31.07.2012 - 14.08.2012 30 °F
Not part of the plan, not that there has been since I left home but I decided to get a flight out to Bali, Indonesia and I am glad that I did. I only spent 2 weeks here but it seems I have been here for months. I stayed in Kuta in the 1st couple of nights but was glad to leave as I felt I was in Ibiza/Malaga and not Indonesia. I travelled towards a place called Ubud famously know for the location of the bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. The book depicts Ubud down to the ‘T’. Everyone is called Mayan, Wayan or Warian depending on the order of birth; everyone seems to be in the arts, painters, dancers or sculptors. It is a very quaint little village, small buildings, and luscious amount of greenery/rice fields, food being cooked and served in banana leaves. The houses look very grand, each with a central place for prayers, outside all shops and homes you will see offerings being hand made from bamboo sticks into intricate designs all adorned in bright flowers and food. My time in Bali I had met a cool French chick, Marie. We had chilled in Ubud before moving to Lovina to get some beach time. We met Lille and Liam both from England in Lovina and I couldn’t ask for such cool travellers. The most incredible views from our beach cabin in the early hours of the mornings watching sunrise while the moon will be in sight. We went to see the morning rush of dolphins before hitting an afternoon snorkelling in pristine, clean, clear waters. I absolutely loved the snorkelling experience as it was my 1st time, I saw incredible marine life from blue starfish, nemo, pufferfish, small sharks and bright colourful array of fish! Leaving Lovina we headed to the Gillimunk port of Bali and stayde a night there. We came across an amazing black beach which was used by the locals as a drag racing lol, sunset was out of this world!
Bali has a huge Hindu population whereas the surrounding islands like Lombok, Gilli and Java where mainly Muslims and you can definitely see changes when leaving Bali for Java. The offerings had stopped in replace for prayers which would be practiced between 3 or 4 times a day. The food stayed slightly the same apart form Java would have meat on the menu. Nasi Goreng has been a hit (fried rice and an egg) as well as Tanhu/Tapay which is like steamed/fried tofu, gado gado (steamed veg with very hot sauce that looks like creamy rice – don’t be fooled like me lol) and also satay
We were a bit apprehensive about entering as the bible – The Lonely Planet and the Balinese locals all told us to be careful of our belongings as there were a lot of thieves in Java and that it is a dangerous place. 45 minutes after leaving Bali we arrived in Java and we were greeted by huge smiles and very courtesy people. We stayed in the National Park Baluran where we were surrounded my nice looking but vicious monkeys but small hidden away gem with your own (more and less) private beach. You would hear stories about monkeys running away with your belongings and I just happened to be a victim. My nuts were stolen from me and then the story went out – within a few minutes the tree was surrounded by other monkeys trying to get hold of nuts from the thief lol. .
During the evenings there was not much to do as Java was in the middle of Ramandan. Food stalls would open in the evenings but that would be it. So we decided to go on the Bromo tour and what an experience. It must have been the best sunrise I have ever seen so far. The Bromo volcano itself just looks unreal and also scenically beautiful but the only downside was the amount of us tourist that filled up the space waaay too many – as it was a long day as we left for the sunrise at 3am and we returned back to our hotel at 9am (Marie sadly left us to go back home) for a 12 hour journey to Yogarkarta our last stop before we hit Malaysia. Arriving in the cultural district of Java (Jarkarta being the economic epicentre) we were looked after the locals by helping us to find a place to sleep in the early hours of the morning (and no they did not ask for any money). We were welcomed by a lovely family where the dad looked like Mr Miyagi and the mother looked like Mother Teresa. We believe they had a son who reminded us of ‘crouching tiger hidden dragon’ lol. Three in a room for 5 nights and 4 days we paid £7.60 each! Bargain! We rented out motorbikes where we got to see the outside of the main city which was great apart from the minor accident that I got involved which was nursed by a couple of Bintangs I did come across a restaurant that served Cobra and Python for their speciality dishes which were priced very cheaply at a £3.60 per dish! Early nights, early mornings comprised by food throughout the day with a spot of window shopping, and a lot of laughter was how rolled. I had an amazing time thanks to Lille, Liam and Marie…not forgetting Mr Miyagi / Mother Teresa.