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    Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 11

    Friday, July 13, 2012
    Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

    Would you care for a little traffic jam with that toast? Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

    I thought I’d push my luck today on Friday the 13th and hire a taxi to drive me to Denpasar, Bali’s biggest town, to look for a new voltage transformer, as I had ruined mine the day before by leaving it plugged into the wall by itself, which caused it to overheat. The driver asked for $25, but I talked him down to $20. It’s way cheaper to take a bemo, which is a tiny van or truck, but it takes way longer, as it picks up and drops off lots of people. Plus, you have to transfer, and it’s hot, cramped and unreliable. I also knew we might have to visit several shops, and that would be impossible with a bemo.

    Street sellers ply their trade in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

    After leaving Ubud around 11:00 am, we arrived in Denpasar around an hour later, only to be greeted by gridlock traffic. Our first stop was Ace Hardware, who carried three different models of electric outlet adapters made by one brand, Krisbow. Two of them stated on the package that they were plug adapters only and did not convert voltage. The third did not say, and the package was that really tough plastic type that cannot be opened. So, off we went to check a few other shops–a couple of lighting fixture places, two other hardware stores and Remo, a building with three floors chock-full of small stalls that sold cameras, laptops and other electronics. As it turned out, these places sold adapters only, none of which convert voltage.

    A big delivery makes its way on horseback, I mean motorcycle through Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

    So, we ended up back at Ace Hardware, where I bought the adapter that at least has a surge protector and voltage indicator. Hopefully, it won’t fry my camera battery and shaver. The MacBook Air and iPod touch should be fine, as Apple products are dual voltage. The traffic all day was super crazy. To pull out across the street as we left a couple of the hardware stores, a parking lot attendant had to flag traffic to a stop in the closest lane, then we had to pull out right in front of traffic in the opposite lane, and make them slow down in the process. That’s just the way it works here–otherwise, you’d never get anywhere. Plus, because everything is scaled down on this small island, traffic is really packed together, even at speed, which causes so much hardcore tailgating. It often looked like the front of the taxi was about to tap the motorcycles in front of us.

    Hectic maneuvers at speed in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

    By the time we got back to Ubud, it was 4:00 pm, and I was so wiped out from looking around in all of the shops and enduring the hectic traffic, I took a three-hour nap. The only other time I’ve felt that tired in my travels is after an all-night 12-hour bus ride. I woke up with a headache because I hadn’t eaten in eight hours, but I took care of that with a little grub over at Taman Curry. I noticed a huge wooden tower about 30 feet tall in the street out in front of Ubud Palace. It’s for the big cremation ceremony coming up on July 28!

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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