"The world is a book, & those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


(Saturday) I woke up and had a great breafkast at the hotel. Soon after check-out, I was on my way to the airport. I boarded my flight to Bali where it had been raining all day. I think this rain is following me :(. I paid for my visa and quickly found my bags before heading off into a cab. I asked the cab driver to take me to Kuta which is along the coast and near Seminyak. Kuta was full of toursists and nightlife. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to take away from Bali, but with only five days it would do.
I went to the "hotel" that Anna was staying at, and she was waiting for me by the pool. I was so excited to see her!  I didn't think I would see her so soon because she's from England, but I'm glad our paths were able to cross. I went to put my bag in our room which had a nice stench of stale urine. It was quite the contrast to my beautiful villa in Langkawi.
We went to Apache to eat. I tried Grado which is a local specialty. It's mostly comprised of mixed vegetables and a peanut sauce. We also enjoyed some Bintang which tastes exactly like Heineken. There are few preservatives in Bintang so a hangover is hard to come across! We ate and drank while a local reggae band played. We met some locals and joined their table to enjoyed some drinks together. Then we decided to head over to Bounty which is more of a club. We danced our hearts out to songs I would probably turn off had I heard them playing in the States. I met a guy named Pedro from Portugal and we salsa danced all night. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Kuta felt a bit like spring break in Mexico to me. Around 3am we decided it was time to retire.

(Sunday) It was pouring rain when we woke up this morning. I ordered a banana jaffle for breakfast which is like a banana panini for lack of better words. When we were leaving the receptionist, I stepped on the stair and my flip flop slipped which sent me slamming down against the stairs. My back hit the corner, and I quickly got up throbbing in pain. I did a few stretches while I waited for breakfast.
We decided to walk around and do a little shopping. We also found a new hotel to go to one street over that was the same price but a ton better. We made our way to a local spot for lunch and had some of the best springrolls I've ever had (I've eaten a great deal of springrolls the past few months). The roads were flooded but we waded our way back to our hotel and packed our bags. It was two hours past check-out time, and they wanted to charge us a lot for those two hours. It was a bit ridiculous considering the fact that Anna had stayed with them for a week. We didn't feel like paying so we decided to stay another night and move first thing in the morning.
We went to this store Uluwate which sells Balinese Lace. Anna was kind enough to wait for me as I tried on one dress after the other. I did buy one little black dress. They were all so beautiful; it was hard to choose one.
In the evening we decided to go to Seminyak. There's supposed to be great nightlife there, but the town was sleepy. We walked for a bit before settling at a restaurant/bar. Anna wanted to watch the motoraces, and I enjoyed the live music. We both sipped on some cocktails before heading towards the beach. Our brilliant idea was to walk back to Kuta along the water. However, five minutes into our journey it began pouring rain. We found shelter at a little beach bar and had some Sangria. We asked how long it would take us to walk back, and they laughed at us. When the rain had slowed to a drizzle, we walked. It did take us about an hour to get back to Kuta, but we had nothing better to do. We were in Bali; who cares about time? It's all we had that evening.

(Monday) We were going to go on a tour of Ubud today, but our driver never came. I guess that's what we get for setting up a tour while at a bar. I don't think it's the most reliable source. We decided to do some more shopping and walking around despite the bad weather. While walking, we stumbled across this great Italian restaurant and sampled some pizza. We were both hungry and decided to give it a try. Of course, we ordered garlic bread (we are both obsessed with garlic) and then the four cheese pizza; it was covered in melted, gooey, irresistible cheese. The both of us were in Heaven.
The sun came out in the late afternoon so we put on our bikinis and hit the beach. I don't like the beach in Kuta at all. It is crowded and full of trash. All the beaches on the west coast are covered in trash this time of year. The tide brings it in and then takes it out in a few months. It's sad. I had such a romantic idea of Bali, and so far it has not been true. We made some friends with the locals and drank a few Bintangs while catching a tan. Anna got her feet buffed which was an open invitation for every vendor to come hassle us. We met some funny ones like Sue. She asked if I had a boyfriend which I don't. She was confused why a pretty girl like me (her words) was single so she was determined to find me a boyfriend. She would say things like, "My sister needs a good man." I laughed and blushed simultaneously. I was not looking for a boyfriend especially not one in Bali!
We ate dinner at a cool restaurant where we wasted time playing pool. I am absolutely terrible at pool. This guy asked us to play him, and I warned him he was making a mistake. We shared a few laughs before heading back to Apache. There was another live band playing, and we sat down to enjoy their sounds. Before long, some Australian named Steve was talking to me. He was nice and easy to talk to; his friends joined us soon after. One of his friends asked me if I liked Steve. Sorry, but this made me upset. Why can't a girl and guy just talk and enjoy a few drinks at a bar? Since when does talking to someone automatically mean you fancy them? No. I was not interested. I thought he was nice, and I liked talking to him. There was no attraction and even if there were it would mean nothing. I find it annoying that there's some kind of pressure when going out. I was just trying to enjoy my evening.
I tried to dance a bit, but my back was in so much pain still. We went to Bounty again, but I was not in the mood for club music. I wasn't being a party pooper, I just would rather listen to reggae all night. When we were leaving, Anna saw a guy she fancied and this is how that conversation went: "Damn!" "No Damn. You have beer goggles on!" Love my nights with Anna :)

(Tuesday) Today we hired a private driver to take us to Ubud. We stopped at a silversmith. Anna loves silver as much as I love dresses. Our driver then took us to the Monkey Forest. There were monkeys everywhere (go figure). As soon as we parked our car, we were surrounded. I was a bit paranoid at first. Ever since we went to the Gibbon Sanctuary in Thailand I have been afraid of monkeys! They were too close for comfort. Some of them were fighting over food and territory while others laid there lazily. There were a few temples in the forest that we walked around. We had to be dressed in sarongs and then belts before granted access to the temples. I asked if there was a significance in the green and yellow colors, but there wasn't. The temples were ornate and beautifully carved. There was moss that added depth and color to the stones that monkeys had sat on. A couple monkeys found comfort in Anna's lap. One even climbed on her head and started playing with her hair. At the same time, a little monkey came and lifted her flip flop as if looking for some treasure beneath it.
We continued our trip through the hills and trees. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch on a terrace overlooking the rice paddies. They looked fake and painted with perfection. We went to several other temples and walked to a beautiful waterfall. We drove up to view the active volcano. I really wish I could ahve hiked there to watch the sunset, but I didn't have any athletic shoes plus my back was still in a lot of pain. We enjoyed more of Ubud before heading back to Kuta and calling it a night.

(Wednesday) We woke up and made our way to the beach. The weather did not hold off for very long. It began raining within 20 minutes so we scrambled under an umbrella with our friends. They played guitar and the 7 or 8 of us talked waiting for the storm to pass. Anna and I decided to walk back to our hotel until we had our surf lessons. I knew I shouldn't surf with my back, but I was stubborn. I didn't come all the way to Bali not to surf. I think it's pretty cool to say I learned how to surf in Bali, and I had all intentions of making that happen.
We went to the beach around 2:30 to have our lesson. We were both pretty good, but I kept trying to position my feet like I do on my snowboard. It took a bit of adjusting. We moved into the water and gave the waves a try. The both of us were up by the second wave. It was exciting and liberating. I wanted to stay on my board as long as possible because the water was disgusting. It was literally like swimming in a dumpster with a splash of water. A wave would come and bring plastic up your swim trunks and wrap garbage around your legs. Further down the beach was a bit clearer so we spent a few hours surfing there. It was such a great way to spend the afternoon. After  a while, my back was throbbing in pain, and I started to get lazy. I could no longer try to surf so we called it quits.
After a shower, we made our way back to the beach. We joined our friends and drank some Bintang as we watched the sunset. It was cloudy but nice. We went to eat and then stopped by the surf shop. There were a bunch of locals and an Australian, Ricky, hanging out. We joined them in conversation and a passing of vodka and sprite. Later, we went out to Apache again and smoked some sheesha and did a little dancing. They sang Happy Birthday to me, but some other girl got my free drink. Oh well! Ricky challenged me to a dance off which was a mistake. He had no idea I could dance. We had a lot of fun before heading back in the rain.


  1. love the pics! sounds like you are having a great time - weather, trash and all! but you are missed greatly back home!!! if you are out and about and find (of all things) unique knitting needles, pick them up for me - I will reimburse. thanks!

  2. We're glad you are enjoying yourself.