I am heavier, therefore faster!!
Greetings Blog Readers,
Well, we have returned to our beloved Asia, this time in Bali, Indonesia. We decided to make the most of being close to Bali (3 hour flight) and check it out for 3 weeks before our New Zealand adventure begins.
So, we left the blog last time after selling Harry to the two Israelis and finding a hostel to stay in around Perth. Now after living in Harry, and at Jan’s house, for a number of months we have not needed to use the back packs, so as we tried to pack all our things up we soon realised that we had accumulated a lot of extra things. We waved off Harry and whilst carrying our big bulging backpacks on our backs, our smaller daypacks on our fronts and both carrying plastic bags full of books and other things. We must have looked like a couple of tramps walking down the street, all we needed to do was start rummaging through a bin and we would have really looked the part. We did find a really nice YHA (that’s YHA, not YMCA) hostel in Perth City Centre so we stayed a night, but we didn’t
I spy a gold Digger!!
realise how expensive a hostel was …A$110 a night for a private room. Now that’s pretty pricy, so we only stayed for a night and had a good look for a more reasonably priced one the next day. We checked a few out but soon realised we would ‘NO WAY’ stay in any of these other places we checked out. After searching Perth we did eventually found one half the price that wasn’t actually that bad and we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time in the room or the communal Kitchens.
I’m going to try and keep this short as I know last weeks was a mammoth one! We stayed right in the centre of Perth (Northbridge) so we were close to all the shops and attractions. We have rated Perth among one of our “favourite” cities in Australia, it is a modern (for OZ) city with many different parks located in and around the city, it has good shopping and lots of places to eat, it even has a rail road in the middle of the motorway. So, we did a few touristy things, like a visit to the WA (Western Australia) Museum, which in fact was
Life is like a box of chocolates....
really good. We also spent time at the Perth Mint which holds the biggest gold bar collection in the world. We actually lifted up a 6kg gold bar which was pretty darn heavy. We also got to see a 6 kg gold bar being made, which was great, the mint has actually been using the same gold bar since 1993, melting it down 7 times a day in a furnace at 2000 degrees, pouring it into a 6kg cast and then placing it into water to cool. The whole process actually take only about 90 seconds. It was so good we watched the show twice.
We went shopping in Perth a lot for a pair of UGG/EMU boots (plus Kate’s other must have warm items, like cardies, long sleeve t-shirts etc) for Kate as she wants them for the New Zealand leg of our trip, of course I tried to persuade her to consider a cheap pair of boots but there is not budging, a pair of UGG/EMU’s it is…… We have trawled the streets of Perth trying to find a pair and I think we have seen some nice ones, so I suspect we will be getting those
Hey surf Girl!!!
when we get back to OZ for 3 days prior to leaving for New Zealand. (Kate’s comment - yes they are must have items because so far on the trip its been hot and we are now going to NZ for Autumn/Winter which I have not packed for!! Cold Kate would not be a good idea!)
During our time in the hostel we met a lovely couple, Daz and Kez!! They are from Bridgenorth and have embarked on a similar world tour to us and are currently looking for a campervan to travel in. They were staying in the room next to ours, which in fact was much nicer, but hey “it’s fine, we are only using it as a base”. We went out for a few drinks with them in Perth which was cool and then the next day we went out for an Indian with them, god we are loving the Indians. I think it was 3 in one week, never mind Delhi belly, I think Jelly Belly is more my concern….and if your thinking I’m looking a little fat in the photos I’m not, it’s the hair, when I crop it short to look like
A night at the Museum!!
a convict it also makes my face look round …….We also went to the cinema to see Alice in Wonderland 3D, it was quite good and we all loved wearing the 3D glasses..what fun!!!
After spending a week in Perth we thought we would head over the water to Indonesia, more precisely Bali. We got a cheap flight with Virgin Blue to Dempasar Airport and then a taxi into Kuta. We have been here a week and are loving it so far
We got a late flight into Bali and didn’t arrive till 23:40 so we didn’t get to see much in the taxi, but the next morning we awoke to the familiar Asian noise of mopeds and shouting as our room was at the front of the hotel (Mastapa Garden hotel). The hotel was nice enough, the bathroom was on the iffy side but it is Asia after all. We found the we were in the centre of Kuta, the most touristy area of Bali. Now to some people, they might think Kuta is a little costa del sol like and they would be correct. But we do love a little bit of Tourist-mania once
Night out in Perth at Mexican Resturant...Natchos for us...
in a while, bright lights, bars, clubs and restaurants filled the streets, while car horns and BBQ satey smell filled the air. We got out the hotel the first morning after breakfast to check out the area, well by the time we had walked 100m I must have said No thank you 10 times, Taxi Boss? Billabong Boss? Very Nice……NO NO THANKYOU…We had defiantly arrived back in Asia.
We walked around the many streets of Kuta looking at all it had to offer. We found our way to a big shopping centre with loads of shops and a great bakery of which we could not resist, I was greedy and had one Pain au chocolate covered in chocolate and a Mocha chocolate horn and Kate had a Mocha chocolate horn too. We walked out of this place with chocolate all over us….YUM. We ate lunch out everyday and have had a real mix of food most days, I mean they have KFC, McDonalds and Subway here….not really, they do have these places but we have tried to eat most of the local offerings, well apart from the odd McFlurry, but at 30p you can’t not have one!!
Daz and Caz in the botanical gardens perth
decided we would give surfing a bash whilst here as for some of you may know Bali is a world renowned surf venue. Surfers from all around the globe come here to experience the Waves, I hear they are called shore breakers which to you and I mean that they waves break close to the sure and are quite big…..We were told by two Canadians that you can get a surf lesson, hire a board and a rash vest for 50IRP for the hour (which in our terms is £3), this was a good deal we thought, in Oz it is like 10 times the price so we got down to the beach, got on some loungers and waited for some surf lesson hawkers to approach…Now, the first time we went down there we only wanted a lye down and numerous people approached trying to sell us surf lesson, but the actual time we wanted to surf not a sausage!! We had s loads of bow and arrow sellers approach, numerous Ice cream men but no Surf people…..
So after an hour of waiting, Kate decided that as I was the man I should go and speak with
Botanical Gardens Perth.
these local folk about a surf lesson deal, so I went and approached some surf guys…..It went something like this, we got told you could do a lesson for 50,000IRP, can you? NO, my friend, 300,000 for both….it that the best you can do? Just give me a fair price, I hate haggling!!! OK OK, for you my friend 250,000IDR, ok thanks I’ll go and check with Kate back over on the lounger….No Deal for us Noel!! So I tried someone else (there are hundreds of guys with boards sitting there!!) Well in the end I got it down to 100,000IRP each. We took it in turns, so Kate took the first hour and I watched poised with camera in hand. Before getting into the water Kate went around the back of the palm trees with the instructor so he could show her how to jump up on the board, he put down two body boards together and Kate had to, with all locals looking on, continue to jump up and down from the lying down position on the boards. The locals at one point were so close to Kate and the boards the instructor had to ask them to
sit back as Kate was nearly kicking the little boy. So after Kate had proven she could jump up she got into the water with the instructor (we think his name was Butcher?? Frank?? maybe not) whom In fact did not speak a great deal of English. The chap who I struck the deal with was feeling hung-over so his friend agreed to take us, great, a non English speaker giving lessons!
Anyway, he had a few key words of which he liked to use a lot, they included “paddle, paddle” and “Again, Again”, so Kate was there lying on the board in the water.oh, hang on, I forgot to mention she had on my pair of board shorts (see pic), that go all the way down to her ankles and a rash vest that would fit Michelle McMassive. Right, where was I, ah, Kate lying on the board , with Butcher holding the back of it, a big (ish) wave comes a long and Butcher shouts paddle and then pushes Kate with the wave. Kate is now sailing along the wave lying down and then al of a sudden she is stood up, with her arms stretched out,
I got given the Mic when a live band were playing...
now not looking like a pro, but doing really well for a first attempt, so I was doing the “thumbs up” from the loungers and Butcher was doing the same. So time after time Kate was managing to stand up and did really well, I was very proud of her….Next up it was my turn, to be honest I was feeling a slight bit of pressure, especially after the knee boarding fiasco in Australia, so I slipped on the rash vest, which was actually really tight, so we met on the shore line, I handed over the camera and Kate wished me luck. Butcher wasn’t much of a chatter so we just got on with it, he also didn’t ask me to jump up and down like Kate we just got into the water. I did alright too, managing to stand up on the first wave that came along. We are either putting it down to beginners luck or past snowboarding experience, either way we were pretty please with ourselves. I think we even convinced ourselves at the time that we impressed lots of locals surfing near by as they were all staring, but maybe it was the fact that
Kate was in massive boys clothes and I was constantly doing a thumbs up to Kate on the beach…a great time for us both!! When I paid Kate had also haggled them down a further 20,000IRP, quite the haggler is Kate.
After that we retired back to the hotel to chill in the air con.
In the evenings we have been going out for some super meals, they have ranged from Indians to Indonesians and Italians to Ice Creams, the best meal we have had so for was a cracking Indian in the centre of Kuta, it’s ran by an Indian family and the meal was first class, and we put it in our top 5 ever Indian meals…The other meal that stood out for us was one that Kate choose, (just to explain, we take in turns to be in charge of restaurant choice for lunch and dinners each day) it was a little back street Indonesian (see pic with pink walls) we had Spring rolls and garlic bread to start, I had seafood noodles and Kate had Chicken and Rice and we had a large water to share, the food was really nice and it all
came to £2 and we didn’t have Bali Belly the next day - Result!!
Over the next few days we changed hotel to the other end of town as we wanted a change, well and to be totally honest, people at our hotel wanted to sell us everything. I don’t know if we have “soft touch” tattooed on our foreheads but they loved to try to sell to us. For example, the second night we were there, we get in after dinner and there is a knock on the door, well I was only in my boxers as I just jumped straight into bed and Kate was hiding in the bathroom so I answer the door, Ah, it’s “Norman” the hotel security man. Hi Norman, how are you? Do you like Art he says, well yes I suppose I do, look at these, I paint for you. So he proceeds to pull a laminated book out of his pocket, about the size of a pack of cards and starts flick through them, I’m giving it the oh that’s nice and that’s a good one, you are very talented. He asks if I want to buy one and of course
I do enjoy the shade!!
we don’t really want to start collecting souvenirs so I decline his offer and close the door. The next day the hotel driver had me at the front door for 30 minutes trying to take us on a whistle stop tour around the island “10 stops in one day”, “I take you to a volcano, a temple a” ..and so on, I said we would think about it and avoided him at all costs for the next day or two. So we left and didn’t buy a bean…….the new hotel (Green Garden Resort and Spa) is pretty nice, plasma TV’s and 60 satellite channels, I think Kate would prefer no TV because I’m constantly flicking up and down from the time we get in until the early hours, I’m even getting to watch the premiership live match which I can’t even do at home. I’ve been watching so much rubbish that in the morning I’m shattered and don’t always make it for breakfast. Kate however always makes it down to breakfast, her attitude is “if we have paid for it, I’m having it”, but to be fair the spread they put on is pretty good.
We have been to
a great waterpark in Kuta, It is called Waterbom and if any of you are thinking of coming to Costa Del Bali (Kuta) then it is well worth a visit. We had a scream there, we laughed from the word go in there. We decided that we would go on all the slides and the best thing for us was that most of the rides you could do together on a double rubber ring. The best for us was the Bomerang and Super bowl slide, they were so much fun… see pics.
We have also marked the passing of Kate’s Granddad this week. Unfortunately Kate could not make it back for the funeral due to all the air disruptions so we went to a local temple to pay our respect to Cliff at 14:00 on the 30th. We both lit a candle and burned some incense and placed them inside the temple. We spent some time sitting in there just Kate and I thinking about Cliff and the fun times that were had with him.
So After having a number of days in Kuta we decided to get some culture and head inland for a while, we got
a taxi 1.5 hours north to a place called Ubud. It is a great little place with many quaint shops for all tastes, there are loads of hills so we have hired a moped so we can explore the area. The place we are staying at is called Nicks Pension and is cool, it’s in the middle of a rice field and everyone has there own individual bungalow, veranda and even a 4 poster bed which Kate likes. Seen 1 big spider so far in the bathroom, but Kate soon killed it with a cup (I think it’s cruel to kill them). To date Kate has been popular with the Mozzies, I think it’s 25 bites in 1 week. I did buy us some mozzy repellent from a corner shop, it’s called “Buzz Off”, but we think it should be called “Buzz On” as it’s not really doing the job…but hey ho, it’s a small price to pay for being here.
That about wraps it up for this week. We have lots planned for the coming week, Monkey forest tomorrow which should be fun, they are supposed to be pretty full on I’ve heard, grown women crying as they
This guy swapped his Turban for a swim cap...
won’t leave them alone….there could be tears with us. Also going to explore the rest of the island.
I hope you are all well,
Love your favourite travellers
Matt and Kate
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