Meet and greet.
I was watching the sunset on Balian Beach in Tabanan. The sun was about to hit the horizon and a local man started a countdown from 10. When he hit one, the sun vanished and I looked over at him.
At first glance, the first impression of this local man was… He is a badass biker with his tattoos and little mustache. However, as many first impressions go, I was wrong.
Upon saying hello and the usual “oh you speak Indonesian? How long you have been here?” and the always asked “Where are you from” out of the way we talked for a bit. He knew where I was staying after I had told him who my Airbnb host was.
The locals are always curious and want to know what brought you here and why. My location is mostly for surfers and not long-term stays as I was doing. Some foreigners live here full time and have fallen in love with the area as I have.
As we chatted, my new friend’s friend was busy bathing his dogs in the river, using shampoo from a little sachet as he would himself. With the dogs cleaned up he came to see us as well.
My newfound friend works as a driver and sometimes in the fields. When I told him I was going back to the Seminyak area, he asked if I knew about the shortcut.
If you had read my previous blogs, traffic in Bali, Island of the Gods can be God awful. So, when I hear a shortcut and it’s from a local, I listen.
He told me about this road and when I looked it up, I couldn’t find it. Aha, I had to switch my Google maps to “Motorcycle” mode and the road came up. That is a good sign. No cars mean no trucks and that is the main problem on the main road that connects Bali to Java.
Well, I had to try this shortcut even though the time to get to my destination was similar. My new friend said that this was going through small towns and rice fields. I began thinking about all the beautiful pictures that could be taken here.
When I set off on this new shortcut, I gave myself extra time for the photos I may stop and take. Off I went with Google maps.
The first part of the shortcut began about 10 minutes into my trip. I turned off the main road towards the “short cut” Off the main road I went down a hill to a small road about 3 meters wide and soon it shrunk to 2 meters and as I went further it scaled down to about one and a half meters wide.
It was a cement road and quite ok. Oddly enough there were signs to Denpasar, the capital city of Bali. Then, things got a little more exciting.
Who Google Mapped This Place?
My road led me through some incredible scenery. Amazingly beautiful rice fields and truly hidden temples. One of the temples has the most amazing statues. They stand about 10 meters high. I was stunned to find it in the middle of nowhere, where cars are not allowed.
But then back to the road. About 1 kilometer of this road was not a road. This was dirt, grass, and bits of cement here and there, a pothole-filled path that I do not consider a road. It is a path carved from one field to another to create another shortcut. I am sure the person that google mapped this road had the same thought. So please see the photos of this amazing shortcut. If you are in Bali, find take the road less traveled and you will be amazed.
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