Beaches and Bintang in Bali

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February 15th 2010
Published: February 17th 2010
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Note: Ya know how I was planning on juicing this blog up with photos? Well, there will be none from Thailand as James walked into the sea with his camera "D'oh" Got a new camera now so back on track- hopefully will be able to upload videos when we get to Sydney.

Arrived in Bali and a guy from our hotel had a sign with my name on it (I felt like a movie star) - after escaping a "tip" for this dude who placed our bag on a trolley and asked us some questions we were off to Ubud. Bali seems to be hotter than the jungle and let me tell you a ceiling fan does not even begin to cut through this kind of heat. We had a nice hotel with the sound of frogs outside our room, mosquito net, banana pancakes (more like crepes) for breakfast, a sufficient pool and it was right in town. Took a small walk in town then turned in early.

Since we are travelling with one bag between us and we sweating a lot it seems like we are also having to get our laundry done a lot. We spent most of the morning doing "housework" (dropping off laundry, scheduling our ride to the next spot, and changing money). Ubud is an artist toen nowhere near the beach, the streets are all tore up and walking is difficult, apparently all tourists either rent a scooter or take taxis everywhere and as a result taking a walk in town is met by like 100 people offering you transportion, the run across streets, pull vans over, jump out from behind buildings, it's nuts. We shirked them all and ended up taking a 4 mile walk around the city, on the walk we also managed to go to the Agung Rai Museum, lots of cool art new and old. On the way back to our place we passed the "Monkey Forest Sanctuary" which we never planned on going to because of all the horror stories we heard. Well there was not any screaming but why were they handing people going in huge sticks? OUr rice paddy walk was postponed due to rain which we watched from our porch in the new room we got moved to which seems a lot cooler than the first room. "1" is the fastest setting on the fans- not 5 as we had presumed. That evening we wnt to a Legong and Berong Dance at the palace. It was a traditional Bali dance to a folk story, there were monkeys and witches and maidens and a dragon all set to the Bali music which is definitely different and strangely mesmerizing. Then dinner and bed. The food here is not as spicy as Thailand but it is still very tasty.

The exchange rate here is 9000 rupies to $1- we have had so much money at times James cannot shut his wallet. We took a communal bus to Sanur to get a boat to our next location Lembogan island. The island has no card but it has LOTS of scooters. We shunned the "transportation" offers, how far could Dream Beach be- it's an was far, uphill, at noon, with our bags. We kept having to stop and wipe the sweat out of our eyes. Many people stopped and asked "transport" but we soldiered on. It took us about 45 minutes to make it to Dream Beach, and it was beautiful (worth the walk- probably not). We threw our stuff in our room right away and hit the water (this is where James was so excited he forgot the camera was in his pocket). The hut had an open shower and may OPEN spaces and a ceiling fan. After our swim we had something to eat than another swim- we turned in at 8pm since we were exhausted and kind of trapped at our 30 feet of white sand beach since we had no scooter. Slep did not come to easily because it was hot and there was a foot long gecko who seemed to live on the inside roof of our porch. Everytime james touched me I hit the roof thinking it was any number of night time creepy crawlies. I had us booked for 3 nights on this island.

James and I decided to enjoy the beach so we grabbed our books and sat in the shade on lounge cheirs all morning. Thinking "this is the life" Later on we took a walk to mushroom beach then back to the port which down hill is only like 25 minutes. Everyone looked at us like we were crazy, walking, I guess it's unheard of. By the time we got to the port we kind of cracked and decided to rent scooters ($10 each- we got 2) and schedule our departure from the island one day early. We did a scooter tour of the mangroves, the island trash pit, the sea weed harvesting area, and we saw how a lot of the locals live (not very well). We had a lobster ($30- a huge fresh lobster for two) dinner at the sunset bar and listened to Bob Marley. Went back to the beach huts and had lots of Bintang (the local beer) and a shot of Arak (rice spirit)- by this time we realized we were as red as lobsters!!! I guess we weren't in the shade? At 11 we each had a benedril and slept better than the nite before (thanks Bintang).

Fast boat back to Sanur - it was $10 more and twice as fast as the slow boat where you sit on planks for an hour. We immediately took up the first guy we saw who offered transport and asked him for a hotel reccomendation. He took us to Hotel Swastika (it means something totally different here). We immeditaly stripped showered and layed for hours unmoving in the AC. Later we bought a new camera had dinner, grilled Mahi Mahi (yummy) some Bali Hai beer and attempted to update the blog but there was a power outtage. Again those headlamps have proven indespensible (thanks Dad). We walked down the strip with our headlamps getting the thumbs us from people until we found a bar with a live band and a generator. The band was a cool Bali band who took requests for songs in English- I requested "Country Roads." So, the Bintangs go down pretty smooth- we made friends with all these Swedes and drank until they kicked us out.


17th February 2010

you make me laugh out loud how fun it all sounds

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