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    Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 18

    Friday, September 11, 2015
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    Ganesha Bookshop on Jalan Raya Ubud in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Ganesha Bookshop on Jalan Raya Ubud in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    In the early afternoon, I paid a visit to Ganesha Bookshop, a really small, quaint shop on Jalan Raya Ubud over near Peliatan. Somehow, I had never noticed it before. But, after being referred to their web site from Bali book searches several times in the past, I made it a point to stop by. And, Chef Boy Ardee, am I glad I did! I found a copy of Bali: Sacred and Secret still in shrinkwrap that I had seen used and slightly worn in another shop. So, I may return to buy it before I go home. Ganesha mostly carries books on all things Bali (and other places in Indonesia), as well as smaller sections of other subjects, including fiction. They even have a small selection of gamelan CDs.

    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A wood carving shop on Jalan Raya Andong in Andong, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    After leaving Ganesha, I rented a bicycle for only 20,000 rupiah ($1.40). I was surprised the price was so low. Hell, that’s what it cost five years ago! To put that into perspective, one time I rented a bicycle in California and it cost $30.00 for one day. I headed east on Jalan Raya Ubud over to the huge Arjuna statue in Peliatan, where I turned north onto Jalan Raya Andong to visit Andong village. Hugging the extreme left gutter of the narrow road, I fervently hoped that I would not get smeared onto the pavement by a car, motorcycle or truck. I passed by shop after shop chock-full of wood carvings, sculptures, paintings, knick-knacks and other random goods all stacked up inside and outside of each building.

    A statue of a Legong dancer on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.
    A statue of a Legong dancer on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    A wall painting of Balinese dancers on Jaloa Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.
    A wall painting of Balinese dancers on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    After a few kilometers, I encountered a section of the road that was all wet. To avoid getting water splashed all over my clothes, I decided that was a good spot to turn around. After cruising back down through Peliatan on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai, I hung a left on Jalan Raya Goa Gajah and rode down a kilometer into Teges village, where I bought a bunch of big bananas for 10,000 rupiah ($0.70). The same bananas in Ubud would cost 20,000 rupiah ($1.40) from many sellers. What a rip off! I also bought three apples for 15,000 rupiah ($1.05), which are understandably expensive because they’re imported. Across the street, I spotted a neat sign for Teges bearing a relief of two Legong dancers on the corner. It looked so rad, and it was funny how it was blocking off the entire sidewalk.

    I rode down and back up a side lane right there to see if I could find anything interesting, but came up empty-handed, other than villagers hanging out and burning little piles of trash, sending smoke plumes aloft into the sky. I was surprised to see a couple of foreigners heading back to their room down there, as not too many of them stay this far outside of Ubud. Next, I headed south down Jalan Raya Cokorda Rai Pudak into the village of Mas, which was jam-packed with shops and galleries that produce all sortsa paintings and fanciful sculptures, wood carvings and furniture. Pretty much everything was on offer: traditional Balinese, Western-style modern and everything else including the kitchen sink. Some of the stuff was big, gaudy and downright cheesy, while other items looked amazingly tasteful. I saw a crazy looking couch that must have been over 15 feet long, and a Pegasus made out of old bicycle frames and rims.

    A family compound gate on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.
    A family compound gate on Jalan Raya Cokorda Gede Rai in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    A store that sells furniture and sculptures on Jalan Raya Cokorda Rai Pudak in Mas, Bali, Indonesia.
    A store that sells furniture and sculptures on Jalan Raya Cokorda Rai Pudak in Mas, Bali, Indonesia.

    After returning the bicycle, I ate dinner over at Pulu Sari Warung, where I ordered a plate of delicious tofu curry with vegetables and rice. I tried to pay with a 100,000 rupiah note ($7.01), but one of the ladies who works there shut me down and made me fork over the last of my small bills. When I asked her why they never have any small bills despite the fact that customers give them money all day long, she got pissed and told me, “No small money!” in a really mean and rude manner. There was no reason for her to respond to a legitimate question that way. So, I won’t eat there anymore. But, that’s all right, because their whole food prep area is incredibly dirty anyway. In fact, I saw a rat scramble across a pile of dishes back behind the counter there the other day. Arimas Warung right next door is much cleaner behind the scenes, but it’s a bummer that they serve really small portions on some dishes. I’ll also try another place right across the alley…if I can find anyone who works there. I tried to eat there once, but no one was around.

    A woodcarving shop on Jalan Raya Cokorda Rai Pudak in Mas, Bali, Indonesia.
    A woodcarving shop on Jalan Raya Cokorda Rai Pudak in Mas, Bali, Indonesia.

    Tofu curry, vegetables and rice at Pulu Sari Warung in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Tofu curry, vegetables and rice at Pulu Sari Warung in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    My last mission of the day was to locate some Vaseline, which I put on my toes every day before heading out to avoid blisters. Unfortunately, two small convenience stores and a pharmacy I visited didn’t carry it. I’ll have to check a couple of big stores tomorrow. A big Hindu religious procession ambled by Ubud Palace to tonight–complete with Barong, Rangda and several ladies singing a very spirited song. They headed north on Jalan Suweta to some unknown (to me) temple. I wanted to tag along, but my udeng and sarong were back in my room, and I didn’t want to chance getting blisters on my feet by walking around too much.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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