Tuesday, January 17th, 2017: Day 5 Ubud
This isn’t my first rodeo but I’ve never woken up with nausea from two drinks and my bowel movement wasn’t typical either (told you I was getting real in this blog). I had been warned so much prior to planning this trip that Bali Belly (really bad food poisoning. disaster at both ends of your body) was actually a thing. But I can honestly say that I had been super cautious about the water here the entire length of our trip thus far. I didn’t even use the water to brush my teeth, only bottled. So for this to happen was a total bummer. Although, at least half our trip was over. I’m thinking it would have been way worse to get right at the beginning. Since I had heard so many warnings I definitely prepared. I had gone to the Chemist (Pharmacy for you Americans) and stocked up on Imodium. The pharmacist even recommended Charcoal pills to take at the onset of an upset stomach. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the nausea. SO NOTE TO TRAVELERS OF BALI: Imodium, Charcoal, and anti nausea pills.
It was getting close to the time we needed to leave and breakfast still had not come yet. When we checked in I was fairly certain the guy said that breakfast would be on our patio at 8am. Jill said she wasn’t listening, so we were just chilling, waiting for our breakfast. At around 8:30, the airbnb host came by to take copies of our passports and to ask us what we wanted and if we were ready for breakfast. I blame the language barrier on that mix up but Jill was pretty upset since we didn’t have much time before we took off for our entire day tour. Luckily breakfast came quick. I took some charcoal and imodium after I picked at my food. When you’re nauseous, you don’t really want to eat, but then I knew we had a long day ahead of us and I wasn’t sure I could make it if I didn’t eat at all. I thought about bailing for a split second but then I realized this might be a once in a lifetime experience and if I shit my pants, its just another story for you guys. So I braved on!
Ketut picked us up at 9am. I had advised him I wasn’t feeling so hot and needed to go to a Chemist for Anti-nausea pills. Again I’m going to blame the language barrier here because he nodded like he knew what I was saying and was happy to oblige but then continued to drive further and further out of town/civilization. Brian asked how I was doing to which I responded with, “Um, when will we see a chemist?” Ketut either forgot or didn’t understand, so we stopped in a random village at two different locations to get some meds. I don’t have a clue as to what I purchased (Ketut did the translating) but I know they gave me more Imodium (which I didn’t really need). I took the random pills praying that they worked for nausea and that they would work fast. We had been driving for awhile and I wasn’t certain how much longer until we reached our first stop. Do you even understand being in a car when you’re nauseous? Now add the ridiculous driving and mopeds/motorcycles around you and tell me I wasn’t a goddamn champ for not barfing all over that van.
Finally we stopped at a place that sold Luwak Coffee (do yourself a favor and google that). Cliff notes version: its basically coffee beans that have been ingested by the Luwak, a large native cat, and then digested. The feces is then collected and cleaned and the coffee beans are still whole. They are then ground and roasted. It is a specialty here and one that I had heard of from my host parents, Anat and Peter. They both tried it and said it wasn’t anything special. And seeing as though I was having my own issues that day, I decided I would just be an observer and not a participant in any tasting of said coffee. But the guide was very nice and showed us a lot of greenery and explained the process very well. When we got to the tasting area, they had an entire assortment of coffees and teas that they made there. The only thing I tried was a ginger tea, which was delicious. Ginger is supposed to be good for the tummy so I was game. At this point I feel its necessary to explain that toilets here are not the best or the most comfortable. I’m talking some of them are holes in the ground. And you can’t throw your TP in the toilet because it will clog the system so they have trash cans that you dispose of them in. Seeing as though I would be using them frequently, I became homesick. I longed for proficient plumbing, a nice toilet seat and my squatty potty. None of which I would encounter here.
After that, we made our way to Ulun Danu Beratan Bali, which is a temple on some water with amazing views. I think this is a pretty typical touristy temple to visit. I made sure to get a sign of the rules in which they tell “ladies, to stay away while on your period.” I had read about this prior to planning the trip. I still just find it incredible that that is a thing. This temple was gorgeous and we took a ton of pictures there. It was at this stop that I realized places were now charging to use the restrooms (2000rup). And I was taking every bathroom stop possible. I never thought I would be blowing my spending money on toilet trips!
The temple was surrounded by water and breathtaking mountains that kept peering out between the low hanging clouds. The flowers here were really bright and pretty. On our way out we had to pass by the market in which all the local vendors were trying to sell typical touristy souvenirs. We didn’t buy anything but we found this adorable child decked out from head to toe in the cutest get up ever. He had shades on and it just was the cutest thing. We had to take a picture. The kids here are the most adorable.
The next stop was Twin Lakes for some pictures. At this stop there were some guys charging tourists to take pictures with a large snake or two of the big ass bats they have here. No thank you.
Finally, we made it to our destination, the waterfall! I wish I remembered the name and where it was but we paid our fee and made our trek down. The weather was already a little iffy today so we made sure to put our water protectors on our phones and make good use out of the ponchos we brought. Oh and we finally put our water shoes on! I’m pretty sure this might be the first natural waterfall I’ve ever seen like that. It was stunning. But also freezing and hella windy. I think both Jill and I envisioned us taking a dip and getting some sweet pics underneath the fall but we both were content under our ponchos. Brian took advantage and got up close and personal with it though. Good for you man! Shoutout to Kathmandu Ponchos, watershoes, and the Joto waterproof phone case for hooking it up.
It was around then that I started to feel better and the nausea seemed to subside. But now we were cold and wet. Ketut then asked us if we wanted to drive through the rice fields or take scooters. It was a majority consensus on the scooters (guess who had their doubts?). We stopped at Ketut’s house to pick up his two scooters. I did feel safer knowing that I would riding with him. Jill got to take that adventure with Brian, who said he had scooter experience. Could have fooled me in the beginning there bud. haha. The Jatiluwah Rice Fields go on for an eternity. Rice fields on rice fields. It is so green and pretty, its hard not to take a bajillion photos. Ketut was awesome and made sure to take plenty of photos of us at many locations. We spent a lot of time here. Brian actually got in the rice paddy to take a “look at me doing the rice thing” picture. It was pretty awesome.
We stopped at a little hut where they sold fresh coconuts. Jill and Brian bought one to share. I had some sips and it was probably the best coconut juice I’ve ever had. I didn’t have too much though and I didn’t have any of the meat because I learned that in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) that coconut meat is a natural laxative and I didn’t need any help with that today. I had to use the toilet here and of course this was probably the worst yet. I’m not the most graceful person when it comes to squatting and peeing. I have friends that are freaking pros and never get pee on themselves (shoutout to my girl, you know who you are!). I just have never had that kind of accuracy with my stream, so lets just say I took my time and did my best to not pee all over myself. We took the long way back to Ketut’s house and stopped at one more place for some photos. This was a great spot. It really was spectacular.
It was after 5 at this point so we called it a day. Ketut drove us home through another torrential downpour. I could not get warm either. All I wanted was hot shower and to sleep at this point. Jill and Brian went to dinner and called it a night. I got a barely warm shower and went to bed to hopefully rest up some more. We had decided to do another tour with Ketut tomorrow since he was so awesome today. More sights to explore and I wanted to be at my best.