Arriving in Bali
After a very early start of 03.30 in the morning and a saddening goodbye for a little while with the girls he day before, my dear pal Ryan drove me down to Brizzy to catch my flight. I chose to fly from Brisbane instead of Gold Coast purely because of the cost difference and being able to catch a direct flight from Brisbane. I flew with Malindo Air – a cheap airline but with free 30kg baggage (perfect for taking your surf boards). I got a meal as well which was fabby for me, my stomach now twisting in hungry rumbles from my early start. They had a reasonable choice of TV and films for the time aboard.
Six and a half hours later it was touchdown time and I walked out into the expected humidity (not great in my attire of leggings, a shirt and jumper from the chilly Aussie morning mind!).
The adventure begins! There’s nothing more equally liberating and bewildering as stepping out into the world of a new country and not having the foggiest of where to go.
I immediately found the ticket office to buy my flight over to Bima two days later so that it was sorted for my next travels. It is a much better idea to buy the domestic tickets in the airport for price and ease of travel.
First challenge- get to Seminyak to meet my university friend Rosie. The taxi was around 150k (indo rupiah) which equates to 15$. The taxi ride took around an hour which is pretty good pricing from the airport considering the majority of taxi drivers try to extort the tourists!
After a slightly awkward taxi ride with a random indo guy who spoke next to no English, we rocked down a little side street and apparently we had arrived at my accommodation – Capsule Hostel, New Seminyak. From the outside the hostel looked like a little shack, slightly sketchy but I ventured inside anyway putting aside my intuition telling me this wasn’t the right place. My intuition was indeed very wrong as I walked inside and the hostel was centred around an open plan bar and kitchen with travellers milling around. I instantly felt at home, and in the same instant I saw Rosie. Running over to her I did take a slight tumble and pretty much lurched at her in an attempt to catch her attention! Finally reunited we chilled out, had a Bintang (obviously) and then went to meet the rest of her crew. Everyone was amazing, all the girls actually also went to my university which was pretty cool!
We went to the beach, a short ride from the hostel, to watch the sunset and have a few drinks. After an exhausting day it was early to bed for me after a few too many Bintangs. However they do say, early to bed and early to rise! This was indeed the case for me, getting up early to spend the day in Ubud with Rosie.
A tourist destination for many but still a superb day for my first day in Bali! It became quickly apparent to me that renting a scooter around these areas is pretty essential, however given I had never ridden one before and the indos drive like absolute loonies I decided against that option!
We went firstly to Monkey Forest which is basically a jungle at the bottom of Ubud inhabited by lots and lots of monkeys! We walked around for a while and then ventured into the town to check out the markets and grab some tucker.
After an absolute farce to find an Uber (there are areas of Bali where Uber is not allowed to pass) and sitting through the traffic for 3-4 hours to get back to the hostel, it still only cost us 5$ each! It is just so cheap over here! We then went out to a mad hatter party where I picked up a rad hat, and then we moved onto a jungle party in some rice fields. I didn’t expect much from the music over here but it truly astounded me! There were Djs spitting hot tracks all night long! I felt like I was back in Cosmic Ballrooom in Newcastle!
I made a reasonably early return of 2am for my morning flight over to Bima, Sumbawa, utterly satisfied with my first encounter with Bali. I must say that although it’s very happening and a cool place to party and do touristy things, I wouldn’t want that to be all that I got out of my trip to Indonesia. I find the best part of travel is to be in the middle of a local village or mountainous area of the further islands. That is exactly where I am headed for the next few weeks! Bring on Sumbawa!