Sorry it has been a while - better late than never.
So this entry is all about Bali…
After a less than tranquil flight we arrived at Bali airport, which was by far the busiest airport we have ever encountered, so it was a relief to see a man holding a sign up for Christina Peddleton when we arrived. He took us to our apartment which was gorgeous. We had an upstairs and downstairs, living area, dining area, kitchenette, two toilets, an outdoor shower bit and the swimming pool was right outside the door. Every morning they made us breakfast and served it to us in our apartment - it was luxury (and only £5 a night more than we paid for staying in the hostel in Singapore!). We booked in for two weeks and it was such a good feeling to finally unpack our bags and settle down.
For the first few days we didn't really do much, we explored Seminyak (the area we were staying in) and chilled by the pool. We had a few nights out with one of Josh's mates from school and his girlfriend, memories of these are a little hazy - one of them ended up with us in a massive foam pit in a deserted nightclub! After a week we decided it was time to actually do something - so we hired a moped for three days. The first day of which, we went to a waterpark, after getting very lost on the way there we ended up having a great day. There was one waterslide which was terrifying - you had to stand in what can only be described as a transparent coffin, then there was a countdown, before the floor gave way beneath you and you just drop and then momentum takes you round in a loop. Great fun. The second day we rode down to the beach, sat on some really comfy sunbeds and watched the beautiful sunset.
The third day was when it started to go horribly wrong. We decided to ride to Sanur, which was supposed to be a lovely place a few miles away. We set off and were pretty much immediately stopped by the police for going through a red light (this may sound bad but all the locals were doing it!!!). The police who are unbelievably corrupt wanted a bribe of 500,000IR (£30ish) and said that then they would let us on our way. The hotel owner had warned us about this, he told us that if it happened to get the police to ring him and he would sort it out for us. However, we didn't have a phone and they refused to ring him. After a bit of negotiation and a few lies that we didn't have enough money we gave them 50,000IR (£3!) and went on our way. About 100 metres down the road we got stopped by the police again - he said we were in the wrong box at some traffic lights - everyone else on the road was doing the same and convinced he was making it up to get money out of us we had a bit of an argument and he shouted at us to leave. So we continued, only to then be driven into by a 4x4. They were doing a U turn into our side of the road and despite Josh's best efforts at stopping, we ended up crashing. We were ok, just a few grazes. There was damage to both the car and moped and we were unsure what was supposed to happen with insurance and things so we asked them to ring our hotel owner - who came down with his brother-in-law to help us out.
It was then dropped on us that under Balinese law we were the ones at fault for not stopping!!! Even though we tried to stop and he was turning into our lane and it was him that drove into us. It was absolutely ridiculous! They must not have such a thing as right of way in Bali. Needless to say we were extremely peeved (trying not to swear!). Luckily the hotel owner sorted it all out for us; he went out with the 4x4 driver and went around various factories to get the cheapest price for the parts. We ended up paying just over £200, which considering the damage and how much it would have cost if we were in England we was ok with (well as ok as you can be for paying for someone crashing into you).
We had briefly met a Swedish couple in a café in Malaysia who said they were going to Bali at the same time as us, so we kept in touch with them via email. They ended up booking into the same apartments as us and we spent our last few days with them. The first day they arrived we spent the day with them which was ok, we then went for dinner on the night, followed by a few drinks. By about 8/9pm they were both yawning and had stopped drinking (at this point Christina was on stage singing Adele with the band). We quickly realised that we had absolutely nothing in common with them, there was a language barrier and they were a little bit weird. So we spent our last few days trying to avoid contact with them, which was a challenge in itself as they were weirdly possessive over us and wouldn't stop knocking on our door! Needless to say we were pleased to get on the plane and start the second part of our adventure in Australia!
Although we had lots of ups and downs in Bali, we would definitely go back - but we would do it completely differently. Next time we would avoid the more touristy parts (it's like Australia's version of the Costa del Sol) and experience more of the Balinese culture, we've heard the Gili Isles and Ubud are incredible. And of course, we would avoid hiring a moped!
So that sums up our time in South East Asia. Apart from the few minor mishaps along the way, we had the time of our lives.
As you may have noticed, we are getting a little lazy with the blog entries, so we have decided that we are now just going to post updates from Australia when we choose (or when we have something other than working to report!).
Lots of love, Christina and Josh xxx