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Published: September 28th 2012
Yes we’re back folks. After two long flights (yet again I failed to get a wink of sleep) and a brief stop-over in Kuala Lumpur, then another flight, we finally arrived in Bali. Phew! KUTA
This is the main beach town in Bali. It’s overdeveloped, loud, brash and is known as the Aussie version of Magaluf. We opted for just two nights here (at the very nice Tanaya hotel) so we could chill out and rest our heads. Kuta has one of the best beaches in Bali - miles of golden sand (although I have seen many better beaches) and no crowds. Unless you count the numerous hawkers peddling their wares – massage sir? Ice cream sir? Crossbow sir? (who the hell wants to buy a full size crossbow on a beach?!?). They do take no for an answer though, which is a refreshing change. The ‘Tandoori Incident’
: even if the sky is cloudy and you’re only on the beach for an hour, you still need to apply sun lotion. I should’ve known better. By the evening I looked like Tandoori-Chris. Made a mercy dash to find after sun lotion and spent the night in
agony. The last few days have been so painful. Now expecting to peel horrendously.
Anyway, the evening before the tandoori incident we went out for a few quiet drinks. Aussies come here to party, and they really do. Bars are full of tanned young things, wearing very little while dancing to horrendous euro-pop/cheesy dance tunes. We ended up in a bar with a live band playing acoustic rock classics. They were awesome – damn those guys could play. Plus, they were joined by about 6 different singers – the barman, a friend who happened to be walking down the street, etc. All could sing like Jon Bon Jovi. Mind you, we were a bit pissed. A good night was had indeed. Ubud
We headed here after two days. Ubud is the cultural (hippy) centre of Bali. If you’ve read the book Eat, Pray, Love (or seen the film) you will know what I’m talking about. It’s so pretty here and so chilled out. We stumbled upon a great little guesthouse called Suarsena, just off Monkey Forest Road. I’m currently sat on the veranda, overlooking a pretty garden and listening to the sound of running water. Bliss. We’ve
been out to the Monkey Forest (it’s a forest full of monkeys) which was cool, the rice terraces and through the gorgeous villages surrounded by rice paddies. It’s a completely different vibe from Kuta. You walk down the pretty streets with the smell of incense all around. It’s a shopper’s paradise – there are so many arts & crafts shops. It’s also a little cooler than the coast, which is already a welcome change. I really love it here. A couple more days and I reckon my chakras will be well aligned or some shit like that. Lou’s Bit
Quite a slow start to the holiday – very jet lagged (apart from14 hours sleep in Kuala Lumpur), if it wouldn’t have been for Gill supplying our morning wakeup call I am pretty sure we, or at least I, would still be there. Gave Gill a quick tour of Petronas Towers and then we headed off to Bali.
Kuta is pretty much as Chris said. Talk about feeling old, all these young girls with hardly any clothes on and ickle handbags; there’s me with my Teva sandals and big hand bag trying to dance all cool and not
mumsy to the dance tracks, think I failed! Had a good drunken night though and the rock band were great and played our ‘Free Bird’ request whilst we sang and danced along.
Kuta beach I have to say is not up to much unless you like surfing, it’s not really swimmable. Hawkers are actually quite ok, they take no for an answer unless it’s the massage lady number 19 who I was defo not going to use considering she asked if Gill was my daughter, pfff!
Highlight of Kuta for me, seeing the ickle boy with a big leaf on a lead, ahhhaa.
By the way, the taxi from the airport to Kuta should only be about 50,000 rp and go in a taxi that belongs to the Bluebird Group! We did not and got ripped off! Also, ensure they turn on the meter.
Ubud is great. I could furnish a house from all the great arts and crafts here and decorate myself with all the silver but alas, I cannot carry all that stuff nor afford it all L think there may be a return holiday at some point once I own a house.
The food is much better here and I have found a local soup ‘Soti Ayam’ which I love - lemongrassy, broth with chicken, noodles and cabbage and boiled egg (sometimes blue noodles…don’t ask, we couldn’t work out why they were blue either). It’s usually about 10,000-15,000 rp which is about 70p-£1, bargain.
Monkey Forest was good, only £1.20 to get in and the buggers thankfully did not steal my specs - I had my drop and roll technique all planned too just in case. The monkeys are ok but I have to say I bloody hate tourists that think it is a good idea to give the monkey a candy sweet, in a plastic wrapper! Said monkey thankfully was intelligent enough (unlike sweet provider) to unwrap it and eat it. I hope he didn’t choke but then stupid tourist tried to touch it and monkey went for him and the tourist moaned and tried to smack it. I have never wanted to see an animal attack so much in my life. The rest were all fine and some very cute, but you do seem on guard just watching out for them and when they seem to gather in groups
around you it is quite intimidating.
The herons and Egrets at sunset are good too, well worth a visit. There’s hundreds that arrive to roost in the trees and the journey through the paddy fields is wonderful and very tranquil.
Onto the Gili Islands on Sunday for some beach paradise but I shall leave this moment with you from mine and Gills mooch today:
Lou: Gill, is that pigeon wearing a necklace?
Gill: (Sniggers) yes it is, and bells!
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