was in urgent need of a toilet.  Val left me in a café while she checked out the various places.  I had thought I would be alright for a while, but I’ll confess I was feeling a little desperate when she returned with her report.  Her report was not good, in that she wasn’t specially keen on anywhere, but we rushed for the nearest one anyway.  However, once I’d used the toilet, we decided the place next door was a bit better, so we bought a drink form the place where we were, made some excuse, and left.

The hotel next door was indeed much pleasanter, + they even had an old copy of Newsweek lying around.  So while Val went off to explore the town, I lay in my bed + read.  Val returned eventually with a C- on the town, rating it smelly + without any particular interest.  For tea we had mashed potato + oxo gravy, all made on our stove, + then had an early night.  Not that I got much rest, since I was up + down virtually all night.  We didn’t have an en-suite toilet either, but luckily it was just next door.  Even so, it was a real chore.

Yet another declaration of the fact that we do seem to have a restless streak in us, and were keen to move on – a topic I seem to think I have broached on various occasions. And as such, the usual sort of hassles, and my more or less regular irritation at things not going as I would like them to, and my consequent grumpy and rude attitude. Easy to spot in hindsight, at any rate; no doubt at the time I felt sufficiently justified in myself.

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