Thursday, 30 April 2015

Indonesia - Day 4 - Seminyak

Today was an interesting day.

We got the hotel shuttle bus to Bemo Corner in Kuta. We walked down a street and went into the first shop, where Matt found a couple of Billabong shirts that he sort of liked. The price the guy was asking was too high. I bartered him down a bit but it was still a bit much. Matt decided he didn't want them so we went to leave. He kept dropping the price as we were walking out, but he wouldn't let up and got between Matt and the exit, he kept getting more & more aggressive. Matt ended up paying when he'd dropped his price by about 70%. I think his options were buy the shirts or deck the guy.

We walked along the street but there wasn't anything jumping out as stuff we should buy and all of the vendors were very aggressive and in your face. We were starting to get hungry and were just around the corner from the Hard Rock, so we decided to go there for lunch. We had a lovely meal in the aircon and of course we went into the shop so we could add to Matt's Hard Rock t-shirt collection.

Silverchair guitar behind Matts giant head!

After lunch we started to head back towards the pick up point for our shuttle back to the hotel. We browsed a few shops on the way back but were tired, hot, & annoyed. It took us walking out of 2 shops and a lot of bartering to get shoes at a reasonable price like we promised Lauren.

Once we got back to the meeting place the harassment continued. Unlike Thailand, Matt was the target of their attention. Our shuttle was late so we had to stand in the sun, being annoyed until it showed up.

We finally got back to the hotel and decided a drink in the pool would be just what we needed. We had a lovely swim, just being silly in the cool water, before we decided it was time to think about dinner.

For dinner we decided to walk along the ally between the beach and our hotel. There are heaps of little bars and restaurants along there, we looked at a few before deciding on Bali Juice Park. It was more like what I have been expecting of Bali dining, decent food, cheap, & basically just a shack on the beach. We notice an Asian mother cutting up her kids dinner with a pair of scissors. There was a woman smoking at the table next to us, which I get is legal here, but it is still super inconsiderate. Anyway, after our meal, while we were finishing our drinks and waiting for our bill, we spotted a dirty great mouse scurrying in the rafters. Won't be eating there again.

The lights of the lane way separating hotels from the beach
We went for a little walk down to the convenience store to get some ice cream (it was 30*C at 9pm with 80% humidity) and came back to our room to enjoy some aircon and listen to a storm roll in.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Indonesia - Day 3 - Nusa Lembongan

Ok, so we are still staying at Seminyak, but we spent the day on the island of Nusa Lembongan.

Another early morning, Kristen is still getting used to the time difference and yesterdays rafting took a lot out of her. We got to the marina early to board our boat.

The Bali Hai II
The Boat 1 slip over, bearing a pirates flag with a chefs hat

Once we arrived at Nusa Lembongan Bay we transferred from the Bali Hai II to the Bali Hai Pontoon. You can choose to spend the day on the pontoon, swimming, snorkelling, diving or just laying under the sun. We jumped on a smaller boat headed to the island. Once on the island we jumped in Nusa Lembongans version of a tuk tuk and went to check out the local village, where they farm sea weed.

Literally boat loads of the stuff
Sea weed as far as the eye can see
After the village we went back to the pontoon for a "semi submersible" boat ride... These things are a death trap waiting to happen... Anyway, we boarded the boat and were taken on a tour of the reef, our pictures didn't turn out great through the glass so we haven't included any :(.

After surviving the semi submersible ride it was back onto the boat to the island for lunch and lounging around in the pool. Kristen found an empty hammock and made a B-line for it. I borrowed some stone age snorkelling equipment and went for a paddle about but not much to see off the beach.

Then the bell rang and it was time to head back to the boat. We got back to the pontoon and the people on it were still swimming and snorkelling and laying about, so I grabbed our Chinese gopro and went for the slip n slide... 

After we got back to the hotel we were trying to decide where we were going to have dinner. I asked my niece Lauren who would live in Bali if she could and it turned out our hotel is right next door to one of her favourite restaurants, a place we would have just ignored and walked past any other time. So dinner was served under brightly coloured beach umbrellas on the beach in bean bag chairs with the sun setting over the horizon.

Dinner to celebrate finding each other 8 long years ago :)

Indonesia - Day 2 - Seminyak

We started the day with a quick breakfast before being picked up for our tour. Our ride for the day was on of the coolest & unsafest cars Matt & I have ever been in - a convertible VW Country Buggy.

We were taken to Saba Beach for a guided horse ride along the black sand beach. My horse was named Bimbim & Matt's was Angel. Bimbim was not really in the mood for walking but we got along ok in the end. I think I enjoyed the horse ride more than Matt did.

Our next stop was up into the mountains to go white water rafting on the Ayung river. I was a bit nervous and wasn't sure that I could do it, but as always Matt gently encouraged me and was there for me the whole time. Once we made it down the 1000 or so steps to get to the river and were in the boat I felt a bit better, and after our first rapid I felt great. It was really fun bobbing along this beautiful river, we had to work as a team with a couple from India to paddle between the rapids. Don't worry Mum & Sue, they were baby rapids, at no point were we in any danger. Our rafting adventure went for 2 hours and was divided into 3 legs. We only have pictures & video from the 2nd leg, but I will try to describe it as best as I can. On the first leg, after a little while of paddling, going over rapids, & bouncing our boat to get off rocks, we saw a carving in the rock wall of the river. Our guide said it was a love story, highly detailed and carved for about 25m along the rocks and it looked like it went the whole way up the face. It was beautiful & I wish I had some photos of it. We stopped part way along for a few drinks & Matt swapped helmets so he could mount our action cam on it so he could film. The video goes for about half hour until the battery died, so we might trim it later and post it. In the middle of our second leg we came to a massive waterfall. We all got out of our boats and looked at it, Matt even went right under the falling water. Our next stop for some more drinks was fairly quick and then it was on to our final leg which had some slightly larger baby rapids. We got our picture taken going over the biggest rapid on the river. After it was finished we had to walk up another 1000 steps (seriously, I have never seen so many steps, it was like walking up to the big buddha 5 times). Once we got to the top we had the opportunity to dry off and get changed into our spare clothes (which I may have forgotten to bring) then to a full buffet lunch on the deck overlooking the rainforest.

We took the long way back in our VW with the top down, to see some of the Bali countryside and villages. Once we got back to our hotel, we floated in the pool for a while recovering from a big day. Dinner was in the pizza bar at the hotel, where Matt was happy to be watching some football.

It was a big day, with another one on the cards.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Indonesia - Day 1 - Seminyak

Boring day today sorry people. Boarded our flight had an uneventful 6 hour flight and arrived in Bali. We got to the Puri Saron Hotel about 4pm. Bali traffic is as bad if not worse than Thailand. We left the bags and went for a walk along the beach, Kristen was accosted by a travelling selfie stick salesman and made her first purchase of the trip! I think she forgot to pack her haggling hat because she paid what the guy was asking... Anyway got some dinner, got a couple of drinks and are back at the hotel.