Kev On the getting asked the questions thing....all Balinese are taught in school to ask 5 basic questions to someone they think is a tourist. Typically its just what you have been answering, where are you from, where are you going, what is your program, (what are you doing today?), are you married, etc. The real fun starts happening when you can answer them in Indonesian and this whole other world starts opening up. You start getting invited to peoples homes for dinner, to ceremonies tourists never get to see or other locals only events. Changes everything.
So I got them down from the “discounted” price of 500,000r (about $50 US) to 300,000r to get a shuttle to the boat and a round trip fast boat to Lombongan. The guy told me “Shuttle will pick up from the hotel at 9:30 to 9:45 in the morning.” So I had a casual morning, found a place with wifi AND my favorite avocado-choco juice, so I chilled there for a while.
When I got back to the hotel about 9:10, the driver was waiting, looking for me, with a van full of other people! Had to pack quickly and motivate. I don’t think we were in any danger of missing the boat, and nobody seemed stressed out. There were 3 couples on the boat. One from Brazil, who lived in Perth, Australia, another from Western Australia, and a 3rd surfer couple I THINK from Australia also, although I noticed they put “BRITAIN” on the form to fill out for the boat. Anyway, it was fun talking with them and finding out what’s going on in their worlds, and what they’re all doing in Bali.
I also was starting to see that this island was probably kind of a romantic getaway, and the solo effort on my part could be a little strange perhaps.
After getting to the island and not having accommodations, I felt comfort in the fact that the surfer couple didn’t have anywhere to stay either! We told the driver we still were looking for somewhere to stay, and weren’t sure if they understood or not! So, a bunch of us piled in to this pickup truck with benches and a make shift roof, and they drove us down to where most of the hotels are. Funny, we were all commenting that you would be arrested for having this kind of setup back home, bunch of people piled in and no seatbelts, etc….even more funny was that these were one-lane dirt roads we had to take to get there.
We ended up at the Puri Nusa hotel, right on the beach. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much room to negotiate this time, and it was confusing as to what they had available…but, I ended up with a nice room with A/C for 20 bucks, so I’m not too sad about the deal. The couple ended up getting a room with 2 single beds and no A/C for 10 bucks. Not a bad deal if you can put up with a few odd things!
This is the prettiest place I’ve seen yet on this trip. Hopefully I can get my videos posted sometime! Really cool hillsides, gorgeous blue-green water. Not many places look like this.
The weather was awesome this afternoon! I took a walk down the small beach, and soon realized that this island is mostly meant for relaxing and taking in the beauty. They have snorkeling, which I may do tomorrow, and apparently surfing sometimes, but definitely no surf right now.
I considered getting a motor bike and cruising the island, but instead, I grabbed lunch, did some stuff online with the super-slow wifi, and went to my room and took a really long, nice nap. When I woke up, the wind was blowing, and it was sprinkling. I decided to just totally chill here and not worry about seeing the rest of the island. I was able to get a little work done online (although, I’m sooo not working on this trip so far that it’s to the point of hurting my business!), and do some research on Bali (finally!) and some of the history. (Amazingly, when the Dutch landed in 1906 to take over the country, thousands of Balinese fought them tooth and nail to keep their land, even though they were far overpowered and outnumbered by the Dutch military. Lots of Balinese blood was shed as the Dutch took over. Just more territorial/governmental nonsense!)
So tonight was kind of strange. There are very few tourists here. I’ve seen several couples, and some really young (like high school age) kids. I went to dinner next door and had banana leaf-wrapped fish which was….amazing! First fish I think I’ve had here in Bali. It seems I’m the only one here rolling solo, and now that it’s night, there’s no wifi, so I’m forced to entertain myself! Writing and reading it is.
Oh, another funny thing here on Bali. The locals ask you a lot of questions! I’ve probably been asked about 147 times when I arrived, how long I’m staying, and where I’m from. Yesterday, I was leaving my hotel room and a guy working on the grounds said hi, then said “where are you going?” Sometimes it’s because they want to sell you something, and other times it’s just sort of their way of connecting with the tourists I think. The kids are really friendly too, and seem even more fascinated by white people! It’s really cute.
Well this wind storm is still pretty strong, but if it eases up, I’ll probably do snorkeling tomorrow morning. Otherwise may do the motorbike thing, or maybe just waste another day in paradise! My return boat leaves at around 2pm, still not sure what I’m doing tomorrow. They’re going to start getting ready for their big new years holiday celebration on the 23rd probably starting tomorrow, so I need to figure out where I’m going to be and plop myself down for a few days- since on the 24th, everything closes down and you’re not even supposed to leave your hotel!
(I’m temporarily giving up on uploading pics/videos…hopefully have faster wifi soon!)