Our intention was to have a quiet day – to look around in Sanur area and visit the Tegenungan waterfall – but it turned out to be quite an interesting adventure. I’ve read from different forums that police here, as in most of the places in SE Asia, can be quite corrupt but now we have the experience firsthand. As in other countries we have traveled if you want to use a scooter without any issues you must have an A-category and an international driving license. Well, I have neither of them to be honest and most likely that is the case with most of the tourists here. Anyways we were stopped in a police checkpoint at a 4-lane highway near Sanur beach. It seemed that they were focusing on scooter drivers. They wanted my license and asked me to come along to a nearby parking lot. There was a police car parked in the middle of it and when we got there the policeman kindly asked me to step a bit further from all the other people and presented my with a choice – either I pay now 500.000 or they will take it to the court and there it could be 1 million rupiah. The case seemed to be that I didn’t have international driving license since he even didn’t look at the categories. My answer was that I don’t have 500.000 and I opened my wallet where I had 300k (I have some extra money stored in another place just in case). Seeing that he instantly replied ok-ok, 300k is fine and took it from me. I actually didn’t have any time to say anything during all that. A second later he pointed me back to my scooter without even writing out a fine or giving me any piece of paper or proof. The only reply was a pointing hand towards the road. At least in Thailand you got a written ticket. It was in Thai, but still something :). So in conclusion the thing to learn from here is to have visible in your wallet maybe only a 100k so they could quickly lighten your wallet and everyone could continue their day :).
When we got to the waterfall (which by the way is really beautiful, you can see it later from the 5th video of Bali) it started to rain and in within half an hour it turned out to be a true tropical thunderstorm. It was pouring down so hard that it was difficult to see, the wind was blowing rapidly and thunder and lightning were not to be missed also. Since it was basically impossible to drive with this weather we just waited it out under a roof of nearby cafe and when we finally set to the road there just were no roads anymore. Everything had turned into rivers and lakes with water reaching more than a knee-depth in some places. So we were actually blocked out from the first road we wanted to go but luckily we followed a local guy who knew another way from higher ground. It was quite an experience, we had never seen a rain like that. It seemed that even for the locals it was more like a rear occasion, not a sight for every day. Here’s an outtake from one the videos we made:
But hey, that’s tropical climate for you. You have to be prepared for a scorching sun at one moment and a total downpour just minutes later. At least during the rainy season 🙂
All the best!