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100 Days Of Summer When your home country is covered in feet of snow and -20 is the average temperature everywhere it's important to flaunt that you aren't home! This blog documents my adventures through the Pacific and South East Asia as I enjoy exactly 100 Days of Summer.

If I had 1,000,000 Rp.

INDONESIA | Sunday, 2 March 2014 | Views [603]

It's been one week in Indonesia and my oh my how time has flown. It feels like only yesterday we were shivering in the Christchurch Airport pulling an all nighter. Now we are relaxing on a beach in the Gili Islands. Our time at the Christchurch airport went faster than expected. We arrived at 9pm and were greeted by sour looking security and many passengers settling in for the night. Most airports are slightly accommodating and provide ample space and chargers. I mean I would know right?

Christchurch had a problem a few years ago with people pitching tents, cooking on camping stoves, and making themselves far too comfortable for weeks on end. They closed their doors temporarily and when they reopened them there were new rules that were strictly monitored. We weren't allowed to sit or lie on the ground, we couldn't lie down in chairs, and we were corralled into a small waiting lounge until the airport officially opened. We checked in at 4 am and were all ready to get out of New Zealand! We loved it, don't get me wrong! But it was time to go! I was asleep before we even took off. We had a layover in Brisbane (woo hoo first trip to OZ) and flew out to Bali!

Getting off the plane in Bali was an adjustment! It was HOT! We shuttled to the terminal from the plane, cleared security, and attempted to use an ATM. Yes, I said attempted. Something about these airport ATMs! They never seem to work out. Luckily we both had extra American cash and we exchanged our mere $25 dollars into 285000 Rp. (We were rich!) It was amazing how far that $25 took us! We took a 30 minute taxi ride to Uluwatu, got a nice room for the night and even had dinner. The ride to Gong Accommodations was through long windy roads and we vowed to never drive in Asia! The driving made little sense and there were motorbikes everywhere. Some of their riders as young as 10, and some holding a family of 5 including a baby!

Uluwatu was relaxing, cheap and a little boring. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, so on occasion we forgot we were in Indonesia! We moved the next day to a more populated part of the Bukit Penninsula. With our heavy packs we hiked in the Indonesian heat, and quite honestly almost passed out! We finally found a place and even haggled for the price! Then drank A LOT of water and hung out on Padang Padang beach. It was there, in the waves, that my phone (Sir Ian McKellan) suffered a life threatening injury. As we hung out on the beach I thought he was doing okay and the water that dripped into my waterproof case (apparently it only works if you close it properly, whooda thunk?) but that night he flickered in and out of consciousness until he died all together. We left the Bukit Penninsula feeling a little disappointed. It was nice, but not quite what we thought. Our ride to Kuta brought us right into the heart of what we expected though.

Kuta is hustling and bustling! It is exactly what you picture when you picture a busy city in Indonesia. We stayed at this amazing hostel in Kuta Square. In New Zealand we met a lot of people that were living in hostels and we did not envy them. However, I could happily live in this hostel for a working holiday. We were in a 12 bed dorm, but there were only 5 people (including us), and each bed had it's own lockable cupboard and drawer. It also had a private outlet and light, as well as a privacy curtain for the bunk. It was all brand new, the bathrooms were lovely, and there was cheap beer and wifi in the lobby. We met Kelsey in Kuta that day. She's Danielle's friend from camp who I had met once and would be joining us for three weeks. We spent the day planning, chilling, and having the occasional Bintang. Our next day though was full of plans! We were scheduled for a surf lesson and were booking our trip to Gili Trawangan! I even got my phone fixed for a mere 500,000 Rp.!

Our surf lesson was absolutely hilarious. All three of us aren't very coordinated, but we figured there was a good chance at least one of us would be successful. As it turns out we all were! None of us will be extras in Blue Crush 2 or anything, but we held our own. We all successfully rode at least 5 waves (each)! However there are some things that they don't tell you about surfing.

Things that they cut out of Blue Crush:

How much salt water goes up your nose.

They don't wear those rash guards because they're cute! We were actually covered in several painful rashes! Imagine if we had just been in bikinis!

Reapply sunscreen! (Actually, Kate Bosworth was clearly burned so maybe we should have learned by example.)

How great it feels once you've succeeded is quickly diminished when you realize you have a 10 minute battle ahead of you to get back out there.

How many wedgies you get. (The surf instructor laughed pretty hard anytime we had to pick a wedgie, which was about every 5 minutes. That man has seen a lot of bum!)

Salt water really hurts your eyes (but apparently only dorks wear goggles).

All in all though we really enjoyed the lesson! It was a pretty good price and they provided us with so much. Including a "soft, safe board for beginners". Bali Sunshine Surf School! Check it out! We think later in the trip we are ready to rent boards and try again. If only we had done this before the Surf Highway right!?

The next day we took a fast boat to Gili Trawangan. There are three Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok, Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan. All three of the islands have no motorcycles or cars, no police, and no dogs (tonnes of cats though!) Depending on who you talk to, different ones are "the party island". We chose Gili Trawangan because we had heard overall that it was good. Our first indicator that this might be "the party island" was the mulleted Australian man who greeted his friend on our boat. We were walking along the edge of the boat to jump off at the beach when he arrived with a large Bintang in hand. "This is the best place in the world man! I haven't had money in three days and I'm doing great!" With that encounter to set the tone we headed out to find a place to stay. Packs in tow on a hot Indonesian day.....again. We saw some places on the main strip and haggled a bit but were convinced we would see something better. We followed maps and signs for what felt like an hour until we saw a sign pointing inland saying "Oceano Resort" and "Indigenous Bungalows". Hoping for the best we followed it. We walked through the jungle/forest and found ourselves in a settlement that was clearly not for tourists. A man came out as we continued into the bush and said "Where are you going!?" We said we were looking for a place to stay and he left us to carry on. We continued on the path and came to a fork with no clue what to do. Another man came out and we asked "Where is Oceano Resort?" He looked very confused and said "Ocean?" And pointed toward the beach. After a very confusing back and forth we walked to the beach only to come through the back of a beach hotel. They were so confused as to where we appeared from and were in no mood to haggle so we moved on. Finally we found paradise.

In a small cluster of private bungalows with outdoor bathrooms, porches, a pool, and platform cabanas on a quiet beach we realized "this is the life". Without our heavy packs it was a mere 15 minute walk to the main strip where we enjoyed the night market, great food, and cheap drinks. Whenever we wanted though we just slipped back to paradise. Actually I'm writing this blog while I lie in the cabana having lunch. Soon we will be on our way to Komodo Island though, so I'm going to get back to paradise while I still can! Have fun in the snow!

Tags: bali, beaches, gili islands, gili trawangan, indonesia, kuta, paradise, rupiah, surfing, uluwatu

 

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