Back in Kuta

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

If you are going to rent a car in Bali, it may be better not to. Having said that we managed our trip of the north and have arrived safe and sound back in Kuta. When we hired the car, we had never heard of the International Drivers Permit (silly us). To drive in Bali you need one and the police are always stopping foreign drivers and fining them for anything. So I (Ed) went to see the rental chappy who said he had a policeman friend who would take me to Denpasa (the capital) to get an IDP. However, instead of that, I was told to bribe the rozzer 100,000 rupiah and pretend I had lost mine. I got a proper case number and everything! In retrospect, through talking to various people, I could have bribed any policeman who stopped me to overlook my lack of documents. As it happens, we didn't get stopped once! Also the balinese roads are either really narrow, winding and steep, or crazily busy with scooters streaming past both sides of the car. We also lost track of the days and realised at 9.15 this morning that we had to get the car back in 15 minutes, and we were 3 hrs drive away. oops.

Anyway, once we'd negotiated our way out of Kuta we drove north, up over the volcanic peaks. The scenery was pretty impressive, although our view was obscured by all the thick cloud and heavy rain! We stayed three nights at Lovina Beach (black sand) - it was fairly quiet in terms of other tourists and hence we got extra hassle from the beach/street sellers. We did a couple of activities - went to watch dolphins (had to get up at 5.30am! Far too early - especially for Ed). We saw lots of them, including a baby. Quite a few other boats were doing trips and all motored swiftly towards the dolphins every time they appeared which seemed a bit mean and scared them off. After that we went snokelling at a reef just off the beach and saw lots of colourful fish.

On leaving Lovina we drove east along the coast to a small fishing village near Amed. The scenery was stunning - as was the hotel we stayed at (we decided to treat ourselves as it looked so nice - we are on honeymoon after all)! We had a fantastic bungalow on the beach at hotel calle 'Life in Amed' - see picture. The area was very peaceful and there were no people trying to sell you stuff as soon as you stepped foot outside the hotel. The food was great too! We went snorkelling off the black sand beach - the water was very clear and both fish and all sorts of coral were very close to shore. Perfect! Wanted to stay lots longer.

It is our last night in Asia tonight as we get our plane to N.Z. tomorrow.

P.S. I managed my Indonesian skinny dip today.
P.P.S. We can't find any Crazy Golf on Bali - sorry to all you devoted fans.
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