Kuta Bali

When we touched down at the Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar it was raining cats and dogs. We got a nice welcome with umbrellas though.

I ordered an Uber to get to my hostel. The driver tried to make me pay in cash, but he had no chance. Then he got on like he doesn´t know if he could bring me all the way because there are some road works and so on. Once we were close there was one of those Hati-Hati signs which basically means caution. He asked me if he could go there or not. I replied “Do you speak Bahasa or me?!? I don´t know what this sign says apart from caution, but to me it doesn´t look like it is blocked, just be careful and go!” I had the strong feeling he just didn´t want to drive through this narrow streets and was looking for an excuse. Well, not with me! I checked into the Taman Sari Resort Legian. It sounds super fancy, but they have 6 bed dorms that are not very fancy for sure. It was cheap and central and had a nice pool and even the dorms had a balcony with a nice view over the pool and the restaurant of the place was quite nice too. It was not the cleanest place though and some of the stuff was super unfriendly, but hey you can´t have everything. I think for 65K a night, you can´t expect too much and it was good value for money. Until I was finally checked in the rain had ceased a bit and I teamed up with a Chilean guy from my dorm to find some food. I had seen a nice Italian place from the car and we were looking for that. Took a while, but we found the Pronto Pizza. The owner is Italian and the pizza was amazing. Real proper Italian pizza. Not the cheapest food in town, but definitely worth it.IMAG2663 (FILEminimizer) I went to bed very early that night still feeling pretty sick. Next morning I went down to the restaurant for breakfast. It was quite decent for 35K. I read a bit and worked on my blog and later I walked through Kuta with Felipe. He wanted to buy a shirt and I needed new flip-flops and also wanted to explore.

We discovered a place called Hello Smoothie Bowl in a small side street and enjoyed one each. It felt so good to have something healthy again finally! Loved it!IMAG2670 (FILEminimizer) Later we had some cheap local food, before returning to the hostel for a nap. I sat on the balcony a little before we went for a game of pool in a bar next door. Another early night, I was unfit and he had to get up early to catch a flight. Next day I went to the beach and rented a surfboard for two hours. I just came out of the water when it started to rain. They had put up a tarp where I was hiding under for the worst part of the rain to finish, walked back to the hostel, tried out the pool and had a shower followed by another nap and some computer work.

I had a lovely GadoGado in the restaurant downstairs.

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the hostel pool

At about 8 pm Wayan picked me up with his scooter and we went to the Orchard. A nice bar with great beer and live music. I got to know Wayan 4.5 years ago when I was in Bali the first time. Also his two friends Richard and Nilna´in. They were basically the only reason why I came to Kuta so we could meet again. Otherwise I would have avoided Bali, especially Kuta and Denpasar. I don´t like this super touristy places, it´s rip off everywhere, you can´t trust anyone, you can´t walk for one meter without 10 people trying to sell you something, it is pretty annoying. The north of Bali is quite nice and Ubud is already better than Kuta, but generally it is not my favorite island in Indonesia. Richard joined us later for a little bit, Nilna´in didn´t have time all three days I had been there unfortunately.

When Wayan dropped me back at the hostel I walked up the stairs at the same time as some other guy. He didn´t go in his room but kind of waited until I went into mine staring at me. I didn´t like the idea that he would know where I sleep especially since I was alone in the dorm that night and you couldn´t lock the door so I lingered around in front of several different doors. He wouldn´t move just stare at me so at one point I told him to piss off. I didn´t have a very good feeling after, so I put one of the heavy chairs from the balcony in front of the door. That wouldn´t keep anyone outside, but at least would make enough noise to wake me up in case someone opens the door. I had some trouble falling asleep that night, but nothing happened. I had to check out the next day, but my flight was only in the evening. So I put my luggage behind reception and went to the beach again. The waves were not exactly great that day. I waited for quite a while, then I thought, I could also just try since it was my last chance. I rented a board again for two hours and after a while it got better. I definitely enjoyed my workout. On my way back I had some nice food.

I was allowed to use the staff shower since I didn´t have a room anymore and went for a fresh coconut after. Then it was already time to change and order an Uber. The meeting point was in front of the Sky Garden. I went there and waited and waited… The app kept telling me he would be 13 minutes away, but he just wouldn´t show up. Then I saw that he took a big detour. After one hour he finally arrived but with a car full of people and just drove past me. What an asshole! I had tried to contact him several times during my wait, but he just wouldn´t reply. My phone battery died and when I had it plugged into my power bank and could use it again his ride had vanished and another one showed up. While I was waiting for the other driver the asshole came back now with an empty car and couldn’t understand at all that I was angry and wouldn´t get into his car. The other driver arrived within 10-15 minutes, but he was also a bit strange, not helping with the luggage at all and complaining constantly about the pickup point.

So, more than 1.5 hours after ordering the Uber I was finally at the airport. Good that I had planned quite some time for that and still was there 2.5 hours before my planned departure! But it went on in this fashion. At the check in counter they controlled every single bag of every single passenger for drugs. So I was queuing for like 1.5 hours just to drop my bag and get a boarding pass. I haven´t seen such a chaotic and unorganized way of control before and everyone was just pissed after a while. I had 2.5 hours and just made it to my gate for the last call. It was really time to leave this place, I had seen it!!!
Leaving Indonesia fell on the same day as my seven months traveling anniversary. I would say perfect timing for a new start! I was finally on the way to my beloved New Zealand. I was pretty lucky since Mt Agung had erupted the day before my flight. It was not a super big eruption and the wind was facing away from the airport, so the ash cloud didn´t interfere with the air traffic. Just two days later there was another bigger eruption and the airport was closed for a couple of days. So another perfect timing there! The flight with Quantas was nice. It is a good airline, with great service and a good entertainment system. We arrived in Sydney in time, but my connecting flight to Christchurch was 3 hours delayed. So instead of 2.5 hours, I had to wait for 5.5 hours for another three hours of flying. At least it was an A380 for this second flight where you have a lot of space. It is just a giant bird!

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the lower deck of the A380, 10 seats in one row

It was nice in Indonesia and I had great adventures there, lovely scenery, beautiful dives and met many great people. But I also had my share of not so nice experiences and was kind of happy to get away after two months. As a white woman alone it can get pretty exhausting there after a while. Especially in the more touristy places. But anyway it is a lovely place that is worth visiting for sure!


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