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My Backpack & Me I've got no real plan, no real direction but I'm hoping for one REAL BIG ADVENTURE

Beautiful Bali

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 30 June 2010 | Views [880]

I've been slack I know but here it is...

Beautiful Bali

Well it didn't take me long to make friends. Standing at Denpasar Airport feeling stupid and lost (looking much the same) I was adopted by 2 Canadian girls who were also headed to Kuta. Carla, Kathleen & I cabbed together to my hotel, dropped off bags and I've been travelling, laughing and loving life with them ever since.

Thanks to my Brand Agency crew Bounty Hotel was the most plush accommodation I will stay in for my entire trip. The bed was MASSIVE and it had a pool bar (Tewy & Tj - you guys know me better than I know myself). Thanks heaps to all of you, everyone I've told has been as impressed as I was at such a generous gift.

The girls needed to stay somewhere a little less hard hitting on the
budget. After observing how to hunt down decent/affordable
accommodation using only a lonely planet and some street smarts we
were famished. Keen to try something local (and cheap) we headed to a
food court on Kuta Beach front. We hesistatly started talking to 2
local guys, and cautiously accepted their invitation to teach us to

11am - the local guys promised to take us to a cheap surfwear outlet
as Carla & Kathleen wanted rashies and I need a surfing appropriate
bikini. On the back of a scooter with a local, whizzing through what
only can be described as chaotic Kuta traffic on my first day!
2hrs later we made it to the beach. The local guys didn't even mind
waiting around while we shopped, better than some guys I know. We rent
boards from their friends; let the princess surfing begin! After a quick demo our boards are carried to the water for us, held before the
wave while we position ourselves and given a little encouraging push
as the wave comes. I think I like surfing. And I can actually do it.
Doubt anyone back home will help me surf like this though. After catching a few waves and barely breaking a sweat we call it a
day. The boys suggest we go see a kachuk dance (traditional Balinese
dance) at Ulawatu. It takes 45mins from Kuta by car. The boys somehow
precure a car and running late we go hurtling South bound into the
Balinese country side.
Mum maybe you should skip to the next paragraph...
Flying at about 80km around blind corners and over hills, overtaking
everything in our way we managed to make it to the dance in time.
Mum, you can start reading from here...
The location was spectacular. Set in an ampitheatre on a cliff as the
sun sunk into the ocean. Ulawatu temple perched high on a nearby
cliff, sillohetted in the backdrop. The tale was of lost love and
ancient battles, complete with a chorus that doubled as props and real
fire. The costumes were lavishly intricate. The sun set as the story
After a much needed meal at our food court we thanked our local
friends and said goodnight. This is where the night should have ended.
Having check out at 11am should had been a deterant but for those of
you who know me, you will know what happened next.
Not wanting to waste a good thing, it was time to play at the pool
bar. Carla, Kathleen and I re-donned our bikinis at 10pm that night
and swam into a big night. It all started with a cocktail in a 1.5L
drink bottle and ended up at Sky Garden dance floor. Till 4am.
Sunglasses required at breakfast buffet the next day and I discover my
great distain for packing.
In land to Ubud
Change of sceanery and a change of pace. We head north to Ubud via
Tanah Lot. A sacred Balinese temple, Tanah Lot was bustling with the
activity of ceremony. Known as the floating temple it's built onto
stand alone out crop, when the tide is in it looks like it's floating.
On the road again we pass our first beautiful rice paddies and into
Ubud. Lonely planet as our guiding light we find a cheap but beautiful
home stay called Sania's. Described by the guide as akin to the
gardens of Babylon, this lush family compond offered rooms deep in the
garden paradise. We swam in the pool and ate breakfast served to our
own verandah. In the company of sad cat and sad (soon to be dead) fish
we soaked up the serenity. Ahhh the serenity, just minutes from the
bustle of the Ubud market where u can heckle till ur hearts content.
Second day in and it was Carla's birthday so we decided a few post
dinner beers were in order. We found Laughing Buddha Bar where 3 local
guys played Bob Marley and Jack Johnson. And when they closed with
'Don't Worry Be Happy' (one of my favourite childhood songs) I swear I
was radiating happiness.
I tried my first Bintang that night and have been drinking beer ever
since. Yup beer! And we met Madison that night, he owned a hotel in
Ubud and offered to teach us how to ride a scooter. He said it was the
best way see Bali and sensing our apprehention offered us lessons. We
planned to meet up the next day but I lost the number.
The next day we went to the elephant caves but i dont have much to
report accept its really old. Considering I hadnt seen many monkeys we
also visited the Monkey Forrest. The baby monkeys are adorable and
seeing someone get attacked by the older ones was hilarious. But the
best part was we bumped into Madison again and scooter lessons were
back on the cards. With the light fading we had run out of time that
day but decided that because it was Kathleen's birthday today we
should have mojitos to celebrate. Madison, Carla, Kathleen and I had 4
mojitos each (thanks to an exceptional 2 for 1 deal) and were looking
to party. Ubud was dead, catering for a much older more peaceful crowd
it left little to be desired about the night life. Of course we
weren't going to call it quits and Madz organized a driver to take us
back to Kuta for an evening of mayhem. With gin and coke travellers we
hit the road at 10pm and made the 1hr drive down to Kuta. Oh Kuta. Oh
Sky Garden. Oh triple vodka cocktails. The driver slept in his car
while we partied till 4am and then drove us back to Ubud.
A little worse for wear we emmerged for our scooter lesson in the late
afternoon. Madz lent us the scooters from his hotel and gave Carla and
I tuition on Bali road rules. Let me tell u there arnt many accept
keep ur wits about u and read the traffic all the time. Then he took
us out to practice. We practiced turns, emergency breaking, indicating
and travelling in built up traffic. I am eternally greatful to Madison
for these lessons, without them I doubt I would have braved the roads
or seen the stunning Ubud countryside. They came in particularly
helpful for our next trip to Nusa Lembongan.

Little island time.
After a nightmarish stomach churning boat ride we arrived at a small
island off the south eastern coast of Bali. We found hotel Wahyu
complete with pool and what we considered the best resturant on the
island. With little traffic we made point of hiring scooters as soon
as possible. Here we met Isac and Fredrick who were to become our
travel buddies for the next few weeks.

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