A couple months prior to our arriving in Indonesia, my buddy Jimmy went on a Carnival cruise with his family where he befriended Maguna- a Carnival staff member and a local Balinese. We were fortunate to be visiting Maguna's home country during his two month break from Carnival. He works overseas for 10 months straight, and once a year gets a long and much needed vacation for about 2 months. Maguna tagged along with us throughout our week in Bali as an amazing behind the scenes guide and TRANSLATOR!
(From left to right: Tyler, Alex, Maguna, Jimmy, Cav, me).
Our first night out with Maguna we ate at an authentic Indonesian restaurant and afterwards he took us to see live music and go dancing. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Maguna liked to party. Then again, I can understand how anyone working on a cruise ship for 10 months straight would want to let loose upon disembarking. I can't even imagine living on a ship at sea for 10 months in a row, I would literally go crazy!
Following our night out, Maguna and his older brother Nyoman rented a van and drove us north to Ubud where we'd catch a Balinese play, go to a Safari park to ride elephants, visit an active volcano and enter one of the most sacred Hindu temples in all of Indonesia. Needless to say we accomplished more in this single day then we did the rest of the trip. Although each activity was so different from the next, I can't say that anything beats riding elephants in Bali. I was looking forward to that the entire trip, and definitely did not leave disappointed :-)
Early in the evening before returning back to our hostel, Maguna guided us to the top of Ubud where we had the most gorgeous panoramic views of Bali. We could turn in a circle and see all of Mount Batur and hundreds of temples and rice paddies. Mount Batur is one of the most active volcano's in Bali and still has eruptions every few years. It was apparent when looking around the volcano where the lava flow had ended from its last eruption in 2000. Based on Mt. Batur's volcanic history, eruptions tend to occur once every couple of years. If that is the case then the town of Ubud might just be a little over-due for another eruption. Can you even imagine seeing something like that? So crazy!