Sunday, December 30, 2018

Cycling In Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 4: Of Art Markets & Goodbyes!

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Cycling Indonesia Bali 2018 Day 4: Of Art Markets & Goodbyes!
Bali, Indonesia: Saturday, 24th November 2018
This is part of a multi-mode tour Bali & Nusa Penida:
Cycling Distance: Not applicable.     |     Level: Not applicable
Time : 9:45am to 10:35am
Time Taken : Not applicable.

This is page 4 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D3 Karangesam       |     Go to Other Days            |          Go to D5 Penida 1 >

Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic Directions!
    Traffic in Indonesia, is right-hand drive, so cycle on the left. Same thing applies when crossing the road, take note of the direction in which traffic is approaching from!
2. Route & Traffic Conditions  
    This past few years, KutaUbud and the surrounding regions have developed tremendously and traffic along most roads can be quite busy. Cycle with care and do take note that there are many motorcyclists around. Traffic at Karangasem is very much lighter.
    There was no cycling today, we visited the art market by coach.

3. Weather
     Bali during end November can get quite hot, with temperatures averaging 31°C and 25°C for day and night respectively, so do re-hydrate regularly. Do expect some rain during this time too.
     Useful weather forecast sites for the Indonesia is AccuWeather. For more detailed weather, including cloud cover and wind speed, use Weatherspark and Ventusky.

4. Points of Interests
    Along the route were several places of interests, some of which we visited others we did not for lack of time:
Sacred Monkey Forest (GPS: -8.51875, 115.25859) in Ubud.
- Neka Art Museum (GPS: -8.49224, 115.25362) in Ubud.
- Agung Rai Museum (GPS: -8.52283, 115.26383) in Ubud.
Babi Guling Ibu Oka (GPS: -8.5064, 115.26235).
Guwang Art Market (GPS: -8.60462, 115.28098at Sukawati.
- Balinese Massage at Carla Spa (GPS: in Kuta. A two-hours doubles session cost 130k Rupiahs (RM38).

5. Food
Breakfast: Mixed Balinese and western fare at the Sungai Restaurant in Sthala Ubud Tribute Hotel (GPS: -8.57247, 115.25964).
In Kuta:
Lunch: Nasi timbel , Mee Goreng, Gado-gadoKopi Bali at Warung Muk Putu (GPS: -8.73453, 115.16552).
Tea: Bakso at roadside stall at Jalan Samudara next to Lippo Mall (GPS: -8.73542, 115.16659).
Dinner: Babi Guling with Pork Cracklings at Warung Sari (GPS: -8.73446, 115.16726), a side lane stall.
Supper: ice-lemon tea & iced Lidah Buaya (aloe vera) at Warong Kang Zanger (GPS:-8.73743, 115.1676 ).

6. Accommodations
    Bali has a wide range of accommodations, ranging from six-stars hotels, to homestays and even back-packers hostels.
    Back at Kuta, we stayed at two hotels; we guys stayed at Swandewi Homestay (GPS: -8.73452, 115.16628) and the girls at Dedy Beach Inn (GPS: -8.73459, 115.16677); prices per twin-sharing room per night were at 170k and 230k rupiahs respectively. Addresses and contacts are as follows:
Swandewi Homestay
Address: Jl. Kartika Plaza, Samudra Lane, Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali 80361, Indonesia.
Phone: +62 878-6137-7983
Dedy Beach Inn
Address: Jl. Samudra No.55, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 756637

7. Communicating with Each Other
    When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost from the rest. There are booths selling these just after exiting the arrival hall of Bali (Ngurah Rai) Airport. We opted for Telkomsel's at it provides the best coverage even at many of the remote areas of Nusa Penida, and got their Simpati prepaid sim cards with 10GB of data valid of 30 days at 250k rupiahs. 3G internet is available in the more populated areas but can drop to the slower GPRS or even Edge in remote areas.
    Most hotels, motels, home-stays, restaurants, and airports have free Wifi; do note that these free wifi may not be secure and registration could be required. But one can safe on one's mobile data by using these especially for uploading or downloading videos.

8. Communicating with Locals
    As Bali, is a favorite tourist destinations, many locals speak fairly good English. At the smaller towns, locals speak some rudimentary English. The older generation speak very little English, so knowing some basic Bahasa Indonesia (or even better - Balinese language) will come in handy and also warm one up to the locals.
9. Navigation
    We used Google Maps in Walking Mode for navigation but there is a lag when starting off, so one would have to cycle a bit to get the orientation right. Google Maps is also useful as it shows updated places of interests that may not be shown on GPS units.
    Alternatively, download the MAPS.ME app together with the relevant country maps. This app can be used offline.
10. Service Your Bicycles & Carry Tools and Spares
    Before leaving on your tour, it will be good to service your bike and bring along some spares like tubes, puncture patches, brake pads and the relevant tools.

Tari Gebug Ende (War of Rattan Dance) at the Ujung Water Palace.
Yesterday, one our second day of the "We Love Bali" cycling event organized by  the Brompton Owners Bali (BOB) we had a warm welcomed by the Regent of Karangasem followed by a good ride at her regency with later visits to a couple of parks such as Ujung Water Palace and the Tirtagangga Water Park before ending our day at Ubud.
Today our event group will spend half a day visiting an art market before saying our goodbyes.

This map shows the locations of the Sukawati Art Market and the hotels, food outlets we patronized in Kuta. It's a non-cycling map as we had transfers by buses.
Cycling Distance: Not applicable.     |     Level: Not applicable.

After a hearty hotel breakfast, the buses took us over to the Guwang Sukawati Art Market. It's one of the largest art markets in Bali; but before entering we notice several shrines at the entrance. This one is dedicated to Ganesh. The traders here and other locals will pray at these shrines several times a day, and at the same time make offering with canang saris. These are floral prayer offerings put into small trays woven from young palm leaves.

The colour of the flowers offered and the direction in which the canang saris are placed signifies offering to different gods. Each direction symbolizes a Hindu God (deva)White-colored flowers that point to the east as a symbol of IswaraRed-colored flowers that point to the south as a symbol of BrahmaYellow-colored flowers that point to the west as a symbol of Mahadeva. Blue or green colored flowers that point to the north as a symbol of Vishnu.

The Guwang Art Market is a different art market from the more renown Sukawati Art Market located about a kilometre away. Visitors will easily find more space here than at Sukawati. For example, ample parking space is just after a large banyan tree with a small shrine filled with daily flower offerings and burning incense. The market itself comprises three main blocks or ‘blok’ in the local tongue. ‘Blok A’ is at the left of the entrance, where kiosks mostly sell wooden carving items and other souvenirs. ‘Blok B’ is at the right, and sells textiles, such as clothes in various motifs and colourful sarongs. ‘Blok C’ resides between A and B, connecting the two blocks with some foliage adding to a more shady souvenir shopping experience. A sitting area here also provides shoppers the chance to relax.

 There are many traders and artists here vending art work of different Balinese art styles and on different themes. There are the traditional/classical Kamasan (Wayan)KlungkungBatuan & Ubud styles, and lately a surge of newer stylesmore colourful psychedelic ones. Many of the artwork are of the lovely Balinese culture & ceremonies, markets, fishing boats, farm and country scenery; and there are those of Hindu deities, animals and beautiful flowers. And these comes in paintings, carvings, sculptures, handicraft souvenirs, colourful Balinese fabrics, clothing, and fashion accessories etc.
The above is a Kamasan style painting of a Balinese festival complete a Balinese mythological dance illustrating the good Barong fighting the evil demon queen Rangda. The dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.

We went around appreciating the artwork. There were also newer styles paintings like the above showing Balinese dressed in traditional costume attending a religious festival.

The there were the modern ones like this painting of flowery girl in a colourful psychedlic style.

Wood carvings abounded too, this one was a bust of a Balinese dance couple.

For the souvenir hunters, there were rattan handbags.

Various Balinese masks; this one in batik motifs.

Beaded motif turtles.

Some of us bought paintings and carvings, many of the girls bought the rattan handbags. And almost all of us bought the traditional Udeng headgear. Here's my buddy Sin (of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) displaying the Udeng he bought.
(..... see more of Sukawati artwork)

The reason we got the udengs were to wear for our Brompton Malaysia Batik Run Event held a few weeks later. Here's a photo of us proudly wearing our udengs and the BOB event T-shirt during the event held in Kuala Lumpur.

Back at the entrance, the altars were already full and many of the canang sari offering were laid out on the floor. Even though that they often laid out on the floor (especially right in the middle of the entrance door), out of respect, one should not step on them.

12:00 noon - We are back at our hotel, our packed Bromptons were put into a waiting truck. And we boarded buses that would take us to the airport or to our respective hotels in Kuta.

.... and it was GOODBYE!
We had all had a good time, getting to know Bali better, having fun with old friends and making new ones.

Enroute we passed by several building that had a mixed of local and colonial architecture; these buildings give a link to Indonesia's Dutch colonial past.

And somehow my eyes were drawn to the beautiful sculptures along the way; they were so many of them dotted all over the island.

Back at Kuta, the streets leading to our hotel were lined with penjor decorations, their leaves dropping over the road. Penjors are tall tapered poles made from bamboo and placed outside Balinese Hindu homes during certain religious holidays. Due to their length, often up to 10m, the poles droop or hang over the road, creating a very charming effect. Roughly halfway down the pole a structure also made from bamboo is attached, this is called sanggah cucuk. This may be triangular in shape or it may be a simple "cage" and is used to place offerings in.

After checking into our hotels it was out to lunch; having eaten here previously we had warmed up to her and treated here like our Balinese godmother. She was busy preparing the spiced sauces for gado-gado, slowly pounding the nut with her lesung batu which consisted of a cobek mortar and ulekan pestle. On seeing us she was all smiles!

A closer look at the cobek mortar and ulekan pestleThe cobek is a type of bowl used as a base for pounding or kneading activities, while a ulekan refers to a blunt elongated object such as a club that can be held by the hand to pound or knead a material. Her cobek was a flat one made from stone, while her ulekan was made from a hard tree root.

Made with love from her gado-gado was very good - tasty and nicely spiced without being too chili hot.

We would be staying in two hotels, it was Ah-Neh's idea. The next few days we will be going off island to Nusa Penida and would not be bringing our bicycles along. Us guys will be staying at Swandewi Homestay as they had a store to keep our bicycles; whereas at Dedy Beach Inn, where the girls stayed, there was no store but instead had a pool for a cool dip during this hot season. We guys could visit them and cool down; it was the best of both worlds.

Haha... a good idea but it rained soon after and there was no need for that cool dip. Instead we went window shopping to compare prices, things here although cheaper than the upmarket hotel areas of Kuta was slightly more expensive than prices at Ubud. A push-cart stall tempted us to stop have tea time snacks of bakso.
Bakso is an Indonesian meatball, or a meat paste made from beef surimi. Its texture is similar to the Chinese beef ball, fish ball, or pork ball. The word bakso may refer to a single meatball or the complete dish of meatball soup. Mie bakso refers to bakso served with yellow noodles and rice vermicelli, while bakso kuah refers to bakso soup served without noodles. Bakso can be found all across Indonesia, from street vendors to high-class restaurants. Along with soto, satay, and siomay, bakso is one of the most popular street foods in Indonesia. Interestingly, the name bakso originated from bak-so (Pe̍h-ōe-jībah-so·), the Hokkien pronunciation for "fluffy meat" or "minced meat". This suggests that bakso has Indonesian Chinese cuisine origin.

6:30pm - Okay.... it's dinner time but we will not be having dinner yet but will be going for some Balinese Massage, see it's not good to have a massage on a full stomach - those bakso will have to sustain us for the time being. But guys don't be expecting the soft hands of lady masseurs, this part of Kuta is predominantly Muslim - it's male masseurs for guys and lady masseurs for gals 😊. But I had no complains, Jaggus, my male masseur had tender hands but could give a good hard massage. He was adept too, he knew that particular spot on my head to massage so as to temporarily relieve my sinus problems.
Sorry, no photos here of the massages.... it's something private 😆.

Our busy schedule at Ubud had deprived us of a chance to try the renown Babi Guling Ibu Oka.(not that we are complaining). Fortunately round the corner we found, Warung Sari a side-lane stall that sells fairly good Babi Guling, theirs may not be as good as Ibu Oka's, but being a small stall we got to have a nice, warm chat with the operator and her two daughters.

Babi Guling is a type of roast pork made from piglets stomachs are filled with herbs and vegetables such as cassava leaves and then roasted on a spit and cooked the skin becomes brownish and crunchy. Guling pigs were originally used for both traditional ceremonies and religious ceremonies, but now guling pigs is sold publicly in Bali.
Here's my plate of Sari's babi guling, we had asked for the fatter cuts as these were tastier and more tender, the skin was crisply roasted but we did add on extras of pork cracklings (those yellow spongy stuff on the right).

Although it was not a cycling day, we did have a good day of eating and shopping. Our prayers with the canang saris were answered.

Rahajeng wengi! 
(That's Goodnight in Balinese)

(For more photos of the day Click Here)
This is page 4 of a 6-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D3 Karangesam       |     Go to Other Days            |          Go to D5 Penida 1 >


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