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Morning offerings at the altar


THIS IS WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT SERENDIPITY. Don’t you just hate when life plays its little tricks on you. And you not only have to adjust and deal with them, you may also need to make changes. Or die. When it happens in paradise, it can be either more annoying, or less. If it ruins your plans, it becomes a supreme bother. If it simply means making minor adjustments to your chill-factor schedule, it’s not so bad, just another day in paradise spent avoiding furniture with obnoxious hibiscus prints and learning new words, like “cloaca.”

Since 72% of your poll responders voted for you to head out and see some other areas of paradise, rather than hang in your hammock and chill while pondering the intricacies of gecko poop, you decide to rent a different motorbike for the trip. The one you rented from Wayan here in Ubud is fine for riding around the tiny burg of Ubud, but for a longer trip into the vagaries of nowhere on the island of gods and demons and up steep mountains and down into active volcanoes, it might be best to get a newer, more trustworthy bike. Simon, a man who owns GO FOR IT Bike Rental in Legian Beach, has a couple of brand new motorbikes, and one of those would be better suited to make a long trip. Simon’s bike would be more powerful and more dependable, and if anything dour happened, Simon would be better able to cope with an emergency, say, if the bike broke down inside the volcano Mount Batur. Haven’t we all been there—teetering above some dark and gloomy hole without a net?

But an even better reason for you to exchange bikes has more to do with logistics than logic or security. You have thought about this trip. You have made plans. You will take the bike on the ferry across the Badung Strait to Lembongan Island, just off the east coast of Bali, because you heard there was nothing there—except sandy beaches with few tourists and nothing to do but hang in your hammock and sip drinks with a bamboo straw out of whole coconuts. Your poll responders demand you go somewhere—fine, we’ll just show them we can chill anywhere. When you leave Lembongan, you would then be able to simply ride down the coast and end up in Legian Beach, rather than circling all the way back two hours to Ubud, and then having to hire a taxi to get you all the way back again to Legian Beach, where you will spend a few days before flying home.

This is called “planning ahead.” You don’t usually do this well. You’re not a planner, you travel by the seat of your pants. You avoid thinking. You are more the intuitive type of traveler. In the real world, your IQ hovers somewhere around your ankles. But when you add Emotional Intelligence, or Intuitive IQ, into the equation, you’re like an idiot savant, a regular rainman of travel planning.

You know people who plan out their trips month by month, day by day, minute by minute. They know when they will be taking an overnight train and when they will return their rental car. You hold the highest respect for people who can do this, who are actually willing and capable of doing this. You know some travelers who plan their long-term travels maybe six months in advance, and make maps before going, so they can include that map in a blog post. You know some nomads who plan years in advance; they know now, already, that in fall of 2016 it’s Petra and in summer 2017 it’s Havana.

This degree of advanced planning would not work for you. It never has. In the past whenever you have made plans (for almost anything, not only travel), it seems something—other people, circumstances, astral influence, earthquake—always seems to toss a spanner into the spokes, messing up your plans. But you agree, having a partner who could at least lay a little groundwork for the travels would be a positive advantage. Of course, then you’d have to deal with all the other stuff that goes along with having a partner. But okay, accepting the positive and negative sides to everything is your mantra (although, not an absolute in your reality).

You call Simon in Legian to reserve a bike. He has a brand new one with few kilometers and a rack for carrying surfboards on it being returned in two days. Two days is about your limit for advance planning. You reserve the bike, and book a ride to Legian with Made S (pronounced Mah-day) in his van. When you leave Ubud, you do not want to haul all your luggage on the back of a bike, so Made S will drive your bag and drop it off at your Legian Beach hotel the day you depart Ubud for your bike ride over the island, and your hotel in Legian will hold your bag in storage until you return from your travels. You will drive Simon’s bike out of Ubud (with only a daypack of gear and your Mountainsmith lumbar pack), travel the island on the new, more dependable motorbike, and end up in Legian a week later. It’s a good plan. Way more intricate than usual. You imagine your travel friends who plan well in advance—along with those who can’t understand your lack of planning and have a name for people like you—would be proud.

The Balinese name their children only four names, and by order of birth. The first-born child is named Wayan. The second child is named Made. The third child is named Nyoman. The fourth, Ketut. The people of Bali, like many other cultures, do not traditionally use family names. However, because there are now so many local people, and because of the need for clear identity when doing business, and because it confuses Western tourists, some locals now take a second name, a faux surname. Or they may revise their first name. My driver Made (second child born to his parents) uses a second name to designate him from other drivers named Made. I call him Made S because his faux surname begins with S.

In the Balinese system for naming children, there are other names that can be added to or used in place of these four names, some which have to do with a caste system that most probably arrived with the Indian Majapahit dynasty and their Hindu religion a millennium ago. However, on Bali today, caste is fairly irrelevant, nothing like India’s caste system. Nobody is “untouchable” on Bali. Nobody will be stoned for inter-caste mingling. But different names can denote different caste when replacing the four names, or adding a name to the original four. Also, some of these names are designated only for females, like Ayux. Others, only for males, like Bagus. The whole concept can get pretty involved and difficult to understand as with most things involving religions, language, and customs in foreign countries. But a four-name system does make remembering most people’s names a bit easier. Simon is not a Balinese name, an alternative, nor one of the derivative names.

Note to self: ask Simon about his name.

This is my guess: once upon a time, a priest, a rabbi and an Aussie named Simon walked into his bike rental shop. The Aussie named Simon was ambivalent about renting a bike, so he asked his buddies if he should. Both the priest and rabbi said: “Go for it.” So the Aussie named Simon rented a bike. And the name clicked for our Simon most probably because of some past-life experience or a memory from an ancestor stored in his own DNA, so he adopted the name for himself, and the GO FOR IT name for his business. A good business ploy also, because there are no other Simons who rent motorbikes in Legian Beach, or anywhere else on the island, nor, probably, anywhere else on any of Indonesian’s other 18,000, or so, islands along its 3,000-mile-long archipelago.

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Map credit:

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Two days later, you meet up with your driver Made S who serendipitously lives only a couple villas away from your villa, the villa you must vacate because that other lucky creep has a reservation. You and Made S are walking together along the path that leads from the rice field in which your villas are located to the parking area where Made S parks his van. A tiny aqueduct lies directly beside the footpath; the sound of water running downhill begins your trip. You imagine this an auspicious sign. Then, your phone rings inside your Mountainsmith. This seems odd to you, because you know very few people in Bali who might be phoning you at 8:05 in the morning, in Bali, on your Bali phone number.

It is Simon. He says he’s sorry. The bike won’t be returned until tomorrow. See—thank you, god, for making my point for me so clearly here. Make a plan—BAM! Spanner in the spokes. A deus ex machina in reverse. This happens every single time I make plans. I think it has something to do with my astrology chart—something to do with some cranky celestial alignments and the cosmos going all whop-a-jawed on the day I was born.

Made S overhears your conversation with Simon, and you can tell by his eyes that he is disappointed. The Balinese in general are very respectful and polite people. Made S will not say anything about his disappointment; more likely, he will laugh about it. However, he makes his living by driving people around the island. I’ve reserved his van and taken up valuable time, which now means he may not make any money today, or he’ll have to go hustle up some business real quick. On the other hand, I can’t say I’m really disappointed in the delay. I need the new bike, but tomorrow is soon enough, and I wasn’t really looking forward to that two-hour drive into Legian Beach with all that traffic, noise, and diesel fumes, then riding the bike directly back another two hours. Though I will have to do that, tomorrow. Apparently, if I don’t procrastinate on my own, the cosmos will do it for me.

Made S and I turn around and start walking back to our villas. Then I get the idea to have Made drive me up the volcano and over to the north side of the island. There is a “secret” waterfall that I’ve heard about that few people, few tourists, know of or ever visit because it is hidden and not easy to reach, off back roads too small for tour buses. There are numerous fairly-good-sized waterfalls on Bali—Gitgit Falls, Munduk Falls, Blehmantung Falls, and perhaps hundreds of smaller ones. Busloads of tourists pull up to these easily-accessed falls every day. There are two reasons that heading out in Made’s van might be a good idea: one, I feel bad that I have reserved his van and now will not utilize it.

Two, listen, I’m not getting any younger—I watched the Beatles first TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan show (on a black & white, 19-inch TV), I remember paying 25 cents for a gallon of gas when cars had something called carburetors. In the late 80’s when I first visited Bali, I drove a motorbike for two months around the island. I was much younger. I was in good physical shape. I was eager to see as much of Bali as I could see. I did not fear traffic. I was a lot dumber. I’m older now, and wiser. The wise man in me says: hey, let Made S drive your fine, and chill-soaked, ass around this island. You just sit there and gander out the window. No need to worry about some dump truck driving over your back wheel by mistake. Last thing you want here is to get hurt and need a doctor. The very last thing. Right up there with root canal.

The way people drive here, you know it’s risky riding a motorbike, especially since it’s not something you usually do at home, not something you are comfortable with nor actually good at. Especially since they drive on the left side of the road here. That is, driving on the left is the “rule.” Dangerous potholes and unreliable soft shoulders, driving in the middle, driving on the shoulder, driving in both lanes at once, driving on the shoulder of the wrong side, and dogs, chickens, pigs crossing the road at their leisure—this is reality. It is dangerous.

But, riding a motorbike is one of the activities that makes you feel so alive in Bali. You feel free. You feel the wind flowing over your skin, the warmth of the sun as you move down the road. Something very liberating about this feeling. You now understand the allure of the Hell’s Angels. Still, you are older now. You are wiser now. Made S has a van. You have it reserved. You are not senile. And you are not demented, so you can do simple math problems. Two and two is still adding up to four.

Made and I turn around again, and head back in our original direction toward where his van is parked. I begin to feel a bit like a character out of a Thomas Pynchon novel, a Lem Haggard or a Sam Butkiss. This is what my life is like every day. Be glad you have your own life, dear reader, and that you were not born on that one fateful October 4th when the cosmos allowed its celestial bodies to go all whop-a-jawed, and mess up the astrological chart for a few of us poor Libra souls.

And yet, I feel in some way relieved. A motorbike seat is not that comfortable at the best of times, not that comfortable even when only driving over to the Bintang Market on the Campuan Ridge. You sit on one of those seats all day, your butt is going to start speaking foul words to you. And gripping that brake with your left hand and grinding the accelerator with your right—your fingers are going to start cramping up after hours of that kind of pressure, and no telling what might happen to that hip joint that gets testy every once in a while when stuck in one position when you have not been doing yoga to keep things limber. Not to mention breathing in all those fumes from diesel trucks you’ll be following uphill. No. This feels like a very good alternative for today. Chill while sitting shotgun in Made S’s van, aircon on, helmet off, and travel the countryside to a waterfall I might not ever find without a proficient guide—it’s not on any map or guidebook. So maybe it doesn’t even exist, maybe it’s just a myth.

Made S is an excellent driver. Not too aggressive, and not too mealy-handed. Driving in Bali is like playing chess. The concept of “right of way” does not exist here. You must be able to sacrifice when needed, and take the advantage when necessary. You also must predict what other drivers will do in any given situation. We head out onto the Sayan Terrace road. We come to a fork, and veer to the right. We pass the spot in the movie Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts’ soon-to-be-lover almost runs over her on her bicycle with his Toyota Land Cruiser. I’m trying to remember the way, so I can retrace our tracks on Simon’s motorbike, perhaps. We turn left at the blue Di Jual (for sale) sign. Down the hill. Another right at Samana. Another right at Bongkasa, a small township. Left at its temple. All these roads are narrow, barely fit two cars side by side. Rural back roads. We run out into a vast, open rice field. I want to ask Made S to stop, so I can photograph the rice terrace. This is the downside to having a driver—you ask him to stop a few times, but after that, it might become bothersome, or make you feel weird, even though you’re paying for his service.

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Map credit: Periplus Bali Street Atlas
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A family drive

In Sangeh, we pass the Saturday morning outdoor market. If I were alone on my bike, I might get side tracked here photographing mangoes and skinned pig heads for hours, but I allow Made S to chauffeur me right through town as though we were off to see more interesting sites. I reckon “staying on task” is another good reason for riding with Made S. And now, I begin to wonder just what his other clients, his “average” tourists, might desire to do on the island if it’s not photographing mangoes and skinned pig heads.

We come to a stand of very tall trees; Made S says this is the Monkey Forest. Obviously, a different Monkey Forest than the one in Ubud. I believe the Balinese have reserved different forests like this in different places within their agricultural fields for monkeys. This forest looks as though they have purposefully left a small area of trees—surrounded with rice fields—in which the monkeys can do their thing. The forest is densely populated with exceedingly tall trees, must be ages old. Monkeys sit on the side of the road just outside the tree line. The jungle inside is murky, thick with vines, and darkly shaded. Moss clings to tree trunks like loose skin. An earthy aroma simmers into the air. Made S informs me that when the monkeys run out of food inside the forest, they come out to see what they can scrounge from passers by. These monkeys look healthy. One is picking bugs out of the fur on the neck of one of the others. One mother is breast feeding its young. A dominant-looking male, thick and powerful, swaggers into the shade. The monkeys have gray fur, various shades of gray, with amber eyes that speak a language all their own, but you seem to understand what they are saying even though it is a foreign tongue without words.

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Rice field with bird of paradise

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We turn and turn and turn. Rights and lefts. I’m lost. I have no idea what direction we travel. I quit taking notes. I no longer trust that my notes are accurate. I could never remember where we’ve come, where we’ve turned. I decide I will buy a Street Atlas of Bali. It may not have every little back road on it, perhaps not many of the ones we’ve turned onto, but I’ll be able to follow most of the roads perhaps. Or end up simply asking directions.

Note to self: take Indonesian phrasebook along on bike trip. Learn: “is this the way to…”

I pull out my old, personal map of Bali, a small, laminated fleximap, for durability while traveling; however, it displays few tiny roads. It shows a direct main road leading from Ubud to Bedugul, but we are not anywhere near that road. I have an affinity to maps, love them, love looking at them. This laminated map is good for following main roads, or for finding where you are once you get there, but unless you stay on the main roads, and go to main towns or sites, this map is worthless. And who wants to stay on the main roads in paradise, when you find such good stuff on the tiny back roads leading to ancient forests harboring new-age talking monkeys alongside rice fields miles deep near places not listed on your map.

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Harvesting a rice field

We are now climbing a steep mountain on a very winding road. First and second gear mostly. Fairly slow going. Not much traffic on the road. Lush jungle replaces rice fields. Vines descend from branches of tall trees. Cloves scent the air. Thick white clouds with gray bellies move quickly above the trees. Palm trees dance with the wind. A thin mist begins to veil your vision. This is one good way to see Bali—slow, informed, safe. Another way would be on a chopped Harley Davidson Hog, and wearing your Sons of Anarchy helmet and leather pants, thongs on your feet, maybe a rough wench with a Bintang beer in her hand on the rear fender (Hey, it’s a vacation, you’re allowed a fantasy).

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YOUR FANTASY                                                             Photo credit:
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YOUR REALITY                                                 Photo credit:

We pass a sign that reads: Strawberry Hill Guesthouse. There is a café and a number of bungalows with vast panoramic views all the way downhill to Kuta Beach. There is nowhere safe to pull off the road for photographs. If I were on my motorbike, I would pull over and spend the night peering down at the vast landscape from Strawberry Hill. However, it seems rather romantically rustic, more the kind of place you want to share with your lover than alone with your Sons of Anarchy helmet, imaginary wench, and bottle of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil.

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Transporting oranges
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Roadside break

I have this image in my mind from the first time I was in Bali, in the ‘80’s, and riding a motorbike around this area. In my mind, there is one of those huge Balinese carved pillars used as temple “gates” on either side of the road, the land is flat and beautifully landscaped on both sides of the road. Green and lush. The road leads to somewhere, but I can’t remember exactly where it is or what it leads to, but somewhere in this area where we are now, approaching Bedugul and Lake Bratan, a huge lake inside the 11-kilometer-wide crater of a Mt Bratan.

1ch MAP Bratan
Map credit: Periplus Bali Street Atlas

I begin to remember a number of other stand-out images from that first ride around Bali: a rice field with tall palm trees lining the plateau on top, the waves roiling in like long pipes of water far below at the foot of the cliff at Ulu Watu, the temple and the volcano behind it at Gunung Agung. And now that I’m thinking of them, I’m remembering many more. The complete laid-back attitude of Lovina, with its bamboo shacks right on the beach. The lack of tourists at Ahmed on the far East Coast. The atavistic village of Tenganan, where time stands still, and the Bali Aga people (the original people of Bali living here before the Hindus arrived in the 11th century) live as they did hundreds of years ago: cock fights in the dirt central plaza, wood-fire stoves, homes built on stilts with stick walls and thatch roofs surrounded by stone fences with no mortar, young men smoothing feathers on their roosters, young women weaving tapestries, old women sweeping the courtyard leaves, bare-breasted, wearing only their sarongs. They don’t allow you to drive cars or motorcycles into the village. They want it to remain as it was, as it has always been. But if you go inside one of the homes, you might find a TV antenna or a cell phone on a charger hiding in there. Things change here on planet Earth sooner or later, no matter what, for better or worse.

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Coconut in situ

We pull into a place where Made probably brings many of his “normal” clients, tourists who want to see tourist attractions, rather than skinned pig heads. I’m a little disappointed he would even imagine I would want to come here, to the Bali Treetop Adventure Park. Made pulls over and parks the van. I hesitate, maybe I’m in a sort of anti-tourist-trap state of shock. Made asks if I’m going to get out. My first impulse is to say no, let’s move on. But hey, here we are. What the hell goes down at Bali Treetop Adventure Park?

Turns out, they have built a number of climbing “circuits” in the trees, circuits made of ropes and wires and wood. You climb or swing around the circuits from one tree to the other on various types of apparatus with differing degrees of danger, and at various heights—from two feet off the ground to 20 meters (like 65 feet) in the air. Interesting concept, but expensive (for a human-monkey forest), something like $20 to enter. Luckily for me, the park is filled with a group of teenagers. Had it been less crowded, I may have taken a swing at the thing. I don’t want to be the old geezer showing up all the young studs with my climbing prowess.

Note to self: You know wisdom comes with age. Do something about that ego, soon.

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Bali Treetop Adventure Park is not quite “adventure travel”

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But things could get precarious
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IS HE ACTUALLY TAKING A SELFIE?  Click for larger view

Made S drives me to the nearby Botanical Gardens. Again, I balk—botanical gardens, for crying out loud. Is this the kind of traveler I’ve become? I remember climbing a volcano in Guatemala that was spitting lava decades ago, and now I’m sitting in the parking lot of a botanical garden. But then, I decide what the hell, I am here. What am I going to say to my poll responders, maybe something like: hey, I went around the island, stopped nowhere, saw nothing, did nothing. Fine, I walk into the Botanical Gardens greenhouse, snap a photo or two, and leave. I don’t even see the whole exhibit. I’m more the “natural” fauna and flora kind of guy. In my mind, manicured plants in cages is like animals in cages. But the building is a fairly impressive glass greenhouse structure, but still, I take only one rather poor shot of it using my iPhone.

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Botanical Gardens Greenhouse

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We head toward Lake Bratan where the very important Pura Ulun Dana Bratan is located. This is one of the most sacred sites and temples in Bali, built here hundreds of years ago because Lake Bratan serves as the source of the irrigation system that flows downhill from here to the numerous, terraced rice fields in the region.

You are not surprised to see roadside stands selling rambutans, mangoes, oranges, and coconuts. However, you are surprised to see roadside stalls selling baskets of giant strawberries. Had you stayed on Strawberry Hill with your imaginary wench, you now imagine that you would have skinny dipped in the pool and later, eaten fresh strawberries and whipped cream off a naked belly. You may be old, but your imagination is not dead; it is still capable of producing a pretty fine fantasy, and lingering there.

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Lake Bratan with outriggers
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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

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Spiritual ceremony in Pura Ulun
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I couldn’t find the name of this tree

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They told me the name in Balinese, but I could never understand how to spell it

The day is only half over.  In the next post, we leave Lake Bratan and head for Bali’s “secret,” and perhaps greatest, waterfall. And later, we stop at a Kintamani coffee plantation to drink some of the most-expensive coffee in the world: kopi luwak. Where we will once again be discussing the alimentary canals of local fauna. Hey, if all this scatological talk seems disgusting or bothers your sensitivities, please remember this: poo happens.

Find more entries in DP Daily Prompt:    Decisions, Decisions

Find more entries in DP Photo Challenge here:     Today Was a Good Day

Find more entries in Lucile’s Photo Rehab here:   Photo Rehab



  1. Baddie! You’re back, with a vengeance! I have to admit, openly, that a few days ago, I started wondering, where is Badfish and his bali travels post? Well here it ( finally 🙂 ) is, and it was worth the wait. As I was reading, I was mentally talling up all my favourite bits, to respond here in the comments. By half way through, I’d given up – there were two many favourite bits.

    There was one part, however, that made me literally, LAUGH out LOUD. ( remember the days before anacronyms, when people actually did LAUGH out LOUD). it might have been the bit about how Simon got his name. then again, it might not have been.

    so what have you learnt from this madness of asking your blog readers to define your life? never to do it again, in case you end up in Adventure Park for Bad Fishes? That Aussies – and Brits probably – spell learnt how it should be spelt, with a “t” at the end, and not an “ed”

    yet again, i love how you tally meaningless hassles that everyone goes thru, and make them humourous, in with deep attempts to understand culture. the bit about the four names was very interesting – bad fish per excellence.

    Now, is it Havana for 2016? or 2017? lol…… happy fishing, Baddie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbie,
      Yes, it took me a while to get this together. I’m being slow, or lazy, or something. And now I’m back home, no longer chilling or riding motorbikes about Bali. I’m so glad ONE, that you did not write LOL and wrote out the words. I don’t think I have ever written that acronym, ever! It’s funny or it’s not. Maybe a smiley face just in case it might be taken wrong.

      What have I learned? Right…no more polls until you know you have the requisite amount of votes in the bag! lol!
      Havana…yeah, let’s talk about Havana.

      Liked by 1 person

      • great, hey? had you not heard of it before? probably not I guess. its a classic Aus song from the 80s sometime. pretty funny, and so so true! bad fishes excluded, of course 🙂


        • No, hadn’t heard it. And actually didn’t believe the date was correct on the video…1984 or something. Bali looks the same, I recognized many spots in the video. It’s even more apropos today than the 80’s, I think

          Liked by 1 person

          • yes, the dates correct… i … kinda sorta… remember it… sigh.

            good old Bali. glad something has stayed more or less the same. it was pretty true of Aussies back then – every young aussie went to bali as a kind of right of passage. as i dont tend to do what others think is trendy, it took me decades to get there!


          • I think I’m the same way. I don’t usually travel the same roads as the trends. I don’t have a tattoo, I don’t drive a Porsche, I don’t live beyond my means by using credit cards. Bali is so close to OZ, though, I probably would have gone there!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Good lord, this was the travelogue to end them all. I was right there with you. Why does this kind of thing happen to Americans so often? In mundane places, not Bali, not the back roads of Indonesia because most of us are too chicken to take a chance. This happens to most yankees in, say, Hohokus or Placerville.

    The photographs are breathtaking — again. You are making me feel like such a wimp. I hope this is being submitted to some incredible journal like Nature or something. Now gonna read it again so I can gape some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth,
      See, I’m just following your lead on length. I don’t know why things happen to Americans. And just where is Hohokus? Glad you liked the piece, and the photographs. And you are certainly no wimp. Just different strokes. Like…I can’t imagine owning a house and inviting people over to dine. THAT takes guts…no wimp can do that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hohokus is in New Jersey, LOL! Yup, I am anchored by my stuff in SoCal and will probably stay here forever. Still, we do have Costa Rica in mind for a short vacay. Montecito coming up shortly but hardly the adventure other than seeing if we can even afford breakfast there. I will live vicariously, here at your place.

        Oh, and it can never be too long a post for my blood, as you know … 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • New Jersey…who’d a thunk from Beth Byrnes of California. I lived in MD, but never heard of it, or much else in NJ except Atlantic City. Costa Rica is cool. I have a friend who bought property there. I thought it was a mistake, but nobody listens to me.


    • One of my all time favorite songs…and Joni’s I like better than that other version somebody covered. It was a poignant song back in the day…and gets even more important these days when there’s so much more paved grass everywhere (in the world).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can help with one of your notes 😀 and this is a very easy phrase so hopefully you will always remember! *Learn: “is this the way to…”* –> “Apa ini jalan ke…”

    Enjoy reading your post and have a great weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apa ini jalan ke…GOT IT! Thanks, Indah. I had the idea to photograph all the signs I saw with “indah” in them and send them to you, or make a post about it. But didn’t.


  4. OML! They asked at the lab this morning (in prep for my annual colonoscoy!) if I, or anyone I know, had been out of the country in the last month… I think I gave them the wrong answer. I feel like I’ve been on my own adventure just reading your blog!!! Your writing and wit never cease to captivate me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • OK…so I’m not the only one dealing with alimentary canal stuff! But I imagine they were asking because they wanted to know if you had any weird bugs in you, and I doubt you could get any weird bugs in you from reading my latest post. But hey, you never know about bugs, or alimentary canal stuff. Anything is possible, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

        • DUH!
          Well, wait. YOu mean joking about the lab. Or joking about “catching” something from reading my blog…which, now I think about it, might just happen.
          BTW…how’s the canal? DID you catch anything from reading?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ok as in do you have a freakin’ ulcer or something?

            And yes, they did ask me that at the lab. I told them no, but I forgot about you! 😀 (I really knew what they meant about bringing a bug home. However, I guess I should have asked THEM to define what they meant! Heck. Even old books have dust mites!)

            (I have to go through this pain in the arse every three years because my mom had colon cancer. Better to be safe than sorry…)

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s kind of hard to follow our conversation from one day to the next here in my part of reality. OK…I’m pretty dang fine (*he looks around trying to find wood to knock on*), healthy, happy, just back from paradise.
            Pain in the arse…quite literally, eh? I like using arse as opposed to ass because it doesn’t quite sound as wicked/vulgar. But it means the same thing. One thing the Brits got right…how to say ass.

            Liked by 2 people

  5. You would make a great sailor. Sailors consider plans to be ‘drawn in the sand at low tide’. This is killer for me as I am a Project Manager by trade and find comfort in the illusion of fixed plans. But I’m learning to let go. I love the sea life so I don’t have much choice. While your day did not turn out as planned it was a very entertaining day indeed. Lovely snaps. So many good ones to choose from. My favorites are Lake Bratan with Outriggers and the spiritual ceremony picture with the praying men by the outrigger. But really, they are all awesome. Can’t wait to see part 2

    Liked by 1 person

    • If sailors feel that plans are simply something that gets washed away with the tides, then yeah, I’m a sailor at heart. I might have to quote you on this line: “find comfort in the illusion of fixed plans.” Gawd…how profound (well, in my mind).
      Photos…yeah, I like that outrigger photo, too. The water looks so…watery. The one with the men I didn’t think actually came out so well, but I liked all the components in it. Part 2…or rather Part 3 (cause this is part 2) coming up, hopefully sooner than this one did.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I want you to know that I snorted my coffee out my nose at the bit how you know people who plan extended trips 6 months in advance and make maps for future blog posts. I will likely need some sort of sinus treatment to decaffeinate myself.
    So does this mean we the readers shall never be able to decide your fate? This is far more interesting material than you laying around on a hammock. Just saying.
    Nice maps by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a story, what a ride. Can’t wait to hear the rest of it. I love your musings about aging. Not for the faint of heart, eh? I love all your details. Note to self: take note of details. Note to self: take note of the symbolism of the situation. Thanks for the journey around Bali.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m thinking of doing just photos for the rest of the day. Oh wait, I can’t do that because we have kopi luwak on the agenda, and I have to tell that story! Mother of cloaca!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. First you should know that it was not cool to skip a week without posting, probably as a way to punish your readers, those who voted for an abrupt detachment from your hammock.
    It was not fair to apply punishment indiscriminately as there are some of us, who may have voted otherwise, and now have to deal with severe symptoms of BFAS (bad fish absence syndrome).
    By the way, I don’t know what my vote was, as I closed my eyes and was assisted by my cousin, who clicked the option my finger intuitively went for.
    So I may have deserved punishment after all.
    Let’s assume I didn’t because I deserve none, ever.
    This is a long and convoluted way to say that I’m happy you’re back here, and that once again I enjoyed the best experience one can have when finding, and reading a piece from a damn excellent and real writer.
    Here we learn about new cultures, nature, behavior, the multifaceted aspects of poop (from coffee to geckos), history, and self-reflection. Every single word is crafted with artistry, and smoothly put together as sentences, paragraphs and a whole post, which has the capacity to transport us to Bali to follow your adventure step by step.
    Your photos are stunning too.
    Your writing style is like a magnet.
    Ah, and you also make me smile.
    Not only laugh out loud.
    Come back soon with the rest of the story!


    • I’m with you on all you say, Lucile.
      Badfish, seriously, get it together and start putting you posts into book form.
      There’s a lot of people who’d part with good money to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • OK Chippies! You know all I want to do is chill, and now you’re making me sit down and go to work on this writing gig. I was googling Tom Selleck and the first thing that came up was his “net worth.” You can find out people’s net worth online!! It might be cool if some day, someone looked up my net worth! See…now you guys have me day dreaming.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Badfish, it wont actually be that difficult. Just gather all your posts in chronological order.
          You know, a kind of “Badfish does Bali”. couldn’t be worse than Elizabeth Gilbert – man that book was boring. ( and the movie just plain supercilious).
          You see, it comes naturally too you, and you don’t even know you’re doing it. Probably there a quite few people out there in blogsville that actually google people’s net worth, but no one actually admits it. not in writing anyhow. but you do, so it gives us another laugh out loud moment.

          Keep em coming, I say.

          The only trouble you will have is deciding which of your glorious photos to use as a cover. there’s lots of indie publishing opportunities out there – just pic one that suits you best. you wont – probably – make much money out of it but you will have the great pleasure of seeing your book in print – Author: Badfish.

          in the meantime, we’ll all just keep looking forward to our weekly dash of Badfish, okay?


          • Debbie, You sure know how to make a guy’s life difficult. Now, I have to think about which photo to use as a cover. Jeesh. How am I going to get to sleep tonight? I read somewhere (either on my blog or a message from WP) that I had completed 50 posts. I would love to put the stuff together into a book form, but I’m not sure it makes sense as a book yet. I don’t know. And I would love to have some of these comments in a book. But how would that look? How would that make sense. Unless it was a book of a blog…? Back to the Badfish and Chips idea! I just read another blogger I follow who says he just published a book. You didn’t like Gilbert? It definitely wasn’t Indiana Jones, but I laughed a few times.


    • Jeeesh, Lucile. First, let me just say that I truly appreciate that you used your cousin and allowed the cosmos to help make your choice in the poll. So…no punishment for you no matter which button you hit. I have my suspicions about some others who facilitated their own agendas about where they wanted my fine butt. But let’s not speak of that.

      My face must be 50 shades of red from blushing after reading this! But I guess you have made my day. Wait…while I read this again.
      OK. But it’s only 48 shades of red.
      I was thinking of procrastinating on writing the rest of the story, but now…well, I guess I have to finish that piece. See, this is another reason why I hate you (and love you).


      • Don’t you date to even think of not writing the rest of your story! There would be a followers’ strike and you’d regret to make us so sad!
        Just read this carefully: WE LOVE WHAT YOU DO! No need for any shade of red! You deserve my full appreciation. Even more so now that you hate me with love!

        Thank you for not including me in any sort of punishment!

        Liked by 1 person

          • BadFish, you have NO idea what a follower’s strike can do to a budding blogger.
            Just think, we could start demanding a higher quotient of laugh-per-minutes, more – um er- what WAS that technical word for gecko poop – and – well, the Chippies will think it up as we go along. Right, gals? ( truly, surely there must be some male chip piles??)


          • Badfish, i had to look carefully to find the typo. But i DID find it. It was in reference to male Chippies, and it came out ‘male chip piles’. ahem. I think they might be out there looking for gecko shit. ( and thanks for the heads up about the correct term, i’m onto it now. )

            Me? Funny? ( she says looking around.) Actually, people say that all the time about me, and half the time I have absolutely NO idea why! the other half I’m actually trying to be funny. regarding the comment below ( or above, depending on how the wordpress gremlins are feeling tonight), I think it was just a case of good old Aussie humour. We’re a pretty dry bunch. You do know about the drop-bears, don’t you? I’ve heard these some in Bali now, they sneaked over in some surf-board carry bag. Did you see any there?


          • You ARE funny. But you’re an Aussie, too. Did I already know that? No wonder you’re funny.
            And Male chip piles!!! HA! That could mean a lot of things.


  9. Just stopping in the say I love your voice, as well. And gecko poop, and Simon, and I laughed out loud (I use the acronym. I’m tryna stop. It’s habit.) several times, but more than that I was fascinated. I was born October 6, and if I tried to travel abroad I would be killed instantly by…any number of things. Very cool. I enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cool, thanks for stopping by and hanging out with Simon and some gecko poop. Yay…Libras rule. But yeah, if you were born on Oct 6, you should not travel!! There’s a water buffalo with your name on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh thank god you’re back! I was going through badfish withdrawals. Ready to send out the search party, wracked with guilt for sending you away from your hammock. Whew.
    Fantastic post, as ever – traveling with you is utterly entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paula, HA! So…you’re the one who sent me out on the road, eh! You are funny. But if you have to go through withdrawals, I’m glad it’s Badfish withdrawal. I’m so glad you’re hear!

      Liked by 1 person

        • You know, it’s funny. I really did not want to travel, but then again I did, or maybe just thought I should. But after I was on the road, I was truly glad to be there. So thank you…because you pollsters were the reason I traveled. I felt I had to after doing the poll!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve written a small book here, dude! Were this a physical bound book, it would have been a page turner. I actually had to stop to eat dinner, but I had to return and finish. I had to find out if you’d found the secret waterfall, and if you got the bike the next day from Simon, and if you ended up staring down the mouth of a volcano, and did you end up staying where you planned, or perhaps, being the seasoned travel-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of wayfarer, find a better, nicer, sit back and chill some more kinda place?

    Don’t get me wrong. I was in that van with you, sitting next to you as you traversed the well-planned-travelers world, begrudgingly, likely cursing the ravages of age, making you have to sit down and figure out, but secretly, when you found Simon wouldn’t have the bike for another day, and you decided to head out on the well traveled road of vans, you were doing a happy dance inside, because you were back to the well worn paths of your youth?

    There’s no way I could get close to doing justice to your travelogue of mishaps, that paled in comparison to those of your days of yore. I just basked in the joys of your ability to bring your experiences into full cinematic color… I was happy to take the detours, and even to visit tourist attractions, knowing you were the one having to deal with it, not me. HA! Traveling on the Badfish Bali Express didn’t need all the extraneous hoopla of Maltese Falcons, and Rosebuds. We’ve got pathos of a more realistic kind here.


    • I think you’re the one writing the book here in the Badfish Cafe, Ms Chips. The secret waterfall happens in the next episode…if I can ever get to writing it! Work…uhg…makes me feel like not writing. My head simply does not want to go where it needs to go to get stuff onto a page. And then I was in a 10-car pileup, probably totalling my car. Plus I may have to move apartments. Too much to get creative. But you know when I do get something written, I love what you say (and feel), you magical creature.


      • OH DEAR, a ten car pile up. Ouch! But Badfish dear, you do realise, don’t you, its your subconcious ensuring such procrastions as 10car pileups get in the way of what you know you want to do, which is writing, because you blog is full of how you always wanted to be a writer ( for those of us who are long term followers of the Fish), and now you’ve used up all your street cred for procrastination in many blog posts, your subconcious has to provide you with the mother of all procrastinations. ( cause like, who could blame you! not your karma, man, just the terrible things the universe does to us when we ask it to – um – procrastinate!)
        As for the Badfish Cafe – simple, start a new blog, and ask all your chippies to co-author. and copy the comments as in the ‘best of’.
        you’d be starting a new trend, Badfish. When are you going to realise us Chippies are actualy serious?
        Just do it, man. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know. And I just heard my car IS totalled. But I’m not sure what the message from the universe is here??? I am somehow convinced that I can sit and write now that I have done this blog stuff for a while. I am totally surprised!! And I’ve been meaning to create an email just for my blog…have not done that. And Instagram…have not done that. See…procrastination just takes over. But I do so love the idea of a blog with Badfish and Chips sitting in a cafe!!


          • Well.. when youre back working, its hard to find time… instagram smingshtagram… cant even access it here… but way back in blogging 101 i did join pinterest.. havent used it sense… just not enough time….. gotta get priorities happening..

            your car is totalled? i guess the universe is telling you ‘out with the old, in with the new’. or give up car travel altogether. what’s public transport like in Dubai?

            The Badfish and Chips Cafe HAS to happen, dude. I must be quite mad but I admit to once having a passing thought, thinking, if that guy procrastinates ANY more we will just have to start the Cafe without him.

            Seriously, bewtween Blooks and Blog Cafes, I think you could be starting a whole new trend in the blogasphere, badfish!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Instagram smingshtagram…you’re right!
            Out with the old, in with the new…right again, I think. No other choice!
            It’s Abu Dhabi. There are buses, and taxis, but I like the freeedom of a car.
            BFCC, yah, I do like it. But you see, I’m having a hard enough time doing one blog!

            Liked by 1 person

  12. In 1973 I rented a motorbike and took pretty much this same route around Bali. It was pure heaven after some pretty rough traveling through Timor. Kuta had no hotels and only a few little restaurants. Poppy’s had just been established. I think I was there for about a month. We hardly ever saw any cars at all on our journeys except for military caravans–one of which drove us off the road. One of the best memories of my life. We lived for $1 U.S. a day. 25 cents for room in a losman and breakfast, 25 cents for lunch and 50 cents for a lobster dinner. Handmade Batik saris were $1. I returned in the nineties and Kuta was so crowded and busy we couldn’t get out soon enough, but Ubud was lovely. Thanks for the memories.

    PS the orange blooming tree is an African Tulip Tree and I believe the white one is a Datura.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1973 in Bali!!! I envy you. Do not go back, it is not that place any more. And Ubud is bordering on becoming Kuta. But I still love it for some reason. And African Tulip! Yay!! THANKS SO MUCH for this information and history!


        • I’m finishing my next post as we speak, and in it, I’m saying EXACTLY that…memories and expectations! If you go back, maybe hit the Gili Islands of Lombok, or some place on Lombok. Or go to the north shore of Bali. Do not stop in Kuta’s Boardwalk, do not pass GO.

          Liked by 1 person

          • No…I avoided Kuta like the plague when I went there in the 90’s. I did go to Lombok, where I was groped by all the Muslim men, as the island seems not to be Hindu as Bali is. But, I didn’t go to the Gili Islands. Thanks for the info, badfish. Nor would I go back to Timor, which has had terrible things happen since we were there. Somewhere on my blog I tell the story of my trip around and across the island…a real adventure.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Groped on Lombok? That just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t understand people. And Timor…yeah, I won’t go back there. It was simply called Timor Timor when I went, no it’s split in two. I bought a mask when there, it scares me to look at it.


          • It was still Indonesian Timor and Portugese Timor when I was there. We saw the Japanese war caves and rented a WWII tank barge to sail us around the island to a point near the Indonesian border. Then had to walk through jungle for a day because the monsoons had hit and all bridges washed out. Stung by something in the jungle and everyone thought I was going to die…my shoes stolen first few hours out…no food, no money and nowhere to cash traveler’s checks. We were a sorry bunch–13 collected travelers from all over the world gathered into this adventure together. Quite memorable.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wow! What a marvelous trip. Have you written about that?
            I lived in Manzanillo for two years, I keep meaning to get back to Mexico to learn Spanish fluently, but haven’t made it yet.


          • Cool…Yeah, I know that place (well, I knew it in the 80’s). Just a bit north of Barra de Navidad. Went sailfishing there once…that’s a sad story I don’t want to write. Do you move around in Mexico, two months here, six there?


          • I’ve lived in San Juan Cosala on Lake Chapala (near Guuadalajara) for 14 years. I only vacation at the beach. First it was for a week, then two weeks, then a month, now two months. I’ve visited other parts of Mexico but always love coming home.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Lake Chapala…I know it well. Drove through it every time going south…which was quite a few times back in the day. I love Mexico. Do you speak Spanish? I never learned the tenses.


          • Ha. I do speak Spanish but no, don’t know the tenses. There are so many in Spanish. I do pretty well in first and second person present tense. But I get by. Have a fair vocabulary. I probably sound like a baby when I speak.


          • EXACTLY…I have (or had) a pretty good vocab, could talk about anything…but only in present tense. I’m sure I sounded like a baby. But I got a taco when I wanted, and to the bathroom when needed. Ceviche…ooooh, I miss ceviche. And Pacifico in a bottle.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I do fine in restaurants, stores, with repairmen and the electric company, but you wouldn’t find me very entertaining company at a party where everyone speaks only Spanish.


  13. How did all these ^ people find time to read this and comment on it so quickly?! Yes, I can see it was posted 6 days ago, but it’s taken me this long to digest it! (Please, don’t let the word ‘digest’ set you off on some alimentary canal talk …) Hope you are safely back from what sounds like a fantastic summer!


    • I know. How do people find the time to do this stuff–write, comment, reply, write more. I don’t get it. I’m way behind (I’m five days behind replying to you!!) in everything.
      Yes, back from a great summer. But now it’s …grindstone and grading, like you!

      Liked by 1 person

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