Island Tour

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Our close connection with Bali’s beaches has prevented us from straying inland. Having been here for almost three weeks, we started to wonder how much we were missing by only seeing the perimeter shorelines. Although not willing to leave the ocean for long, we decided it was time for some more perspective. We hired a guide for the day and off we went on a little island tour.

Our guide picked us up early in the morning and whisked us off towards Ubud- an inland city known best for it’s art and culture (and probably better known as the ‘Love’ of Eat, Pray, Love). Renowned for it’s picturesque scenery, tiny galleries, yoga retreats, and monkey forest, Ubud was one of those places we’d thought about staying in. If it wasn’t for it’s lack of a major water body, we certainly would have. Nevertheless we were looking forward to seeing it.

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About half an hour into our journey, our guide informed us that he had been up all night dropping magic mushrooms and thought he might still be high- ‘just a little high’. His openness about this was a little appalling, but apparently this isn’t a closed door, secretive thing here. He told us about this in the same nonchalant fashion one might use to describe their morning breakfast. Mushrooms are either legal, or almost legal depending on who you talk to. They are advertised at some stores, although we’ve only seen this once during our walk through the clubbing strip of Kuta. Probably most startling to us is the seemingly public use of drugs in a country so well known for having some of the harshest drug laws in the world.

As we said, we were half an hour or more from our hotel, on a thin curvy road in the middle of rural tropical forest. This was not a ‘oh thanks but we’ll just walk home’ situation. This trip would continue. And so on we went into the hills: Dave, me, our trusty guide, and his waning hallucinations…

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