The plan was to have no plans, and yes this indeed led me to change my somewhat planned plans.
I had the idea sliding around my head of going to Sulawaysi and Kalimantan, two islands I am very interested in travelling, but as it came to be, they will have to wait for another adventure. As id been warned, boats between islands can be rare and un often, and visas a bitch!
So after Lombok I caught a ferry to Bali with friend Maria. The trip was a short four hours, just long enough though for me to fall asleep in the sun and enter Bali beetroot red faced. Friends Jonas, Nina and Guna were waiting for us in Sanur, we met early evening and caught up for a beer and went to a delicious night market and amazing art exhibition by I Made a friend of Jonas.
Sanur was a bit of a shock! Overweight older generation whiteys everywhere, and many shops aimed at western tourists selling ‘exotic’ things. We found the cheapest accommodation with rooms available and felt content in this back alley home stay with a robotic voiced owner, she was sweet. It was nice and she was sweet until the restless, itchy, no sleep, toss turn night that followed. BED BUGS bloody bed bugs, they were huge! They were everywhere, where the hell do they hide? They just kept on appearing and there was no way out of this situation other than to go and sleep in the air-conditioned fancy room next door, so at 4am Maria and I moved our gear and had an itch haunted rest till mid mornin’ its ok we didn’t have to pay extra, and robot lady was quite understanding.
This morning was meant to be a parting of paths, Nina and Guna were going back to Singapore but they missed their plane, twice. I think they just wanted to hang out with me more.
I had made my way to Kuta, to meet the beautiful Freea Fontanella from Coffs Hubbar. Due to flights missed we had a great last night with the gang, all heading to Seminyak to see a friend Rizal play with his World Music band. And then into the depths of Aussie bogan hell - Kuta (yes there actually were young sunburnt teens running down the street yelling “aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi”) heading to Apache Bar, a reggae bar to have a head nod, bottom wiggle with the local rasta ‘cowboys’. This place was actually fun. Decked out with ridiculous Bob Marley paraphernalia and green, red, yellow everything. Then my wallet was stolen, dang! Id become so used to not being in citys that when I was in one it didn’t even occur to me to be super overprotective with my bag. I don’t know how they did it, but they did it good, and they can have the $5 that was In there!
Freea, her sister Mill, Samu and I then moved on to Ubud, to have a couple relaxing days. Ubud is a pretty hilarious place, full of spiritual junkies, drive through natural health solutions and eat pray love wannabies. Saying that, we did eat some delicious food and I really liked the chilled out vibe. Lots of colour everywhere, and many Hindu festivals and celebrations going on in the streets daily, great to see all the locals in their traditional get up with these crazy bright gigantic offerings on their shoulders.
It was a good place to have a technological break down in. Somehow, within 24 hours… my pnone died, my hardrive swiped of all contents, my hotmail and facebook account blocked. It sounds really small and insignificant now, but at the time along with my wallet and cash card being stolen it was a bit stressful and I was in a shit of a mood! So I wandered the streets and found a little art gallery shop, became friends with the guys working there and settled in for a good 6 hours of painting with them.
Creativity cures all.
My time in Ubud involved a lot of running around and getting stuff sorted out, no time for massages or yoga classes, but good catch ups with Freea, some bicycle riding and a trip to the monkey forest where Samu and I watched silly tourists get bitten by monkeys. I enjoyably discovered that if you leave the main streets here filled with typical Balinese paintings, you can find some real creative creatures, a sweet community of artists with good energy.
The crazy boys at asu art attack