Beach to Beach
27.08.2016 30 °C
Music: MKJ X Alora & Senii - Travel (ft. Jimmy Hennessy) &
Just SZA — 04 Time Travel Undone (Prod. Top Notch)
Visiting Bali was my last travel before my "vagabond-life" will come to an end (graduation).
Since having seen the island on TV for the first time many years ago I have been dreaming about visiting Bali; being in Indonesia was also my first time in the Southern hemisphere.
From end of November til mid-December I traveled around Bali. With a left food mysteriously sprained and/or broken it would have been difficult to get around without a driver's license and just generally being a "traffic chicken."
Luckily I had a delicate flower by my side who had the honor of enjoying my splendid company. I met Gary Taylor from Ipthwith, Mediocre Britain, in Bucharest when we stayed in the same hostel and I needed some pepper. For my food. He had some. So he gave me some. I was happy for the taste. He was happy to shed some load. We later met at two other occasions in Turkey and then six months later in Indonesia, first in Jakarta, then in Bali. He is cycling around the world through Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand, and the US to create awareness of and collect money for the charity recycle based in the UK. They recycle old or used bicycles and ship them to a number of African countries to provide cheap mobility and thus improvement of life while also creating local, sustainable employment. If you wanna check out his travel you can go to his blog Gears we never use where you can also get a link to his various social media and the donation page.
One Saturday afternoon I went to the airport to catch my flight from Jakarta to Bali after a quite wonderful goodbye from my awesome landlord. My flight was delayed and the ground crew kept insisting departure will be on time despite the planed departure time having passed already. This gave me the opportunity to meet the two other foreigners on board confused about what was going on. Luckily for me, one of them, Haitam from Egypt, became a big help. He took pity on me and my broken foot, and carried my luggage, helped me find my way to the hostel and paid the bigger portion of the taxi fee. A good start.
Bali Aiport Domestic Arrival Area
Gary arrived late at night, he went by bicycle from Jakarta, after breaking is record for distance cycled in one day. He arrived tired and stinky and hungry and with huge respect from me. Our first day in Kuta, Bali (a place smaller than Aberystwyth) was spent with eating, preparing his bike for the upcoming flight to Australia and being on the computer. My computer became a decisive factor for our travel. First we stayed in Kuta for more days than originally planned because I had a Skype interview with my professor for my thesis, the last before the deadline, and later I depended on it to conduct an online assessment as part of a job application and thus on staying in a hotel with decent internet. Job hunting sucks.
Kuta had the nicest beach among all the places we went to. It was clean, had good sand and wasn't crowded. Though I had heard many complaints about it being super touristy and congested and expensive, I liked the city. I love the small alleyways, the small shops and the many eateries. And if
you are willing to eat at Indonesian places and/or other ones further away from the beach, eating out can be cheap. As can accommodation. It is all your wallet's or priorities' choice. Traffic is terrible for sure, especially when you are inside a car. And the way streets are organised doesn't make it easier. Overall Kuta did have that nice holiday flair I enjoy, but it was during November-December, so not high season. During that time you may wanna avoid Bali's South.
Who let the chickens out? Can somebody tell him?
FOOOD ................................................................................somebody secretly showing affection to the best pets in the world
We rented a motorbike to see the island. To my surprise it was not that difficult to carry a bag with both our items for several days on my back (the heaviest items where inside the trunk) but sitting on a bike hurts the butt! Quickly I began complaining and wiggling my ass around constantly which is a bad idea with a heavy bag on a bike. Later I found out that sitting more towards the back was way more comfortable, but that also required Gary's help who was already taking care of me by being the sole driver. But with that technique and the body's wondrous power to get used to a routine, I made it through our travel without too much pain or my bum becoming flat. Er. But not on the first day. We didn't make it that far and had an early break for my butt and our breakfast.
We keep rolling, rolling, rolling yeah
The first night we stayed somewhere around Soka beach I believe. The waves where too high and strong for my liking, especially without glasses.
We didn't swim in the South except for Kuta. But also in the North it seems Bali is foremost an island for surfing. Out hostel was very nice and cheap, and the way to the beach was full of beautiful plants left and right. Before we left to our next destination we had to take care of an issue: no ATMs for visa cards in and around our place and on the mountains of Bali. Supposedly. We rode a bit back along the way we had taken the previous day to withdraw money and then left for the three lakes (Danaus) on the volcanoes.
Happy about most amazing Frühstück in the world
Ein schräger Typ :D
Hotel garden in front of beach
We stayed in a hostel around Danau Tamblingan which advertised with things it didn't actually offer: hot water, wifi and breakfast. I liked the city itself, but at 1,200m it was a bit colder and generally moist which is a climate I like as much as the bathroom at that place. The lake view turned out to be a disappointment, especially for Gary, though the scenery did seem a bit mysterious. The next day we went by Danau Buyan on our way to the North coast. The lake view was as non-incredibly impressive as before. Being on our downwards path it started raining. Smart, experienced travellers that we were, we decided against taking rain coats for a travel onto mountains during rain season. Half way we stopped at a tiny mountain road restaurant and had delicious lunch. And waited for the rain to stop. I don't know how long or short a time we waited but I enjoyed that stop up high on the road within a forest and underneath a small rooftop with hot, fresh food and good company. When it paused we went back on the road but it soon started raining again. Gary felt safe enough on the bike to drive under these conditions (typical steep mountain roads with crazy Indonesian drivers around us and rain coming at him while not wearing a helmet with a ventail or a coat). I was shacking in my (flip-flops/Flipflops/thongs/tiny, toes-showing) boots a few times. Traffic-trust is nothing I gift easily but he absolutely did earn it. In retrospect.
All around the volcano strawberry field were plenty and we did not eat a single one throughout the trip. Still crying a bit over this sad little fact.
We arrived in a sunny area after a while where it was hot enough to forget about the cold, windy rain that had just surrounded us. We bought more cookies, Gary looked for fried birdies he couldn't find and I stripped between the cookie shelves to change into dry clothes. We then went on to choose hotels for our stay. By choosing I mean driving passed and choosing the first one that looked good while also sporting a good price.
Gary loving the surroundings of the lake
Enjoying a different kind of beach
On the volcano
In Lovina the luxurious part of our holiday began. The beach was pebbly but ok, nice small restaurants where plenty and the weather was lovely. We stayed in two very nice hotels with pools and we remained there for more days than originally planed. I got massages til I stopped enjoying them and Gary did his nomorepeddalinghalfwayupdate.
Lovina is known for dolphin watching. Unfortunately I tend to be unable to open my eyes during sunshine, but my mind remains open even when my eyes are closed.
Hotel is now known by us for having a very nice pool. Eyes OPEN. And mouth?!
Our waiters in a restaurant by Lovina
English beach boy mesmerizing the viewer with his eyes
Within one day this time, we went all the way from Lovina to the South, spending two more nights outside Kuta before returning to our first hotel. We spent one night in Tabanan where our unsuccessful quest for food eventually ended in 5 portions Nasi Goreng, three portions chicken and rice, one omelette, one portion additional beef, four Saitan cubes and four super yummy cookies. The following night we wanted to go back to the nice hostel on the beginning of our trip but I wanted to see one more new place, so after realizing Tanah Lot was a temple, not a beach area, and way too expensive for our taste, we ended up in a place not as nice. It was fine for one night though. I had English breakfast and tried a new desert. I think it was called Swaffle, but do not look that up on Urban dictionary. It turned out to not be very original or suitably sized. But I did see a squirrel.
Rougarou and his contemporary Kathryn 2.0
More mesmerizing looks........................................................... Who can resist those kitten eyes?
Food that made me gain weight
We arrived early back to Bali and checked back into POP! Hotel Kuta Beach. We wasted some time trying to find a bike shop to buy a bicycle helmet and then went to the beach with quite some complaining from my side due to so much walking despite everything else already having been catered to me. Our last night ended with swimming, me meeting up again with Uci, a girl I had met at the airport upon arrival, and learning about a Chinese cell phone with two batteries during a dinner with locals and fellow travelers. There was also some fried ice cream involved.
POP! Hotel Kuta Beach..........................................Organising like a busy bee cause Mr. native speaker thought continuously making fun of my English skills ...............................................................................and refusing to take over communication himself was not contradictory
I am mesmerizing too!
Nope, can't beat that
At the end of our trip we went to the airport together but only upon ordering the taxi did we realize that we can't spend the last hours together as we went to different terminals with a distance one of us couldn't walk and one of us couldn't carry a boxed bike for. I left the taxi first, paid Gary for his services and after a quick goodbye suddenly felt weird being all alone again.
I arrived in Jakarta at midnight and slept one more time in my old room which my landlord had already prepared. I spent the next day searching for a post box for hours and had lunner with my wonderful French friend Danielle which had taken care of me during the first weeks of my injury. Due to the rain which makes the traffic even more unbearable I was very wary, left my home early and had a few hours to spare at the airport.
I was glad to leave Jakarta, but I definitely wanna go back to Indonesia. This vast country requires more time, and healthy feet, to be explored, as does Southeast Asia. I can't wait to come back again to the region.