27th May – 7th June
We arrived in Bali late on the 7th and got a taxi straight to the hotel. Greeted with a cold wet towel and glass of OJ which was needed after the sweaty flight!! Our air bnb was in Seminyak which I discovered was a popular place for Surfing. More on that later.
First day we headed straight to the beach, where I was surprised to see some huge waves crashing on the beach front. We both got body boards first of all. I’d never surfed before so wanted to gauge the waves. Knarley dude. Body boarding was fun. When you caught a wave out in the sea it carried you the whole way. I was itching to get a surf board. The sand was different, it was dark brown and very, very sticky. Washing it off in the shower was like battling a demon down the drain. Something out of a horror movie. The weather was cloudy the first day so after trying to catch what rays there was, we decided to call it a day and head back so we could get ready and go out for some food.
We found a little local warung restaurant, which means family owned, not a tourist in site. We ordered some roti bread and a mutton curry. Really nice Indonesian food, similar flavours to an Indian Curry. Cheap as chips as well which I can’t say for a lot of places in the area. I knew my arse would be on fire in the morning but it was worth it. Because of travelling so late the day before and an early start we decided to just have a few drinks and head back. Luckily the TV had English movies on. Where we were drinking was cool, they had live music on singing all sorts of Classics. They even whacked out P-diddy, every step you take. You know the one, it’s about biggie. There was also a weird Chinese reality show type thing being filmed. Not the first time we have been on the international screens as extras. (If you remember our first night in Bangkok.)
Took a stroll up the beach for some lunch and where we were eating the waiter asked where we were from, I told him Manchester and his reply was ” that guy too” pointing to a man sat on his ones. I needed some salt and pepper for my food and on route asked him where about he was from in Manchester, he said “place called Baguley if you’ve heard of it.” small world ey. John his name and travelling solo was his game. He originally came with friends but decided to stay longer. We had a good chat about Wythenshawe and how nice it is! Went our separate ways then me and Becki headed back to get ready for a night of Mexican food. The chef was the waiter as well doing it all on his own and it was tasty, so left him a nice tip.Next day I was determined to stand up on the board. And I did time and time again. We got the GoPro out and you guessed it. Didn’t manage it. Put the GoPro away and was pro surfer again. Went back to the same spot for lunch and saw John again, we invited him to join us for dinner. We were heading to a Lebanese joint. Hummous and kebabs, one of my favourite meals. So that was enough surfing for the time being. In the morning we were heading 30km up to a place called Ubud known for its yoga vibes, eco-friendly shops and vegetarian delights.
Monkeying around in Ubud
We ordered an über, yes they have uber. It cost us about £7.50 for an hours ride. I can see why the local taxis hate. They try rip you off anyway. But not Becki. She’s a tough cookie when it comes the haggling. Ubud is great, although the traffic is a bit mad, the life style is a nice slow pace. Very religious country, majority Hindu, the temples are buzzing every night with music and activity. They bless their shops and business everyday with an offering and incense everywhere, I later found out it was a blessing to the dark spirits to keep them happy which I though was interesting. We stumbled across the Yoga Barn on our first day. Which I’d heard of, so we decided to check it out. They offered all sorts of classes like mediation, sound healing and free community talks. We took a schedule so we could plan our week.
On the first night we drove past the Monkey Forrest on the edge of town, a monkey jumped over the wall and ran across the road. I did not expect it, I thought it was a chicken. We returned the next day to spend half the day in the Forrest feeding the monkeys bananas and getting our picture with them. I’ve never been so close to monkeys it was a cool experience, one I know my mum would be jealous of. We saw one monkey pee on a guys shoulder, Becki offered him a wet wipe. It was funny, I was just glad it wasn’t me! So many little babies too. Cute. Had to be careful because they would steal anything from you, cheeky monkey!
After 4 days in ubud the next stop was Canggu which is a bit up the coast from Seminya, we got another uber down. Stayed in another air bnb which was a beautiful villa with various private individual rooms. Our bath room was huge, needed a step to get in the bath and the toilet like a throne. Pool was nice as well. First day we arrived we met up with a girl I met in Cambodia. A real life hippie with a hula hoop and everything. Philly is lovely and her presence makes you want to smile. Amazing energy. She was suppose to be leaving that day to go ubud but decided to stay few more days. We started out in s very fancy beach bar called finns. Weird system. Minimum spend was 400,000 rupiah for a bean bag or bed. About £25 maybe. And as back packers we didn’t want to spend that. Instead we were shafted to the pauper section with wooden stools, that was minimum 100,000 spend. Two beers. Anywhere else that’s four beers. Pool was nice though so took advantage of that. That evening we were sat further down the beach at a place called hidden beach bar. Bean bags were free if you were drinking there. Prices much better too and reggae vibes on the speaker. Philly was in her element.
The waves were massive again. Bigger than they were in Seminyak and rip tide was stronger. We were sat chilling and small dog got washed away by the waves, don’t know where it came from but by automatic reaction was to run about 50m from the bean bag to rescue it. The owner was also trying to grab it and it seemed she gave up but a lass the little shit resurfaced and she grabbed him. As this was going on a medium sized dog was getting caught up in the high tide so again being the hero I grabbed the back of his neck. The little shit bit me. Probably just confused but had to have a stitch. It was a pet of some western folk and they assured me he was up to date with his jabs so they bought me a shot out of gratitude. Some for the wound and the rest for me.So no more swimming for me, still the next few days were super chill. Philly introduced us to a friend she met at her hostel. He is a healer from India and I could of listened to him all day. I was well interested in his work. His methods were sound healing reike, yoga and various other holistic approaches. We had few drinks and a few games of ping pong and people in that community would recognise him and want to shake his hand but he remained humble. Amazing energy again.
My favourite night was in Bwana kitchen which was like an outdoor space with various food stalls/buildings offering all different types of food. On the last night they had two acoustic guitars on playing all sorts from Marley to the Killers and Johnny Cash. Guss, looked after us and made sure we had drinks and everything we needed. Even when a large group came in and took up a lot of their time making cocktails. He always ensured we were sorted. The place summed the vibe up quite nicely in Bali. I will be returning soon!
Until next time.
Peace and love.