The Split

*Note: for an easy way to contact us, just reply to this if you’re getting it via e-mail. Your reply only goes to Indi and myself. Neat, eh?*

Well, it’s done. At about thirty minutes before noon, I gave Indi a kiss and we went our separate ways for the next 2.5 weeks. After that, I had a four hour bus ride north.

My first solo destination is Lovina, a small community on the north-central shore on the island of Bali. The bus was completely full and I got stuck in the seat above the wheel well (nice when I was a young’n and had little legs, not so nice now) next to a guy from Boston named Andrew. He and his s/o were doing a SE Asia tour that was close to wrapping up. They were very complimentary of Cambodia and Vietnam.

Speaking of the latter, it’s difficult for me to see fields of coconut trees among rice paddies and NOT think about all the Vietnam movies I’ve seen. There are moments that feel like some crazy alternate reality. ‘Sky Pilot’ on the iPod doesn’t help matters.

Not even an hour into the bus ride we are at a standstill on a small town road. What was originally assumed to be a car accident (would’ve been the first) was actually a funeral procession. Dozens of people were walking along the road ahead, some with baskets of offerings on their heads, other with tall ceremonial umbrellas. Among large and beautiful constructions was a body, wrapped in leaves, en route to be cremated. I didn’t get close enough for any photos, and we just caught the tail end of the procession. It was much more cheerful than I expected, though.

Also, I saw two guys banging large mallets on large wooden chimes/bells atop a temple tower. They were similar to the below photo, anyone have any idea what that was about?

Once we arrived, the bus was swarmed with people offering accommodation. I staved them off for the most part, but when a guy said he had a room for 50k rp ($5) I perked up. I hopped on the back of his motorbike (read: scooter) and he took me a few blocks to a nice looking hotel. The guy there was like, “Oh, no, none left. Only 90k.” It’s onbly a $4/night difference, but we paid that for a double room. No deal. I decided to walk from there.

However, not a minute later one of the other guys came up and said, “Look, city centre for 50k is unrealistic; more like 70k, yeah?” I thought about it and said if he knew of a beach front place for 70k I was interested. I hopped on HIS motorbike and we drove for a little while, finally arriving at another place. After a quick tour (VERY nice pool) he showed me the room. It was exactly what I needed. After some additional haggling (the desk man wanted $80, I stuck to my guns) I got checked in. Another walk later I found an internet cafe for $.30/hr. That’s where I am now.

I haven’t had time to do much thinking yet, but I’m sure when I’m alone with my thoughts tonight it’ll hit me that I’m traveling solo for a while. More news on THAT as event warrant.

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