Published: December 23rd 2008December 17th 2008
Fly 2 hours Borneo to Kuala Lumpur, 7 hour layover, then fly 3 hours from KL to Bali. Fun. i would say the highlight of the day was Eddie making his way out to the airport to meet us for lunch at the McDonald's inside the airport. After lunch we said goodbye to Eddie for the 5th time and hoped it would actually count this time.
We arrived in Bali and had a place booked. It was an upgrade from our usual digs...Ellie's, clean rooms, nice lounge and pool area, free breakfast, and the most helpful staff in the world. The joint is run by David and Caroline two off the nicest people in Bali. Offering free rides around town, useful info, and not to mention great hook ups in the tattoo world(i will get to that later). The first night in was a late arrival so we grabbed a few of the free DVD's and lounged around the room. We woke up bright and early..actually about 10am... ha! and made it down to the delicious breakfast. Then hired a car to take us to Kuta beach. We arrived in Kuta with every intention of renting boards and hitting the surf.
Plans immediately changed when we notice that the entire shoreline was covered with dead fish. You could imagine the stench that comes along with this sight. It was enough to make me pass up the much anticipated surf day. Plus, the waves that Jeff and i had been ready to get killed by, were only about knee high and didn't have any shape. Unsurfable. We decided that it would be a good day to get the shopping part of our stay out of the way. Kuta is lined with a ton of surf shops all having blow out sales and factory discounts. We found some needed goods. New shoes and backpack for Jeff, new sandals for Me, and a new bathing suit for Krista. We were content with our purchases so we made it to a Mexican food restaurant on the strip. As you might have noticed we tend to give Mexican food a chance even after being seriously burned by the lack of authentic Mexican food in Asia. This place was much better then most in the past. Good size chimichanga and a healthy serving of rice and beans. See, that's not so hard now is it Asia. After
being skunked for a nice beach day we went back to the hotel to relax and hide from the overpowering sun. More DVD's and lounging. Nothing wrong with that.
The following day started much the same...10am breakfast, some seriously amazing french press coffee and were off. This time we we tried our luck a a beach called Dreamland. The waves were better but nothing too crazy, some small sets came through until the tide changed and it picked up to about chest high. The waves here a different than at home, the are faster and stronger...so even a small wave can give you enough speed to do tricks. We surfed for about 4 hours straight and later realized the power of the sun at this place. I was fried! No amount of sunblock can protect you. The next few days were very painful. I had to try to stay out of the sun at all costs. After covering my body in aloe for a few day i started to peel the worst peel i have ever had. We were lucky enough to be able to stay at a plush hotel for a few days thanks to Greg and Cindy Lamp.
It made my sunburn recovery bearable. I was able to park my freckled you know what in an air conditioned room and watch some ungodly amount of TV. I haven't done that for some time so it was a relaxing change. Also, we were able to utilize the hotels workout facility to the best of our abilities, which was really a sad spectacle. We have gotten so out of shape that after a slow jog on the treadmill i was ready to pass out.
On top of the plush amenities that the Lamps provided for us another hook up came through. Jeff's buddy from home Tristan, was able to pull a few long distance strings and line us up with tickets to an Angels and Airwaves concert in Bali at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was an acoustic show so we were all interested to see how it would turn out. I would say that it wasn't the best show i have ever seen but entertaining none the less. It was also a little depressing to see a childhood rock star look like an old man. Tom Delong from blink 182 is the lead singer of Angels and Airwaves, and
Tom, as rich as he is has not found the fountain of youth. It was a slap in all of our faces...a wake up call...we are growing up and it sucks. Even being a little over weight and aged he was still able to capture the crowd with his fart and penis jokes. the crowd was a cool part of the show. Tons of Balinese kids singing along with the band in broken English. But one thing was a little strange...these kids all had cameras...and didn't stop taking pictures to actually enjoy the show at all. All show long the kids would have the cameras in the air blocking any sort of view anybody might have had...or the had there face pressed against the viewfinder trying to get the best shot. Some of our venues at home don't even allow cameras.
A few day later we went back to Ellie's for a night to get sorted for our next trip and i needed to take advantage of a tattoo hook up that Dave the manager was able to pull. I had been trying to get tattooed on this trip for sometime now and it just hasn't worked. I have
had cancelled an appointment before and had other "good artists" promised. None were. Dave had some work done on his arms and i thought it was god enough to check out. he took us out to the shop and i was able to get a cancellation spot with an artist that is normally booked. I got lucky. I had a few ideas of what i wanted to get but decided to go with the most simple for now. I got the phrase "La Verace Via" across my chest in medieval style writing. It is Italian and means "the true path". it comes from Dante Alighieri's book, The Divine Comedy. I actually learned of the phrase from another book written by Martha Beck, when she made reference to Dante and his journey. The phrase stuck with me and when i actually started to read The Divine Comedy it stood out even more. It is a pretty good tattoo but after the abuse of being in the sun and water only a few days after it might need a touch up.
We picked the brains of the owners and then picked our next destination. Ubud, it was a smaller town off
the beaten path that offered a little more culture than just surfing and beer. We Took a tour of some temples ans well as a Volcano. All were pretty cool. We were all blessed with holy water and forced to wear sarongs. Signs told women not to enter if menstruating...but that was none of my concern. i am not really sure why but it might been because some of the temples have bathing pools where people wash themselves in holy water. I guess they are concerned about some mishaps ruining peoples prayer time. not sure.
After a few nights in Ubud we decided to head off to Nusa Lembongan. A popular surfing destination and a nice way to get even further away from the traffic of the city. Lembogan was nice! Some of the most amazing sunsets i have ever seen. This was the perfect spot to end our Asian leg of the journey. We had landed a beach front two story bungalow with a private bathroom for about 3 bucks each per night. We were literally on the sand. You are only closer to the water if you are on a boat. The people at Tarci Bungalows were
after surf chill out
great as well. The gave us great deals on our room and surf gear and gave us a very nice send off dinner. It was a huge Jacket fish that could very possibly be the best, most fresh fish i have ever eaten. It only cost 35,000 rupiah...about $3 USD for an entire meal. With 2 giant Bintag beers and my food i might have broke the bank with a $6 meal.
During the days at Nusa Lembogan we didn't do much but surf and relax. I would normally wake up naturally at about 8am, check the surf, too low tide, get breakfast and coffee on the beach, read while the tide rises, tide is up so go surf. i did this for a few days before realizing that i am still living a dream life. Even after all the lame stuff we deal with traveling...bad trains...getting ripped off...no privacy...we are still pretty damn lucky. I spent the last week spending just about nothing, sitting on the beach, surfing waves over a sharp reef that a boat has to transport you to...like the pros...in a place that as a kid we only dreamed of ever surfing. I will be back
to this place. From Lembongan we decided it would be the safe bet to get back to the mainland early so we didn't chance a freak storm keeping us from the airport. We have learned that missed flight can be costly. We stayed in Sanur for the night and we head of to the airport for our 12am flight to Sydney. Fun. Here i come Oz, Round 2!
There are more photos below