A Travellerspoint blog

Kuta, Lombok

Day 234 – Thursday 13th September

It was our first day here in Kuta, Lombok today, those 2 got up very early and after some breakfast headed off to go check out some of the surrounding beaches, I got up at half 10 just as they were leaving and had already agreed to give it a miss. After getting my free breakfast of banana pancake, which was very much below average, I went to the local beach which is only 5 minutes down the road, and once I got there I was shocked to find that the beach was completely deserted and I was literally the only person on this giant stretch of sand. I walked up and down it to see if maybe I wasn’t in the good part, but there was literally no one, bar a couple of locals trying to sell things, so I just sat down right in the middle of the white sand beach and got my book out and spent the next couple of hours just relaxing, so nice to be back on a beach again. The water here is also such a good temperature, and the weather is perfect. After a while of doing completely nothing, I went to go find myself a cheap lunch at one of the many restaurants along the beach. I eventually found this little local place with huge portions and it was very cheap. There were a few Indonesians eating in the restaurant at the time, and of course, on their way out they all asked to have a photo with me, so I obliged and we all had a good laugh with how shy they got and stuff. I kept thinking they were all gone so I’d take another bite of my meal then another one would turn up and I’d be trying to smile without all the food falling out my mouth. After that I sat on the beach for a couple more hours, and towards sunset there were a few clouds so I decided to call it a day and go back to the homestay around half 4. Once I’d showered, James and Fernando had made it back so I sat and chatted with them about where they’d been, and they’d just found a couple more beaches down the road which were also completely deserted and really nice. September is the start of low season, so that explains why it’s not that busy, but the fact that we’ve seen no one around in the day is a bit weird. They did meet one French guy on the way home, who decided to stay in the room next to us, and stay with us all night for dinner and stuff. In usual circumstances this would be fine, but he was a bit of a clown and sort of killed the conversations, so none of us were too happy with him, luckily he’s only here for one night. This New Zealand surfer guy, Austin, from one of the other rooms also joined us for dinner, he turned out to be pretty cool, even if he was a bit too in to surfing (as so many people are out here). At dinner we got harassed by the local bracelet mafia, all the kids go around selling these thread bracelets which they make, all saying the same lines like ‘ok you buy’ or ‘bracelet make you very handsome’ but there was one girl whose name was supposedly rip curl who could speak quite a lot of Spanish and was really funny, so I bought a couple off her. After we got back from dinner, Fernando went to use the internet for a while and James ditched me with the French guy as he’d had enough, and then around 10 I’d had enough so we all went to sit in the room saying we were going to bed. We stayed up for a while longer just chatting about random shit and went to sleep around half 12.

Day 235 – Friday 14th September

Frenchy decided to wake up at 6 today, and his alarm woke us up from next door and then he sat outside the room tapping away at the table for ages, so we all got up very early today, me being the latest at half 8! Luckily Frenchy has now left. It has been nice getting up in the morning though, and not spend the day in bed until 1 going to bed at ridiculous times. James had to go off to the next village to sort out a bank transfer or something, so me and Fernando just sat around chatting for a while, which was cool as he’s super interesting and not just because of the whole meditation shit. After a while I went to use the internet and upload the blog and some pictures and by the time I got back James was also back having had a fruitless mission going to the bank. Around 12 Austin got back from his early morning surfing trip and all 4 of us sat around for a while before heading off to get some lunch at a place called Mario’s on the beach. The food was even cheaper and better than yesterday, so I’m sure we’ll be back soon enough, Austin went back and the 3 of us went and sat on the beach for the afternoon. Once there we got attacked by kids selling bracelets, we had around 12 of them around us all trying to sell us some, but we really didn’t want any so we just chatted to them and laughed as they all jumped on top of each other, having this beach as your playground would be fucking awesome! There were a couple of really cute kids selling a different style of bracelet, so we got chatting to them and asked them to make me one in the colours I wanted, and James also got one made and sat and learnt how to do it himself. The kids here are all so friendly and once they know you’re not going to buy bracelets they just want to sit with you and learn English and play around, it’s all such a good laugh, and I don’t mind buying a couple off them so they can buy stuff for the family or whatever. We sat with some of them until sunset as James kept on making them, then me and Fernando left and looked to see if we could find a cheaper place to live on the way back as our guy doesn’t want to budge too much on the price, but we didn’t find anything amazing or with good wifi. James eventually made it back from the beach and after pissing about in the room for a while, we all went out for dinner at the place next door for a mean chicken satay. After that we went to check out a couple more homestays and see if they had decent wifi, but we couldn’t find one worth moving for, so we’ll just have to get the guy to come down a little bit on the price ;later. It’s not expensive or anything, but 3 of us are sharing one room so we should be getting a really good deal. James went to use the wifi for a while (long story short he makes money online, so he’s always got something to do on there) and Me and Fernando sat around chatting about life and things for ages before we all went to sit in bed for a while doing stupid brainteasers. The answers are always so funny and they do make you think even if they are impossible, can’t be bothered to write one out, but just google brainteaser if you don’t know what I mean (sort of riddles or logic puzzles I guess you could say). All in all a really fun day today, I’ve completely fallen in love with this place!

Day 236 – Saturday 15th September

Managed to stay in bed for a bit longer today, and didn’t get up until half 10, which is still ridiculously early for me. Once up James went to use the internet, as usual, and me and Fernando sat chilling here having our banana pancakes and listening to music and shooting the shit. After a while we decided to move to the beach and sit in the sun reading for a while. James eventually turned up and we all sat chatting on the sand for a while before I 3 little friends came running over having finished school (half 12 over here) and we got them to make us a couple of bracelets as they taught James another style of doing them. Once he was eventually finished, he’s nowhere near as quick as the girls, we went back to Mario’s for some lunch where we got harassed my some real bastard kids trying to sell us bracelets, or more appropriately trying to force us to buy bracelets, and completely ruining our lunch. The boys are nowhere near as nice as the girls, and they really don’t have the same cuteness, instead they just seem like angry mafia kids who deserve a slap. Once we managed to ditch the kids, we all sat on the beach and pretty much fell asleep, once I sat up we got approached by loads of kids trying to sell things, as well as some girls from the local high school. Their teacher wanted them to ask us some questions and improve their English, but instead they all ran away screaming as they were so shy (they were at least 16 years old!) so eventually I offered to take a picture with them and that really got them going, they were all so excited it was ridiculous, screaming and laughing like 2 year olds. After the picture they all pretty much ran away and then a group of 14 year old girls came over in a group with their teacher having been asked to do the same thing, and they were much less giddy. So I sat and had a chat with them as they shoved microphones in my face and the teacher sat there filming me, they asked all the usual questions like where am I from, and where have I been and stuff, as well as a few about one direction which is their favourite band. After telling them that it was terrible music, a few of them got a bit offended and didn’t speak so much, but the rest carried on and asked me things like why I wasn’t an actor or singer ‘because I’m so handsome’ feels like I’m back in China getting compliments like that. Once they were finished with questions I sat for a few pictures with them, and their teacher insisted on having one with me as well, which was hilarious and then they were all gone. The young bracelet girls then came back and I couldn’t resist getting another one made and having a chat with the cutest one, at one point James told them he couldn’t buy any more bracelets as he had to buy a ticket to the moon, and she said that’s not possible and he said but everything is possible, and she said ‘maybe if you drink magic mushroom juice you can go to the moon.’ I was rolling around in laughter! This came from a 9 or 10 year old girl from a tiny village on a tiny island in the middle of Indonesia, absolutely incredible and if I had it on tape I think I’d watch it on repeat for the rest of my life, it was perfect timing and coming from her it was just too funny. We also met a couple more locals, including a 19 year old guy who was married with a kid (typical out here) unlucky bastard, and this older woman selling sarongs who gave me a good story of her life and mecca and other things. So many interactions with locals around here, it’s been brilliant, and then it was sunset and we hit the road. Then it was chicken satay time, where we were harassed by that cunt kid from earlier still trying to shift bracelets by shouting at us and sticking up his middle finger, because that’s always going to work, prick! After dinner I went on the internet for a little while, found out about Kate Middleton, what a shame I mean she’s perfect in every way and her tits are like that! Just joking I still love our princess. Then I sat to watch the united game, an easy 4-0 and two debutants getting amazing goals, how could I be happier! By the end of the game it was already midnight so we sat in bed doing a couple more brainteasers and then went to sleep.

Posted by travellingjoe 05:20 Archived in Indonesia Comments (4)

Next island, Lombok

Day 231 – Monday 10th September

Had a very action packed day today, on the last entry I mentioned going up a volcano, and today was the day to go and see it, Mount Batur! So I got up at half 10 and jumped on the bike to go round to my new favourite hangout, the Muslim place where I’ve now had all my meals in Ubud bar the random street food. After waiting for them to cook the potato balls (my favourite) I had my breakfast and then jumped round to where Fernando and James are staying to meet up with them and hit the road up North. Luckily my lateness (due to the potato ball waiting) hadn’t affected the trip as they had just been stopped by the police for not wearing helmets, and after haggling a bribe got away with a 7 quid fine, corrupt bastards! They picked up their helmets and we got going on the drive which took about an hour and a bit due to all the crazy winding mountain roads towards the end. Talking of which, once we did make it close to the volcano we started to get followed by a number of motorbikes, so we decided to pull over to see what the situation was, and they turned out to be ‘mountain guides’ aka the mountain mafia of Bali. Having heard lots of stories of these supposed guides charging a lot of money to take you up an easy trail, we were very wary not to listen to their bullshit. These guys are also famous for stabbing tourists to take their money, and it is very much advised not to go at night in order to avoid this outcome, but in the day they’re impossible to avoid, but you won’t get stabbed luckily. They decided that their best bet would be to block our path to the trail and therefore force us to pay up, but there was no way we were going to do that and either way none of us had any money, so we drove off and pulled in to a side road further down until they fucked off, then sneaked back up the trail. We dropped off the bikes and then walked up the mountain, which took about an hour and a half of very tough and steep terrain, but there was no need for a guide as there was a very clear route, something we had been told over and over again before leaving. We did get stopped once saying we would need a guide, but he wasn’t as forceful as his predecessors so we just ignored him and carried up to the top. Up there we had a great view of the surrounding landscape, and the other volcanoes in the distance as well as a beautiful lake down below, but that wasn’t to be enjoyed for too long as another bloody guide turned up! He had a different tact to get our money, death threats. So he gave us the whole spiel of respecting his ‘company’ as well as his country and culture and that everyone must pay to go up it with a guide and he would gladly take our money now in order to save us the hassle, nice man. Because we will definitely pay for a guide once we’ve made it to the top! So then he started getting a bit angry and warned us that without a guide there’s a good chance we might fall in to the crater, and he wouldn’t like to see us ‘accidentally’ fall in, a fate that was received by a couple of Swedish guys not too long ago. It was very clear that he would be happy to get rid of us and he even called for some reinforcements, so we just walked away knowing there were 3 of us and we would be fine and went to another peak on the rim of the crater and sat there sunbathing for a while.
After spending a good hour on the top and getting all our pictures we went on the trail back down, sliding along all the volcanic ash on the way and made it back to our bikes, which surprisingly hadn’t been stolen by the mafia. It was nice to get some exercise an even though the volcano wasn’t active (which many are in Indonesia) it was really nice, the drive home took a bit longer than the way here as we had to stop for chicken satay, these 2 are pretty much addicted to the stuff. I can’t complain as it is super tasty and they know all the places to go, and if not they can always sniff it out! I didn’t make it back until half 7 where I wrote the blog and then headed back out to meet them again for some dinner. After chatting at their place for a while we didn’t make it to the Muslim place until half 10 so they didn’t have much food left, most importantly there were no more bloody potatoes! After having a pretty plain meal we went our separta ways and I went back to decide what my next move will be. Originally I was planning on going to North Bali, and then checking out the West of Bali, but after thinking about it I haven’t really got a great feel from this island, and it seems like every other island is less touristy and more beautiful, so I’m going to stay here in Ubud one more day and then go with the other 2 to Lombok, which is East of here and has a lot of beautiful beaches. After making that decision it now means I have an extra day here, and I can have a lie in tomorrow as a result, jackpot.

Day 232 – Tuesday 11th September (9/11)

Due to that volcano trek yesterday I slept like a baby last night for almost 12 hours, and didn’t make it out of bed until half 1 this afternoon! After all the excitement of yesterday I’m going to have a very lazy day today, on top of that James has to go to Kuta to pick up his passport from the airport (overstay and visa issues) and Fernando went with him as he hadn’t seen Kuta up to now, if you’re forgotten it’s the place I started at and it leaves a lot to be desired, so I’m sure he won’t feel any regrets having not been up to now. After making it out of bed I went to my restaurant as usual and had another great meal, then came back here and it was already 3! So it was way too late to go on any road trips anywhere or do any activity, not that I felt at all inclined to do that anyway. Instead I sat on the internet for a while keeping up with all the news in the current US presidential race, and had a very good email conference with Granddad on the situation. After that I watched a film, which gave me a good excuse to just lie in my bed a bit longer and rest my weary legs (just kidding, I’m just a lazy bastard!). Once I got a message from the guys saying they’d made it back I went round to theirs in order to have a good look at the lonely planet and decide where in Lombok to go tomorrow. We decided on Kuta, which means centre over here, so I’m sure I’ll probably end up going to a few more Kutas before my time is up here. Me and James then went round to all the travel agents and haggled down a price for a boat and bus combo to Kuta tomorrow, and eventually managed to get a really good price, unfortunately we have to leave at 7am as it should take around 7-10 hours to get there, even though its only 50km away, apparently transport around here is not very good! After sorting all that out, we went to dinner at a restaurant close to them, it was nice to have a change, and the food was also very good, it is a shame that my last meal here won’t be at that classic place, didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye to those guys. After dinner we went our separate ways, and after paying my bill for the bike and room for the past 5 days, I sat on the internet for a bit and then went back to my room to try and get an early night before my 6:30 wake up tomorrow. Unfortunately the fucking dogs on my road didn’t know my plan and kept me up until 3 barking at fucking everything and attacking anything that moved, fuckers!

Day 233 – Wednesday 12th September

After a very short night’s sleep last night I woke up in a daze but after a freezing cold shower I was awake and ready to pack the rest of my bag and head to the end of the road to jump on the bus where the other 2 were waiting for me. We sat on this minibus for about 20 minutes, then jumped off that and on to a bigger bus full of tourists and took about another hour to make it to the port and get on our 9 o’clock ferry. For one reason or another, the boat decided not to leave until 10, and after that it took another 4 hours to get to Lombok, which was only 25km away, suggesting this must be the slowest boat on the planet! And even once we had made it there we still had to circle around for another hour waiting for a space to open up and us to dock. So all in all it had taken 8 hours just to make it to Lombok, which if you take a look on my map you would be completely shocked to hear. Once we did eventually dock and get off the boat, we jumped on a minibus to Kuta which took another couple of hours, and we’d finally made it! When we got off a bus a guy came to meet us, and pretended he’d met us before ‘good to see you guys again!’ this line of selling made us laugh so we gave him a go and checked out his homestay. The room is bloody huge, and we even have a spare room in the corner, it consists of one double bed which those 2 are sharing and I have a bed on the floor and the spare room is left empty. And due to the fact that it’s now low season we got a really good price on the room and they have ‘free coffee and tea 44 hours a day’ brilliant! After dropping all our stuff off we went on a walk down to check out the beach, and despite it already being dark it did look really beautiful, I’m very much looking forward to seeing it tomorrow. On top of that it’s quite a quaint little village with a very Indonesian feel, something I haven’t seen up to now. On the drive here, all the villagers were waving and shouting hello, which is always a sign that you’re going somewhere relatively cut off. After seeing the beach we walked around a bit and found a really nice local restaurant and had an early dinner. After that we came back to our little place and sat on the porch chatting for a couple of hours, and we eventually went to sit outside the place next door and steal their free wifi. Around 10 me and James went off to get a few snacks from the supermarket, then those 2 hit the hay nice and early and I stayed up for a little while longer watching a film before going to sleep. Long day!

Posted by travellingjoe 19:55 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

A few days in Ubud

Day 228 – Friday 7th September

So after being told I had been moved on to the 11am bus, I got a knock at the door at 10 from the guy again now saying I’m on the 1o’clock bus, so I went back to bed and got up in time for checkout. Once I had packed I went to get some tasty street food just down the road and sat and waited for the guy to pick me up. Around quarter to he turned up on a scooter and drove me to a car park where I jumped on the bus and we did the rounds of Kuta picking up all the other people also going to Ubud. That turned out to be a lot of people, so I was forced to sit with all my bags on my lap, I did meet a nice Dutch girl though who gave me a few tips on where to go next which was helpful, although I pretty much forgot all the places she said by the time I got off the 2 hour bus. Once I got off in Ubud I went for a little walk around trying to find a cheap guest house, and found this really nice one with wifi and everything in my room is made of bamboo which is pretty cool. 2 problems though, the wifi is in the other half of the guest house just a few places down the road, so I don’t have it in my room, and the shower only has cold water and its fucking freezing. After getting myself settled in, I sat on the internet for a while then chilled out in the room for a bit and before I knew it the sun had gone down, so I decided to head out for some dinner at the first cheap Indonesian place I could find. That took longer than expected as this place seems to be a bit of a fancy area and all the people here are either couples or just rich people on holiday so there doesn’t seem to be much of a backpacker scene. After dinner I decided to take a little walk around, but this place seems to die past 8pm so there wasn’t anything to do. It turned out to be another night of me sitting around not really doing anything and having no one to talk to as my place is completely empty, probably because everyone else in Ubud is staying in some fancy hotel. Anyway, it was nice just to chill out for a bit and sit and watch a movie and have a good night’s sleep.

Day 229 – Saturday 8th September

After getting up very late and missing the free breakfast by a good few hours I went down the road to find somewhere to eat, but today turned out to be some Hindu festival so everywhere was closed bar this cheap little Muslim place which took me a while to find. The food was bloody tasty though and I’m glad I have somewhere good to eat from now on; I also got talking to this guy from Bristol, which was good as I’ve been a bit of a loaner. He’s been here for 10 days waiting for a visa so he knows this place very well, and he didn’t have a lot of good things to say about it, nor did he have much to say for Bali in general. It seems this island is for the more upper class traveller and therefore there’s not really a lot to do for people like us, and I completely feel that just walking around this place. Anyway, after chatting and eating for a good few hours I came back to the hostel to sit on the internet for a while, and saw lots of people having a procession in the streets, plus there’s about 10 temples on my way home from the restaurant so I did see a few things going on, but nothing much to write home about really. After bumming around the room for a while, I went back to the same restaurant to hook up with James (guy from Bristol) at 8 for some dinner. We talked a bit more about the places we’d been and had some more good food, then parted ways around 10 and I walked home. Unfortunately, my place is located at the end of a really dark alley, and the dogs guarding it are proper aggressive and chased me all the way to my door, and then spent the whole night just barking incessantly, bastards! I sat down and watched a film and tried to get an early night as me and James have arranged to rent some motorbikes tomorrow and go and see some of the sights around Ubud, should be fun.

Day 230 – Sunday 9th September

The damn dogs kept me up all night barking at fucking anything and brutally attacking any dog that walked past, about 3 times I came out my room to break up a fight as their enemies hobbled away. Safe to say, I couldn’t sleep at all and I had to get up at half 10 so I was fucking knackered. Had a freezing cold shower, then rented a bike from the hostel lady and drove off to meet James at the same restaurant again. I was too tired to eat so I got an Indonesian tea crammed full of sugar and a sprite just to try and keep my eyes open, then we went back to his hostel to get him a bike then made a plan to go visit the biggest and supposedly most impressive temple in Bali, which was about 20km away. It took much longer than it should have done, though, as there were no signposts and people kept pointing us in the wrong direction, eventually we did find it and it was fucking terrible. I don’t know whether it was the temple itself or the fact that I’ve been spoiled in the countries I’ve seen so far but it was really unimpressive and we were kicked out as we hadn’t paid, and there was no way we were going to pay. After we left there we decided just to drive around a bit and see what we could find, which turned out to be nothing, but James got a call from his mate who’s been away the last 10 days and just got back to Ubud, so we headed back in to town, not before stopping at a street stall for some famous and very delicious chicken satay and peanut sauce. Once we got back to their hostel we sat and chatted with Fernando (Spanish) who had spent the last 10 days in a meditation camp. And fuck me was it interesting, he only went because someone told him it was good and they give you free food and accommodation, so he’s not some crazy spiritual guy, but the place itself and the experience did sound pretty nuts. So you turn up at this place with another 40 people and you can’t talk throughout the whole 10 days and your whole time is spent meditating, eating and sleeping, it sounds insane. But he made it sound bloody immense, as they teach you how to meditate so spending 9 hours a day sitting there doing it doesn’t seem too bad, and due to the not speaking you pretty much go insane and truly find yourself (sorry to sound corny). But all in all it sound really cool and he was definitely better for it, I would like to do it but I don’t think I could ever sign up for it as I’d be too apprehensive and I wouldn’t want to sit cross legged all day, even if you do learn to tune it out and enjoy it, although I really should go as I’m always in my head and would be good to learn to control my mind. Long story short, I’d never heard of it before, but now I am really interested and definitely thinking about doing it, I might read a book about it first and see what I think. Anyway enough of that lunacy, after asking him loads of questions and finding out as much as I could for about 2 hours I came back to my room and spent the evening just relaxing and sitting on the internet, and trying not to fall asleep before I went to meet James at the same restaurant again and have some dinner. We’ve set a date for all 3 of us to climb up a volcano tomorrow, and we also went for a quick drive to find some more chicken satay but it was too late and no one was out on the roads so we just came back and I watched a movie and went to bed.

Posted by travellingjoe 05:24 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

Starting off in Kuta, Bali

Day 225 – Tuesday 4th September

Still just sitting here in Phuket airport, I’ve been here about 5 hours, and I’ve got more than that to come! Today has been a long bloody day, after literally not sleeping a wink last night, we all got up at half 8 to get our shit together and get checked out of the hotel. Can’t believe after 2 weeks here, this is the last time I’ll be leaving my room! We had enough time to sit down and have some breakfast, and we settled the tab before we had to get on our water taxi around the corner and then jump in to a road taxi to the port. This is the first time I’ve been able to see this island this early in the morning, and it makes me even sadder to leave, it’s fucking beautiful and the beach was completely empty as well it was bizarre. So we made it to the port around 11 and the girls had to pick up their tickets from the desk, and at around half past I went to check in for my boat and was given the customary sticker so they know where you’re going. Then at quarter to I had to leave them behind to jump on my midday boat to the mainland, after a very emotional goodbye I jumped on the boat and fell asleep pretty quickly. I’m now officially on my own again which at the moment feels pretty daunting, saying bye to Pops was no fun and I’m definitely going to miss my big sister, and I’ll miss you too Bex, we’ve all had such a good time together. The boat to the mainland took about 2 hours as we had to stop off at Ko Samui on the way, once I made it I was thrown on a 1 hour bus to Surat Thani, then I got off that and jumped on a 4 hour bus to Phuket. Then in the middle of nowhere the bus stops to drop me off as its going all the way in to town and I need to get to the airport. Unfortunately, there’s a taxi mafia waiting at the side of the road to try and rip us off (4 of us were dropped off) but luckily one of the women had been here countless times before and she told them to fuck off before finding a shop and speaking in Thai managed to sort the owner’s husband to take us for half the price. The other 3 got off just before the airport as they have a flight tomorrow and will spend the night in a hotel, lucky bastards, before I got dropped off around 7ish. First things first I picked up a subway sandwich (a big one as I knew they’d close soon enough and I’d be hungry later) and then sat down in the airport and started to read my book, James Bond on the agenda. Then I spent the next few hours reading, writing the blog, and watching some stuff on the laptop before I found myself a group of about 8 seats to lie down. Seemingly I’m the only one here cheap enough to spend the night in an airport (not for the first time) so all the staff were giving me funny looks, at least there wasn’t anyone about to knick my stuff when I eventually put my head down for a couple hours sleep.

Day 226 – Wednesday 5th September

After getting up around 4, I procrastinated a bit more waiting for check-in to open, and despite me being the earliest bird I did not catch the worm, the queue was ridiculously long so I went to sit down again and checked in about an hour before the flight left. After making it through customs and paying off a man for my overstay, all a bit suspicious as he gave me change from his pocket, at a fee of 10 quid a day would you believe it, at least I was only 3 days past my visa. Anyway, got through customs easy enough and jumped on the plane where I pulled down my table and passed out on it for pretty much the whole 3 hour flight, briefly interrupted by the hostess waking me up to give me my Indonesian custom forms. Luckily I was up for the last 4 minutes of the flight which meant I could see us fly over some of the 20,000+ islands here and they were stunning, so cool to think that most of them are completely uninhabited, gave me some Robinson Crusoe ideas. Got off the flight, paid my 25 dollars entrance fee to the country, for a 30 day visa, then headed outside to get in a 20 minute cab to Kuta, the tourist heart of south Bali. I got the guy to drop me off in the cheap area of town, and after walking around for well over an hour trying to find somewhere not full and most importantly in my price range; I finally found a place and got the last room which was very nice and spacious. After having a much needed shower, I went for a little walk around, dropped off all my laundry and had some food in a place with free wifi, so I rushed back to the room picked up my laptop and after eating spent a good 2 hours sorting shit out online (haven’t had the internet for over a week now!). I have to say it, it feels bloody good to be alone again, doing all these adventures of having to walk around aimlessly forever to find a hotel and stuff is way less stressful alone and actually fun in a really fucked up way, safe to say all my feelings of home sickness disappeared pretty much as soon as I had to haggle for a cab from the airport to Kuta. After wasting more than enough time in the restaurant, I came back to the room and had a 4 hour nap. Once I got up the sun had already gone down, so I decided not to bother heading to the beach to check it out and instead went to McDonald’s. As much as I hate being a tourist, I’m new here and I haven’t had one in weeks. On the way back, I walked past the countless stalls selling the typical tat that you find everywhere in Asia, although it did seem to be a better selection than Thailand, but all I really needed was a plug adaptor, so I found a guy selling one for a tenner (typical price for an over touristy area) I managed to force him down to about 60p in the end, prick! Talking of money, the exchange rate here is around 15000 rupees to the pound which makes conversions a nightmare, and my brain is still in Chinese money for some unknown reason which makes it even more of a nightmare, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Anyway, got back to my room and sat back for a chilled out night alone where I stayed up ay too late reading my book as I just couldn’t put it down.

Day 227 – Thursday 6th September

Couldn’t sleep at all last night, for some reason I was itchy all over, due to all my washing being in the laundrette, I was forced to sleep in pyjamas which I haven’t worn since India where I had bedbugs, and despite it being about 5 months since I was there I think they might still be alive, disgusting creatures! I didn’t make it out of bed until about half 2 this afternoon as a result, first I went to pick up my washing and then I headed out for some food at this small, cheap Chinese place which had huge portions luckily as I was starving. As I sat outside eating, I saw the floods of Aussies walking past, not to be a xenophobe but after Russians I think Australian tourists have to be my joint second most hated tourists, along with Americans of course. Unfortunately the place is fucking teeming with them, and as all the roads in this area are tiny you feel constantly surrounded, I’m definitely not a fan of Kuta so far it’s just way too busy with tourists. So on the way back I booked myself a ticket to Ubud tomorrow, the spiritual home of Bali, about 1 hour north of here. I booked myself on the 1 pm bus, and went back to the room, after only sitting down for a couple of minutes, I get a knock on the door ‘Mr Joe, Mr Joe’ it was the guy who had sold me the ticket and he had changed me to the 11am bus, bastard! I wanted another lie in, but he said the 1 o’clock was full, so I don’t mind too much as long as I get the hell out of here. Then I headed to the beach to catch the sunset which was not too impressive, but the beach itself was and not for a good reason. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people sitting on one beach in my life, it was mayhem you literally couldn’t find a place to sit down, so glad I haven’t ventured to it before now. So I sat down and watched the waves which were huge, no wonder this place is known as a surfer’s paradise, unfortunately I don’t surf though, I’ll have to get in to it at some point. After a while this group of Indonesians came up to me and I had to pose with each of them one by one as they all wanted pictures of me, another upshot of being alone, I bloody love it it’s too funny how they get all coy coming over to you asking if you don’t mind taking a picture with you, feels like I’m back in China again. Around half 8 I headed out to get some dinner, and found one of those proper grimey Asian restaurants which I love so much, and got my first taste of proper Indonesian food and boy was it fucking delicious, got these little potato cakes and a veg. curry on rice and it cost me less than a quid. I’m so glad to be eating this sort of food again and not have all my Brit mates taking me to overpriced restaurants to eat western food (you know who you are!). Unfortunately beer here is a complete rip off, my small bottle with dinner was about 1 pound, and then I went to the shop to get a couple for the evening assuming they’d be cheaper there, but I was wrong! A large bottle is still 2 quid a pop, and I though Thailand was expensive, I just want to get the Chinese prices of around 20p for a big bottle! I then spent the rest of the night being a sad loaner in my room, despite this place being full I still haven’t seen one of the occupants of the 10 rooms, where the hell are they hiding?? I’m bored! Either way I still managed to entertain myself and went to bed way too late again so I’m sure I won’t feel too good for my 10am wake up tomorrow for the bus.

Posted by travellingjoe 06:17 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

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