So, I have finally got around to starting my blog….I was supposed to start with a pre-trip entry detailing everything we had to do before we left, but I decided that it would be mostly moaning and I was unlikely to get any sympathy, so I passed!
We arrived safe and sound in Bali on Friday and have just about recovered from the jet lag and culture shock. The only noticeable impact of our flight was my swollen feet, which ballooned for some unknown reason to twice their size, making me look like an old woman with heart failure. The plus side to this was it kept Jim entertained and cheery for a few days. You will be pleased to know, I now have normal sized feet.
Wolly, an Indonesian driver recommended by friends of ours picked us up at the airport to drive us to our hotel. On this trip I was taught the driving regulations for Bali.
Me: Thank you for picking us up Wolly, I really wouldn’t have been comfortable driving a scooter in all this traffic, it’s so busy and the everyone just seems to drive all over the place!
Wolly: (Laughs Loudly) All foreigners come here and they think we have no rules! There are rules!
Me: Oh. Ok, what are the rules?
Wolly: Biggest car wins. (No smile).
Our initial attempt at ditching the jet lag was enjoyable but unsuccessful. We arrived at midday and at around 7pm we couldn’t fight sleep any longer and gave in to our beds. When 10pm came, we were both wide awake again and decided we would go out for ‘a beer’. Several Bintangs later, parked on a beach bean bag in Seminyak, awe were both happy and tired having witnessed a massive firework display and the release of a couple of hundred Chinese lanterns in to the night sky, courtesy of the wedding at the 5 star resort next to us. We left the comfort of the outside beach bar and our beanbags with the intention of going home. This plan was slowed when we encountered a beach ‘rave’ on our path back to the hotel and so after several more Bintangs and a few hours of dancing we managed to get back to our beds in the early hours of the morning. When we woke the next day at a respectable 10am, I thought we had cracked it! Sadly not and it’s only after a couple more sleepless nights that we have finally got into a routine (fingers crossed!)
We have just left the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak beach resort, which is one of the big resorts that’s very westernised and full of bars, hotels and restaurants of varying quality and price. The general rule is, the closer you get to Seminyak and the further from Kuta, the higher the price and the nicer the place…there are obvious exceptions, as we stayed in a budget hotel in Seminyak. It was a budget hotel with flat screen TV and air con though!
In our three days there, we walked about a million miles (obvious exaggeration, but felt like it) through all the back street markets, trawling the surf shops looking for some second hand surf boards. Despite constant harassment from the local stall owners to “come see my stall boss, look look, cheap cheap, only $1” we only really got hustled once when a lady grabbed my hand from behind and promptly wrapped a (fake) leather bracelet around it. When I protested, about 4 girls surrounded me and dragged me into the shop nattering about it needed to be trimmed off and that it was free and for luck. Before I knew it my nails were being painted with flowers and they had me. They moved so quick I hardly knew what hit me! Anyway, it was a cheap mistake and I managed to haggle the nail painting (that I hadn’t asked for/did not want) down from £20 to £1.40. Phew! My punishment was that I had then to walk round for the next 2 days branded as a gullible tourist, prompting the hassling from stall owners to go up 10 fold.
My (very swollen) branded fingers!
Anyway, we found a couple of second hand boards which have hardly been used and we have finally arrived at our base at the Bukit peninsula, ready for a surf.
We drove down here this morning with Wolly again, stopping on the way to sort or scooter, do a quick supermarket shop and with the intention of trawling the hotels to find the best deal. The hotel trawling turned into a one stop shop when we hit the jackpot on our first go with a terrace bungalow room with air con, free wi fi, hot water and a flushing loo for £10 a night. Happy days!
Surfing starts tomorrow!
Off now for a cheap cheap Nasi Goreng…..Selemat tinggal!