Me and Stacey Have Landed in Indonesia!
Me and Stacey have arrived in Indonesia and I’m so happy to be here!
I had made a reservation at a hostel in Kuta Bali and arranged for a guy from the hostel to pick us up at the airport. The hostel, Granny’s Hostel was really cool. The staff were all really nice and the other backpackers were too. Kuta is the most popular beach town in Bali. There are loads of surfers and there are lots of shops, restaurants, bars, and spas too. The first day we just walked around and got acquainted with our surroundings. The next morning I woke up and did some yoga in the back yard of the hostel and then did some hula-hooping. By late morning Eddie, the hostel’s chauffer, drove a group of us down to the beach. We hung out at the beach for a few hours and then walked down the street to choose from the many spas. I wanted a pedicure and foot massage and Stacey wanted a full body massage. I had my hour long pedicure and foot massage with a bintang beer for a bit under $5. Stacey’s massage was also just under $5. Then we walked around a bit to look at some of the stores. The clothes here are really cute and light weight and super cheap. I bought a pair of shorts and Capri pants each at $5. Then we bought some Bali style “fanta” drinks and went back to the beach to enjoy the late afternoon and sunset. It was a great day.
Then today I woke up to do some yoga in the yard again. The only other backpacker that was awake was a girl from Texas, Danny, who also practiced yoga and was actually here in Bali to attend a class that would teach her how to be a yoga instructor
We did about an hour of yoga together. I followed her lead and learned a few new things. She also practices acro-yoga which is yoga with a partner, so we did some of that together. I had always wanted to try it and just never knew anyone to do it with. Afterwards I brought out my hoop and it turns out Danny also practices the hula hoop. She’s been doing it for years and is really good. She showed me some new tricks too, which I picked up pretty fast, but I definitely need to practice them a lot to make them look better. I was so thankful and happy to have spent the morning with her. Afterwards we took a shuttle to Ubud which is a town about 1-2 hours north of Kuta.
Ubud is a town with a lot of artists, culture, traditional Indonesian food, and beautiful lush scenery such as rivers, rice paddies, and lots of green foliage. We didn’t make any reservations for a place to stay, so when we got out of the van and a sweet tiny man came up to me to try and get us to come to his family run hotel I agreed. Our own room and bathroom in a lovely room overlooking the lush jungle like forest of trees and plants with breakfast included for a total of 15$ a night sounded good to us. Wiedi and his wife, Ami, run a small hotel with what looks like 6-8 rooms. They were really nice and helpful.
For our first afternoon in Ubud we decided we wanted to try the traditional and famous Babi Guling dish, which is slow roasted and herbed hog. It came with a soup of some sort of root vegetable (maybe turnips) soup, a green bean and hot pepper salad and three slightly different styles of roasted hog. It was really flavorful and delicious, although a bit spicy for me. After lunch we walked past lots of shops, cafes, and spas to “Monkey Sanctuary.” This is a jungle like area with three Hindu temples and thousands of Balinese monkeys. Although Indonesia is the world’s largest population of Muslims, Bali Island is primarily Hindu. The monkeys are CRAZY. Stacey bought a few bananas to feed the monkeys. They pretty much attacked him immediately for them. One jumped out of a tree and onto his back to get the bananas. After he quickly got rid of the bananas I think he must have still carried the scent of them on him because the monkeys continued to climb up his legs on onto his back and shoulders. They would try and open his backpack and they would dig through his hair. He was really brave about it. At one point one of the monkeys had poop on his butt and got it on Stacey so I took out our hand sanitizer to help clean him up and a monkey jumped on me to get at the hand sanitizer. I yelled at him “NO” and he went away for a few seconds, but he was really craving that hand sanitizer and continued to come after me. I finally just threw the bottle down for him and he took it and opened it and started eating the gel. Another monkey jumped on some lady’s head and pulled her earrings out and ate them. They were pretty funny creatures, but a bit scary. I can’t believe they actually sell bananas to people to give to the monkeys because it seems like this only encourages this aggressive behavior. The trees and lush foliage were beautiful and a green moss was growing on all the stone statues. One of the temples is called “Cremation Temple,” and there was actually a cremation going on in the grave yard at the time we visited. There were some local people (I think friends and family of the deceased) watching as the some other men torched the dead body. There was also a hole in the ground the length of a coffin and plenty of small tomb stones in the ground, so it appears that after they burn the bodies they bury them.
It’s been a crazy few days, but totally awesome. I’m loving exploring Indonesia so far. Think we’re going to have a chill day tomorrow and then I’ll be back to tell you more about this super cool country!