Day 5 - Ubud to Legian

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April 18th 2013
Published: April 21st 2013
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We had Gede arranged as driver for our transport to Legian for $25. A bit worried about whether his car would be OK, but it did fit our luggage in snuggly. Really good having him as we talked about stuff all the way for the hour long trip and he was good at speaking English and had a great personality as well.

He told us about how he had a dream to go working on cruise ships like his younger brother but he had an accident (i.e. had a baby, got married and dream ended !). His brother has just returned from Costa Cruises in Europe after being away from family for 8 months and he earns a lot more than they get in Bali and supports his family.

Gede has some land near rice patties and wants to build a small villa to rent out to tourists. You get a sense he wants to build a better life for his family. It will costs him 15 Million Rupiah and which is about 1 year salary for him. We gave him 300,000- for driving us and that was 25% of monthly salary working for Wayan doing the bike tours.

He said he was unable to borrow money as he is not on fixed wages like policeman or business owner etc. He went to do tourism at Denpasar University for 2 years.

Got to our hotel around midday and room was ready. We are staying in Jayakarta Hotel & Resort at the Northern end of Legian. The complex has many buildings and we are in the Residences and our unit 6524 is on the 5th floor (top floor). It is a 2 bedroom apartment with good space and layout with small balcony with some ocean glimpses.

The unit is privately owned and not managed by the Hotel itself. They have tried to modernise where possible but it is obviously quite old. However at $129- per night you get what you pay for I guess.

The resort is quite large with 4 pools, swim up pool bar, tennis court, a few restaurants, and has direct beach access. We are at the end furthest away from the beach and it is probably 500 metres from one end of the resort to the beach.

We went for a walk along the beach to find somewhere for lunch. We were surprised to find not many people walking, and the beach itself was not crowded with plenty of spare chairs available. We had expected this to be a hectic and crazy place !

The area we walked along used to be a road but is now closed to cars. We walked towards Kuta about 500 metres past some other hotels hoping to find some shops / restaurants but no luck. We asked someone walking by where to find them and he said you had to go 1 block inland from the beach, so we cut through one of the hotels as a shortcut (politely smiling at security and waiters around the pool pretending we were staying there as guests !).

Eventually we found some action, and before long we were in a Restaurant just in front of Royal Tunjung Resort in Jalan Padma Utara. Indoors with Air Conditioning as we were a bit disorientated. We ordered some drinks and then lunch. Elise had a Chicken Parmagiana I had a Chicken Focacia. It cost IDR 351,000- or around $35-. A bit of a drama trying to pay by Visa Card so I had better get organised with some more local cash based on this experience.

Luke & Kerry went across the road to a few shops as Luke was keen to get some NBA basketball jerseys. He came back proudly saying he had bargained well to get a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey for IDR 15,000 or about $15- Aussie.

Whilst we were eating we watched in amazement at a construction site across the road. A crane would lift a pallet of besser brick blocks to the 3rd level where the workers were working (some were in barefoot and no hard hats for safety anywhere to be seen. The trouble was the pallets were falling to pieces and the whole load could easily have fallen on to the workers on the ground floor. It soon became apparent to me that safest job was being the crane driver (dogman I think you call them).

Got back to our room after a short walk back, and spent some time trying to get free wi-fi to work but no good, so gave up. Watch a bit of TV as we had not seen news for a few days and found out about the Boston Marathon bombing and then a news alert came up about the fertiliser explosion in Texas. Scary stuff !!

Went to dinner at a restaurant called Gula-Gula in Baleka Beach Inn nearby in Jalan Werkudara. All 4 meals delivered at different times AGAIN. Is this normal in Bali ? Do I need to ask for them to come out together ? Luke had Chicken again and I wondered if it was a Rooster from Ubud (surely not !!). Dinner cost IDR 638,600- or about $64-.

Tomorrow we plan on shopping.

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