It turns out that the first day of the Tour de Horror is also Kajeng Kliwon according to the Balinese calendar. This is the day when all the spirits below and spirits up above collide together in the middle (our plane of existence) to create chaos. This is a very spiritual day in Bali, where we are beginning our Tour de Horror from, and the tension in the air is palpable and so thick you could cut it with a knife.
A Rather Fitting Day To Begin The Tour de Horror, No?
Although many people choose today to make offerings and pilgrimages to their shaman or priest, we are instead doing the opposite and on the prowl for ghosts!
In preparation for this, two days ago Jenny and I visited a Buddhist temple located inside of a cave in a remote location that I have chosen not to disclose. Why? Well this intensely spiritual place has not been tainted by tourists and as such I refuse to be the one to divulge its location to the world.
There we were blessed by the priest and given Tridatu bracelets that we were instructed to wear until they fall off naturally. These are supposed to bring us protection and good luck.
Feeling more confident we went back, got packed and ordered our rental car, which would be delivered the next morning. This car would allow us to move quickly in between haunted locations and cities without having to rely on buses, trains, taxis or ojeks (motorcycle taxis), saving us both time and money.
However the car turned out to be a piece of junk that accelerated slower than a horse and carriage and topped out at around 60km/hr — not exactly ideal when some of our destinations are hundreds of kilometres apart. And because it came from a local and not a rental agency we would have had to drive it all the way back to Bali when done with it, something I was unwilling and unable to do.
So after returning the car we took a taxi to Denpasar bus terminal and boarded a bus to Banyuwangi….and then proceeded to sit there for the next four hours waiting for enough people to fill the bus to make the trip worthwhile for the driver.
By the time we finally hit the road it was nearly 5pm, which had been our intended arrival time in Banyuwangi.
But The Bad Luck Didn’t Stop There
We were happy to be on the road but that happiness was short-lived thanks to a text message a few minutes later from the owner of the hotel that was sponsoring the Tour de Horror. Due to an “urgent situation” she was no longer able to provide a room for us!
We’ve been fighting to get to a city that apparently doesn’t even want us there.
The next issue we encountered was realizing that in all the madness of preparing for the Tour de Horror we overlooked one important detail: we still have not been approved to enter and film in Alas Purwo National Park, our intended haunted destination located about a 100km from Banyuwangi.
So What Now?
Well as I write this Jenny and I are on the bus to Banyuwangi, Java, bouncing up and down on the road through the darkness and continually swerving into oncoming traffic to pass slower vehicles. I have my 17″ laptop and iPad both running off my cellphone, which has the only SIM card that still gets a signal — the one in my iPad doesn’t work out here and neither does the mobile hotspot. We still have several hours until we make it there and no hotel waiting on us so we have one of two options:
- Skip Banyuwangi and Alas Purwo National Park and proceed on to Malang.
- Spend two nights in Banyuwangi instead of one and hope tomorrow we can obtain access to enter and film in the park overnight.
I Vote For The Second Option.
A big shout out for the folks at Urban Icon for sponsoring the Tour de Horror! Thanks to their classy watches we’ll be on time for all our ghostly adventures on this adventure no matter how much goes wrong…or just as worrisome, if it all starts to go right. Jenny has already had her first ghostly encounter in Bali — but we’ll save that juicy story for tomorrow’s post 😉
Follow Along In Real-Time On Twitter!
Read More About The Tour de Horror (dlm bhs Indo dn Ing)