Week 30, 31 - Bali - Ubud, Padangbai & Kuta

May 16th 2010
Published: May 17th 2010
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1st Birthday Drink
Hello Everyone,

How are you all? Right, I know you are all busy people, well apart from Banj and Cerri (if you don’t know them, you will next blog) but it would be GREAT for us if you would let us know what’s happening in your world. Even if you have nothing to say, just say hi. I’m not sure if anyone apart from our families are reading this anymore and we tell them everything on the phone anyway….. Are you in the shadows of the blog? Come out into the light and say hi………

So, we were in Ubud last time I wrote. We spent the day out and about on the moped and first stop was the much anticipated Monkey Forest. We rocked up at the forest and paid to go in, about £1.30 each, entered and were greeted by lots of, as expected, of monkeys. The forest had walkways which were full of monkeys and tourists it was, at times, hard to distinguish the difference between them! I took a few piccies for you all to see…After the Monkey forest we headed to this so called sacred temple thingy, which was about 25km away from Ubud.

On my right is a volcano....on my head is a massive helmet!
We jumped on the bike and headed over there. Now, it was a pretty hot and sticky day in tropical Bali, so we had the sun screen all over, glasses on and helmets, the only thing that was keeping me cool was the breeze when driving along. After and hour or so we got to the temple and parked the bike at the top of a 200m road. The road down to the temple was lined with little wooden market stalls, all selling sarongs. Kate had read in the book that you need a sarong to go into the temple area. We walked down the road and got asked numerous time if we wanted to buy a sarong, we said no about 100 times until we got to one stall and Kate thought we had better get one after a lady said “3 for 10”, now 10,000IRP is 66p and with that we thought yeah lets do it. So Kate went to one stall and I went to another, we were both being dressed by these old ladies in sarongs and my old lady starts saying you pay the same price as your friend…Ok I thought, 66p is cheap. So

In the Temple. Not happy about the Sarong!!
we both opted for lovely blue sarongs, had them around our waists and then I get out the 10,000IRP to pay and no no no, the old lady says, 10Euro’s!!!!!WHAT, your having a laugh!! I hand back the Sarong and walk off, Kate smiles for a few seconds and follows saying he has all the money sorry…..what a bunch of robbing old ladies. I know it’s not much, but for us it’s the principle. So, after walking another 50 paces to the front gate we pay 6000IRP to get in and ask if we do need a Sarong and the ticket seller said we do. So, we walk past another stall and decide we need to get one, so without any messing around I say 50,000IRP for 2 (£3) and pick to blue ones, she agrees, we walk off literally 10 paces and round the corner you can rent a sarong for a small donation for the day. I hate being ripped off, I didn’t even want a bloody sarong, I’m a towel kind of guy, what am I going to do with a sarong? Put it over my bikini bottoms!! I was peeeeeed off with these crafty old ladies…….So in we go to the sacred area, I’m not enjoying it, Kate’s telling me to cheer up, I don’t much as it’s so hot and sticky. So Kate had a walk around, told me there was a nice waterfall, but she too admitted it was a bit of a let down, we walked back up the really steep hill and did have a good view of a rice field but it was super hot…..Is the temple worth a visit?? No not really and if you do go, take a towel or wear long trousers!!!

When we got back from the Temple and Monkey forest we dressed up and went out for a duck dinner. A local restaurant that has been running since 1994 and is renowned around the globe for the mouth watering, fall off of the bone, duck and host (a local man). We went into the modest restaurant and sat down, we of course ordered the duck and then waited whilst it was being prepared. The host/owner was a Indonesian man in his 60’s, slightly “over the top” host, he even put a second cushions under our butts prior to sitting down. Anyway, he told numerous

Uud Abode
jokes, of which the punch lines got lost in translation, however Kate didn’t fail me and laughed at all the wrong times, leaving him with the suspicion that we didn’t really understand his broken English. So eventually after many jokes and travel advice the duck came out. It was good, not amazing as all the reviews had said, but good.

So after spending two days in Ubud wondering around we decided to go to explore the island further. We got a bus over to Padangbai (pronounced - PAD - ANG - BYE). Now being back on a bus my old faithful sick bands were back on the agenda. I slipped them on, and off we set. We picked up a minibus load of other tourists and headed into the sunset. We arrived and we needed to find a place to stay, now this place is fairly small, not touristy and only has a small choice of hotels. We opted for the Padangbai Beach Bungalow’, they were great, modern, clean and very central, they even had an infinity pool, but no wi-fi L.

We spent out first afternoon familiarising ourselves with the place, as I said it’s a small

Kate in her new beach wear!!
place so within an hour we had seen it all and got some food, we planned to get a moped for the following day so we could get out and explore. So the next day, for the second time in Bali, we were on a moped. The lady we hired off was a little worried when I told her I didn’t have an international driving licence, as she said it was illegal and the police could pull us over, but then she said “Just give them 10,000 IRP and it’ll be OK”. We know the police will take bribes here as I have read the book Hotel K (the Bali prison) and spoke to other tourists who have told us about giving them money for their own pocket then they never go ahead to get the official fine for the government! So off we went with Kate now nervous on the back and I must admit I did seem to spot more police than ever on the journey but we were fine, no fines for us that day!!

The ride was brilliant, we took ourselves up to Mount Egung which was fantastic to see a volcano so close up and Kate said it bought back her Geography lessons learning how people live on the side of, and at the bottom of , volcanoes because the land is so fertile. So her teachers were right!! It really was quite beautiful the sights we saw of the rice terraces, mountains, hills and it was all very green as it was the end of their rainy season. We then drove up to Amed a small town which we had heard was stunning. It was very nice, we stopped for a drink and then carried on a windy road along the coast back to Padangbai which took about 3 hours, but it was great as we were totally in the country and going past really rural local houses and through tiny villages. This was not on a tourist route and so we really felt this was the real Bali. Local women and children ran out of the houses and shouted hello, with huge smiles on their faces and big waves, it felt wonderful smiling, waving and shouting hello back. You might be thinking, I wonder what Hello is in Balinese and how did Matt and Kate know that was what they were shouting - well Hello is Hello in Balinese!! Very useful!! We have learned how to say Thank you in Balinese which is Teri-Mikashi (a bit like Terri McIvor ha!!). When we got back to Padangbai 5 hours after setting off we were feeling full of joy from Bali’s scenery and what we had just been part of, we were now walking like John Wayne but it was well worth it, a great day.

We chilled in Padangbai for two days before leaving and heading back towards the south of the island.

We have both had our Birthdays this week (9th May) and Char did too so Happy Birthday again Char!!! Thanks for all the messages, birthday cards and presents. We had a great day, we went to the beach, had a surf then had a birthday bar crawl, skyped loads of people at home and then went out for a Mexican meal….great birthday in Bali.

During the last week or so we have changed hotels a few times. We just like to mix it up a bit. We are currently in a hotel which has the toilet and shower in the actual bedroom. Well, to be fair a

We got there the wrong day for the free beer
fairly flimsy shower curtain does separate the area but in the same room all the same!! Cosy!! If anyone is reading this and thinking of coming to Bali, then we can recommend the Green Garden Hotel and also the Taman Ayu Hotel (room/toilet in one!).

We are really enjoying Bali and have seen some wonderful sights but I think our favourite past-time so far has been the 1 hour full body massages (Tom Orch, you would be loving the massages), we have really spoiled ourselves with them, maybe even over indulged a little. The problem is, for £3 for an hour you can’t really go far wrong. We always to choose a different spa every time to give everyone a chance. It’s almost like we are massage connoisseurs, once we finish the massage we like to break down the pros and cons of the one we just had with each other, the oil was cold, she wasn‘t the firmest, my girl was sniffing etc. We just had another last night and they moved the towel off Kate’s bum and then the girl said “I like your bum” to which a shocked Kate replied “thank you but it’s a bit white” she then slapped both cheeks and said
I quote “Big White Bum”….very funny, that was a pro for me, but I think a con for Kate!! They hardly speak any English, but they managed big white bum…ha ha ha.

As mentioned, we have been eating a fair bit of food recently, a favourite of mine is fish, so I have been chowing down on the odd piece of Tuna. However, we felt we wanted to give something back to the fish’s friends we keep eating so we offered them dinner on us, literally. We had a spa treatment which basically involves Kate and I putting our feet into a large fish tank, waiting a few seconds and letting all the little fish eat the dead skin off our feet. It was quite an interesting experience, especially as we were doing it in the shop front window facing out onto a busy street. We had many tourists coming to look at our feet and watch the fish eating, it felt like we were the new tourist attraction in town!! (See pics)

We have also been shopping ‘till we’re dropping over here, there are 100’s of shops in Bali offing you everything form handbags to handguns. We have been thinking about the cold weather we are about to encounter in New Zealand. For me I’m really looking forward to this cold snap, but I think Kate whilst really looking forward to NZ would sooner be in the Sun. We didn’t pack at all for the 6 weeks over there and we have a lot scheduled in with Ben and Cerri, from Skydives to Skiing and thus Bikinis and flip flops wont cut the mustard. We have bought a few things here, but as is often the way Asians like to barter over goods. We are the worlds worst ever at it, we generally over pay but we have been trying hard. We both have our strengths, I like to try and ask for a fair price “non of this bartering” and hold strong on a reasonable price, I offer a middle price and refuse to pay anymore. Kate on the other hand has a different stance, for example we have been looking for dresses for her to wear in Vegas, she found a nice one (after looking at every shop in Bali), tried it on and it fitted like

Get away driver
a glove, well now it was time to ask the price. They always over inflate the price massively, so Kate asks and the lady says 200,000IRP (£15.33), which is in fact is ridiculous in Indonesian terms but they always try their luck. So Kate being one to really want a bargain counter offers 20,000 (£1.50) thinking that they may meet in the middle somewhere around 100,000. Well with that offer the lady grabs the dress off Kate, puts it back onto the rail and ignores both Kate and I until we leave the shop!!! I think the offer may have been insultingly low or she just didn‘t like the look of us, either way we retreated to the door empty handed! I have bought a few fake t-shirts and knock off Nigel DVD’s using my hold firm on the middle price technique and Kate has got a few things also.

One thing I must mention is the fact that both Kate and I have been quite avid readers since being away (not like us normally). We have both read numerous books and one in particular we have just both finished reading is called Hotel Kerobokan. It is all about the goings on in the notorious Bali prison. It really scares me to think that it is so easy for a tourist to make a small mistake and they could end up in a cell for the rest of their life. More often than not it is the fact that the tourist has a small amount of drugs on them that gets them incarcerated, however it’s very easy for someone to plant something on you. We even got our backpacks cling wrapped at the Perth airport as there are stories that the Balinese baggage handlers plant drugs into your bags so we are being extra cautious. Some travellers are much more laid back thinking it will never happen to them but after reading about Scapelle Corby (google her) it seems it really could happen to you.

Whilst here we have had numerous drug offers whilst walking the streets. I think they generally offer to males as I must have been asked a hundred times. The most common offer that gets whispered to me is “Mushroom boss”, I’m sorry does that come with anything? I thought, but soon realised it was the offer of magic mushrooms. One particular chap would ask me night after night if I fancied mushrooms, well in the end it sounded so temping I had mushroom soup as a starter when I got to the restaurant that night!! One random thing which will really mean nothing to most of you, but something to some of you. We were having a drink on our birthday evening and I looked across the road and saw the infamous Simon Gallimore, very random.

So to sum up our time in Bali it would probably read something like this.

B - Bread Talk, Bintang beer & bartering
A - animals, arak (drink) & Australian tourists
L - lassies (drink), lovely locals, & loungers
I - insects, ice Cream & Indonesian Cuisine….and squatting toilets, thank god I‘m a guy!!!

So now we are back in Oz and on Tuesday we fly to New Zealand meeting Banj and Cerri en-route in Melbourne airport. Really looking forward to the next 6 weeks together with two brilliant friends, it’s like our own little caravan club in New Zealand (Inbetweeners caravan club!!)

Some non-interesting facts of our trip so far:

Number of days away to date: 223 days

Number of Countries visited: 5

Distance travelled - 45,110km

Different modes of transport used - Plane, Train, Sleeper Bus, Mini Bus, Bus, Car, Campervan, Moped, Bicycle, Boat, Cyclo, Tube, Canoe.

Our Favourites so far….

K= Kate M=Matt

K - Vietnam
M - Vietnam

K - Adelaide/Brisbane
M - Undecided

K - Whitehaven Bay (WhitSundays)
M - Esperence (South West Australia)

K - Lobster (With Paddy and Dee in Mui Ne, Vietnam)
M - Crispy Seaford noodles (Hue, Vietnam) (no offence Paddy and Dee)

K - 12 Apostles (On the great Ocean Road Australia)
M - 12 Apostles

K - NYE Sydney
M - NYE Sydney

Surreal moment:
K - Drinking with Rig in Arlie Beach
M - Being on Ramsey Street

So, that’s all from this weeks edition. Don’t forget to tune in next time for the caravan club special edition. Don’t forget to let us know what’s happening your end.

Matt and Kate
x x x

P.S - Just to let you know the much “hated” sarong has come in useful in the last week or so. We chucked out our towels in Bali as the hotels supply them, we however forgot that the hostel in Perth does not. The Sarongs are now our bath towels for the next few days and Kate is giving hers an airing as a scarf when its dry!!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 75, Displayed: 34


17th May 2010

Hi from Amanda
Hi there, I have been reading your blogd, albiet briefly as I always read at work and should be working!!! You both look great and look like you are having a great time! When I make time will chat more.. We miss your brilliant personalities!!! By the way, Kate did you make it to England, was not sure as not mentioned. Hope you coped with all that. Amanda xxx
17th May 2010

Hey guys, im still readin them, im very very jealous at this point!!! 3 pound 4 a massage sounds like my kinda place!!! keep avin fun enjoy the caravan club im lookin 4ward 2 the pictures lol!!!! Love n hugs Txxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
17th May 2010

Brilliant people!!
Hey Amanda, the funniest thing happened we were walking down the street in Perth and this guy came out of a bar and pointed at me and said "You worked at Yallingup Maze"!!! Random! We chatted with him and he said how brilliant he thought the maze was, he runs a bar/restaurant in Perth. We have both fashioned our t-shirts a few times - still promoting where ever we go!! We had so much fun with you guys. I didn't make it back to England, the flights were crazy prices and the insurance could not confirm I would be covered. We went to Temple and remembered him in our own way which was lovely. Hope it is all going well for you all. Love to all Kate and Matt xxx
17th May 2010

The wedding planner!
Hey Tracy, Lovely to hear from you, hope the wedding plans are going well and keeping you busy??!! You would love the massages - so tempting all the time to keep going back!! Take care Love Matt and Kate :-) xx
17th May 2010

Hey Guys, I'm still reading. Helps my day at work and makes me smile. Was lovely talking to you on the weekend. Am soo tired now though! Schappele Corby is a crazy story hey? I was out in Aus when she got sentenced and everyone was going crazy! Keep the blogs coming! xxx
17th May 2010

P.s that is a really rather shocking picture of Matt on the massage table!
17th May 2010

Hiya Guys! I read your blog whilst at work so it quite often takes me an hour to get through it depending on the number of interruptions!! Glad you're still having a fab time, hope you don't find the colder weather in NZ too much of a shock!! Sam's ankle is healing, 2 more week's in plaster and we're getting stuck into the wedding plans which is keeping us busy!! Keep the blogs coming and have fun!! Love Vics xxx
17th May 2010

Hey Guys i really think you need to publish all this blog when you get back it truly has been epic. Glad your both still having fun, a cold one was sunk for the two of you on sat.Looking forward to hearing all the storys in August Take it easy
17th May 2010

so jealous
I'm loving the german swimming shorts, were do i get a pair. I looks like your having a fab time. Love you loads and see you soon. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
17th May 2010

£3 for a massage!!! That is awesome, I could fly out for a month get my back fixed, have a holiday and enjoy the sun for the same price it costs to be man handled in England! So glad you are having such a fantastic time, enjoy NZ and I hope caravan club is as good as Jay promised. Looking forward to the next instalment Xx
18th May 2010

I Love my ....
Tommo!! You would have been in heaven with the massage yes Tom, we also saw something and if we were coming straight home we would have bought it for you, but couldn't risk all the questions at security at all the airports!! It's a bit rude to write on here so we'll private message it!! Take care xx
18th May 2010

German shorts!!
Amy as much as I love you, I cant see you in those shorts!!! ha ha How is life in Oxford? Miss you lots and look forward to a massive catch up when we are home. Love to you and Peddar xxxxxxxxxx
18th May 2010

Hey Beau, thanks for the message! I think we'd need to cut down a whole forest to print this out!!! It is amazing for the memories though and I'm sure we will have to sacrafice some trees for our enjoyment! Sorry mother nature!! Hope it is bringing back all the happy time and similar adventure you and Elisa had. Hope all goes smoothely for you both over the coming months - keep us updated on how it goes Love us both xx
18th May 2010

Glad to hear its not much longer for Sam in plaster, bet he has been driving you wild!! ha ha It must be great planning the wedding and thinking soon you will be Mrs Dakin!! Ah how scary!! Dont worry Vicky we'll still love you!! ha ha Glad we provide some entertainment for you whilst you are being paid at work - its all good!! Love to you and the cheeky chappy xxxxxxxx
18th May 2010

Two tone Matt!!
Yes Matt currently comes in two tone legs!! Shortly to be white, white, white with all the cold weather in NZ!! I love that picture of Matt is makes me laugh until I cry!! xx
18th May 2010

Hey Blog Fan!
Hey Elisa, thanks for being a blog fan!! Your messages always make us smile! Yeah crazy stuff about Shapelle, I met this one guy in Bali who was Australian and he seemed to think she was guilty, I know no-one can say 100% except her, but I go with innocent and feel for her so much and it made me really sad to hear someone say this. We were tempted to go and see her, but its scary stuff and you never know what could happen so we didn't. Anyway take care you and keep us updated with how things are going with you and the current project! lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxx
18th May 2010

Keep writting!
Hiya, keep up the bloggs! It's a welcome escape for me and takes me back to my days of adventure! I love reading about your shananigans and offered a little bit of sunshine these dark winter months, I am even considering round 2 myself! Take care Kate's EDF friend, Craig
22nd May 2010

Another very amusing account of your Bali experience, i remember trying to barter there and it wasnt easy, we ended up with a huge amount of tee shirts that we didnt want, but Ben and Zoe went off and bought me a beautiful Balanese mask, not bad at 11 and 8 years old. Andy doesnt have good memories, (he wasnt very well), anyway it sounds as if you had a good time, we hope that you all have a great time in New Zealand, looking forward to the next Blog,keep warm xx
24th May 2010

I'm reading
Hello, I am avidly reading, this one is my fav! Hilarious!! We have had some Scorchio weather the last few days, so has been lovely, Ryan and I went to Windsor for the weekend, it was great fun and was nice to spend more than 5 mins together (we are both sooooo busy at work!) Cherish your time together guys, it is very precious. Ryan is out at a rehearsal for a play he is in, in August, so will get him to mail soon. xxxx p.s. we had our choir concert last week, I will forward you the youtube link, although there isnt one of either mine or Ryan's solo's! (I know, who knew he could sing!!)
14th March 2011

Hi, great blog. Just want to say that I also read the book Hotel Kerobokan about the Bali Jail, and found it a fascinating read, and terrifying to think that you can end up in that place for years for one ecstasy pill. anyone thinking of travelling to bali, would no doubt find it compelling reading. also there is a great website, www.hotelkerobokan.com

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