Bali seems like a long time ago now but i'll give it my best shot to remember what happenend.
Our first encounter was quite hilarious really. We arrived off the ferry from Java at the time we were already meant to be at our final destination (and we had another four hours drive time to go!!) so we knew we were going to be late. But then, the mini-bus headlights started to fade a little bit and then a lot until we had no lights at all (and no street lights!). The driver still insisted on over-taking everything we could follow (obviously because he was late), i for one, and i'm sure i speak for every other passenger, would have rather have gotten there extremely late but alive rather than the other way around! Eventually he stopped at a lorry park and asked for help, which we got. Lights working, we set off on the final leg of the journey to Denpasar, arriving at midnight (4 and half hours late!!!).
If you can believe it, it actually gets worse. We were dropped off, along with an Irish couple, on a random street with a choice of only two (over-priced) hotels in the vicinity. We picked the cheapest of the two and attempted to settle. However, after a quick shower and finally climbing into bed we switched on the air-conditioning and poof. The electrics tripped. So Dave went and told them, they put it back on, switched the air-con on again and the same thing happened. It is now 1o'clock in the morning and we have been up for 21 hours. We decided this time to say we would not use the electricity and would just pay half the cost. This did not go down very well with the guy on reception. He said we should move rooms or stay where we were but still demanded full payment, when Dave said he wasn't happy with this he said it was best we left but again demanded full payment. We were happy to leave but the only problem we had was he had Dave's passport and we were certainly not paying full price. There was no talking to the man, i tried to explain that we would pay for the hour that we had been there (which in the circumstances i thought was a pretty reasonable offer - he on the other hand did not). He said he was going to keep Dave's passport to which Dave quickly told him that it belonged to 'her majesty' and he could not keep it. I was angry but at this statement it was hard to keep a straight face - but it's the truth - and the man knew it. I tried to hand him the money i was willing to pay which made him even more angry so i threw it at him to which he knew it was his best offer and in return threw Dave's passport over the counter onto the floor whilst saying f**k you over and over. Good way to do business!!!!!! We actually had a very comfortable night in the more accommodating hotel which we paid 56 pounds for the pleasure of but it was definitely better than giving that man anymore of our money!!!
The worst now over, we headed to the town of Padangbai (the taxi driver for this journey also tried to screw us but that's not as interesting - we were in no mood to be messed with again so he didn't get too far with that) which is a nice little town in it's own right but most people bypass through just to get the boat over to Lombok and/or the Gilli islands and for that i can't say i blame them.
We actually stayed in Padangbai for two nights before getting the boat across to Gilli Air. Gilli Air is a tiny little piece of paradise. It taked just 1 and half hours to walk around it, there are no paved roads, just sandy tracks and the local transport is horse and cart. The picture above is what most of the local shops look like. The place is simply beautiful. It was our intention to spend a day or so snorkelling and then doing 1, maybe 2 dives whist there. Instead we ended up completing our advance diver course and diving the most pristine waters imaginable. We saw cuttlefish, giant turtles (amazing!), all sorts of beautiful fish (which i won't bore you with the names of). Wow, if i could live there, i would. We were really surprised at how cheap all the restaurants were for both food and drink, especially as the view is stunning from every angle.
Sadly we had to leave Gilli Air to explore the beautiful up and coming, cosmopolitan town of Ubud. Ubud is an enchanting little town. We stayed in what seemed like the centre of a temple but a lot of the accommodation was like this and all the streets were lined with carved walls. It is a bit more pricey than other places but was definitely well worth a visit.
After this we spent jsut one night in the famous beach/party town of Kuta (simply because it was closest for the airport). I certainly won't rush back there, it's full of tourists, ha. Only joking, but the people, like in Thailand's south, have definitely caught on to the tourist trade. I couldn't stand the hassle we got from every shop owner, soooo irritating. I did, however, manage to buy a couple of items.
Next is the new adventure of Australia - let's see what that has to offer x