After an early night, I woke early and decided I would go wandering to discover a venue for breakfast. Thanks to the wifi in the villa I was able to google a few places north of me. I googled a map, thought it looked straight forward and set off shortly after 8.30.
One thing I loved about our villa was the back street it opened up to. The fences were all high (with some form of security on top, whether it be barbed wire or in some cases huge shards of broken glass) and they all had really cool wooden carved doors for the entrance. It was unlike something I had ever seen. I'm kicking myself for not having taken a photo of our doorway. When I pulled up in the car with Cam from the airport the day before, the car had only just fit down the alleyway; if another car had pulled up someone would have been reversing out.
If you are planning on travelling to Bali, know this: there is not much open before 10am.
My grand plans of doing a bit of shopping early to get it out of the way had backfired. I had wanted to get a sim card for my phone and was told “come back later, she not here yet”. The roadside sellers were nowhere to be seen, and the boutique stores all had “closed” signs. Instead of shopping, I found myself wandering around, getting lost and sweating profusely.
The streets in Bali are narrow, seriously narrow. And they are jam packed with scooters and taxis. There is barely any room on the footpath for pedestrians, and when there is a footpath it's riddled with potholes or uneven bricks, so you're constantly having to watch your footing. In some parts the path is missing altogether, leaving only holes to the sewers below. In those cases you either have to walk on the side of the road (do it confidently, scooters will just zoom around you) or cross the road (it may take a while). Don't rely on pedestrian crossings, they're there for appearance only.
After an hour of wandering around, getting hot and tempting death by traffic accident, I was so relieved when the sign of Ku De Ta appeared in front of me. One quick security bag check, and I was led inside. It was lovely, three different restaurants all facing towards the beach. My timing was impeccable, as I had only just sat down when the heavens opened and it poured. It was so heavy, and had I been out on the street I would have had no chance of escaping it.
The rain only lasted 15mins but it was enough to cool things down. After breakfast I opted to walk back to the villa by the beach, and was stunned to discover it only took me 5mins. I guess getting lost gave me a story to tell, and it was a bit of an experience. I bought my SIM card from the convenience store along the way (a struggle, neither of us really spoke much of the other person's language) and returned to the villa to discover it didn't work in my old iPhone 4 I had brought. I thought I had got it unlocked, but apparently not. I messaged Telstra to get global roaming set up on my phone and settled down for some pool time to cool off.
I had just enough time to sunscreen up and take a quick dip, then just as I was going to start sun baking (my white legs and stomach were begging for some exposure) Cam and Lisa returned from their morning travels. I immediately wussed and put boardies on, and instead sat there chatting to them. We also made a quick call to Ya Yi (the world's best travel organiser) and confirmed details for the volcano climb Cam and I were doing the following morning. I had got it into my head that we were getting picked up at 3am, and were stunned when Ya Yi informed us it was actually 1.30am. Oh god.
I had been in the country for 24hours, so I decided a massage and a pedicure/manicure were now in order. There was a spa close by that I had walked past a few times, so changed and headed down there.
It was divine. I was given a cold chlorophyll drink, and led into a dark room. I was told to strip completely and given some underwear that reminded me of pre-surgery stretchy undies. I had a 60min “cellulite” massage, which I don't care if it worked or not, it felt good. I don't recall the exact price I paid, but it was under AUD $10.
Afterwards I thought I would try shopping again (I wanted it out of the way), so I went looking around and instead of buying anything for anyone back home, I treated myself to a new bikini. It was AUD $35 but it's quite a nice bikini and was from a boutique store, not a roadside market. It looked like the equivalent of a Sunburn store in Australia.
Nothing else took my fancy, so I started walking back to the villa and saw a beauty shop offering pedicures and manicures for a good price, so stopped in. In the end, for AUD $15 I got a foot massage, pedicure and manicure. The foot massage was amazing. When it came time to choose a colour for my nails, I was initially leaning towards a shade of blue, but let the girls convince me on bright red. I have not had red nails ever, purely because it was a bit loud and overwhelming for me. I would later come to regret the choice to pop my cherry in Bali in a huge way, as the colour stained all of my nails and made it a bitch to cover prior to Jo's wedding later in the week (there was no chance I was going to the wedding with bright red nails).
After the manicure I ran into Cam and Lisa on the street, and we all went for lunch. Across the road from us I thought I saw a seller that had the pants that Mum wanted, so after we finished eating I went over with the aim of getting a bargain. They weren't the pants, so instead I ended up buying some billabong shirts for some other friends and got an “ok” price. In the end a present was purchased and that was one off the list so I was happy.
The rest of the afternoon passed by with more pool time, reading and blogging. I tried to get a nap in and failed, and headed out to dinner to meet Tim and Sarah, friends from high school, at Ku De Ta. This time I got a walking map and walked through all the backstreets to get there 25mins later.
It was the scariest walk of my life!
I had rung my sister earlier to tell her what I was doing, and the whole way I was walking I was convinced someone was going to pull over and try and rob me. As it turned out, no one did (obviously, or this would be a whole other blog post). There were lots of offers for transport (scooter or taxi), and most of the roads were very narrow in between buildings. It was the prime location to be abducted. Somehow I made it though, and was relieved again when I saw the Ku De Ta sign.
Dinner with Tim and Sarah was fantastic. It had been over 10 years since we graduated, but it felt like barely any time had passed. We had beers and chatted, and entertained the random lady from the work party in another part of the hotel that kept visiting us whenever she needed to smoke. The night passed far too quickly, and when it started nearing midnight I knew I needed to bail, since I had to get up at 1.30am. Tim and Sarah were kind enough to accompany me home since I was freaked out by the walk, and initially we tried to backtrack my steps but after we got lost once we eventually grabbed a taxi. Which is when I realised just how cheap they were and I wondered why the hell I had been walking so much.
Back at the villa I bid them goodbye, headed inside and packed up my gear. After the volcano climb in the morning I was going to be dropped off at Ubud, which meant my time in Seminyak was over. I finally got to sleep just after midnight, so I would be facing the climb on an hour's sleep and no dinner, since I hadn't felt hungry all night.
It was going to be interesting.