I - Drafting Paradise
It’s been two days and I’m already missing the dynamics of one of the most fascinating places I’ve travelled in all my life. Before starting my two week adventure on the island of Bali, Indonesia, I pledged to myself that I would keep track of my trip to the island to try and put it in words, to build a sort of diary/guide/memorandum of my stay over there.
Apparently I sort of succeeded, although I did not keep an accurate track of my movements over there, just a scratch on my smartphone, because I was lazy enough not to buy a pen and a notebook before or during the holidays. What comes next is the start of my after travel chronicle, which I hope will be a satisfying compilation for me and a useful source of information for friends and other travellers that want to visit a truly beautiful and unskippable spot on planet earth.
“Man, we really need a break!”
So it all happened in a long internal process and a comparatively short time externally. I was having dinner with my pal Marc, a long time friend and until very recently my neighbour, when he told me he had some 14-16 holiday days to spend before the end of 2015. It was early November and I just went for it.
“We should do a good surf trip, man! You know it’s almost two years without a proper break for me”, I probably said after spending months thinking about my first holidays in a long long time —work is bad here in Spain, so I’ve trying to get the most of opportunities sacrificing pretty basic stuff for a young man (time, friends and beers, to say it plain and simple)—.
“Yes, definitely, we should go somewhere…”. We checked a bit, but Bali was our first priority since day one. A few weeks later my friend negotiated his days of leave and we had the dates of our trip, since I was going for a dive and booked the flights before even knowing if I could really go without losing my relatively knew gig as a sports (kinda)journalist. Yup, fortunately it was all fine and by the end of the month we had our planes to the unknown paradise island and surf premium resort. Bali, Indonesia, surely was bound to be an amazing experience.
Two days after coming back, I can assure it was very close to perfection. And in the following posts I will try to reflect on what I felt and learnt on 14 days of suffocating heat, permanent sun (which was quite a surprise), salty water, cool waves and a positively surprising culture and society. Welcome to my Bali notebook, hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it into my first digital en route journal.
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II - Nice flight, warm welcome
After many years travelling around Europe and just going for the best deals, the flight to Bali was already a great experience. I have always loved planes, but Ryanair had been too frequent lately and had ruined a bit my conception of getting on board –not their fault, they sell what they advertise and its generally a good service–.
It was my first time with Qatar Airways and it was a blast. My first memory of a plane was a long time ago. I was nine and I went to Australia (gotta go back now!) with my parents just before the 2000 Olympics. I think that is where my passion for travelling got stuck in my subconscious, so thanks for that Dads! But let’s get back to the Indo trip.
As I imagined, flying with Qatar was as expensive as it was a great experience with no reproaches. A Persian Gulf country with its own airline, as expected, was all about a luxurious time. Nothing more to add. Good food, nice service and lots of entertainment (films, music, games etc.) for almost a full day on the move. First, Barcelona to Doha (obliged stop of almost 3h to see some petropowered shops, restaurants and infrastructures) and then Doha to Denpasar. No biggie, we slept, saw blockbusters like ‘The Martian’ and landed Tuesday afternoon in our Paradise destination. EXCITING, fun times ahed!
We started our trip Monday 1 p.m. in BCN and landed there around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, which in the end –after a long ride with a warm and welcoming driver to our first homestay (key word in this trip, never stayed in places like these before)– meant that tow full days were lost in translation. But it was fine, we knew we were moving as the time zones go by, and when getting back it meant the opposite.
For starters, the first of many beautiful sunsets
From our first day I remember the shock of the heat. A warm welcome in all senses. Nice people and, although the sun was setting, a superhot weather. I was sweating minutes after landing. No payed VISA required for short stays (less than a month, I think), so that was good. Another thing we noticed, crazy traffic in Bali. Pretty much all day, but it was rush hour in the most touristic city, Kuta, and we spent two hours to get to Canggu. It would normally be a 40 minutes ride.
Luckily we could enjoy the beautiful colours of the sunset sun, with a mixed up sky, clear and cloudy at the same time, that gave already a wide range of tonalities that enlightened the rich tropical vibe of the island. For me and my friend, it was the first time in Asia. Well, we tried to figure out if Bali is Asia or Oceania. After several googleings, we decided it was kinda both places. So, first time in Asia for me and second in Oceania. Cool stuff!
The sun set, and it was fully dark when arriving at our first base camp. Mote Surfstay, an interesting place to grew accustomed to the island and its personality and to get to know its amazing waves (our main reason for travelling here, of course). A friend of Marc gave him the tip, because it was pretty European-standard since its run by a Spanish couple who unfortunately wasn’t there during our stay.
With little to do and a bit winded down (or jetlaggy), we settled for dinner and inmersed into the awesomeness of the island. We took a walk around the streets, literally being nowhere exactly. The was not a city centre, something quite normal there. The stores, houses and all human life was literally on each side of the road. For miles and miles, just a single road with uncountable people spread around. OK, this is something else, we realised.
Then we decided for a local spot, literally. 10.000 Indo rupees for an ‘all you want’ dinner. So, 10.000? We just got like 3 million after exchanging 200€! We felt like true millionaires and had a good meal, only a bit too spicy for starters.
My pal was fine but, added to the 30 degrees outside, the spiciness made me sweat like a pig. Maybe I lost like 3kg just that day, huh. It was truly good. Rice, mixed veggies and noddles, which is of course the main-main food on the island (plus chicken). Day one, we spent only 60 cents, had 3 million in our pockets and went to sleep happily ever after.
It was promising, we couldn’t lose our smile. The bed was confy and the vent (a must there!) saved our dreams. Let’s call it a night (and a journal entry).
III - Discovering Canggu
After settling in and having a warm welcome with spicy food, we woke up the following day in full swing. It was, after all, our first 24 hours on the island. We didn’t have a proper guide, just a few ideas and a small but very resourceful guide that a friend of mine made after her trip to Bali. Anyway, we knew we were in Canggu and that waves were awaiting us all around.
We hired a scooter, a must to move with freedom during the whole trip, stacked our boards and rushed down the road to meet Canggu beach. Just like that, maybe it was 8am, we were enjoying our first rides in Indonesia. Beautiful lefts (and some rights) from the beginning, which were the constant during the whole trip. We didn’t find huge waves, but instead they were long and steady. Definetly better than BCN… I didn’t need more to be happy. So we spent three nights and two days at Mote Surfstay before moving to Padang-Padang. We had 14 days on the island and wanted to do four or five stops.
Besides surfing (Canggu beach and Ecco beach), we spent our first evenings visiting Kuta in the south and Tanah Lot Temple in the north. Both were small rides from our basecamp, although the traffic was awful at some points, specially in Kuta.
In Kuta we were a bit disappointed, because we felt it was a bit too much touristic. Keep in mind it was not high-season and we already noted this fact. It seems to me that the city, the main tourist attraction according to conventional guides, has grown into a marketplace for foreigners and lost its essence. It has a huge white sand beach, lots of nightlife options, western bars / restaurants (Starbucks, McDonalds, Hard Rock, etc.) and not that many things to visit.
We moved around the city centre, which is mainly a couple of streets filled with souvenir shops. As it was our first day, we just took note because it seemed a good place to buy some mementos when it was time to say goodbye… In the last days of our stay we went back and successfully bought our souvenirs and also had a blast in the biggest aqua park of Asia, the #3 in a worldwide rank. Waterbom Bali. It was a fun morning, so if you don’t have a better plan you gotta check it out.
So Kuta was OK, but it wasn’t what we were expecting to find on the island to start our holidays. We wanted less tourism and more locals around. Surfing was, nevertheless, making up for everything. The weather too was extremely good to us. It was supposed to be rainy season, but not a single shower made an appearance (Climate change, el Niño and all of that stuff… bad for the sustainability of the island, though).
A temple of land and sea
The second afternoon we visited the Tanah Lot Temple. It was definitely better and more traditional. The village was nice and the temple was unconventional. In Bali, though, you can’t visit religious places like you would do in Europe.
You have to be a devout in order to get in, and it seemed to us that only monks were allowed to get inas a standard. Anyway, Tanah Lot was great, a rock in the middle of the sea. With low tide, you could walk the surroundings and, with high tide, the temple was circled by the ocean.
There were many visitors, but the sensations were fresher than in Kuta. At least it was blue and green, with no traffic jams and no locals trying to sell us anything for a dime. The art market and warungs (local food bars) next to the attraction are also a nice visit.
As a side note, I was specially drawn by the recurrent contrasts found there. Next to the temple, for example, was a luxurious resort with a huge golf course. You could say that a long ball could hit the monks and break their peaceful meditation… But Bali, in the end, is a massified tourist destination and most of its citizens life depends on that.
IV - Padang-Padang, or love at first sight
Three days in, we were still making ourselves comfortable in the island. We had a decent morning session on our first 24 hours in Canggu and some good sunset rides the day after. Our arms were sore, but our faces drew a broad smile already. Bali was very different from everything we had seen before, both of us. Maybe Marc was more used to the scorching weather, since he’d been in Panama and Costa Rica a while ago.
Sun was a constant during the whole trip, and the 32º celsius too. After enjoying the pleasures of our first accommodation, we were ready for more action, for discovering something less manufactured, a more faithful version of Indonesia itself. Kuta was quite a disappointment, since it was a tourist driven city. Canggu was quite good, but still close to the main cities and thus, with not that many places to be amazed by the natural richness of the country.
Go for the waves and you’ll be fine
We thought that, since we mainly travelled to Bali for the waves, it was time to discover the best of them. If you check around, you’ll see that the Bukit peninsula is the cream of the crop. So we hired a driver –another must in this trip, and very cheap and easy to be honest– and headed to Padang Padang, the southwest destination for surfers all around the world.
Just by entering the peninsula, the vibe was pretty different. The roads became smaller and less crowded. We noted that our car didn’t have heater, the aircon was just cold. “Yup, what is cold weather anyway, right?”, would say any balinese to us. Talking about cars, these were slimmer than in Europe and also a bit higher (Random fact: looked alike my funny Agila).
After a long drive, we arrived to our destination, which was quite unique and unknown, even for the nice balinese guy that brought us. He had to ask to the locals, and after looking around, we found a long back alley to true paradise. The car left us with all of our stuff, which was considerable putting both surfboards and backpacks, at the top of a cliff.
Our house, in the middle of the sea
Some painted surfboards lead the way. Down this way! Welcome to Buffalo Guest House! After a steep set of stairs we found the place, a little bamboo house with five rooms squeezed in between the rocks and just in front of the sea. It was love at first sight, we would end up staying for four days and three nights, with the sea as our background track. The room was neat, the beds comfy and the sights unbeatable.
In front of us, a couple stairs down from our new dorm, we had three famous waves to test the following days. Padang-Padang, Impossibles and Bingin, all of them mighty lefts. I was lucky about that, since I’m goofy and not very good with my backhand skills. My friend, a regular, was fine anyway. He’s good with both and surely improved his lefts.
The natural richness of our new environment made us really feel on the other side of the world, and after a good surf session in Padang-Padang we made ourselves confortable at the terrace to enjoy another crazy sunset. There is an art to it, to take the time to watch the sun go down on the horizon. In our contemporary lives we never take time to acknowledge these little things that make life much more interesting and bright. I definitely was amazed on a daily basis around 5 and 7 p.m.
The following day we decided we would go for the big one. We grabbed another scooter –they cost between 3 and 5 euros per day and to fill the tank is about 1.5€–, stuck our surfboards on the rack and headed to Uluwatu beach, one of the most celebrated waves around and one of the most beautiful places on all the trip.
Surfing in cliffs, caves and temples
The beach was a cave on the bottom of a huge cliff. On the way down, great restaurants and some local shops created an animated atmosphere, touristic but not in a bad way like in Kuta, for instance. The steps were steep, but the sights were magic. Definitely, you need to hang for a day or two in there without looking at the wristwatch for timing.
To top that, of course, the waves were probably the best we would find on the whole trip. We did two sessions and the last day, before going to the airport, we repeated to end the Bali experience on the highest of notes.
After another long surf sesh of more than 3 hours we ate stuff (always good and low-priced, I’ll do a post on that in the future), got some rest at our base camp and went a bit further down the road to check out Uluwatu Temple.
Again, the sunset there was huge and we also discovered the evil but cute monkeys surrounding the area.
The little fellas had a thing for (sun)glasses and we saw them stealing and eating one from a tourist. Another one went for the shoes of a frightened kid. The thing is to wear the least on you and avoid showing mobile phones, caps or sunnies to the monkeys. Otherwise it is just fine and you can enjoy them doing silly things. I’d call it the Temple of the Apes.
We had to cover our legs to respect the gods and tradition and we walked around. There is not much to it, but you can watch the devotes do their offerings, which is something I couldn’t see in other temples. Most islanders are hindus, but they combine their main religion with traces of buddhism in a unique mix which to me translated into sympathy, good will and a sense of security amongst strangers.
Sunday funday (aka party time)
We went at 9:30p.m. to Single Finn restaurant, which has the best views over the Uluwatu beach (as seen in the gif above). It is a sunset celebration that runs only in Wednesday and Sundays. The place is huge and has three zones. It was crowded with aussies and russians, since they were the only ones on holiday leave on January.
To end our stay in the beautiful west Bukit peninsula area I convinced Marc to go partying a bit. He didn’t give a fuck, that’s why. Anyway, we had fun in our only acceptable night out in the island –we didn’t plan on much partying, so we were fine with it–.
The atmosphere was great, with beautiful girls all around, not a trace of reggaeton music and two different music areas. Tech and Deep house (my favs) on the terrace, with the sea at the bottom, and live rock music inside. Prices were fine, specially for a couple of Bintangs and the entrance fee was non-existent. We didn’t stay as long as I would’ve liked, but the party finished around 1 a.m. nonetheless.
We met some nice people and headed back to our surfstay. Sleeping time and the heart of the island was expecting us next! (I bet Bali has some of the best parties, specially in European summer time, when the island is probably packed with young people).
V - The heart of an island
Heeeere we are again. I’ve been working too much and that’s why it’s been a while since my last travel journal post.
We left our story in the beautiful beaches of the Bukit peninsula and we rescue it just in time to get moving again! Now, it’s time to rest a bit from surfing and sunbathing…
After a few days killing it at Uluwatu and Padang-Padang we hired another friendly driver and went to the centre of Bali, the heart of the island. The promises of it? Green, lots of green all around us. Nature and less tourist impact, volcanoes and more monkeys. Next stop: Ubud. 2.5h
How animal dump becomes a Balinese delicatessen…
On our way up, our driver suggested to stop by some coffee shop, one of the treats in balinese culture. Since I do love a good sip of caffeine on a daily basis, we went for it. It was definitely something prearranged between the two local parts. I’d guess the driver received a comission for having us there. It was great, but a cup of Luwak coffee –which is a variant in which a lemur-like animal eats the bean and ‘shits it out’ and gives it a special flavour (yeah, I know…)– was quite expensive.
Anyway, we had a tour of these coffee farms, as I would define them. There were animals, luwaks of course, and many locals showing off products. The taste was free except for the cup of luwak coffee. It was tasty and different, but 50k rupees for not that much. (3.5€) Nothing for our pockets, but still overpriced for what the island usually offered. Although we never got scammed, the following days we had a bittersweet experience with another local yet (I’ll get on this afterwards).
Epicenter of Balinese culture and tradition
Ubud was enchanting from the beginning. Away from the beach, the tourists were scarce although many business still relished on that. It was a different sort of vibe, more cultural, traditional and natural overall. Surrounded by green rice terraces and palm trees in every direction, the city was full of artists, handicrafters and devotees.Every alley led to some special corner and the experience of walking around the city was an adventure itself: admiration and surprise.
Every door was built as if it was a temple. We needed to walk around for some time before realising that each house (which equals a whole family living in there: grandpas, parents, sons etc.) had its own beautiful artistic entrance. Imagine living in a place that has the looks of a temple. I’m not religious, but I found that quite relaxing (zen mode).
Our hotel there was an upgrade from the previous ones. It was the most luxurious one, it had aircon (not a good idea from a health perspective), a beautiful swimming pool and king-size beds. We even negotiated the price down easily to meet our estimates. I particularly loved a small pavilion structure (I googled it and it’s called a ‘gazebo‘, so there you go, you’ve learned something today) planted in the middle of a pond, a perfect place to chill after a long day of walking up and down the city.
Bewildered by nature and rice
The city was great, but the surrounding areas were even better. We had two things in mind for our only full 24 hours on the heart of the island: visit the rice terraces and the volcano. It was a bumpy ride and my bottom was a bite sore by the end of the day, but it was worth every minute. We headed to Tegalalang, small village in the middle of nowhere.
The heat lowered a bit on our way up, since our first stop was in the same direction as the volcanoes of the island. So we were cooler by the time we got there.
A single road,kilometres of it and, in all directions, rice terraces. We took more steps down (many steps on the whole trip) and we found ourselves on the greener paradise I’ve ever seen.
Palm trees here and there, rice fields and terraces everywhere. Some locals working the land, few tourists and small paths to unknown spots. We wandered around for two hours, fascinated by the engineering of rice plantations. Exhausted, we couldn’t believe the balinese had to carry sacks of rice and weeds in those steep and narrow paths.
I would say that raising rice is an art that requires mastery and, moreover, loads of energy. Manual labor is something forgotten in our countries, but it has its magnetism.
I’m trying to find more words for it, but in this case, pictures say it all.
Volcanoes, police and ‘friendly’ scams
After a quick break for water, since the heat went up again, we took our scooter for the hardest test yet. Going uphill, en route to the volcano area. Before getting to the island, some friends tipped us about police corruption and other tricky Bali surprises. So we heard the officers might require us to pay an extra quid to go around if caught, specially without the international driving license. Anyway, my pal had it so we were apparently fine on that.
Nonetheless, going up we crossed paths with a very considerate local that made us stop and convinced us that there were police controls ahead. We thought we were fine, but the man had its ways and got us to believe in him. After more than a week on the island, all we had learned was that its population was amiable and helpful in every possible way.
A few kilometres ahead, we saw the police control and stopped before getting in sight of the officers. According to the guy, they would try to charge us 50 US$ for nothing more than reaching the volcanoes. We were two dudes on a bike, so we thought there was no danger in trying the local way.
We made an U-turn and went down the road to find the rural paths. Our guy offered himself to guide us to the volcanoes and asked us in exchange to go to his mama’s restaurant. He was right about the police, so we took the risk (which didn’t seem risky at all in that moment). We ran out of gas, but took one of the ‘Absolut refills’ in a local store (they put petrol in all kinds of recipients there, funny stuff).
The ‘alternative’ road was crazy for a scooter and we suffered a bit for our health. Potholes were the least of our problems. Huge ascents on muddy roads, narrow as our bike and the weight of the two of us for a 100cc motorcycle was a challenge. He helped us, carried me in the tricky parts and, after an hour taking the back alleys in the middle of the woods, we reached the valley of Lake Batur. We skipped the tourist control(they try to make you pay random taxes for getting to places, as well as parking spots) and our new friend parked us in front of the promised restaurant.
A local place, with local food. It seemed fine, it was good but the surprise came when getting the bill. The most expensive meal on the whole trip, and not the best by far. Yep, he was veeeeery kind and he knew what he was doing. We were a bit pissed off, but he convinced us previously to take a tour with him around the volcano area. He was an OK guide, but rushed a bit in our stops and didn’t really explain that much. He helped us, but at the same time took advantage of us, so we felt a bit bittersweet about the whole volcano thing.
The views were, apart form our little incident, mindblowing. Black vs. green and blue. The lake sat on the hillside of Mount Batur (1.717 metres), an active volcano that erupted for the last time in 2006. The devastation had erased villages and driven people away, but it had also a kind of powerful appeal. We went down by bike –we were having our own Dakar rally in there– and explored the area. The not so friendly dude showed us the rocks and different types of eruption, we moved around a bit but sunset was looming and we had to get going again.
Probably we would have loved another shot at the area, because the scooter adventure was exhausting and our local friend turned to be a money scavenger although his apparent help with the police and all. Definitely, a place to visit but knowing that even in Bali there are shades of corruption and some very good con artists. You’ll need more than a day and hiking to the top of the volcano (an activity that starts around 1 a.m. is a must we missed).
Monkey forest before our last stop
We had two days to get to know Ubud and the central Bali area. We wanted more volcanoes but our bodies were asking for the ocean again. So our last day in Ubud was focused on relaxing plus visiting Monkey Forest. The name says it all. A huge reserve in the middle of town full of monkeys, I’ll give pictures again, enough words for this post.
After another walk around town, we took our next driver to get back to the sea. Keramas, in the east, was our final destination with four days left for enjoying our Asian discovery.
P.D. In Ubud, it is recommended to take a massage session and going out for fancy dinners. Both of them are amongst the best in all the island, since the tourism there is more focused on spas and food experiences. No, there was no ‘happy ending’ and it’s not as common as we think…
VI - Last stop
With four days left, we headed to our last planned location in the eastern side of the island. Before arriving, we thought it would be the best for surfing but we were about to discover that, as everything in life, it was a relative prediction. Keramas was the place with no destination known, just a vague idea of a surfstay placed a few meters away from one of the most luxurious resorts on the whole island. Not for our pockets.
Black sand beaches and resorts
Feeling the dawn of our trip, we felt confident enough to master the art of haggling. After getting there in a 2h. drive, we found out the zone was the opposite of the western side (Canggu, Kuta and Padang-Padang) and had little life apart from the huge resorts. We settled in Nirmala Guest House, a pricy yet affordable surfer resort in which we were almost alone. 475.000 IDR for a night, they said. “Whoa, no way”, we thought.
So we bargained the price and left it at 350k. It was the most expensive overall (25€), but the whole place was for us. It had a restaurant, several private villas and a block of rooms. It was fully surf themed and assembled in the middle of rice fields. The beach was a 5 minute walk, and that was the first thing we checked out. Nice stuff.
I had no idea and it struck me. Black sand! I’ve seen it before in places like Tenerife, but the surprise was a small compensation for the waves we would miss the following days. Keramas is a world-class right that hides a painful reef underwater. When it breaks, it’s clean, fierce and long. Yet, although it was wet season and it was supposed to be there, it wasn’t breaking, at all. We could ride it one afternoon, small but smooth. And that was a wrap. We had to figure out other activities.
Luckily the warungs at the beach were nice. So we ate it over. Interesting places were nearby, so we could visit during our surf abstinence ending. We watched sunsets, walked with bare feet in the sand, practiced snorkelling and had fun at a water park.
Zero tourists and yoga classes
With no surfing ahead, visiting time doubled everyday. We slept longer ours and relaxed every afternoon at the nice swimming pool at the guest house. Aircon made us a bit sick, since the contrast going in-n-out the room was a challenge for our health system. The food and water, by the way, didn’t give us any problems during our whole stay.
In Gianyar and Semarapura we discovered the most original version of Bali. Both towns had zero tourist tracks and we felt alone in the middle of nowhere. Balinese locals were doing their thing and, for the first time, small kids got interested in our beards and other foreigner characteristics. One kept giving us the middle-finger and laughing, clearly joking with his pals because he knew the meaning. Curses are universal.
These towns looked old and rusty. The markets were authentic and raw, like the food. We saw a vendor with a rusted pig in the middle of the street –remember: cars and bikes pollute every inch of urban life there–, rotten fish (still for sale) and lots of flowers (I guess these were for cooking purposes we don’t know).
We also stumbled across some military event. We heard shouting and celebration. It seemed a graduation of sorts. We asked for a sneek peek but the guards told us to keep walking and to not record any of it. Too bad, it seemed interesting. We raised some eyebrows here and there and couldn’t even find the main attractions according to our guide. Chaotic streets and no signs whatsoever tangles every move around the places.
But that sort of wandering around suited our needs and we discovered nice places. A minaret in the center of Gianyar served as a patio for yoga classes. Lovely sight to see the locals with some spare time, something we didn’t quite see in the most touristic places, which seemed a 24/7 service station for tourists. In Semarapura we surprisingly missed a huge palace even though we tried to find it.
Instead we ended up in a huge plaza full of kids playing cricket, running around and some school boys doing PE. It seems like a thing there. To have big places for the community. Balinese people are close and homely. Between them and with foreigners as well, and it was one of the best parts of the whole trip.
The peaceful environment and the traditional values that stand in what we see as a poor society. The truth is the opposite: we are the poorer here.
More movement, after a surfing session and a scratch from the Keramas reef (a souvenir my ass still carries around), led us to Padangbai and Candidasa. The first one, a famous natural beach resort and home of the many ferrys to the Nusa islands.
What you see on the surface is vast and great, yet you haven’t visited Bali appropriately if you haven’t checked out what lies beneath. Our snorkelling experience in Padangbai was amazing. We booked the equipment in a local diver store and the dude phoned a local fisherman who gave us a ride in a traditional boat. Great stuff for little money.
We spent the next two hours chasing colourful fishes among the reefs. I never imagined they would have so many shapes, looks and sizes. The same thing applies to the coral.
After that we had a traditional meal, got in our bike and headed to Candidasa, where we found a coral beach. Literally. Beautiful. An awesome location for lovers and really away from all the noise and bustle from the tourist areas. A Peaceful drive-by for an hour or two. The sun was setting and we had to go back to our guest house. Lovely and packed day.
Back to our childhood
The second to last day before our flight back we returned to Kuta for something different. An aqua park like no other, or so they said. The third best in the whole planet and the number one in Asia. Waterbom Bali is the place to be… if you want to go back to your childhood.
We did and had fun for three hours before finishing exhausted and noticing we were not kids anymore. The attractions, though, surprised us a lot.
Vertical slides,crazy space shuttle sledges and a lot of waaaater. A bit expensive compared to the rest of what the island offers. I believe we spent more than 30 bucks each, but it was worth it to be honest.
Surprised after getting back some years, we spent the afternoon in the tourist capital doing… well, tourist stuff. We bought souvenirs to combine with a bit of coral we picked up the previous day and we were almost done with it. Our last dinner was an all-in bet at the expensive and luxurious resort (the one we were not staying in, of course). It was fine and not a killer for our pockets.
One last ride
Oh… It was all going to be over soon! The last day we packed early and hired a driver for the whole day. The plan: hit the waves for the last time. A perfect way to say goodbye. We changed sides again and went west to Uluwatu, the place that we kept in our minds when thinking about surf. Slish, slash and after a two hour session and lunch at the stunning Single Finn bar we headed to the airport…