The next morning Stacey and I woke up early once again for the public slow boat. We decided we wanted to spend our last three nights in Kuta, Bali where we could surf and explore the southern peninsula of Bali. There are a lot of surfing beaches in Indonesia but Kuta has the best waves for beginners. Plus, it’s just a cool place to be.
When we arrived in Kuta that morning we found a place to stay and then rented a motorbike for the day. We rode down and through the southern peninsula of Bali, Bukit Peninsula. The traffic and chaos of Kuta wasn’t that pleasurable, but once we got into the Peninsula 20 minutes later the ride was nice. We stopped at a small and beautiful surfer’s beach town called Balangan and had lunch on one of the “warungs” lining the beach. The waves there looked great and we enjoyed watching the surfers and taking notes on what to do the next day when we would give it a try as well. After lunch we got back on the bike and headed to Ulu Watu temple at the southernmost tip. The Hindu temple was built in the 11th century. It wasn’t much to look at, except for the spectacular views of the cliffs that drop into the blue sea and the many monkeys roaming around. From here we rode to the famous Ulu Watu surfing beach to find out that there isn’t much of a beach, just restaurants on cliffs overlooking the water. The surfers enter the water from a very small beach that is really just an opening in the cliff’s wall. We watched the surfers for a bit from one of the restaurants and then headed back up along the coast back to Kuta. That night we took it easy. I had caught a cold from someone on the Rinjani hike and was feeling its toll on my body.
We slept in the next morning, finally, and then headed to the beach in Kuta. We rented a surf board for $5 for the day and took turns taking it out into the waves. Stacey did pretty well. I did alright. We also brought the hoop and Frisbee and played with those a bit too. After a few hours we left the beach and got a late lunch. After lunch we showered and then went out for massages and pedicures. The total came to $17.
We chose this night to be our one party night in Bali. We met a guy at our homestay who had been in Kuta for a month so he knew the good bars. We went with him to one called Espresso Bar and had some beers and a potent drink called “Jungle Juice” made from a local liquor called Arak. We met some other travelers (2 South African guys, an Australian guy, a girl from Russia, a girl from Sweden, and another American from Maine) at the bar and they knew of a good club, so after a while a group of us went to a club called Sky Garden. It was a pretty wicked club and the friends we had made were a lot of fun to hang out with and dance with. It was a long and fun night and we suffered the consequences the next day.
We didn’t leave the room until 2 pm the next day, and that was only to get lunch and then we went back for a nap before we finally headed to the beach at 4pm. It was an interesting visit to the beach. I took a walk and walked past a temple that was on the beach and two men were walking down to the water with a big woven basket. They tossed the contents of the basket (a bunch of food such as fruit, rice, and cookies; flowers and banana leaf baskets; and a live duck and chicken) into the water and then walked back up to the temple. The duck just sat there looking confused and the chicken started to walk away. A local guy walked up and took the duck, probably to cook for dinner. I am guessing this was some sort of Hindu offering to the ocean.
I continued to walk and walked into a really crowded area of the beach. There were a lot of Indonesian tourists there and many of them appeared to be Muslim as the women were wearing head scarves. They were coming up to me in groups wanting to take pictures with me. I felt really weird because they were fully covered from their heads to their feet and I was wearing only a bikini, but they were so excited and nice so I couldn’t say no to them. It took a while to walk through that section of the beach so on my walk back I walked off the beach just for that section so that I wouldn’t have to stop every few seconds to take a picture with someone. We hung out at the beach until sunset and then went out for dinner. After dinner Stacey went out for another massage and I just went back to the room.
The next morning we left Indonesia and headed to Malaysia. If we can arrange it somehow we would like to come back to Bali. I absolutely loved it here, but on to the next adventure!