Don't know how they do it, but our guides seemed to have us going downhill almost all day, and I'm pretty sure we weren't all that high when we started the day. It rained really hard over night, and we were all hoping it wouldn't continue while we riding...and it didn't. Warm, sometimes too warm, sunny and clear all day.
The route today was perhaps not as varied, nor exciting as yesterday, but helped us all to continue our assimulation of Bali, it's people, it's history and customs. We started with a short ride in a car, through some really heavy traffic, to a much quieter side road, and so it continued all day.
This is some of the stuff I learnt or saw today...(or more precisely, what I understand of what I learnt and saw...):
Bali is predominantly a Hindu nation. They have a caste system similar to India. You can be a Doctor, Lawyer, Builder, Gardener what ever your caste, but you cannot leave your caste, unless you are female, and then you can move up or down to your husband's caste.
When you are born, your name is determined by your order of birth. First born, whether male or female, is named Wayan, second born Made, third born Noman, fourth born Kotut. Fifth born is once again Wayan. Most couples stop having babies as soon as they have a son.
Rice grows in water, and is cut as the rice plant, similar to grass, seeds. We saw freshly planted rice today, and also saw it being harvested. It is then thrashed, and the seeds, the rice grains, dried. We cycled past lots of drying rice, spread out in the sun on tarpaulins. Bali has two crops of rice a year. Some rice producing countries have three crops a year.
Much of the sand we saw being taken out of the volcano is used to make building bricks, all made by hand. More expensive and better quality bricks are cut out of volcanic lava with big noisy saws. Many of these are built in to elaborate carving for entrances and statues in temples. Those doing the cutting do not wear gloves, safety goggles, helmets, ear muffs or boots.
One of Bali's kings had a holiday home called the Water Palace. We visited it today. Some of it was smashed up when one of the volcanoes erupted in 1963, killing lots of people. After it was repaired it was opened up to the public.
We saw a couple of snakes, Boas, being played with by some kids. They also had a huge lizard, like a Komono Dragon, and three owls that would sit on your shoulder for photos.....If you paid.
There are lots of temples in Bali, and the locals live their religion, and they have lots of ceremonies, and not always on a weekend. This means if you worship at a temple and it has an event, you need to take a day off work to attend.
I'm still confused by all the zeros on the money. Apparently, soon they are going to print new money, and get rid of some zeros. At present 200R is 2 cents, 50,000R is $5, and a million R, is $100. That means Princess Fiona would cost a Billion Rupees..... I think. I said I was confused. Perhaps one of you bright kids can help me work it out.
Today we tried Snake Skin fruit. Tasted like Fruit Bursts. Also tried Jack fruit, dried and fresh. Tastes like a cross between pineapple and a citrus fruit, with the texture between a peach and banana, and is huge, like twice the size of a rugby ball. Also tried another dried fruit, similar to apricots, but red and sweet. Wow, so much new stuff that I didn't even know existed.
We stopped and watched a "blacksmith" making sythes, for cropping the rice. No mass production here. Out of the hot charcoal fire, and lots of bashing, then the wife sharpens with a electric disc grinder. No gloves, googles, ear muffs, and both wearing jandals. OSH would have a field day.