What NOT to Forget on a Road Trip in Bali
Everyone that goes to Bali for a holiday or a longer term stay always enjoy getting out of the frantic mayhem of the tourist strip and into the countryside. Generally, these are only day trips but if you are one of the adventurous then hiring your own vehicle is a good idea. Group day trips organised by the hotel you are staying in are more often than not, controlled. This means you see a set number of places and in each you have little time to appreciate the culture or beauty. It is far better to do these roadtrips at your own pace in a hired vehicle or by hiring a bemo and driver for the day.
As delightful as it is being out there on-the-road, occasionally unfortunate things occur and it is always best to be prepared. Think about it. You could be stung by an insect, get sunburnt badly, twist your ankle or a worse injury, cut yourself on a sharp object or suffer diarrhoea and other ailments. So, the first thing to put in your daypack is a basic first-aid kit. I carry the Red Cross kit which has everything you need for any unfortunate circumstances.
A lot of people scoff at the idea of carrying a kit but to me it makes common sense. Can you imagine cutting yourself on a rock or a piece of metal and dismissing it as merely ‘bad luck’. Heck, you are in the Tropics and even the smallest wound festers that in turn could lead you to visiting the BIMC or other clinic. Another good thing to carry with you is antibacterial hand gel. Good for cleaning your hands after visiting the toilet and even after you have finished a meal.
Secondly, and very important is headwear. Being in the Tropics the sun can be very fierce and especially during the middle of the day. Being macho or thinking you don’t need one is sheer idiocy. When the body heats up, then you perspire and the more you perspire, the faster dehydration sets in. That, you don’t need because it leads to a multitude of ailments. Which brings me to the third not-to-forget – water. Sure, you can buy it wherever you go as warungs and shops are everywhere but it is always best to carry a couple of litres per person with you in your vehicle. The first sign of dehydration is feeling thirsty. Anyone that has done a lot of trekking in the tropics will tell you this.
Not that I do this but a friend of mine who has travelled extensively throughout South-east Asia has a unique way of cooling down. She soaks a couple of facecloths in water, folds them and places them into a plastic bag and puts them into the freezer part of the refrigerator in the hotel she is staying in. The following morning of the roadtrip she takes them out and puts them in her daypack. Within a couple of hours she has a very cold facecloth that is a delight in the heat of the day for cooling down the body.
Sarungs are a fabulous multi-purpose piece of material. Not only can you place it around the nape of your neck to keep the heat off, you will need one when visiting temples or other places of worship. They are also good for keeping your pants up if something unforseen occurs!
On my roadtrips I carry a multitude of items mainly because I usually travel for days on end. Besides the above, I carry notebooks, Swiss Army knife, spare batteries for the DSLR camera, munchies for when hunger hits in between meals and the list goes on. But one thing I NEVER forget is Jelly Beans! I am a jelly bean addict; they are a great source of glucose.