After relaxing in the Gilies, we have one last day to spend in Bali. With our favorite driver, Putra, we visit the south part of Bali.
Bhima Monument In Kuta
As we drive up to Uluwatu Temple, there are bus loads of tourists with the same idea of seeing the sunset from the cliffs. As everyone is snapping pictures of the sunset, the innocent looking monkeys start to grab things off the tourists. The tourist who just got his glasses or cap stolen tries to get his stuff back, but finds it impossible. Luckily, a local selling peanuts is conveniently there to help. With a single bag toss of goodies to the monkey, the monkey instantly releases the stolen item. Now the tourist is so thankful and leaves a big tip to his savior, not knowing the monkeys are actually trained to do this.
Cliffs Of South Bali
One monkey almost gets Ben’s cap. If you happen to know our friend, Ben, you would also know the rest of this story. Let’s just say it is a good thing we are there to save one monkey’s life.
Really Enjoying A Massage
For dinner, we go to Denpasar to try out some delicious fried chicken. The place if packed with locals and it turns out to be some finger linking good. After that, we make a stop at a duck restaurant for a second round of dinner. The duck tortilla, duck pizza, and other duck deliciousness.
Another Yummy Duck Dish
While in Kuta, MuiMui and I find a spa package that includes ear wax candling and an hour massage. The experience turns out to be painless and fun. We are not sure if it really removed any wax.
Boris Getting Ear Waxed
Wax Presumably Removed From My Ear
Thanks a lot Daveena & Ben for joining us during your vacation; we had a lot of fun as always with you both. Tai, it was great to see you and we hope to see you again in Bali.
Ramayana Statue In Denpasar
What We Paid:
– Uluwatu Temple
– Fried chicken at Ayam Goreng Kalasan
– Private double at Suka Beach Inn in Kuta [private bath, budget hotel, rooms are ok, great price, pool]
– Ear candling and 1-hour massage
– Transportation to Denpasar airport or anywhere in Bali with Putra
Our drive, Putra’s, contact info:
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (find him on Facebook)
Mobile: +62 852 3809 2119
After a short break of occidental life in Australia, it is time to get back to traveling backpacker-style again. Indonesia was not on our original list of countries to visit. However, after hearing many fellow travelers rave about it, we decided to squeeze it in.
Boris Having His First Banana Juice In Indonesia
With cheap flights to Indonesia, we flew out from Darwin, Australia. Our arrival into Bali made the beach city of Kuta an easy candidate for our first night stay, being only 15 minutes from the airport. It is so convenient that it felt like we never left Australia with so many Australian tourists around. It took us couple of hours to look for an almost livable, non-moldy hotel room that is within our budget. After spending a day walking among the crowds of tourists and touts, trying not to get ripped off when buying street food, we decide it is not the place for us, so we leave the next morning.
Ferry From Gilimanuk To Java Island
Dinner With Our French Friends
Spicy Javanese Food
We board the first bus to Gilimanuk in the west of Bali, hop on a ferry, jump on a local ojek and finally arrive in Java at night. On the same night, we meet a French couple and decide to share a jeep to visit Kawah Ijen the next day.
The Men Have To Clear The Road
Another Nearby Volcano
Sulfur Smoke Coming Down
Kawah (volcano) Ijen is one of the most beautiful volcanoes of Indonesia because of its baby-blue lake. It is also famous for its sulfur mine, which is still exploited today.
On The Edge Of The Crater
Crater & Sulfur Baskets
At our first sight of a sulfur miner, we are all in awe. He is carrying 2 heavy-looking baskets full of yellow blocks. Our guide informs us that the miners carry between 60 and 90 kg (130 to 200 pounds) of sulfur at one time. This figure seems a little outrageous so I try to lift the smallest basket. I can’t believe that it doesn’t even flinch as I try my hardest to lift it up. These miners are really hardcore.
Sulfur Miner Up Close
Extremely Heavy Sulfur-Filled Baskets
Each time we pass a miner, we give him a piece of candy to help sooth his throat. We do not realize what this actually means until we are in sight of the caldera and are breathing in the sulfur vapors. It does not only smell like rotten eggs, but it tickles my throat and makes me cough as if I was breathing in pepper spray.
Candy Helps Soothes Miner's Throat
Trying To Breathe
The view is amazing so we decide to hike down to the lake where the sulfur is extracted. The path is small and seems dangerous so we take our time. Thirty minutes later, we almost head back up because our eyes are tearful and we can hardly breath with all the smoke. Fortunately, the wind picks up a little and we suddenly see that we are almost there.
Just Part Of The Trek
At the bottom, one of the miners decides to take a short break and show us around. He shows us the pipes that bring the hot liquid sulfur back to the surface. The miners stand next to the pipes and break blocks of solidified sulfur from the ground to fill their baskets.
Lots Of Smoke Coming Out Of The Pipes!
Getting The Solidified Sulfur
A little hot stream is flowing from the side of the caldera to the lake. Both are at warm and at a pleasing temperature when I plunge my hand in.
On the way back, our guide explains to us that the miners do this 3.5 hours round-trip from the bottom of the crater to the trucks 2 to 3 times a day for which they are paid $7 USD on average. No health insurance or regular check-up is included.
As we head back, we make a few stops to see various trees like coffee, cinnamon, clove, and rubber. Our guide shows us these cool leaves that shrink when you touch it. We couldn’t get enough of it, touching all the leaves around us.
Rice Paddy Fields
Local Kids In Kalibaru
Making Fried Bananas
Delicious Fried Bananas
What We Paid:
– Jetstar flight from Cairns to Darwin, Australia
– AirAsia flight from Darwin, Australia to Denpasar, Indonesia
– Visa Upon Arrival for Indonesia
– Taxi from Denpasar Airport to Kuta [30 mins]
– Double room with private bath and AC in Kuta
– Street food
– Restaurant dining
– Taxi from Kuta to Ubung Bus Terminal [1 hour]
– Bus from Ubung Bus Terminal to Gilimanuk [3 hours]
– Ferry from Gilimanuk to Ketapang in Java [45 mins]
– Ojek from ferry to Banyuwangi [or bemo costs 5,000 IDR pp]
– Double room at Hotel Baru with private bath and AC
– Harry’s Javanese Restaurant for dinner
– 4×4 Tour to Kawah Ijen
– Entrance to Kawah Ijen
– Camera fee for Kawah Ijen
– Local bus from Banyuwangi to Kalibaru [1 hour]
– Basic double with fan and free breakfast in Kalibaru
– Local dining in Kalibaru
– Local bus with no AC from Kalibaru to Malang [7 hours]