Monday, November 3, 2014

Kuta, Bali, or the place I got a terrible sunburn

Dinner on our first night in Bali!

I got back from Bali about a week ago, but was stricken with what is apparently known as "Bali Belly" and was uncomfortably ill for about a week, which was unfortunate. Now that I have recovered and am no longer (in my mind) dying of a tropical parasite or worms, I will write my first of a couple blogs about Bali! This specific one will be about our first 3 days!

My friend Hye Jin, who's a travel agent and knows the area, and I decided to go to Bali for my vacation. Apart from 2 days off when Grant and Adrienne were here, I hadn't taken any vacation time since last August. I wanted to use my vacation before I leave (in 3 weeks! ack!). So, off to Bali we went!

We took a flight at the decent hour of 11AM, so we were able to sleep until a normal hour. the only problem was that in my excitement, my body decided sleep wasn't necessary. Then, it got to the point that I was nervous I wouldn't wake up because it was so late. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep.

The flight there was uneventful. The baby in front of me waved at me for hours and kept trying to hold my hand. I caught up on a couple movies I hadn't seen, read my book and took a quick nap.

We did not crash, which was my mother's biggest worry. Most likely due to the fact that I told her we'd be flying Garuda Airlines, which she wasn't familiar with. And when she asked about their safety record, I told her they'd had 77 crashes in the last 12 months. I picked that number because it was an obviously exaggerated and false number, but that did not stop her from believing me.

We arrived in Bali around 5PM and went through the gigantic customs line and left the airport around 6:30.
The escalator that went into our hotel!
Also, I don't know why this picture is on
right. My formatting is going crazy. 

I would like to take this time to point out that on the immigration card it says, "Death penalty for drug traffickers under Indonesian law." Piper Kerman, in her book "Orange is the New Black" was in Bali with her partner, who was a drug smuggler. I feel like the death penalty should be enough to deter you from smuggling drugs, but apparently not. It alarmed me and it wasn't even something I should be alarmed about!

Anyway, once we were finally through immigration, we headed to our hotel that we only stayed in that night.

It is honestly amazing that were were not in a car accident in Bali. It is also amazing that we didn't witness a car accident. There is so much weaving and crowding and motorcycles that can drive anywhere and passing people on 2 lane roads! It was alarming. But, luckily, I am alive to tell the tale of our trip.

It was our not-fancy hotel, but it was really nice! It had an escalator leading into the lobby, a lovely pool and roof. The service in Bali is great, everywhere you go! Everyone is very kind and very willing to help you, which is great. I will get to the service a bit later.

We headed out to dinner at a restaurant that is supposedly famous. It was good food, but I get the impression that it was only famous for Korean people. I got fried rice which was good.

At this point, I was able to immediately see that Kuta, the town we were in, was pickpocket city, confirmed later by a few people I know who have been pick-pocketed there. I did not get pick-pocketed but it did make me a bit uneasy and I was not sure how I felt about Bali at this point. We walked around a bit that night then headed back to the hotel.

We got a massage, which involved them scrubbing my feet, which unfortunately for my massage therapist, is not a good idea for my feet. At one point during the massage, I saw her look at my feet in alarm. I felt a bit offended, because my feet aren't that disgusting.

That is, until I returned to the hotel and noticed the rather large piece of dead skin that was just hanging off my food. Whoops. That poor woman.

The massage was quite relaxing and wonderful.

The next morning, we ate breakfast on the roof, which was a strange mix of Western breakfast food (cereal, croissants, eggs, bacon, chocolate milk) and Indonesian food (fried rice, noodles etc). I tried a bit of everything and enjoyed the lovely rooftop view!

We walked around Kuta that morning. It was a much friendlier place in the daytime and I was not quite as alarmed as the night before.

This is the area around our hotel.

However, I forgot to wear sunscreen for 1 hour.

In just 1 hour, it looked like I'd been living on the surface of the sun. and I was wearing a t-shirt so I had a farmer's tan. And my purse strap made it even more asymmetrical. And there's also a lovely forehead line where the sun refuses to permeate my hair. (Today, 12 days after that burn, my arms are still peeling.)

I failed to take into consideration the fact that I was basically on the equatorial line. I will never make that mistake again.

Those taxis were quite common! Hye Jin got a Korean speaking guide/taxi to drive us around for the time we were there, so I never had to risk transportation, which was nice.

This is the memorial for the terrorist attack in 2002.

Some street art. There was a lot of it!

While Indonesia is primarily an Islamic country, Bali is primarily Hindu, which is evidenced by various shrines and temples all over the island.
Warning! Your tired will be FLATTEN!

This is the wall lining Kuta Beach.

We walked along the beach. I stepped in the water quite a bit, which was a little colder than I was expecting. Hye Jin doesn't know how to swim, unfortunately, so was reluctant to step in the water. Occasionally, the water came up a bit higher than I was expecting, so by the time we left, my pants were soaked. I saw one woman standing gracefully in the water then get knocked completely on her back. The waves were pretty strong, hence the surfers.

This man was walking his pet monkey, who was adorable but not happy about the water touching him. Every time the water reached him, he'd leap up the leg of his owner and cling to him. Poor guy.

There were a lot of surfers out that day. and a lot of tourists. I guess October is the hot season in Bali. I believe it. It was realllllly hot.

This was a group of lifeguard trainees. The ones swimming out with the yellow floaties were "rescuing" the other people who were dramatically yelling "HELP! HELP!" and then laughing. It was pretty funny to watch.

They had A&W! I didn't go, but they had it! Next to a KFC. And a Ralph Lauren store. Bali is pretty touristy, especially in Kuta.
Here I am in front of a fancy hotel.

This was also in front of the fancy hotel.

This was an interesting juxtaposition.
The main entrance to Kuta Beach.

We walked around a very pretty mall for a little bit.

They had a flip-flop vending machine. The flip-flops were about 12 dollars, which was a bit excessive.

We walked over to a restaurant to eat lunch.
The restaurant was beautiful! It had a lovely garden and delicious food. We sat near another American couple who I enjoyed talking to. They've been everywhere! They are retired and seem to spend all their time traveling SE Asia and Australia, which seems amazing. My ideal retirement.

Those leaves were huge!
The pretty menu. The restaurant is called Poppies.

We ordered a set, which had a large variety of Balinese/Indonesian food that was delicious and satay, which are essentially kebabs that you dip in peanut sauce.

I could eat only peanut sauce for the rest of my life. But I won't, because then I'd weigh a lot.

We then headed back to our hotel to pick up our stuff and head to our next hotel. I was going to include that hotel in this blog, but it is a lot longer than I was intending! So, that will be my next blog. Coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous pictures - I want to go there - NOW - I would use sunscreen and buy a monkey