Arrived in Kuta pretty late after a series of flights from Korea to Kuala Lumpur and on again to Denpasar, Indonesia. The airport is in the south of Bali and i think its safe to say the majority of backpackers head towards the close by coastal areas of Kuta, Legion or Seminyak. I had read about Kuta being popular so caught a taxi and headed in that direction as I presumed it would be easy to get accommodation and by this point I was completely knackered from airports and flights.
I was dropped on in Legion st in Kuta and made my way down the winding alleys in hope for some cheap accommodation. I looked at a couple and they were pretty grimey, so had come to the conclusion that I might have to splash out on a more expensive hotel for the first night (expensive on asias terms so about £25) and then go in search for a better deal come morning. As I was walking down the road I came across a group of Balinese men and one white guy chatting and they said hi to me. I did the usual polite acknowledgements that you learn to do in Asia - a quick smile and nod of the head - as engaging in conversation more so than not ends in them trying to sell you things or get you to take their taxi, and it's just easier to keep quiet rather than get sucked in! But they kept asking where I was going and then the white guy approached me and asked if I wanted help. Apparently he'd lived here for about 10 years and was from holland and offered to take me around to find somewhere to stay. A quick judge of character and lack of sleep led me to hop on the back of his bike as he took me to the first place which was fully booked. However the place opposite had 1 double room free for £8 so I checked it out and checked in, thanking the guy for the lift. However under further inspection as I was getting ready for bed I didn't have a sink! So for the next day or so whenever I wanted to wash my hands or brush my teeth I had to have a full on shower haha.
The next day I didn't wake til gone twelve - I had missed the checkout time!! Which meant I had to stay another night grrr. I set out in search for the beach and plonked myself down in a cafe on the front with an iced coffee and wifi, searching online for things to see and do in Bali. After a while I wandered into the beach to be met by people and surfers EVERYWHERE, this was by far the busiest beach id been to so far. You couldn't walk 5 steps without "laydeee layydee you want surf lesson??" or the classic "you've dropped something... look its your smile!" It was all a bit much so I got off the beach and saw a tourist information booth so headed over to get leaflets and a map. The guy there asked if I was from England, and then asked if my name was Sarah (!!!!) Was SO confused! I have no idea how he guessed that but it got my attention anyways. He then said my name was already tattooed on his heart and lifted his top to reveal the Superman "S" sign tattooed across his chest ha! Wonder how many times he's pulled that beaut of a line. He told me he was out of maps but gave me a brochure filled with overpriced tours and I headed off to find somewhere to stay. I came across Hotel Kubu which had a balcony and pool (and sink!!) for about £11 but with my best bartering skills I got it down to £10 baha. Ah well its worth a try! I paid for the next night to guarantee a room but they told me they were fully booked for the subsequent days but that I could ask in the morning whether they'd had any cancellations and thus stay longer.
I then headed to the beach but by this time it was about 4.30 and so not really much sunbathing time left. I sat and watched the surfers for most of the afternoon, some were amazing! It was also funny to watch people having lessons - one Balinese guy was giving a one on one lesson to a European guy and made him unnecessarily do a bunch of press ups much to the teachers friends amusement (and mine) watching further up the beach - the European guy got really angry, was funny! Suddenly a group of about 8 women (from Borneo it turns out) swarmed around me asking if they could have a picture with me so I said yes. I immediately regretted this cos they all had a camera and wanted a pic each (plus I got one on my camera also), but then 2 other groups of women came up to me once the first lot had gone to ask for pictures as well. It was so embarrassing cos there were tourists watching, wondering what was going on - I'm guessing it was just cos I was the palest one around (STILL!). When they eventually left I'd noticed they'd moved onto another unsuspecting white female on her own so gave her a sympathetic smile. She came over and started chatting and turns out she arrived about 5 days ago from Australia. I asked where she was staying and she'd forked out for an expensive place - I'm not sure whether she thought that was cheap (it was compared to OZ standards) or if she was just splashing out, either way she was amazed that my place was so cheap (I left out the information about the absent sink though...).We swapped emails cos we'd both realised its pretty hard to meet people in Kuta as there aren't really any backpacker dorms - and the places that have them are the same price as a private room so there's not really much point.
That night I headed to a bar which was showing movies and had a drink there and met the girl I'd met on the beach. She wasn't feeling too well and so called it a night pretty early and headed back to her hotel. The next day I moved my stuff to Kubu hotel and pretty much just spent the day lounging by the pool. That evening I got a massage and then walked down a road and came to a small bar called Bar Rita. It was pretty much just an open faced shop which sold beer and frozen margaritas from a 'SlushPuppy' machine and had benches and plastic chairs outside. It was basic but I'd walked past a couple times and they always called to come over and join them so this time I stopped for a bit - It was mainly locals there and 2 girls from holland, Hannah and Gabrielle. A guy at the bar there was also just sat in the corner in silence staring at people and what looked to be drawing them... I mainly chatted to the two girls and a Balinese guy called Fidel.
The next day I had to check out because the hotel had been fully booked up in advance. I looked around for about 10 mins to find somewhere else but gave up and ended up booking a shuttle bus up to Ubud for that afternoon.