Late Monday night we arrived in Bali, and Zac had his first experiences with the insanity of the streets in parts of impoverished Asia. After spending some time in India, the drivers here seem tame and safe. Our taxi driver had trouble finding the hotel, and had to call twice for directions, whereupon he simply shouted in Malaysian for 10 minutes, and then proceeded to follow the directions I’d found online. We got here eventually.
It’s dirty, smelly, polluted, and absolutely nothing like Singapore, but it’s got a stronger appeal. Maybe it’s the hearty, guttural laughter of our host, and other locals on the street, or the carefree kids on the laps of motorcycle drivers. Either way, there seems to be quite a bit more character on the streets of Bali than in sterile Singapore.
I can’t wrap my mind around navigating the streets. Landmarks mean almost nothing, since everything looks the same, and we’ve wandered down the street for a while, only to realize we’re going in the wrong direction. It will get better with time!
Just about all of the shops and businesses put out an offering for the Hindu gods every morning. They use palm leaves to create little dishes, and they put incense, crackers, rice, flowers, and sometimes cigarettes, money, and trinkets into them. You have to walk where you’re watching, because they’re everywhere!
Tuesday we spent some time at the beach, and of course, we’re both already sunburned. You’d think our San Diego skin would be a little stronger, but 30 SPF just doesn’t cut it this close to the equator. We’re staying in Kuta, which is apparently some sort of insane party area, but great for budget travelers trying to surf. The beach was pretty empty and relatively clean, but the water was full of trash. We rented a surfboard for about $7 for 2 hours, and Zac pushed me into some waves until I reached my limit. It’s one thing to get tossed by the sea; it’s another to find yourself rolling around in garbage at the bottom of it.
It rained quite a bit on Wednesday, so we hung out around the hotel, and then walked around the town for a bit when it slowed. We spent the afternoon in Seminyak, which is a nicer town about 30 minutes away. We headed back to our place via the beach and stopped for a beer and a lovely view.
The power went out on Tuesday, and for some reason my computer couldn’t recognize the hotel’s network, so I was unable to connect. It was pretty frustrating for a few days! Today we moved to a cheaper hotel not too far down the road, and the Internet is fine here, but not accessible from our rooms, just the lobby. There’s a pool here, as well as a billiards table and a full bar. It’s a fancier hotel, but a lot cheaper, AND closer to the beach. We arrived Thursday and ran into a couple who was staying at the same hostel as us in Singapore last week! SMALL WORLD, right?
We head to Lembangan tomorrow morning at 6am, and are hoping for clean beaches and clear water. See ya then!