My First Two Days in Bali
Sandra Friday, August 22, 2014
In my last travel post I told you everything about my journey to Jakarta, and today, I'm going to pick up where I left off. After an interesting but delicious breakfast at our hotel in Jakarta - we had pancakes and croissants as well as fried rice and fish - we were driven to the airport. We were many hours too early, so we just made our way to the baggage drop-off queue to get rid of our suitcases and go explore the airport area. Or so we thought. In reality, we were stuck in a queue for ages and were done with the check-in just in time for boarding. Why? Well, the reason why the queue was moving so slowly was because the workers were doing everything by hand! Even though they had computers, they weren't using them, but filled out every single piece of travel documentation by hand. Insane!
We arrived to Bali in the afternooon and were taken straight to our villas, which were STUNNING! My favourite part? Every villa had a private pool. The joy! For those of you wondering, we were staying at Zala Villa Bali, a villa complex owned by Andrej, a Slovenian living in Bali, who was also showing us around the island for the next two weeks. I would definitely recommend you to stay there if you ever go on to visit Bali yourself, as the villas are truly amazing. You can check out the whole tour of the villa my family was staying at in the vlog embedded at the bottom of this post.
By the time we settled in, the sun had already gone down (it sets at 6pm) and we were ready to have our dinner. Indonesian food is something I developed a love-hate relationship with. While it's delicious, it's just too spicy for my liking. Even non-spicy dishes are spicy. Just to give you a heads-up.
After dinner, nothing much has been happening, so let's move on to the following morning. I woke up fairly early, as I heard these weird noises and decided to go find out what the hell was going on. To my surprise I spotted a man with a bin bag tied up to a stick running up and down the rice field located in our 'backyard'. At first, I thought that he was performing some kind of a ritual, but soon put two and two together and realized he was probably scaring the birds away. It turned out I was right. Every single rice field has a 'bird scarer', who is doing his job all day long and gets paid three euros a day.
Soon after the unexpected wake up call, we were presented with breakfast consisting of fruit, crepes and fresh juices, which I developed a love affair with in days to come. I am not a fruit or a smoothie person. I love my veggies, but when it comes to fruit, I can totally live without it. Well, I could live without it until I came to Bali. The fruit there tasted so much better! Let's take pineapple, for example. It's not that I don't like it, but the one that we get in my country is way too sweet for me and gives me heartburn. The same goes for bananas. In Bali, though, I had no such problems, as the fruit was a little more 'mild' but a lot more tasty for me personally. And totally fresh may I add!
At the villa, we also had a few house pets, whom I had interesting interactions with. Let's start with the biggest one, Bugis the macaque. I was a little bit cautious around her, because she could be quite intense. The moment you approached her, she jumped on you and refused to go down. When I tried to shake her off one day, the cheeky little monkey wanted to bit me! Let's just say I kept further away from that moment on. And then there were some other interesting animals. I had a few almost unfortunate (meaning I almost step on a few) interactions with little frogs that appeared at night and a gecko seemed eager to hang out with me as well. One time, he decided to come sniff my armpit. I'm still confused.
Enough with the life at the villa, let's continue with the sights. On our first day there, we first drove past many rice fields to the Tanah Lot area. Tanah Lot is a rock formation, where the Pura Tanah Lot temple is located. The temple is located in the middle of the sea, which means that it can only be reached when the tides are low. For that reason, we couldn't come close to it, but I was actually happy that the ocean was high, because it looked awesome! I probably took about one hundred photos of the temple alone.
Once we were done with sightseeing, Andrej took us to a local market, which was very non-touristy and full of (weird) food I've never seen before. Very interesting! While we were there, we also tried some coconut water and I think none of us were particularly head over heels with. I tried one from the store back home a while ago and it made me sick, so I already knew I wouldn't like it. The Bali one did taste a little bit better, but still not good enough for my throat. I did a few sips and then passed it on.
Our last 'activity' of the day was eating, haha. We went to an Italian restaurant and I ordered...pizza. How predictable of me! It felt good eating something other than rice and I was glad I ordered it, because it was one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. Mozzarella probably did the magic.
Congrats if you've made it till the end of a picture and word heavy post! Now if you're up to it, you can also watch the vlog below. At least check out the tour of the villa. :)