Quintessential Bali: a Perfect Farewell

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May 19th 2011
Published: July 28th 2011
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Kuta is where our travels through Indonesia both started and ended. On our first trip, we were anxious to get out of the tourist hub to see the real Bali and experience our last international destination on this trip as much as possible. The constant surrounds of Australians and tourists seeking another place to party were harsh to swallow. The beach was also quite dirty at the time as the local government was just then responding the bad press of the Time magazine article "Holidays in Hell." It undertook a massive clean up while we were there.

However, after having experienced Bali and other parts of Indonesia beyond Kuta, you realize that "the real Bali" is all around you if you can see beyond the McDonalds and the Quiksilver shop. The women selling dresses to the Aussie girls on school break. The family cooking mie goreng (stirfried noodles) in the back of the restaurants with the poorly spellchecked menus. The man who owns the used book shop who actually reads his books and can recommend them to tourists. The 4 person family hurdling down Poppies Gang I on one motorbike with a live chicken. Its all there and its all the real Bali. We hated Kuta on the way in but we loved it on the way out.

We sat on Kuta beach to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean on our last night in Indonesia. We cried and we thought about all the amazing things we've seen along the way, and in particular the last 5 weeks we've spent in this amazing but misunderstood country. At that moment we both felt so lucky to have been all of these places and to have made the decision to see them.

Now, on to the South Pacific for some mai tais and Taco Bell!

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