Getting Lost in a Rainstorm
It wasn't my first idea to visit Bali during their rainy season, but I kept telling myself, it wouldn't be so bad.
So there I was, sitting in a beautiful outdoor restaurant, eating authentic Balinese food in the middle of the rice fields that spread out for miles. We're sheltered under the restaurant's roof as the rain begins to trickle at first but then starts to come down hard. We tried to wait out the rain but it didn't seem to stop. We were losing daylight and still had to ride our bike back to our Airbnb.
I had the only working phone, so I set the address while I still had wifi, and we headed out running in the rain back to our bike. In the midst of the heavy rain, I tried to shout directions back to our place of stay. My cell phone battery is low and becomes less responsive as it soaks in the rain. We have no jackets or umbrellas to keep us dry, nothing shields us from the pouring rain.
As we are about to get back out onto the main road, we skid to a stop. The narrow road ahead of us is flooded with rainwater up to our knees. We try to ride through the flood, but our bike can no longer get through. We hop off the bike and start pushing as I try not to lose my Birkenstock's in the flood. It is almost dark now, someone comes and helps us push our bike through. We find a shelter for a while and stop to figure out what to do. Another couple has also stopped and was assessing the same situation. The only thing we could do was to keep going, so we pushed the bike back into the flood until we could finally see the ground again.
With my cell battery low, and the sun going down, we were racing against time. But something wasn't right, as we neared our destination it took us down a very narrow path. One slight movement of the bike would take us tumbling down into the rice fields. The sun had set and the rain turned to a light patter. It was on that dark alley that my Google Maps showed we had "arrived at our destination." Only we were in the middle of nowhere, and that's when my phone finally died.
We were lost. Trying not to panic I see a few houses lined up on the side of the rice fields. We rode over to the house and I knocked on the door, praying someone will answer and help us. As I am about to walk away from the door, a young woman answers. She sees two of us completely drenched. With my runny makeup and muddy shoes, I tried to calmly explain that we were lost and needed a phone charger to get back to where we were staying.
These two wonderful girls welcomed us in and offered us their chargers, something to drink and talked to us until we relaxed a bit. They were both from New Zealand and moved to Bali for work. I apologized as a muddy puddle formed around me on their white kitchen tiles, but all they said was not to worry as messes are easy to clean. They also explained how much they love Bali and agreed that the roads can be confusing when you're new to the area. After the rain stopped and our phones were charged enough, we found the right address this time and headed back out, thanking the two girls profusely. Turns out, I put the radius area that Airbnb gives you on my maps, and not the exact address.
Thankfully, we made it back to the right place this time and breathed a sigh of relief. I was so grateful to those girls for helping us out. I don't know what I would have done without them. When I got back, I took the best warm shower I ever had in my life.
Have you ever been lost in a foreign country? How did you get out of your sticky situation?