We'd met a guy in Bromo who recommended a cool surfers beach in Bukit so decided to give infamous Kuta beach a miss and head there instead. Got a taxi to Dreamland beach and realised at once that the bloke meant us to go to Bingin, round the coast, as Dreamland was a posh villa resort. So back in a taxi to the pretty and chilled out cliff top village of Bingin. Took a beautiful Balianese decorated room on the cliff top at a guest house run by Lynie and her family (Pondok Indah Lynie Guesthouse). The amazing rooms all looked out onto a pretty garden and there was an outside gazebo chill out and TV area. Loads of UK and Aussie gossip mags for Holly and surf DVDs for Dee and 'Mama' (Lynie's mum) offered very reasonable Bali massages. Really one of the nicest places we've stayed in in a long while. Felt at home immediately. Went down the steps to the beach and watched the surfers and the sunset.
Spent the next week sunning ourselves on the various beaches around Bukit, a lemon-shaped outcrop of land to the south of Bali. We visited the famous surf
spots, Padang Padang and Uluwatu and watched the professional surfers do crazy moves with our binoculars from the comfort of cafes. We hired a scooter to get about and Dee hired a surf board one day and realised how strong the currents and big the waves were around Bukit. It wasn't ideal for swimming really either. Good food. Good company. The surfers we met in Bingin were more PLU than the people who stay in Kuta. Bukit reminded us of Cornwall in a funny way (think The Lizard with palm trees!) and we felt very at home there.
We had a night out in Kuta. We took the scooter and wanted to watch the England v Algeria match rather than go clubbing. Had a wander around Kuta and browsed the clutter of touristy tat shops and surf shops. Had a few nice looking bars and restaurants and we ate some very good Mexican. Kuta wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be although there were a lot of Joe Mangles and drunk Shelia's out and a lot of tattooed bingo wings on show. Had some drinks but decided we wouldn't be able to stay up for
the 2.30am England match and drive back (such olds) so went back. Then we ran out of petrol at some traffic lights but luckily right next to a police station so a kind policeman took Dee to get some petrol on his bike while Holly manned the station. Back at Lynie's we set the alarm for 2.30am so we wouldn't miss the game but the alarm didn't work so we woke the next day annoyed with ourselves. Good job Indonesian TV shows footie repeats. England v Algeria was a borning game anyway so nevermind.
After a very pleasurable and relaxing week, we booked ourselves on a toursit bus/boat to visit the Gili Islands. After a long but painless day of travelling (Perema Transport was pricey but seamless) we arrived on Gili Air after dark. Crashed in the first bungalow we found free, a very ropey room but cheap as chips and went out to find food. Stumbled on Scallywags Bar, a very modern and swanky looking place with not a single Indonesian item on the menu (Holly had had enough of Asian food and rice after 9 months!) so we ate there. It was yum and
we used the wifi to catch up on life. We were upset to hear Holly's Nan was in hospital after a fall. Sometimes it sucks being so far away from family and friends.
Moved rooms the next day and spent a blissful week swimming, sunbathing, walking, eating, reading, lazing in our hammock and snorkling. How great is our life. How will we ever be able to go back home and work 9 - 5 again???? The island really was peaceful, the only mode of transport was foot, bicycle or pony & cart (which were covered with bells so it sounded like Santa's sleigh going past each time!). We had a good night at Gita Gill's bar to watch the England v Slovenia game. It was clearly the place to be with their flat screen and we had a wicked laugh with drunk Englishmen and locals. Lots of bets were won and lost and lots of Bintang was drunk, we had sore heads in the morning. A less fun evening watching the England v Germany match. What a let down. Treated ourselves to a scrummy Italian on our last night at Biba's run by an Italian chef (Claudio!) knowning it
will be back to rice for a while.
We'd been recommended a good 4 day boat tour from Gili's all the way to Flores via deserted beaches, good snorkling sites and the famous Komodo and Rinca islands........which sounded like a great adventure so we booked ourselves on the trip as we fancied a bit of 'life on the ocean waves' and some dragon spotting............
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