Arrival into Bali was quite eventful- first of all we had no indonesian currency so had to be escorted through customs to a cash point so we could pay to get into the country- Doh!
Second -our bags hwere gradded by about 6 people who wanted to carry them for us-Round was litterally wrestling with one as he would not let go, finally we realised what whas going on and yelled at them all and made a run for it! ............only to run straight into all the taxi and hotel people outside who were just as annoying! all who did good price! (apparently)
The best was to follow as we were mistaken for bali's top drug smugglers and thrown into jail! no -only joking srry mums just felt like it was going that way! we did finally our destination Kuta which is where all the backpackers head for
Kuta is a very bustling loud charismatic place. Everywhere you look there are hawkers selling same, same but different. Mopeds and cars beeping constantly and all over the road (still not sure what side of the road they drive on in Bali!) and constant offers of transport-we were even offered a ride in a helicopter and a Ferrari-think they might have been telling a little white lie! The Balise people are fantastic, very helpful and genuinely interested in who you are and what you are doing. Due to the currency being so weak (100,00 rp is 5 pounds) many will never leave Bali so seem thirsty for more knowledge of the western world. Putu our guide who took us up a volcano ( that story to come) told us when we asked what countries he had visited 'i have visited Australia and New Zealand in my dreams' with a big smile on his face. Does make you realise just how lucky you are-not that we didnt know already!
During our week we threw ourselves into knowing everything there was to know about Bali. We climbed up a volcano called Mount Batur and started to asent in the middle of the night with only torches to light the way. we reached the summit an hour before the sunrise. to our suprise mountain monkeys appeared out of nowhere and distracted us from the fact that the mist was not clearing quick enough to actually see the sunrise!! However next time we turned round we were greeted by a fab sunrise and incredible view of mount Agung-the holiest mountain in Bali!
our guides Putu, Kama and Wyan kept us entertained on our desent by singing but not as much as Bennett who slipped 6 million times and ripped her one and only pair of trousers to shreds and is going to look like a complete tramp on our next mountainering adventure!! Afterwards we went to a spa to rest our aching feet which used hot water pumped straight from the volcano. The view from the main pool was stunning as it overlooked Batur lake with the volcano behind it. On our way back to Kuta we visited a Coffee Plantation to learn how coffee is made and saw lots of fruits growing -cant believe pineapples grow on little bushes!
We also had a cultural day learning how the Balinese make and colour material, how their jewellery is made and the process of wood carvings. The main treat of the day was watching some traditional dancing-the costumes were so colourful and the whole show was very entertaining. Unfortunately D couldnt make it that day becuase she was suffering from an ear infection! sent her off to the docs though and she is feeling much better now!
After a couple of days in Kuta we moved up the coast to the more up market resort of Seminyak. This is where most people come on holiday and has a very different vibe from Kuta-it is extremely chilled and relaxed. We spent our last days on the beach and strolling around the shops-we even treated ourselves to a manicure on the beach, think at one point we were surrounded by 9 ladies-felt like proper celebs! All this for 1 pound! bargain!
Off to Singapore tomorrow where we have the night in the RAFFLES hotel to look forward to whooooo-god this travelling lark is hard work! ;)