Island of the Gods

Our purpose was to visit a friend who lives in the island of the gods: Bali. In which, it feels more like a vacation. Hoorah! And so, at 4 pm, we landed on Ngurah Rai Airport, which I think is the best airport in Indonesia with its typical-Bali design, clean building, and well-maintained toilet (important!). Ngurah Rai Airport is located at South Bali.

I haven’t mentioned before that our friend lives in North Bali, Singaraja to be precise. It is the old capital city of Bali, which is popular with its quiet black sand beaches. So we took the airport cab because no other cab was allowed to take passenger at Ngurah Rai (unless you’ve been a pro in getting into a passing cab). The airport cab applies exact prices, depending on passenger’s destination.

From end to end. Are you ready, kids? Aye aye, Captain!
From end to end. Are you ready, kids? Aye aye, Captain!

As you guys could see from Google Map above, the estimated time of arrival was 2 hours and 40 minutes. In fact, we reached the hotel in Singaraja Square after 4 hours. Perhaps it was because of the cab’s old machine. The important thing was that we arrived safely.

The long and winding road took our -breath- calories away, left us starved. The clock pointed nine and there was no restaurant in the hotel. Sooo we went outside by foot to find a place where we could eat. We had to walk really carefully because local people placed banten (Balinese traditional offering) on the street in front of their house. There is a local belief that if we step on it, we will have bad luck.

There were several food sellers in a former bus station nearby. But the menu was too mainstream. We wanted something different, something we hardly ever find outside Bali.

A few meters away, there was a humble warung selling syobak. Syobak is a meal consists of harslet, fried lard, and some browny sauce. It didn’t smell good and also tasteless. We paid around IDR 20K for each portion. Thank goodness that we were so hungry, so we could have the power to swallow this meal. If only we were not so hungry, syobak wouldn’t be this edible 😛

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Say hello to syobak!

Guess what! In the next afternoon, we were hungry enough for syobak (again?). That’s why we went to Syobak Khe Lok, another warong selling syobak. Quite funny how we could find this place in Google Maps.

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Talking about food, we had another Balinese traditional food: nasi jinggo, as breakfast. It is steamed rice served with shredded chicken, carrot, bean, tempe (soybean particles bound into a cake form made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process), serundeng (Indonesian sauteed grated coconut), and of course chili. Oh yeah, happy tummy!

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Beside the food, Singaraja also has a special beach named Lovina. It is about 15 minutes drive from Singaraja Square. What is so special about Lovina?IMG_0530This photo of me was taken at Lovina. Now take a look at the background. Yup, the answer is dolphins. In the morning with good weather, we may sail to spot a group of dolphins. It must be far more interesting than watching them in a dolphinarium. Unfortunately, it was in the rainy season when we went there, too dangerous to sail. But it’s okay, the dolphin statue is cute enough to substitute for the real ones 😛

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