Bali Hai Birthday Cont’d
So when last we spoke I was on my way to the hot springs called Air Panas Banjar as suggested by Dewa. Before the springs though, we stopped to have lunch at a buffet-style restaurant. The food was mediocre, I was hungry from only having a light breakfast so mediocre food was welcome food. I however was pleasantly surprised by my waiter who had been following the US presidential elections and it was he who told me that Biden was named as Obama’s running mate. Who’d a thunk it, our presidential news made it all the way to the other side of the world.
Once I finished lunch, took a stroll on the black sand beach of Lovina and shooed away the many hawkers, selling everything from “cultured” pearls; to wooden dolphins; to sarongs, I went to go look for Dewa.
Oh the funny thing about Dewa, remember I told you about the daluman drinks that Dewa had purchased for me. After I drank the first one, Dewa insisted that I drink the second one later in the day. I don’t know what it is about the Balinese force feeding me things, or maybe it’s just me, but Dewa was insistent that I drink the second daluman. So when we stopped for lunch he again, insisted that I drink the daluman. I “happily” took the drink ready to chug it down (NOT!). Once I got seated at my table, I quickly disposed of the drink, but I made it look good, I poured some of it into a glass and sat it on the table in case Dewa showed up unexpectedly, as he has a habit of doing, and then I threw the rest away. I don’t know what I go through such extremes, but I didn’t want to appear to be ungrateful for Dewa’s efforts.
I digress, like I was saying I went to look for Dewa after the beach and found him perched underneath a Hari Krishna designated lean-to getting his feet massaged. Well I couldn’t be mad, so I strolled the beach some more and came back for him in a few minutes later. Now when, I returned, Dewa’s masseuse, who also serves as a medicine man, grab my arm and proceeded to pinch and knead it, right at the bend, only to tell me that I had a lot of stress and I was blocked. Nyoman, the masseuse/medicine man ordered me to sit and he began to give me an impromptu foot and arm massage. I couldn’t argue with that either. After the massage, where he also told me I had poor blood circulation, Niyoman cracked my back and neck. This was the best massage 50K rupiah has ever bought me. If your ever in Lovina, look for Nyoman, you will not be disappointed.
After the massage, I was in hog heaven and ready for a dip in the sulphurous hot springs. We drove up the entrance to the hot springs, met with the usual hawkers and panhandlers. Again, Dewa provided me with instructions, don’t take any valuables or too much stuff as sometimes, “the guys up there steal.” We decided that we would meet back in :45 minutes. The hot springs were amazing, surprisingly, there were three pools with three different degrees of heat. It seems that everyone congregates here — 80+ grandparents, middle-aged Australian men, Balinese children and me — single black female. I was enjoying myself, basking in the warmth of the pool, comforted by the fact that the pool’s warmth was a cause of nature not because nature called, if you catch my drift. Like I said I was happy splashing away, until I saw a woman in a wet, pink, see-through shirt spit in the pool. That kind of did it for me, I got out, headed for the shower, because who knew how many times she or anyone else for that matter had spit in the pool and the water was not that hot enough to kill any germs, and it was not chlorinated, so I had to go. Showered and I was out of there.
Once I got back to the car, I quickly settled into my seat and fell asleep, the next thing I knew we were back in Keliki Village, just minutes away from the hotel.
Despite, Spittles, my day was great! I was relaxed and enjoying all the beauty Bali had to offer. When we got back to the hotel, I paid Dewa and even gave him and extra 5 for a tip, not much for me but a lot for him. He pays 280K rupiah a month for his boys to go to school, so an added 50K rupiah will be an added bonus for him. Plus in addition to driving me where ever I wanted to go he also provided me with lessons about the Balinese and Hindu practices so it was the very least I can do. I had a good experience during my entire vacation, strangers and friends alike have been very generous and kind to me, so I wanted to return the favor. I promised Dewa that I would recommend his services to anyone traveling to Bali. He doesn’t have email but if you’re interested let me know and I’ll give you his number. Tell him, I referred you to him.
Once I got to my room, I was about to change and there was a soft knock at the door. You see, the Balinese are very soft spoken and soft-acting, if you’re not listening closely, you won’t know that they’re there, so I don’t know how long he was standing there knocking but when I turned around there he was holding a bouquet of flowers the hotel had arranged for me. I thought it was nice the staff had wished me a happy birthday early that morning, I surely wasn’t expecting anything else, so the flowers were a very nice surprise. So big shout-out to Nico, my own Mr. Rourke on the Fantasy Island of Bali.
The rest of the evening was pretty quiet, I had dinner, showered and went to bed to the sound of rain falling on my roof. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect close to the day.
Until we blog again.
Bali Baby D