Location: Serangan Is., Bali, Indonesia
Today we had our first full excursion day in Bali, so after brainstorming and planning yesterday and days before, everyone (was supposed to have) had a rough idea of what they wanted to do with their time. As Bali is not like our earlier destinations, and there is an excess of things to do around the island, we all split up into multiple smaller groups and chose a variety of different things to go see. Groups went back to Kuta Beach to continue surfing, to see rice paddies, and others went to see a Buddhist and Hindu temple. So many crazy and fun things happened today between the entire crew its hard for me to choose what to write about here, but since Im the one writing this entry, I think itd only be right for me to write about what I experienced. All the other groups chose to wake up early at 6 am to get a start on the day. Unfortunately for me and my REM cycles, the group that I was with today chose to start the morning much earlier.
At 4 am, Connor, Elle, George, Jack, Mara, Taylor and I left Argo for a rice paddy to watch the sunrise and then to grab a ferry for Nusa Lembongan. After 2 hours in the taxi, we arrived at the paddy. In the rain. In the dark. Our taxi driver (who later became the highlight of our day) advised us that this would not be our best option and we should head for something else. He also called his friend at the ferry service get to book our tickets on the morning ride to the island. We found a short hike nearby to a waterfall, but since the weather so far had been significantly wetter than planned, parts our trail were flooded. We walked between many little farms and paddies down to a small canyon. Once we reached the bottom of the canyon, the rivers water level was much higher than expected, and to reach the falls we had to wade up through waist level water. By the time we returned to our cab, our driver had to deliver some bad news to us; the island we were planning to visit was closed for the day due to a private ceremony.
Luckily for us, our driver, Wayan, was a literal angel and essentially curated an entirely new plan for us. After our plan fell through, he recommended us to several places relatively nearby to where we already were and got to experience a much less touristy version of Bali. First, we went to a traditional Indonesian village, where we found that Jack is significantly taller than the average traditional Indonesian building. Wayan then took us to a local coffee plantation, where we had the opportunity to see coffee beans in the roasting process and to taste a ridiculous amount of different teas and coffees. We then rode up to Mt. Batur, an active volcano near (but not in the evacuation zone of) Mt. Agung which is under evacuation. Wayan then recommended a buffet restaurant on the mountain ridge where we ate a massive lunch relative to our average boat lunches. Finally, on our way back down to the dock we needed to meet the dinghies, we went to another waterfall which was much larger, but also much more populated by tourists.
After the whole crew regrouped on Argo, we packed in another set of provisions for upcoming weeks, and are now in the process of clearing Indonesian immigration so we can head off on our next multi-day passage to Christmas Island!