HIYA! As previously mentioned in my ‘Happy New Year’ post, I went to Bali in November to meet Hanna (Swenton – this is where I gave her the name) for the first time in 13 months since I left England for Aus. I flew alone from Darwin (only a 2 and a bit hour flight – Newcastle to Ibiza – easy peasy) but sat next to John – HIYA JOHN, a retired Aussie who had the life of Riley. He literally didn’t stop talking from the moment he plonked his backside down beside me to the minute he left to get his baggage. I welcomed the chit chat though as I was totally giddy about getting there and I find it hard to stay quiet at the best of times. Me and John got along just nicely and he even bought me my first Bintang on the plane (beer – I hate beer). I drank it anyway just to be nice, and the fact that it was alcohol after all.
Anyway… I was travelling very light, with only a backpack (the lightest I have ever travelled before, FYI) so I swanned straight through to the busy arrivals area. There were loads of people there and I heard Hanna before I saw her! As I described in my previous post, she was absolutely mortal!! Apparently all she’d had all day was 2 apples and several bottles of wine – it was 9.30pm when I met her…you do the math! It was mint to see her. Leila, Hanna’s friend from Leeds came too…all the way to Bali from England for a week the crazy cat! I had a lot of catching up to do (wine wise).
Kuta. My friend from Perth; Scottish Nicola (Tooey – I told you about 2A in my Perth post) was there waiting for us. She had never met Hanna or Leila and had the pleasure of meeting them for the first time when they were out of their heads on wine! LOL! Our little bungalow at the Maya Guesthouse was so cute and being the Asia virgin, I couldn’t believe we got it for like $8 each, which included a canny little breakfast! We didn’t really have a plan so didn’t book anywhere to stay other than this first night. We thought it would be best to wing it – and it worked out just lovely! I also couldn’t believe that when I first walked into the bungalows, there was a guy sitting at the little bamboo bar who only happened to be from Washington – right beside me at home in England! What are the chances?! We had a bit of the usual Geordie/Mackem banter (he brought it up straight away – I obviously won).
We didn’t end up heading out till after midnight; after searching the streets for alcohol (this is when I realised the only easily available drink was BEER – urgh) and getting ready. We had to walk down an alley to get to the main street and there were absolutely loads of mopeds flying past us – one little shit on one of them tried grabbing Leila’s bag from her but luckily she had it across her body. The thieving swines did tear her top completely in half in the process though. Wankers! Also coming out of the club, I caught two locals with their hands in Hanna’s bag trying to steal her passport. I was drunk at this point so they got the wrath of Lairy Moses! I will not be returning to Kuta, that’s for sure! For a night out anyway…
Even though I’d came from a sweltering Darwin, Bali seemed to be on the next level of humidity. It was unbearable and I swear I’ve never felt anything like it before. Even my sweat was sweating! I also thought whilst I was in the comfort of my air conditioned room, that I’d not wear a bra with the dress I chose (hey I’m on me holidays) but I ended up with sweat patches on my lilac dress under my boobs. LUSH! I was too hot to care by the end of it. We went to Sky Garden – apparently THE place to go in Kuta. Reeeally?????? Now I don’t know if I’m just too old now or if I’ve been spoilt for night life in Newcastle, Amsterdam, Ibiza etc.. but my god, Sky Garden did not entertain me at all. There was no happy medium – you either had to sweat your tits off (literally) on the roof top bar where the decent(ish) music was, or go down into the main club with lush air con but the WORST music playing. As you’ve probably guessed from my embarrassing sweat patches, we decided to stay on the roof. Music wins.
The next morning after very little sleep we got a taxi to Seminyak, which was an hours drive away. All four of us had to cram in the back because everyone (apart from little me) had a huge suitcase and they all couldn’t fit in the boot. So one had to have the front seat. I was silent for the majority of the way because either car sickness, a Redbull hangover (stupid stupid Jager bombs), or a deadly mixture of both, kicked in big time! By the time we got to the hotel, I was grey and looking like a plucked chicken covered in goosebumps. Luckily the traditional Balinese fried rice dream, Nasi Goreng, cured me. Thank God!
Seminyak – We found the hotel ‘Grandma’s’ online that morning and it was another good find – modern, clean, good location, wifi and free breakfast. We booked for 2 nights here. Within an hour of feeling myself (I love you Nasi Goreng), we were on the beach and back on the Bintangs (yes I hate them but it’s nice to join in). We had a lush (and silly) day on the beach despite being hounded by absolutely everyone selling everything that could ever be sold EVER. We had a laugh with most of them and being the total empath that I am, I ended up buying something off pretty much every one! Never mind, at least I made them happy!
That night we headed to La Plancha on the beach for sunset and some food. I was in no mood to have a mad one. I was feeling the affects from only 2 hours sleep and an afternoon of beers and bloat! La Plancha was the perfect place for me. Totally chilled and it had that safe and cosy feel about it despite being on the beach. We stayed for a couple of hours and watched the sunset over the ocean. Sunsets are definitely one of my most favouritest things ever in the world! Afterwards I took myself for a massage in the hotel’s spa (I am seriously addicted to massages FYI). The spa was sooo nice! I was given some black paper knickers to wear and settled on the table for the next hour. It was a really good massage; perfect pressure and she got out my knots, but when she turned me over, she rubbed my bare boobs for what felt like ages! I know its just normal (I hope) but it still felt a bit weird. I was going to go back in the morning for some reflexology but decided against it when I realised that I’d left my actual knickers there once I’d left. I’m sure this sort of thing happens all the time! *Hands over face* We treat ourselves to a manicure together the next day (and another massage for me – seriously, I’m addicted). We felt like the Sex and the City girls. Although I’m sure their polish wouldn’t come off the day after.
Ubud – Our next destination and a two hour drive from Seminyak. I got front seat in the car this time, since I’m partial to a bit of back seat travel sickness. I was feeling refreshed after two days of chilling and curing my sleep deprivation in Seminyak but that was soon cut short when we ended up driving around Ubud for an extra hour looking for the place we had booked. The poor driver had us all over the place and in the middle of nowhere. In the end we gave up on the search and booked into the first place we saw in the town centre, Puri Garden Hotel, for 2 nights. We were completely fed up with being in the car! The hotel was lovely, although the rooms were definitely due a refurbishment, and 2A had the pleasure of sharing a big four poster bed with me and an open bathroom area. It’s a good job I don’t care about certain things, all toilet trips, showers were done in front of her. I have no shame.
Ubud is so beautiful! So green, peaceful and quaint. Definitely one of my favourite places! We went to the Monkey Forest where I pushed a very touristy looking large man in front of me because one of the monkeys skitzed out and tried to attack us! Well I’m sure it was trying to attack us; it was bearing it’s HUGE scary looking teeth anyway! Me and Swenton shit ourselves and ran away! I apologised to the man for my actions in my moment of panic. I almost wet myself laughing a bit later on once I’d became a bit more comfortable around them. We saw them fighting, humping, stealing… One even bit 2A! (Not bad though, just in a ‘stop stroking me man’ way). So glad I got some video footage of this! They’re so funny!!
We also went on a full day tour of the temples, rice fields and the volcano with our very own personal driver, Wayan. What a hero he was! Unfortunately, he didn’t walk and talk us around the places so we learned absolutely nothing about the history of them, which I would have liked, but they looked splendid nonetheless! We had a mint day. The four of us and my selfie stick. We took many many edgy photos this day too. You know the ones where you look the other way but on purpose for the picture? I’m the master of taking these photos #Edgy. We were that sad to name the day ‘An Exquisite Edgy Expedition’.
Wayan was even wise enough to know that us growing girls would require a big feed and he took us to a buffet restaurant at the top of a mountain that overlooked the volcano, Mount Batur. So nice!! Obviously we took full advantage of the unlimited food and filled ourselves to the brink of vomiting. Standard. And of course, we had a Binny to wash it down and celebrate the magnificent view we had the pleasure of. You’d think I would start liking them after guzzling like 100 over the 10 days I was there. No, I definitely don’t.
We finished off our little trip to Ubud by going to the palace and watching the traditional Balinese dancing. Well it was definitely interesting, and weird. In fact, it made me feel a little weird. They move their eyes and fingers in very strange isolated ways! And the things that came out were just odd!! A man dressed as a monkey hopping around a big dragon? It was no Dirty Dancing and after an hour it got kind of boring so we bailed. I felt pretty bad considering we were at the very front row, but I was hungry!! I was pretty sad to leave Ubud and gutted that we only had 2 nights there. I’m definitely going to go back with Little Chrissy and see and do more.
Uluwatu – We had such a good day with Wayan that we booked him again to take us to Uluwatu. Another 2 hour drive. CRIPES! I’d found us a place, Satria Bungalows, the night before and it was my fave place that we stayed at! First of all, there was Joany. A young 21 year old guy who looked after the place. He was soooooo nice; very friendly, helpful, cute and just all round canny! My Little Joany (My Little Pony), or Joany Blair, or Joany Playstation soon became pet names for him (not to his face though). We also had 2 cats!!! Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a crazy cat lady, so I was buzzing! They were called Joe and Gee and had the biggest balls I have ever seen on a cat! Really canny cats. We had outdoor ‘jungle’ showers at the back of our rooms too – I loved these! The wifi also worked really really well (it was the first place that allowed me Facetime Little Chrissy). Aw I just loved it! Surely I’ve sold it to you now?? EVERYONE GO AND STAY WITH LITTLE JOANY!!!Joany’s place! Lush!
Anyway, as soon as we got there, tanorexic Swenton was straight in a bikini to catch the rays. She tried to get into the pool, but misjudged the step and we just saw her fall arse over tit, head first into the pool! HAHA!!! Typical Hanna Fenton and her spaghetti limbs! A definite highlight of the whole trip. After pissing ourselves laughing at the expense of Swenton for a good hour, we decided to head down to the beach, and on our way we somehow ended up jumping in the back of a kind man’s ute who gave us a lift. Random! There were looooooads of steps leading down to the beach and I couldn’t walk down one set because they were so narrow and steep! I hate heights! After drawing unwanted attention to myself and being called a puff, I finally plucked up the courage and slowly shimmied down them. Baahhhh.. I still get dizzy when I think of them! The beach was a small secluded caved area and we got there pretty late on in the day and the tide was coming in thick and fast! So we resorted to a walk up the cliffs and stopped for a, you’ve guessed it, a Bintang…and food (I walked down them stupid scary stairs for nothing)! Several hours later and about 7 Binny’s down each, we watched the sunset. The bar we were at was on the cliff edge overlooking the ocean. Gorgeous view! Once again, I was nothing but bloated from the Bintangs but everyone else seemed to be tipsy! *sigh*
We coincidentally came to Uluwatu on the same day the annual night surfing competition was happening. Good timing! We went to Single Fin; a cool bar/club that is also built in the cliff face. It was pretty packed and we watched the surfing (for all of 10/20 minutes anyway). I continued to drink Bintangs into the night too for some silly reason. I think I probably sank around 20 this day/night…and while everyone else seemed to be mortal, I felt NOTHING! I just wanted to go to bed and sleep off my bloat. I could have slept on a chicken’s lip! Despite looking like a boring person, I was approached by an extremely bright light, camera and a lady with a microphone. She wanted to interview me about the surfing (wrong person to ask but I went along with it anyway)…Woman(ever so enthusiastically in an American accent): “Heyyyyyy! So where are you from?” Me: “The Toon, England.” Woman: “Wow you’ve came all this way to catch the surfing!” Me: “Ahhhhh yeah!!!! I LOVE surfing! I’ve travelled so far!” 2A joined in with the exaggerated enthusiasm for a while and we had our 5 minutes of fame! We went to Single Fin the following night too for their well renowned Sunday sessions where I ran into a lad from home who works there – such a small world! I drank nothing but wine this night. Lairy Moses was back! Finally! Stupid Bintangs.
2A then went on to do her diving course elsewhere in Bali and Laila had to go back home to freezing Leeds!! Poor girl! Once again our hero WAYAN came to collect us early in the morning and dropped Swenton and myself off to catch the 2 hour boat ride to Gili Trawangan. He drove so far for us, what a sweetheart! Swenton was back on the beers and on top deck of the boat soaking up the sun (obvz) and making friends with the crew. I was tired/slightly hungover after having only 3 hours sleep, so sat inside enjoying the aircon with my eyes shut and my music on. Content.
I didn’t expect the Gili Islands to be so beautiful! Gili T, a gorgeous little island with powdery white sands and perfectly clear waters, no cars, no police, just people living. Lush! I think Swenton was the only one there with a big suitcase and after a struggle getting it across the sand, we got a bonny decorated horse and cart to our accommodation, Pitara Bunglaows. They weren’t the best rooms we had stayed in but they did for sleeping in! It was however, right beside the island’s mosque, which woke us up at 4am with the call to prayer! Luckily, we found it funny.
We did one day plan to walk the perimeter of the island and go snorkelling, but typically for us, got distracted by a random goat. I love goats. The goat belonged to some Rastafarian looking dudes in a shack just off the beach. If that was the goat’s job, to lure people into the little bar, then he was very good at his job! We asked straight away what the goat was called and he was called JACKIE (Hanna’s Mam’s name). We felt obliged to go and have a Bintang in the home of Jackie the goat. Jackie was no ordinary goat though. He ate everything in sight, and I mean EVERYTHING! He polished off full ash trays of cigarettes dumps, the owners weed went missing (Jackie), paper and everything else that he found in his way. Jackie demolished it all! He washed this down with Bintang of course too. Once again, we ended up sitting there for about 5 hours, talking to the only other 3 people in the bar and never tiring of Jackie’s greed and love of ash. We sank Binny after Binny (and I actually got drunk – wooooooo!!) and tried out the island’s mushrooms (sorry Mam – When in Rome…).
Swenton and myself were soon giggling messes and I swear down that this was the funniest day of my life. I have never laughed so much! Nobody will ever understand what happened to us that day. HAHA!! We tried to walk back and because we were laughing so much, no noise was leaving our mouths! I was close to wetting myself (or suffocating because I couldn’t take in enough air) and screamed at Hanna to get away from me so that I could stop laughing. This made us laugh even more! Eeeeeeeee honestly man! We were in total awe of the sky as the sun was setting and the colour of the ocean and the sky were exactly the same, bending in to each other (well that’s what the mushrooms led us to believe anyway – the pictures tell us otherwise). We giggled our way on to the beach and Swenton’s legs buckled beneath her as she was laughing so hard, before she even made it into the water! She hit the deck…again! Doosh!
Once our giggles had calmed down slightly, we attempted to walk back to the hotel again, but this time were distracted by a group of locals sitting in a circle playing home made instruments – bottles! We sat with them for a while, singing Bob Marley songs and drinking Bintangs. What a perfect day! We might not have done what we’d planned but it was definitely a day I will never forget! We ended the night with a serious carb fest of Carbonara and pizza too (seriously, the best day EVER)! I’m pretty sure we were in bed and flat out by 8.30pm. It’s safe to say we didn’t hear the mosque this night.
The day after we woke up surprisingly fresh (after sleeping for a good 10 hours) and were booked onto a boat party, Drunken Monkeyz. I would never have booked onto a boat party but I’m glad Hanna made me. Once again, we had a wicked day sailing around the Gili Islands with some very nice people, getting drunk, jumping off the boat (it’s amazing the courage you get whilst intoxicated), dancing and just having a lovely time! Swenton and myself were even asked to be shot girls. LOL! We carried out our ‘shot girl’ roles very well and took full advantaged of being in charge of the bottles (necking most of it ourselves). Everyone on the boat was going to the after party. We knew fine well what was going to happen to us…stuff our face with street food then back to the bungalow to bed! I’m glad me and Swenton have the same drunk/sleep personalities. We’ve always had enough at exactly the same time!
It was home time the next day *sad face* Well, I say home time…I was going back to Darwin and would be meeting Hanna 2 days later in Brisbane to start our East Coast trip (oi oi)! I had the best 10 days in Bali! Particularly those final 3 day when it was just me and Hanna on Gili T. It was inevitable that we would get up to our usual tricks when we were left on our own – we made the perfect pair! The holiday seems a bit of (an amazing) blur now though, when you add up all the alcohol and moving around in such short spaces of time. I didn’t know my arse from my elbow half the time! So when I go back I’d like to stay in one place a little longer, see more of the places, do more (sober) activities and take in more of the culture. Luckily, it’s pretty much on mine and Little Chrissy’s Darwin doorstep! I’m definitely making a return!