Bali 2 (3/1/13- 15/1)


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May 5th 2013
Published: May 5th 2013
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3/1

We got up and had breakfast at 10- we were phoned the night before to ask what we would like and what time! We ate it on the table outside our room, but were joined by a lot of flies! It was a nice enough breakfast- egg, bacon and toast! The weather was pretty miserable- rain rain rain! The guesthouse offered a free shuttle bus to the beach/ into town. We were taken into the local town- Seminyak, by the friendly guy that works there, and seems to,do everything! We went in at 1.30, and were given umbrellas from the guest house to take with us as it was pouring still. We arranged our pick up back to the guest house and headed out for a look around Seminyak. We went int the Bintang (famous Balinese beer) supermarket to grab a few cheap supplies, then had a look around. We both bought some new flip flops as the ones we brought with us were dead and stinky from getting wet so much! We had a late lunch in a cafe, where we had Pad Thai- we can't get enough! Still yummy! We sat for a while and then had a delicious little lemon meringue pie. We had some time to kill before our bus back, so I went to a salon and decided to get my hair cut as it was getting a bit long and frizzy! They had a space so I managed to get it cut, by the joint owner who had recently moved from Australia to open the salon. After this , we went back to the supermarket to get some drinks to take back to our room as they were so much cheaper. We also bought a bucket for about £1 to do all our washing in! We got the shuttle bus back to the guest house and spent the evening chilling out and doing some hand washing in the bucket! Classy!

4/1

We had booked our trip to Turtle island and snorkelling for today. We left at 9am on a little shuttle bus with 2 Australian girls who were also staying at our guest house. We arrived at the check in place for the trip and filled in our safety forms. We paid an extra 300,000RPH (less than £20) between us for photos and video footage as we didn't have an underwater camera. We got our snorkels and fins and headed off in our 'glass bottomed boat' into the ocean. Glass bottomed boat is a bit of an exaggeration- it was a small boat with 2 little troughs that had glass in the bottom! The water was pretty murky, so we didn't get to see too much from the boat. We slowed down over some coral and did see a few fish swimming around. We then headed further out and stopped in a deeper area with low coral. We were told to put on our masks and fins and go into the water. Our photographer/ instructor headed out first and threw lots of bread in and the fish all swarmed round us- it was a little scary to start as there were so many around us. He gave each of us a little bag with bread in to throw in for the fish too. There were lots of fish- mainly silvery blue stripey ones that we saw at Koh Phi Phi. We saw some rainbow fish, the little flappy fin fish, black and yellow fish, regal angelfish, emperor angelfish plus lots more. Our instructor took us over to an area of coral where clownfish live. They were quite deep down and difficult to see, but he dived down and took some photos to show us. I decided to have a closer look, so I dove down a couple of times for a look. There were some really tiny ones- just like Nemo!! We got back into the boat after this and headed off to turtle island. We were shown around by a guy, who told us a lot about the different turtles. We were allowed to hold some, including a leatherback, green sea turtles and some baby snappers. The tiny ones were really sweet, we held one in each hand. Some of the bigger ones were really heavy. The shells were beautiful. We had a look around the rest of the sanctuary and had a last look at the big group of turtles on the sand. We headed back to the boat and to the check in area of the trip. We had to wait for our photos and DVD to be processed, then we headed back to our guest house with the Australian girls who had done a different trip. We got back, and had lunch in our room. We spent the rest of the afternoon using the Internet, trying to sort out hotels and transport for Australia. It's so expensive!!

5/1

We had a relaxed morning and a late breakfast. The weather was not great again today, so we decided to head to Kuta, in search for Bubba Gumps! We got the shuttle bus at 1.30 from our guest house. It dropped us into Legian, which is the closest town to Kuta, the centre of Bali, where all the big restaurants (and clubs/bars etc) are. We walked from Legian into Kuta, stopping at a couple of shops on the way and trying not to slip over on the wet floor! We were told to turn right at the bomb memorial statue to get to the centre. A bit of a reminder of what happened here, a little scary! We didn't know where Bubba Gumps was, so I followed my instinct and saw the sign appear in the distance! Yay! We sat down- same old Bubba Gumps, but without the trivia, and without my favourite dish- no coconut shrimp! I had to amend my usual order! It was still yummy though. We killed some time by watching most of the film in the restaurant (luckily it wasn't too busy!), and had a look around the merchandise. We then headed back into Kuta centre to try and find a taxi, as we weren't being collected by the shuttle bus today. We had been told to only get in a bluebird taxi-official Bali taxi- but you have to look carefully as there is a similar rip-off company with pretty much the same logo! We found a bluebird and asked if he would use his meter- he said no, but gave us a price of 35,000RPH, to which we agreed as we were told it would be less than 50,000. We gave him the address of the guesthouse, and he suddenly decided it would cost more to go there! We declined and jumped out of the taxi- he didn't seem to mind. We had a little wander along Kuta beach instead- pretty dirty, not the nicest of beaches! We walked back to the area where the shuttle bus had dropped us and got a taxi from there. This driver did use his meter and it only cost us 15,000RPH to get back (under £1!) . We spent the evening in our room using the Internet for more hotel searches.

6/1

Today we woke up to sunshine, so decided to make the most of it and head to the beach! We got the 11.30 shuttle bus from the guest house and went to the far end of Kuta beach- I think it was Legian beach at this part. The sand was very dark, and the beach wasn't that nice- rather dirty and smelly! We got 2 sun loungers for 50,000. The waves were huge and we were quite close to the sea. All of a sudden the sea rushed in and up the beach. Luckily we didn't have anything on the floor, so our stuff was safe, but we moved up the beach, away from the incoming tide. There were a lot of touts on the beach selling all the crap you could ever want- fruit, jewellery, elephant statues, Buddah statues, towels, sunglasses etc! They guy who hired us the sun loungers (Euan) decided to come and sit on mine and start talking to us. He explained to us that the swell was really high today, which is why the waves were so big and kept rushing up the beach! It was funny to watch, as we were high up the beach, but the waves were taking unsuspecting flip flops and even tables out and across the beach! I had a paddle but the currents were too strong to swim. Euan decided to come and talk to me again whilst I was having a paddle! He said he would to teach me to surf, but not today as the surf was too bad. We got some cheap temporary tattoos for a laugh and got an ice cream. Once we'd had enough, we headed up the road to get a taxi and paid a huge 7,500RPH to get back! (50p) We had a quick dip in the pool to de-sand and decided to head out to an American diner for dinner, that we had seen whilst on the way to the beach. We managed to get a lift there on the shuttle bus. The diner was great, American styled with 50s and 60s music. We had a milkshake in a cowboy boot glass and dinner, then headed next door to coldstone creamery for pudding! We walked back to the guest house, which only took between 5-10 minutes, a nice relaxing day!

7/1

Today we had arranged to do a dolphin trip at Sanur. We got picked up from the guest house by the company that run the trip. There were some other people in the car already so we climbed into the back. We got to the reception of the dolphin place and filled in our forms and paid our money (765,000RPH each). We were given life jackets and put all our stuff in a locker, then headed into the little boat to take us out to the floatation where the dolphins were. They are in captivity, but they live in the sea in this strange pontoon. We were split into 2 groups of 6, then shown into an enclosure with a dolphin. Our dolphin was called Pluto- all the dolphins had Disney names! Our instructor was really good. We all had a go at massaging Pluto and feeling his skin. We all got to have a cuddle and kiss with him, and fed him some fish and felt his tongue and teeth. We then all took it in turns to put on a snorkel and go undrewater with Pluto, where we had a cuddle and kiss, and watched him collect a stone that had been thrown for him. We also watched him jump up, from under the water, which was good. We all held a pole for Pluto to jump over and fed him again. We had more kisses and cuddles, and Pluto did some huge jumps and waved bye bye with his tail. It was a really great experience, we loved it. A member of staff took photos on our cameras, which was great as it meant we had lots of photos of our own. We got in the boat back to the reception area, then headed back in the car to the guest house. We had some lunch in our room, and spent the afternoon doing more Australia research. In the evening I had a pancake from the hotel but it was like a cake- it was so thick! Random!

8/1

We had a little lie in today, and had a late breakfast. We decided to spend the day in booking up as much of Australia as we could, almost done now! It took a long time to get sorted. In the evening we decided to go to the diner again for dinner. Had a coke float and a burger followed by chocolate chip pancakes for pudding. They were delicious, but I was so full, I couldn't finish them. We headed back to the guest house and chilled out for the rest of the evening waiting for my dinner to go down! Very lazy day!!

9/1

We were woken up at 5.50 this morning by the noise of setting up for a big traditional Balinese ceremony at the guest house. All the guests had been invited to join. We managed to get a bit more sleep and then got up and showered and headed outside to see what was happening. There was a Balinese orchestra playing traditional Balinese song. There were a couple of other guests out already, so we sat down with them, opposite lots of Balinese women and children- mainly the families of workers from the guest house. We sat for a while listening to the orchestra and watching the children, who were being a bit cheeky and showing off to all the guests! All the offerings that had been laid out were taken through to a room where the priest was, then we all sat down on the floor facing east, and were given some incense and a flower. We had to hold the incense in our feet and take a petal from the flower and pray (well I think that's what we were supposed to do, but we were all just copying the Balinese people!). The helpful friendly guy from the guest house told us to copy him and explained what we were doing. We had to repeat the step with taking the petals a few times, then we were all sprinkled with holy water by the priest, and had to drink some out of our hands. We then had some grains of rice stuck to our heads- this wasn't explained to us, so we're not sure what it signified. After this was a traditional Balinese lunch, with Babi Guling- roasted pig. The guests were invited to eat first, but nothing looked particularly appetising to us. We took a small plateful and ate at our seats. This seemed to be the end of the ceremony, which was a big thank you to the Gods for everything in their lives. It only happens once a year so it was a privilege to be included in it and see how a traditional Balinese ceremony works. After the ceremony we went to get an ice cream as we were still hungry, so headed to coldstone! Then we were going to have a little wander around, but there wasn't much to see, so we ended up getting a few bits from a little shop and grabbing a bite to eat from McDonald's before heading back to the guest house, just managing to miss a torrential downpour!

10/1

We had a lazy morning, then got the shuttle bus to the beach at about 1pm, as it was nice and sunny. It wasn't very busy on the beach and there weren't many people trying to hire out sun loungers. We soon found out why this was- it was extremely windy! What started as a light breeze turned into full gale force winds! The umbrellas were hurriedly put down and empty loungers were put away. The sand was mainly wet from the rain last night, so it wasn't blowing everywhere. It got so bad that we had to leave and decided to try and walk to Kuta or a town nearby to get some food. We walked up the beach and soon got blasted with sand. It was horrible. We were heading towards Kuta but we had so much sand blasted at us, it was painful and we had to head up a little alleyway to escape the sandstorm! Two guys were walking down the alley so we asked them if there was anything at the end of it, to which they said there was a main road and then some shops. So we decided we would head up it- and we told them to avoid the beach! We found our way back to Legian and found somewhere to have some lunch- we had mie goreng, which is an Indonesian noodle dish. After lunch we managed to get a taxi back to the guest house where we attempted to de-sand- we were covered!! Spent the evening doing some hand washing in our bucket!!

11/1

We got the shuttle bus to the beach around 11.30. Euan was there today and greeted us with a hug and asked where we were yesterday, he said he had waited for us! We got our loungers, and Euan decided to join us- yay!! We chatted for a bit and he asked if I wanted a surfing lesson today. I did want to have a go, and figured it would be best to have an individual lesson instead of a group one. We agreed on a price of 200,000RPH, for 2 lessons in the sea with Euan and also the board for the day if I wanted to go in myself. I had a drink and then had my first bit of the lesson- practising paddling and jumping up whilst on the beach. I think it's just a ploy to make you look stupid as it doesn't help one bit!! We headed off into the sea, and there wasn't really any practising- just OK, here is a wave, I'll push you off, now stand up. Simple! I did somehow manage to stand up on my second attempt, but I'm sure it was a fluke as I had a couple of semi-wipeouts after that! I struggled to get my feet into the right position on the board. By the end of the first session, I had managed to stand up quite a few times and surf into the shore. I really enjoyed it. I had a rest and a drink and went back in again later on. The current was a lot stronger so it was quite a mission just getting out with the board. I managed to get a lot of waves this time, and rode all the way in to the shore. I got tired quite quickly though as it was hard work dragging the 9ft board out every time. I had had enough and called it a day whilst I was still enjoying it. There was a photographer taking photos of me both times, and I agreed to buy the disc of photos as long as he took lots the second time I went out, to get my money's worth! I rested for a bit (Chantelle had been watching me from the loungers), then we headed back in a taxi. We used a laptop from the guesthouse to see the photos and managed to transfer them onto my iPad. We had dinner in the room and I passed out from my tiring day and the heat!!

12/1

We got up and had breakfast, and wanted to head to the beach. We asked the fairly useless girl in reception about the shuttle bus, and she told us it would be going about 11.30. Well, it left before this on a trip to the airport and didn't get back until gone 1! We went to Seminyak beach today for a change, as the guy said it was a nicer beach and you get a lot less hassle there by people selling things. We gave him a little tip as a thank you for everything he had done for us during our stay, as we had found him so helpful, and friendly. We wanted to give him something for his family, as we had met his adorable son at the ceremony. He was so grateful for it, and he said he sent his guardian angel to watch over us on the rest of our travels. The beach was definitely nicer and much quieter, and hardly any people trying to sell us stuff. It was very hot today, we had a couple of paddles in the sea to try and cool down but the tide was too far out for a swim and the current was strong. After a couple of hours we decided we were too hot, and walked into Seminyak. We went to the same cafe as the first time we went here, and had another Pad Thai. We got a drink from the Bintang supermarket and the got a taxi back to our guest house. We showered and decided we would head out to the American diner for one last time to have some yummy pancakes. I couldn't eat much more than half the pancakes and I also managed to knock the little cap off my tooth with my straw. I was very annoyed as it had been on there for a good 15 years and chose whilst we were away to come off. No harm done, just feels a bit strange! Had a quick Skype to home from the diner, and then we walked back to the guest house for our last sleep there.

13/1

We got up and had our final breakfast at Legian guest house. We had a lovely stay here and would recommend it to anyone who chooses to go to Bali (but I wouldn't recommend Bali to be honest!) We packed our cases and checked out at 12, but were allowed to stay in the room until 1, so we just chilled out watching TV for an hour. We got a taxi to our next hotel in Tuban (near the airport, and booked in case the guest house had been rubbish, but we should have just stayed there 2 more nights!). We checked in and went to our room, which was nice and we had wifi which was good. We had an early dinner in the hotel restaurant, and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the room, watching TV and using the wifi!

14/1

We got up to have our free breakfast, which wasn't great- very Asian! The hotel offered a free shuttle to the local shopping centre, so,we decided to get the 2pm shuttle to have a little look around. It was just a small mall with some surf shops and a couple of restaurants. We had a little look around the surf shops. We had lunch in a Pizza Hut where we each had the worlds smallest pizza, plus the only Pizza Hut we'd been to without any English menu! I bought myself a pair of shorts ready for Australia, as we figured it would be a lot cheaper to buy them here! We got the shuttle back to the hotel at 4pm and managed to Skype. We ordered some brownies in the evening to have in the room as our tiny pizza didn't exactly fill us up! We got woken up about 3am with awful wind and rain, noisy!!

15/1

We didn't bother getting up for the rubbish breakfast today, so just got up in time to pack up our stuff and check out. There was power cut just as we were about to leave the room, so we couldn't ring reception to collect our luggage, so had to struggle down 2 flights of stairs. We left our luggage at reception and sat on the sofas by the restaurant using the wifi, and had a drink. We got the 2pm shuttle bus to the shopping centre again so that we could kill some time. As the bus dropped us off, we realised the shopping centre was right next to the water park- and also bubba Gumps that we had walked to the other day. If we had realised we would have gone to the water park! We had dinner at an American sports diner and had a pulled pork sandwich. We decided to have a little wander around, but we ended up just walking back to the hotel, which was quite a mission, and rather hot. We got back to the hotel at 4, so didn't do a great job of killing time! We sat by one of the pools, where no one was sitting, and managed to use the wifi to Skype Claire and Leo! We left the hotel about 7pm on the airport shuttle, though we were quite early. We had to go through security before we even checked in. This was a mistake as we checked in (eventually- took ages as there had been a jetstar flight to Sydney cancelled so it was manic!), and realised there was nothing much in the departure area- there were more restaurants outside the terminal! We headed through to departures and were informed we had to pay 150,000RPH to leave the country. Excellent! And of course you have to pay cash- no one has any cash left by this point, so we had to pay in American dollars as it was the only currency we had to pay in, so we ended up having to pay more with their exchange rate. Rip-off Bali! Pay to get in, pay to get out. We found a small cafe/restaurant to have something to eat in, where we both had pasta. We were waiting for our gate to open, but it changed without any notification or announcement, so we went to wait by the new gate. We couldn't wait to get out of Bali and get to Australia- even if we were homeless for 12 hours!! Not particularly enamoured with Bali, and won't be back again in a hurry!


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