Bali * 11 - 22.05.19


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Asia » Indonesia » Bali
June 20th 2019
Published: May 20th 2020
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If I made the right decision? Maybe not, but I can't return time and feeling regret is a waste of it..

After a week at home, a few factors made me decide to finish my travel plans: My dad seemed ok, he got out of the hospital and even though he was sick, I didn't think 2 weeks would matter. After that, I would return and be with my family for at least a whole month! I also already payed for my SUP yoga instructor classes and my insurance took care of my return to Bali. During my trip through Asia, I thought Bali would be the cherry on top of the cake. Boy, was I wrong!

First of all, I can't say Bali isn't beautiful. It is! But if you go, make sure you have some money to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I didn't. I was running out of travel money, so it was a bit harder to enjoy the island. Not to mention the amount of tourists! The queues, the entry fee for almost every single beach/ temple/ waterfall/ rice field you want to visit, the price on food (comparing to the rest of Asia). But well.. I made it and I made the best of it.

My first host (Rio) was in the south of Bali on the Bukit peninsula. The first evening we chatted a lot and we went to a food court for a quick bite. After being up for 40 hours straight, I went to bed early to get some rest. The next day he gave me his scooter to tour around the south. He couldn't come with me because he's muslim and ramadan was going on. That means he wasn't allowed to eat or drink during daytime so he wouldn't be able to be in the sun without being hydrated. First I went to a viewpoint, then to "Green Bowl Beach". I parked the bike and took the many steps down to the beach where I took a swim and enjoyed the sun on my skin again. After a while I decided to go back to Rio's place. On my way I picked up a hitchhiker. She wanted to go to the Vishnu Garuda statue. After I dropped her off, I managed to get lost all the time before I finally reached Rio's place. After I changed my clothes, we wanted to go see the sunset. He had 2 scooters, so we took one each. On top of the hill where I had to turn right, the tire slipped away and I fell. It wasn't so bad and it didn't even hurt that much, but after seeing my bleeding knee and hand I got all shaky. We went back inside to clean the wounds and when he asked if I prefered to get on the back of his bike or give it another try I decided to just give it another try. We were just in time to enjoy the sunset and stayed there for a while, watching the surfers while chatting away. We only left because we got hungry and went for some food.

The next day, Rio brought me to Kuta, where I met with my next couchsurfer (Bass). We went for breakfast and then to the beach. I really wanted to get into the ocean, and I did, but the salty seawater stang my wounds. I wanted to go surfing, but I'd have to get on my knees a lot so that wouldn't be a good idea. In stead, we just enjoyed watching the others surf. We stayed there until sunset.

The next morning I took the bus to Ubud. This is in the centre of Bali and famous for its rice fields. It was still early when I arrived and when I checked Hangouts on Couchsurfing (a function of the app that shows Couchsurfers nearby) I chatted with a girl from Barcelona and we decided to go on adventure together. It was also funny to talk Spanish all day again. We rented a scooter together and drove to a few places nearby. First we drove to a waterfall where you could take a dip in the fresh and "holy" water. Before we went down the steps to get there, we had to put on a sarong. It wasn't really touristic at that moment and most people came there to bring offers. The offers are small baskets made out of leafs. On top they put some flowers, scent sticks and sometimes also bits of food or even money. You see them everywhere you go: they put it on temples, statues of hindu lords, street junctions and in front of their houses and shops. Every morning they put new ones. It's nice and colorful to see. There's also a white/yellow flower that they use everywhere for decoration (even on food) that smells so good! One day I want a tree with those flowers in my future garden haha. The way down (and back up) was beautiful too. So green and with lots of statues and symbols carved into the rocks.
After this we went to a coffee farm, where they make coffee from the coffee beans found in the shit of an animal called Civet or Luwak in Balinese. "Kopi Luwak" is world's most expensive coffee because of this strange process.
Our next stop: the rice fields. I didn't really understand what was so spectacular about it to be honest. Or maybe I was at the wrong spot where there were more tourists than rice. Apparently it's a hype on instagram to get a picture while on a swing above these fields, so there were long queues for the swings. Same with these strange big-size bird nests. Soo... we just walked around a bit before returning to Ubud, where we stayed the rest of the day at the pool. Later more people joined and we had a good night with a couple of beers and nice conversations.

The morning after I planned to take the bus to Amed. I didn't check the schedule the day before and when I got to the bus station I found out it only goes once a day and it had left this morning at 7:00h. Eventually I paid the price for not planning and found a grabbike who brought me there for 200k. It was a 2,5 hour drive through the green mountains and fields on small and rough paths. It was really beautiful to see but it felt like my ass was made of wood when I finally arrived in Amed. It's a nice and quiet place. There are some tourists but way less. There are lots of diving schools on this side of the island. I even found a Pura Vida diving school. I went inside for a chat and ended up drinking coffee with the woman who worked there. Later, when my host (Max), who worked in another diving school, finished working, we went for lunch. Then to the beach for a swim. On this side the beach was black from the volcano stones, just like some beaches in Lanzarote. We stayed there until the sun set.

I really would've loved to go diving, but my budget didn't allow me to. So instead, I went the next day to a beach called Pantai Jemeluk to go snorkeling, which was still very nice. Lots of nice fish and coral. Later I treated myself on a smoothie bowl. It was almost too pretty to eat it haha. Luckily it was just as delicious. Later that evening Max had a leaving party at a restaurant in the village next to Amed and took me there too.

The next morning I took a shuttle back to the south. Originally I was going to Sanur, but at the very last moment a couchsurfer (Rulo) told me I could stay with him, but his place was in Kuta. After a while we went to Sanur (which wasn't so far from his place) to get some food at a local market. We tried a bit here and there. It was really nice!

My SUP Yoga instructor course started the day after. I had to get there early and I had brought stroopwafels (Dutch cookies) for the instructor/owner, because of the trouble he had to get through for reserving a spot for me even though I couldn't give him deposit and I canceled and rebooked again because of my trip home. I had a strange feeling though when I met him. There were only 3 participants (so much for the trouble of reserving a spot..) and he didn't even seem to remember who I was. I mean.. seriously?! The entire course he was a bit rude. I still had that open wound on my knee and doing yoga on a SUP board in the salty water wasn't too comfortable. Not that I was complaining, but I couldn't always hold a pose too long which annoyed him. It felt like he thought I was a typical stupid tourist that had fallen off her bike in Bali. Well.. maybe I did but that doesn't mean he had to be so rude. He also took us both days to a restaurant and thought it was stupid I only got a small dish. I was running more and more out of money and what does it matter to him? The whole course also was a bit of b*llsh*t. I mean, I get it, you need an official certificate to be able to give SUP yoga classes, but it's not like I learned anything new.
Anyway.. after 2 days I got my certificate and I had a few more days left before my flight back to Europe. During my trip through Asia, several people had told me to go to Nusa Penida if I would make it to Bali. I had done as much as possible to save money to be able to go there, so when the end was coming near and I had just enough for that trip, I started to plan it.

(Next story will be about Nusa Penida)

When I came back from the island, I had to spend one more night in Bali. Rulo told me I could stay with him again. When I arrived I told him about my trip and explained that I originally had planned to get a tattoo that I designed, but because I had no money left that would have to wait. He then told me he worked together with a tattoo artist (he is a photographer) and took me there. He advanced me the money that I would send back to him as soon as I would get home. So eventually I did get the tattoo. We had pizza afterwards and then went back home. I had to get up early the next morning to catch my flight. It would be a looooong trip home. But I was ready and excited to see my family.


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