On the very early airport pick up - hour an half apparently to get to Perth international! When it took only half an hour - anyway met some cool girlie's also off to Bali on their own, so we hang out at the airport trading stories and arranging to go on a day trip in Bali together. The flight was good, and just before midnight we touch down in Bali - the heat hits straight away! and the sweating of 30 lbs off in the hour begins. I manage to share a Taxi with this guy to Kuta for 55,000 Rupiah ($5.00) cheap as! My friend Floor who is a friend I made in Melbourne is already waiting for me in the hotel - I get there and we catch up on the last 4 months since we last saw each other, and we get to sleep at about 2am. I then wake up at 3.00 scratching my arms - I have had this feeling before - and here it was again - BED BUGS - I saw one on my bed, but I had 5 or so bites already on my arm - so I wake up Floor and we change rooms - and get back to sleep at 3am - then the scratching begins (I can hear my buddy Ali from my South East Asia trip shouting at me to stop itching!) well I didn't, it felt so good to scratch - I count 80 bites alone on my arms - though some of these were mozzies too, I start popping the anti-histamines like sweets and rub on my itch cream
. And of course change hotels, we settle on one just across the road and we get a room for 3 (another friend arriving that night) and pay 220 rupiah ($23 for 3 people) The rooms was basic but a step up from hostels it had a good pool and breakfast included, so it was a good price, we also book a room for my other 2 friends arriving 2 days after.Kuta is like kao-san road in Bangkok, or like a real grubby San Antonio - I am used to the hustle and bustle of Asian countries, and everyone wanting to sell you something or want to take you somewhere - so this was not all that new to me. They are not hard sellers though, you just have to learn not to be polite - as you would be saying "No thanks" 300 times a day. The traffic though is manic though not up to Vietnam standards - but cars and motorbikes will drive down narrow lanes beeping as you try and shop - its a bit of a joke! The main hangouts were poppies lane 1 and 2 where u had all the usual crap on sale, at fairly cheap prices, I found myself haggling 70% off - so they start pretty high. Me and Floor spent our first day exploring and trying to get a handle on prices of things. And the thing I had been excited about were the massages!! so I have an hour long foot massage and a pedicure for about $8 - I could definitely get used to this!! That night we await our German friend that never arrived, she text us at the airport to say flight was delayed, and she never arrived - the next day we were off on a day trip, so did not have access to anything to try and get in contact - I text all her friends, and also my family to try and find out what happened to the plane - we hear nothing all day and friends text back inconclusive information, so we decided to phone the embassy to report her missing - whilst making frantic phone calls to her friends and hostels she had stayed in
. We then get a message from her saying she decided not to come - well thanks for bloody telling us this! So I had a pretty embarrassing phone call back to the embassy saying she was alive at least. But I learned this day some people have no sense at all and she completely lost my respect.
This kind of spoilt the day trip a little as we were always checking our phones and willing to hear information. But anyway we had hired a driver Made for the day for 500,000 rupiah ($50) and we picked up Danni the girl I met at the airport and we eventually got to Tanah Lot which is in the West of Bali on the coast which is the most visited and photographed temple in Bali - it was very nice, we got out of the comfort of the air con car to 40 degrees - there were pretty gardens all around, and the temple actually sits up on a rock in the ocean, it was high tide so you could not cross over to the temple, but it was cool taking photos of it, though I learn alot of reconstruction has taken place because of the erosion. Tanah Lot is one of the most important sea temples for the Balinese - it is said if you bring a partner to this Temple before your marriage you will end up as split as the temple! We walk around and get different views of the temple, we move on after an hour back down to the south coast of Bali - it takes forever, the traffic is so bad, especially around Kuta. We finally make it to Jimbaran beach which was a lovely quiet stretch of beach with lots of empty restaurants, I later read this is where suicide bombers targeted in 2005 - maybe this was the reason
! we find one with a few people in and sit down, prices a bit high for our backpacker budget, but we were hungry! A little band with a double bass come around busking, and we tell them we have no money for them so they move swiftly, there was not alot going on here apart from a relaxed atmosphere so we move on to a beach called "Dreamland" - well dreamland it was not, its was a little cove full of people, mostly standing around - the beach or water was not overly special - I was confused as to why everyone was here - we didn't stay, it was far to crowded for us here! So we tell out driver to take us to a beach near Ulu Watu - the temple we were going to see a Balinese dance at, so we go to another one, less crowded, with alot of locals, We were careful to keep an eye on our stuff as we took a dip, but I spotted some suspicious activity going on with a couple of boys on the rocks above our bags with fishing rods, and a few other locals moving without purpose towards our stuff, I hot step it out of the water, and they gradually move away, so weather I prevented the bags from being stolen I don't know! We then realize how pervy some of the Balinese men are - firstly an older guy comes over to ask for a photo with us, but they don't wait for the reply and start snapping away and we get angry with them! Then I see guys snapping other girls, and one guy who got a pic of Danni changing, so Floor goes over and gives them a piece of her mind! they act stupid and we leave! We were told the beaches in the south were beautiful, maybe we had been spoilt by Aussie beaches, as they were fairly average
. We get to Ulu Watu another important temple, and we get distracted by the monkeys running around nicking peoples cameras and sunglasses! they were very cute especially the babies, but we did see them aggressive at times if provoked, the were quite clever Little things - I was a bit disappointed as we got to the temple a bit late, so we quickly raced around, not really taking much in to not be late for the sunset Kecak dance. We got fairly good seats at the front actually, and the dance started. But we got rather annoyed when people were coming in late, walking in front of it all - they really should have stopped people going in sometimes people were 10 mins late, which was rude, and they ruined some of my videos!! The dance was really special, there were about 20 men singing, and setting the atmosphere for the story, they were almost like the theme music for the story, and then you see the 2 beautiful woman dressed in traditional dress, creating the story, their facial expressions were amazing, they really told the whole story with just their expressions. This lasted an hour, and it was dark when we came outside, so I would like to go to the temple again if I get the chance. We make the long drive back and manage to have a meal for 2 with beers for $10 - so very cheap and it was lovely!
The next day me and Floor decide to be a bit adventurous and go for a day trip para sailing, wake-boarding and on a banana boat and snorkeling and to turtle island! this cost us $30! We get to Nusa Dua on the south east coast and rather quickly get whisked off to do the para sailing, Floor goes up first and I didn't even notice, it was pretty rushed, we literally got about a minute up in the air, there was no time to get nervous though I had already done this once before in Vietnam, it was cool, but it was over too quick, we then got rushed off to the banana boat (there is a saying in Bali, that when u get here you go on Bali time, IE everything slows down, but not this day!!) I have never done a banana boat before so that was pretty cool, but we didn't get wet, which I don't think is the idea of a banana boat!
! We then get on to the wake boarding, Floor took to it like a duck to water, she was standing up every time, doing very well, I never actually stood up properly!! I manged prob half way - I was getting really frustrated as the guy in the water was not helping me he spoke no English, he just didn't tell me what I was doing wrong, and they guy in the boat that could speak English, who I actually thought was supposed to be instructing us just went to sleep! Now we were in Bali time! - Floor was the one shouting out all the tips to me telling me what I should be doing! - I dint really enjoy it all that much, but I'm glad Floor had a good time - then on the way back they guys decides to get off his arse and got on the wake board, and made it look too easy....! I don't think wake boarding is my thing --- Wont go back to that one!! We then went out on a glass bottom boat to the reef to snorkel - coming from the barrier reef and the ningaloo reef in Oz - this was not interesting, we spent 20 mins in the water and go back in, the current was also pretty strong, and with the guy not speaking English, I'm not sure how safe we felt out there! We pick up lunch and head to Turtle Island or Pulau Serangan - because of the low tide, we parked the boat about 500 meters from the shore, and was had to walk on coral - sharp coral, this took about 30 mins! We didn't know what to expect of Turtle Island there was not alot of planning into this trip as we just decided to go that morning. We find out it is a turtle conservation area - I am not sure of the conservation bit to be honest, we see all ages of turtles in different areas, which were really quite small
. We were able to hold one of the bigger turtles which was cool for a photo, but I'm not sure it tourists do this everyday, what the turtle thinks about it! We get to the bigger pool with massive turtles one being 75 years old - they were cool to see and we got to feed them and touch them - again I'm not sure about the conservation point of this. We move on it turns out there are more animals on the island in this sanctuary, we got to hold a sea eagle, he was pretty cool, an Iguana who was also a cool dude! we patted a toucan and we took lots of cool photos. The day was over and we had another 30 min walk back to the boat through the coral!! The day ended wit another massage this time an hour full body - ahhh it was so good this is what it's all about....! Later that night Our friends Alice and Sabine arrive at midnight - we had had a few drinks waiting for their arrival and I comically slip over as I go to greet them - they have not let me live it down yet! ha ha
The next day Alice had shit night, she got attacked by bed bugs also - but she was absolutely covered in them - and her arms were swelling, so more change of rooms. We go to get a massage, my foot massage was average, it seemed they just wanted our money. Alice was having the works done so I went to meet Floor to hire a surf board! and we the surfer chick going on, it was low tide and the waves were good, it didn't take me long to get back into the swing of things - I had planned loads of surfing whilst is Aus, I just never got around to it! But it felt good to be back into it again, and I think I will regret not having done much in Aus - they guy who we hired a surfboard from ($5 for the day) came into to help us and we were catching more of the waves, I had a few good ones, but I need more practice, Floor caught a pretty sweet wave so she was smiling the rest of the day. We get back to the hotel, and we go for another massage, full body again ,and it was good!! all 3 of us together with the curtains open having a massage!! ha ha was cool. Alice had a pretty shit day, turns out the massage girls didnt give her all she paid for, and she got a bit lost - so she wanted to leave the next day.