It is hot today! Hotter than yesterday and much hotter than the day before!
Our air condition in our room is not able to keep up with the heat outside, it’s fairly cool inside but I am not complaining because at least it’s cool. I decided to rest today from going to the gym and Doug stayed with me, which was nice of him. We went to the market very early while it’s cool to get some Jamu Maher but the lady selling it ran out of it and she was missing in action. We just saw her basket full of empty re-used water bottles. Bummer.
I met John today. Doug already met him the other day and told me about him. John is an American author and is visiting Bali for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. He is 80 years old and my goodness, he looks pretty good for 80! He has traveled to many countries for his work as urban developer and planner for third world or developing countries which is also what most of his published books were all about. We sat with him at breakfast and talked about many things. Doug was enjoying the political conversations with John. Doug said, he reminded him of his uncle Allyn who is about his age and also talks non-stop like John. Our conversation ended with a suggestion from him to visit Yogyakarta, a special place in Java that has deep Indonesian culture embracing the city.
Immediately after breakfast, we headed to our bungalow where it was cool and shady. We are such wimps but honestly, the heat was brutal. We must have lost a ton of just water weight from walking around the perimeter of our bungalow and with all the Jamu tonic drink we are drinking, we’ve been detoxing the last two days. So, maybe it was a good thing that the lady at the market ran out of Jamu.
We did some research on Yogyakarta and how to get there from Mt Bromo. It’s bit complicated and there are many options on how to get to places in Bali and Java. For our race, the most direct way for us is to fly back to Surabaya from Bali then take a 2-3 hours taxi ride to Mt Bromo where the races starts. We will be in Mt Bromo about 3-4 days before our race to give us enough time to acclimate to whatever it is there. We spend a day or two in Mt Bromo after the race then take a taxi back to Surabaya then take the train to Yogyakarta then spend the rest of the days left in Indonesia there before we head back again to Surabaya to fly out to Bangkok, Thailand. We’ve looked at all the other options and those are the most direct ways. It is less expensive, too or just equivalent than other options us taking a bus, train then taxi etc.
Again, we headed back quickly to the bungalow to cool down! Mid-day heat was the worst today and with the El Nino still lingering without mercy it’s going to be scorching hot in Ubud the next few days! There has been no rain lately in Indonesia which is not normal and makes the burning in Java much more non-environmentally friendly. John’s seen the burning every year and it normally happens every year but this year is the worst because of El Nino. Usually the rain would help the smoke but not this year. Thailand also does the burning in the fields to get the fields ready for new crop and when we were in Pai, there were random burning in the mountains. Also, in Annapurna Circuit, we watched a really carefully planned burning in the mountain across from our tea house with the same purpose. It’s actually really cool, in the steep hills 2 or 3 people are spread out forming a triangle and each of them light up a bush then a fire starts. The fire, although spread out eventually cover only a certain perimeter. It’s really cool to watch. It was like a light show in the evening from our window.
It’s so hot today, I didn’t even bother going to the pool. It sounds strange, I know. One more day in Bali then we head up to higher altitude which I heard was very much cooler than down here in Ubud!