Monkeys, Sunrises and Cracking Cocktails
I took the fast boat from Gili to Bali which took just over an hour and then had to get a 2 hour bus. A couple on the bus were also going to The Bliss Surfer Hotel so that was easy. I checked in and couldn't believe it. A huge room with a huuge bed and bunk beds, a super nice bathroom with power shower and towels, a flat screen tv and the swimming pool was literally at our balcony doors. It was soo nice! Such a treat!
I met Lisa at the airport amd we came back together and celebrated with a couple of cocktails and dinner at the hotel. Lis had been travellimg foe 24 hours so we just had a chilled night. The next day we had a wander down to Kuta beavh where we spotted some surf lessons and decided to give it a go! What a laugh! So much fun. We had a bit of theory before we braved the waves. I've had a couple lessons beforein Cornwall and managed to 'catch a couple of waves' which means I stood up, wobbled and fell back in. Lisa and i ha ve both agreed we had never swallowed so much sea water before but really did love it. It was a 3 hour lesson amd we were exhausted by the end so we chilled by the pool and had some smoothies. That night we decided to seewhat Bali nightlife had to offer. We walked to the centre and found an all you can eat BBQ with free drinks between 9 and 10pm so thought we would take advantage of that. Having stuffed ourselves with BBQ food we weren't really in the mood for dancing but went to the bar nezt door anyways and had a couple drinks. So many travellers about and locals as well, it was a really good atmosphere.
We booked an all day driver for the next day. He took us all around Bali. We went to a gold and silver jewellery place where thy were hand making jewelery. We bought matching necklaces that jingle like a cats collar. Haha they are pretty though and it's cool as we saw them being made. After that our driver took us to a coffee plant. Bali have a special Lewak coffee. Lewaks walk around the forest and eat the coffee beans and then poo it out. People collect the poo, dry it out and then pick the beans out. I'm not actually sure why but they clean it thoroughly, roast it and grind it. It was an interesting process and I've sent some home for the fam to have a try. I personally haven't tried it. They let us try all sorts of interesting tea and coffee but the lewak was quite expensive and we had to pay extra. Once we were finoshed there we had some lunh in the Rice Padi Fields in Ubud. Great lunch of the standard fried rice, chicken and veg. I really like it but am starting to feel very bloated from having carbs all the time. It's always either noodles or rice. Right after that it was to the Monkey Forest. Literally is what it says on the tin, a forest you walk around with monkeys in it. They are wild and a little bit scary bit we saw teeny tiny baby monkeys which were so ugly! Haha I was going to say cute but then remembered that they were actually not cute at all and super ugly. Bless them. Some people were feeding them bananas and holding them and things but I've heard a couple of horror stories from travellers where they were bitten for no reason and had to be rushed to the doctors to pay heaps of medical bills for rabies jabs and I did not want to risk that. Lisa was also a wee bit nervous bit it was nice to see them swinging about in there natural habitat.
Our driver waited outside for us before taking us to Tanah Lot Temple for the sunset. This was an interesting experience. The sunset was beautiful as it sunk into the sea while the waves were crashing ferociously onto the shore. Probably one of the best sunsets since all my travels. Once it had gone down we walked across a shallow sea bed to the temple where we made a blessing. Lisa asked for love and I asked for England to win the World Cup, fingers crossed. We got some rice sprinkled on our foreheads and flowers stuck behind our ears. When we were crossing back over we noticed a group of people staring at us and got quite self concioua. Next thing they walk up to us and ask for a photo. Quite suprised we said yeah sure not quite understanding why and they took it in turns to pose with us and take photos. We walked a little further and another group of people wanted photos. This time they wanted , e to take the photos of Lisa and them. I've never felt so rejected in all my life! Haha! No but we found out eveyone wanted a photo of Lisa because she is super pale and it symbolises purity, royalty, wealthiness and things like that. So I clicked and clicked away. Once it had started it didn't seem to stop. I think I took at least 10 photos of Lisa and Asians. An interesting experience for Lisa in particular. Pretty funny! After that it was time to head bavk to our hotel. To have a driver for the whole day it was so cheap and it had been great fun. We wouldn't have seen half the places he had taken us as we had no idea about them!
A 2 am start the next morning to climb a volcano. We got picked up at 2.30 and drove for about an hour and a half. We slept in the car as much as we could but our driver was quite crazy and said "usually take 2.5hour. I do it 1.5 hour." ok wow great haha! It was also very bumpy but we mad it safe and started our ascent at 4am. Our climbing guide also seemed to be ina rush. We were power walking for ahes and over taking eveyone. "it's a good job we're fit, Al" said Lisa as we huffed and puffed behind our guide. Haha I asked him if we were running late for the sunrise and he said "no no we just like walk fast." good grief! After an hour of storming up the volcano we asked if we could have a break and thankfully he let us. We sat for a while and all the groups over took us back. It may have been a race for the guide bit not for Lisa and I. We just wanted to enjoy it! We hadn't eaten breakfast and we had heavy backpacks with full waterbottles and jumpers for when we got to the top. Once the guide realised that we weren't up for running he calmed and slowed right down so we could enjoy the stars above and the twinkling lights of the small towns below. Afyer about 2 hours we made it to the top and sat down witha couple hot chocolates and enjoed the sunrise. lierally 12 hours ago we had been watching the sunset so that was pretty awesome. Stunning views.
Once the sun was completely up monkeys swung through the bushes and clambered around lookingfor food. Luckily the guides had brought tangerines whih theyfed them. It was like an alarm clock though. Honestly the sun had just come whole above the cloud and bang theu were there. Our guide told us that was going to happen and he was spot on. One troed to steal our bottle of water but couldnt work out how to open it so left it behind thank god. We wandered around the active volcano which had steam coming out of and was pretty warm. Nice as it was very breezy at the top. The path was quite rocky and not muh of a path really so we slipped and slid all the way to the bottom before getting our driver back to Kuta. We were back in our hotel room by 10am! Unbelievable! We had a nap by the swimming pool and then walked to Seminyak tocheck out the beach over there. It was muh nicer than Kuta Beach and we found a nice beach hut where we treated oursekves to cocktails and pizza. This really was a luxurious week with privae drivera, cocktails and a hotel! Only a holiday for Lis though so we had to make the most of it!
Our final day was a beach day down near Seminyak. We played in the waves and sun bathed. At about 3pm it all turned a bit weird, it was like 500 bus loads of Balinese and Asian people had arrived and started the whole photo thing again. At firt it was ok and we went a long with it but when we were sleeping we opened our eyes and there was lierally a guy standing over us taking photos and people woukd be walking past trying to slyly take a photo but it would be so obvious. It got even weirder when we were in the sea and a group of teenage boys wanted a photo with Lis except they took it to the next level and stared touching her legs which she was obviously not happy about then when I jumped I to a wave a boy jumped I to and pulled my bikini bottoms down. Luckily not all the way and immanahed to pull them back up before I came up from the wave but it was super weird. After that I said that was enough, shouted at them and stormed out the sea. Still not sure why they thought that was appropriate. After that we didn't let anyone take anymore photos of us. It didn't really stop them though. There were other Westeners and Australians there and it was the same for them too. One group of Balinese girls ran up to a coupke and grabbed there baby out there hands for photographs. The parents had to loke fight for he baby back when it started to cry. Super surreal and strange as Bali is a very popular plae for Australian tourists. You would of thought they were used to white people by now. Anyways that was the only negative part of our 5 days in Bali! The rest was absolutely awesome! Our last night we set the alarm for 4am and caught the first game of the World Cup in our huge double bed with the flat screen tv. Pretty awesome treat before heading over to slum it in Thailand!