Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Belated Balimoon • The adventure continues...

At my husband's urging, we took a 40K bike tour through the countryside starting from a town called Kintamani, which is located at the top of a volcano (Gunung Batur), and weaving ourselves down through the small villages towards Ubud.  FYI – that’s 24 miles for you non-metric types … but mostly downhill. :)  The bike ride turned out to by one of my favorite experiences in Bali. 

Two other American couples, one couple living in Singapore and one couple living in Washington DC, joined our group.  They made for wonderfully fun company.  After we selected our bikes and tested the brakes (very important), one of the guys asked our guide, “What should we look out for as in, being dangerous?” And our guide said, “Just watch out for small children and dogs”.

I liked how the gigantic size craters in the road, uneven gravel and rifts in the asphalt weren't even mentioned as dangerous. Top that off with ‘roads’, that were 6 inches wide in some places with generously used brakes on a beater bike as you're speeding downhill and I think you might approach being dangerous. But curiously our guide thought the kids and dogs were the most dangerous part of the ride. Seriously, how can you not love Bali?
It’s crazy how fast we were going downhill.  We have some videos of our ride, since my husband thought it was a good idea to shoot videos one-handed while hurling downhill.  I guess by Balinese standards this was still within the realm of being safe. I know that safety is relative, especially in foreign countries.  Living in Korea has possibly desensitized my perception towards unsafe things. 

It’s crazy how unsafe a lot of things seem to be compared to the US.  Maybe I just notice more potential hazards because my previous job required me to deal with building codes and designing safe spaces for people. Or maybe it's because it really is crazy to have sharp low hanging metal awnings at eye level.  And that's just one example of things we encounter daily out on the streets in Korea.   More to come ...

Photos starting from the top:
gunung batur (mount batur) \ me & my husband \ view of my back (courtesy of my sweet husband) \   


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