Ulu Watu

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June 16th 2011
Published: July 13th 2011
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So, from Kuta we got a taxi to Ulu Watu. We were glad to leave Kuta having been there for 4 days. It is so busy that we wanted somewhere much more chilled to hang out.

Ulu Watu is in the South of Bali. It is a surfers paradise with big waves and we managed to fall into a group of really great people while we were there. We stayed at a place called Thomas Homestay which we read about in the LP. The taxi driver didn't know where it was at first but we finally found a sign and he drove us down a very long, winding gravel path towards the sea. Feeling rather dubious about what we were going to find we came to a few shabby looking buildings at the end of the track. As we walked round the buildings though, the view over the bay was absolutely incredible. The homestay was situated on the top of a cliff looking out of a secluded bay with white sands and gorgeous turquoise water - jealous yet?! Well, it wasn't all fun and games because our shower rarely worked and I once had to use the family's well to wash myself. But it was the people we met here that made it so great.

Thomas homestay only has a few rooms and there is a big table that sits in the middle, looking out over the bay, where everyone sits to eat their food and drink Bintang. Within about twenty minutes, we had met two guys from New Zealand, Paul and Hamish, and were on the backs of their scooters to lay about on Pedang Pedang Beach about 5 minutes up the road. There we met Ellie, Hamish's girlfriend, and the guys went surfing while we sunbathed. We met some more people that afternoon and were invited to a party run by Thomas' son Lopo down on the secluded beach below the homestay that night. Lopo kind of runs a bar down on the beach - aka he holds a party once in a while when he feels like it! It was very chilled with Bintang, music, good people and a bonfire on the beach.

The next day we sunbathed in the morning and then in the afternoon went to visit the temple near Ulu Watu with Beau and Eeke, two Dutch girls who were also staying at Thomas'. The temple wasn't anything to rave about. The most interesting things were the monkeys who had great fun taking tourists belongings and sitting on shoulders. At 6pm every night there's a Kecak Fire Dance which tells the story of Rama and Sita so we stayed to watch that which was well worth it. There was lots of traditional singing and dancing while telling the famous story.

The next day, we chilled with Beau and Eeke on the beach, and some of the guys who were nursing injuries and so couldn't surf. We were invited that evening to YaYas for a BBQ dinner for Nate's birthday, who we met while hovering in a beach warung waiting for a rainstorm to pass. It was the best meal that we've had while travelling and was a nice evening spent eating and drinking. Unfortunately, the evening was tainted by an accident involving Beau who fell from her balcony when the wood railing broke and nearly fell down the cliff edge! Thankfully, she managed to save herself from falling and the guys rushed over to help her. It took three guys and a towel to pull her back up over the edge. The reaction from the family was incredible - they were more concerned about the broken wood and it all got a bit heated between the NZ's and Thomas. Beau and Eeke went to the hospital in a taxi and we have since heard that Beau is fine and they returned to Holland a few weeks earlier than planned to recover.

The next day, we left Ulu Watu for Sanur. We had a bit of drama with Thomas about the taxi (he has rage issues, that guy!) who said if we ordered our own taxi he'd call the police. Apparently, we has an arrangement to only allow taxis he books to come to his homestay. To avoid spending a night in jail and to leave with some kind of peace with the family, we got in the ridiculously overpriced taxi to Sanur.

Our stay at Ulu Watu was eventful but fun. We felt welcomed into the local family and the family of surfers there immediately! Everyone was friendly and it was definitely the people there that improved our stay. We particularly enjoyed sitting out at the communal table with the safe knowledge that someone would sit down, make conversation, ask us to join them for the day etc.

So, sorry the blog is being backdated a little bit! Next entry - Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands!
Lots of Love
Naomi (and Alex)

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