Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hotel Balifornia

  Bali bound baby.  After a night in the airport, and a quick visa overstaying fine, we were off like a turd of hurdles to the land of beaches waves and beers.  A couple of puddle jumps we were out of the rain and into the sweltering equator heat of our touristic destination.  Into Kuta we ventured, expecting the worst, but hey, we've been to India.  This has become our travel mantra so to speak, and other travelers agree its a good one. 'Hey, we've heard Vietnam is a little tough, people ripping you off, and its dirty.' Someone might say, to which we respond, 'Really, didn't notice, we've been to India.'  To which they might add, ' Ok thats good to know.'  Any way, Kuta is what any tourist center of a country that survives on tourism might be like.  We found a place with a pool and hunkered down for a few days till my pops arrived.
  Man it was great to see my dad, I got to hold the sign and everything when he got off the plane, and I waved it in front of everyone, just in case he had some kind of identity change while I've been gone, but there he was.  We had a great few days of catching up in Kuta, but steered clear of the ocean there.  A storm had washed in some trash, but it was nice to chill and wait out my dads mellow to non existent jet lag to wear off.  Dad had an exciting helmet-less ride through the crowded streets to be shown a rental car, and rented it to escape from the ride back, so now we were mobile.  We headed south first and explored the beaches of Nusa Dua where we got our beer on the beach and watched the surf.  We also got to check out the locals farming some sea weed, an interesting concept.  After a mellow day at the beaches, Nimas high school friend Lena showed up with her boyfriend Mark, so now were were a party of five.  It was great to be surrounded with smiling familiar faces and we drank weak beer and laughed till the wee hours of the morning, it was about 11 or 12 at least.
  Time to go north in our left sided manual trail blazer packed to the brim, with dad at the helm, and me as navigator, through the tinny twisted signless streets of Bali.  Dad made a great pilot, saw a bit of papa shine through for sure as we made our way this beautiful place.  On the way we stopped at a temple, and had more fun than a barrel of monkeys, because instead of a barrel there was like a thousand of them.  They were jumping and swinging on trees and people and if you even let on that you were thinking about getting some bananas to give to them they were on you quick.  We had a good time until one of the daddy monkeys with two inch fangs decided that he wanted our bug spray, so Nima tossed it to me and at a certain point you just don't care about bug spray that much, you know.  One of the workers at the park charged it though and it ran off.  That day we made it all the way to the north coast, where we chilled at a beach side resort with a pool.  Pretty plush stuff, needless to say I slept like a baby in our AC room.  Up north we visited a killer waterfall, yet undiscovered by the hordes of travelers.  It was nice to see an amazing waterfall again.  While we were there we hung with a local organic farmer who offered us his home grown vanilla beans, anise, saffron, we ate one of his cacao fruits, and we delighted in his home made poo coffee, and before you start, I just don't know what to call it, you know the coffee from The Bucket List thats digested by a sivit, then you turn it into coffee, yea that stuff, it was an awesome place.  They even gave us jungle umbrellas to ford the monsoon that hit us on the way out. One night we hung with some locals at their bar, jammed a bit, and listened to their version of Hotel Balifornia, they really rocked. We finished our northern excursion with some of the best snorkeling I have ever seen on an Island off the west coast of Bali.  We floated above a 30 meter droop off at the end of a reef, I didn't know tropical fish could get that big.
  Next on the agenda was Sanur, a beach paradise on the east coast of the Island.  This was a sleepy little hang out, just our speed, with a reef break like a mile from the shore.  We spent more days kickin it, and really relaxing for the first time in a long time, and hey I know what your thinkin, 'Matt what's so hard, you don't even work, you just travel and have a blast all the time,'  but let me tell you, I've been to India, so step off yo.  We had a great time with my pops, and I'm sure he had a great time too, the two weeks flew by way to fast, but there's always next time, and that next time will be in New Zealand.  We said our steamy eyed good byes at the air port, but that was only because we had saw dust in our eyes, we are men ya know,  and Nima and I headed into Legian to regroup for a couple of days.  Love ya pops, thanks so much.
  In Legian about all we did was eat street soup, that was awesome by the way and all the locals were eating it, and I tried surfing, and failed, should have stuck with the old forgot my wax story, but it was cool to get my ass kicked by waves again.  Next it was a boat ride to the Gili Islands, a string of little paradise Islands off the coast of the island Lombok.  Its here where we met up with Lena and Mark again, since Sanur, and our foursome got bicycles (there's no motorized traffic on this island, or Police, just horse pulled carriages) and snorkels and have been swimming with sea turtles ever since.  This little Island, that you can bike around in an hour, is going to be tough to leave.  Summer camp is the only way to describe the mentality of this place.  Summer camp with shrooms and muslims that is.  I'll leave you with some advice I read on a sign here.  Do you like being touched by strangers?  Neither do the Turtles, respect ALL the locals.

1 comment:

  1. Yo Bub, Nima, Lena and Mark, Well said Bub, your blog brings back my memory, it's been a week and I'm still upside down. But I feel extreemly lucky to have shared the adventure with you all, I had a blast and am looking forward to the next one! Love you guys alot!! Be safe!! C U soon.
    Old Dad:)