It’s 7 AM in the morning. I take a quick shower and leave my hostel, all excited about discovering Ubud. The laid back and calm culture exuded by Ubud had already impressed me. So, I had already made up my mind to explore Ubud by walking. If not, I was going to try hitchhiking in Ubud.
So, I started walking towards Tegalalang rice fields. I would have walked around 2 KMs when I realised I had taken a detour. The offline route on Google maps was acting weird and I had no option to ask local folks the way to rice fields. I started asking everyone I met but, to my dismay, no one was able to help out. So, I started asking for a lift in hope that somebody might take me to the rice fields.
After being turned down by a few folks, one kind soul offered me to drop at the main road from where I can go to Tegalalang rice fields. My plan of hitchhiking in Ubud was finally taking shape.hopped on his bike happily and rode with him. He dropped me at crossroads and I started seeking lifts from others.
The first person I saw my thumb to stopped. I felt relieved as the guy was young and didn’t look like someone who would rob me. I was right this time and he dropped me exactly at the entrance of the rice fields.
I explored Tegalalang rice fields and stepped out to find another lift who would take me to Monkey forest sanctuary.
After showing my thumb, seeking lift for half an hour, I had no luck in finding one. I started walking in hope to find some public transport. I kept stopping in middle to turn around and discover a good Samaritan slowing down. But, thanks to my bad luck, I didn’t see any.
After almost an hour of walking, I stuck my thumb out to see a guy slowing down. I sat behind him and rode till Monkey forest sanctuary. He looked like a decent guy and we talked about the town and more while riding.
When he dropped me off at Monkey forest sanctuary, I started to walk towards the ticket counter. He called me and asked me for 50,000 Indonesian Rupiah! I was surprised and told him I had taken lift because I didn’t have money! He started threatening me and I felt angry. But, I realized it was better to pay him off rather than getting into a brawl in an unknown land with a local guy. I coughed up 50k Indonesian Rupiah and walked towards the ticket counter, cursing myself!
So, when it comes to hitchhiking in Ubud or anywhere in the world, please make sure to communicate with the rider. Tell him or her that you will not be paying any amount what so ever after he or she drops you at your destination. This way, there is no misunderstanding and you steer clear of folks who want to benefit from your adventurous attitude.
This is the most important lesson I learnt while hitchhiking in Ubud. I’d suggest to keep your communication very clear while hitchhiking!