Friday, 13 April 2012

Bali/Nusa Lembongan

Arrived in Bali with a bit of a shock as to how expensive it was. I was knackered and lacking in real direction for what to do until Australia so when I found a place that the lonely planet said was supposed to be 50k a room (5 dollars) and they said that it was now 120k I was pissed. Also when I went for a meal they stuck on a service charge and VAT on top of the listed price. Tired, and grouchy I decided to just check into a hostel and get my head down. After a few hours sleep I felt a bit better and decided to plan out where to go next. Originally the purpose of going to indo (indonesia) was to do some diving and maybe even do my advanced padi course. I did some research into where to go and how to get there and it all seemed like too much hard work! So I spent some time skyping the folks back home and worked on my blog for a bit before having an early night.

The next morning I woke up, took another look at the lonely planet and saw under the discription of Nusa Lembongan "this is the bali that many backpackers look for and few find" and decided it was the perfect place to go and chill. On the boat ride over I got chatting to a German couple and a dutch guy called Jim who I was destined to spend the next week and a half with. On arrival to the shore at Nusa we where looking for a place to stay and the german guy realised that at some point his money belt had been lost/stolen. He was a pretty bug unit and he was pissed off. An hour later of hanging around while he looked for the money belt and eventually he gave up and we decided that we'd find somewhere to stay and they would sort out the cards/money etc after we'd ditched our bags. He'd fucked up big time, in the money belt was all the couples bank cards, a digi camera and around 100 euros in indo rupies. So whilst wondering around looking for a place to stay we came across Aldi, a local guy who was basically a freelance tourist guide and he hooked us up with a sweet place to stay called Wahyu that had really clean and nice rooms and a swimming pool for 10 dollars a room (5 dollars each). Bargain. Not only that, they had really cheap and good food at the restaurant and all the staff where laid back, friendly and a good laugh. It was the perfect place to chill and spend hardly any money for the next 8 days.

In our time on Nusa we rented a moped from Aldi on a couple of occasions and rode around the island. We visited a few different beaches, went to a place where you can actually rent a monkey for the day (not that we did as it was really hectic) and did a 12 meter cliff jump into the sea. That was one of the coolest things I've done on my travels. On the way to do the dive I was bricking it so when we got there I let Jim and this english guy do the jump first. They both landed a bit awkwardly and had painful landings. So when I came to do mine I was seriously close to flaking out, it was only when someone started filming me and gave me a count down that I had to jump otherwise I would have looked like a pussy on film! I jumped off and swore the entire way down. on landing I crossed my legs and somehow managed a pretty much perfect entry so it didn't hurt in the slightest. On my second dive I decided to go for a swan dive from the 8 meter jump which went pretty well too. It's nuts, 8 months prior to that day I would have never had the balls to swan dive from that height but I've done so many high dives off numerous boat trips (sober and not) that I've got so much more confidence in doing extreme shit now. Oh, by the way, this cliff dive place was fully regulated by the cafe it was next to and it has it's own website and youtube site so it's not as if I rocked up to a random cliff and jumped into the sea! I was going to do a Ron Burgendy tribute and do a cannon ball video from the 12 meter but I was too scared of fucking up the entry and ending up with a sore ass/back.

The evenings where largely spent getting drunk on Irak - cheap indo rice wine and playing card based drinking games. The swimming pool made for endless entertainment when drunk so we where never bored in the evenings. We also went to a cock fight one night which was an interesting experience. I won't go into the gory details here in case anyone reads this feels it's animal cruelty so feel free to message me if you want more details.

In total I spent 8 days on Nusa and spent around 150 pounds which was pretty good going I thought. Me and Jim took a ferry back to Bali as we decided to hang there for a few days before catching a flight to Jakarta.

Bali the second time round was far more enjoyable. Jim and I checked into indo Camala and split the price of the room again. I've said it before but it's worth repeating, when you're travelling in pairs its so much cheaper on accommodation prices as few places outside of Thailand and Vietnam seem to have single rooms or dorms. In the day time we went surfing at Kuta beach which is pretty poorly maintained in terms of the beach as I think a lot of people drop rubbish when they're pissed there at night. The surf is perfect for beginners though and for three pounds a day you can rent a surf board and carve up the waves. I've done a bit of body boarding back in my uni days but I'd never really tried surfing before. My first day I took a 6 foot maliboo and wasn't having much luck with catching the waves. I was getting a bit frustrated as i was trying to get out to the big waves which was a classic case of trying to run before I could crawl. Also I low sided the board a couple of times which is the worst way to bail as you spin a couple of times in the water, get a face full of water and the board can sometimes crash into you. So the next day I took an 8 foot beginner board and instead of trying to get out to the blue waves (as they're forming) I stuck to the white and just waited for the reform before simply jumping into the path of the wave so I didn't even need to paddle. I did that for a couple of days and by then I was starting to get up... before quickly falling over! On the last day of surfing Jim and I started drinking with some local guys who were incredibly welcoming. They were dishing out a fair bit of banta about where everyone was from (there was a chinese guy, a dutch guy and an english guy there) and the only mildly annoying part was when one of the guys kept saying to us that they where just joking and we shouldn't get annoyed, even though we kept laughing along with the banta and showed no sign of getting offended. The way he came across when he said it was just a bit patronizing as if we where suddenly going to kick off. Maybe he'd offended some tourist in the past who flipped out. Anyway that was great to mingle a bit with the locals.

In the evenings in Kuta (the town we were staying in in Bali) we usually hit sky garden, a massive 4 story club, between 9 and 10 as it was free drinks with no entry fee. Then we'd usually just bugger off somewhere else as the usually drink prices where pretty expensive. A particular favorite of mine was a live music bar across the road from Sky Garden that had a really great covers band. They also let people come up and sing along and they had a music list with a bunch of western songs on it. I put in a pretty good performance of time of your life by green day but kind of ruined my rep a bit when I sung a coldplay song as Jim came up and sang along.... badly!

Then it was off to Jakarta to get back to some sight seeing...

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