So we boarded our plane and headed off to Bali!!!!!!
After a uneventful flight, apart from the customary shitting myself at take off, not literally, although it was a close call, we arrived in Densapar airport ready to go to our hotel.
Having only ever been to Singapore, a very western part of Asia I was totally unprepared for the hustle and bustle greeting you at the airport, heaps of people selling there ware or offering to take you bags the moment you get through security. We met our driver and after each being given a necklace Made of flowers we Were ready!! On the drive to the airport we got our first taste of Indonesian roads, wow. We were told there were 4 million people in Bali, and over 4 million motorbikes!
Our driver joked you need three things on Balis roads, good brakes, a good horn and good luck. however saying this and despite the 10000 near misses with mopeds and people driving 4 abreast within 2 lanes, I didn’t see a single vehicle with a scratch on it, maybe there is order within the chaos.
After checking in to our hotel our porter carried my bags (not mays which annoyed her) up to our room, and wow what a room it was. A bed that could fit an elephant, a huge balcony and most importantly…. A BATH!!!!!! 9months without one, it was worth the price of the holiday alone!! We went out and grabbed some dinner, in between being accosted by people wanting you to buy, promising you good price and grabbed an early night ready for our trip to the water park the next day.
We got up early and grabbed a buffet breakfast before getting on the shuttle to Waterbom park. Voted Asias best water park on trip adviser! We got changed and went to the first slide, we had done some research on .www.waterbom.com before and wanted to try the Macaroni first, a slide with a double rubber ring. Wow it was awesome, I’m not normally one for rides and adrenaline rushes, but I was that day.
We went on every single ride, including the Climax ride, where you climb the stairs and enter a coffin like capsule stood vertically, a countdown begins and when it hits 0 to floor opens up and you are sent near vertical down, your momentum takes you back up and around a loop before finishing, an 8second slide, where you hit almost 70kmph and feel 5gs of force. May went down first, and her screams actually scared someone off the ride who had just climbed the stairs!! Very funny, I was still laughing about it when I entered the chamber, although as soon as the countdown began i wasn’t laughing!!! Jesus Christ is all i can say!!!!! There’s a video on the website of someone going down, it doesn’t do it justice!!! In between fast slides we went to a fish spa and let small fish eat our feet, very strange but weirdly relaxing!
The highlight of the day for me was a slide with a half pipe, again with the double rings, you go down a steep slide before going up a half pipe before flying backwards to the end of the slide, for some unknown reason, may and I went faster, and higher up the half pipe that anyone we saw, at one point we got to the end of the runoff at the end of the slide and a lifeguard had to stop us smashingly into concrete!
After a walk along the beach and some food, A&Ws (American food, eaten by Europeans in Asia) we got back to the hotel for a evening of cocktails!!! The next morning after breakfast we went into the spa for a treatment. A hot stone massage followed by a body wrap thing. The hot stone massage was amazing, and hour of relaxation with hot stones rubbed on my back, arms, legs etc. the only downside was the small pair of disposable budgie smugglers i had to wear!!! After the body’s wrap, being scrubbed with some weird rough oil we jumped into a flower bath to relax!!! This was followed by Mays instance by a foot treatment, although I drew the line when they got nail paint out! After 3 hours in the spa we chilled out around the pool!
The next day we decided to hire a driver for the day and go to the monkey temple, a temple filled with monkeys!!The driver took us to a few places so we could see how silver jewellery, Balinese materials and coffee was produced and processed, May seemed to love the coffee and bought some coffee made from animal poo. As I don’t drink coffee I didn’t try it but I did enjoy the flavoured teas we sampled. We then got the monkey temple and got some bananas. As soon as the lady handed them over I had a monkey on my head grabbing them!!!! After some persuasion may grabbed a banana and got the same result. We walked around the beautiful Hindu temple, with amazing statues and water features and made more monkey friends, one climbing on my back and staying therefor 10 minutes!
After leaving the monkey temple we went to the rice fields for some of the most stereotypical Asian vies I’ve ever seen, people in pointed hats working the rice fields with palm tree jungle behind them!!! Absolutely amazing views and I’m really pleased to have seen them. We finished our Legian adventure with a Balinese evening of traditional music, dance and food, the food was amazing, but the music and dancing got boring and repetitive really fast!!!!!! After a few days our holiday took us out to the Gili islands.
The boat to Gili turned out to be a fast cat boat, and took around 3 hours to get to Gili. There are no motor vehicles on Gili so we were greeted of the boat by a bloke with a horse and cart for our Taxi to the hotel. Our hotel was the Vila Ombak another 5star resort and our room again was just amazing, huge bed, awesome room service and a half outdoors bathroom. The toilet and shower area was surrounded by 4 walls but the roof stopped half way, the idea being you could shower under the stars, if the mosquitoes don’t get your first. The aim of Gili waste relax and dive. Well my aim was to dive, mays was to relax. So after some shopping around we decided on Gili scuba diving. There is a dive school every other shop in Gili, and as soon as we got out onto the water I saw why. But before we could go out we needed to spend a day in a class room watching DVDs and learning, yawn. not Mays idea of relaxing!!!! After learning we had practice dives in the swimming pool which was a bit boring for me as I’d dived before but it was Mays first time breathing underwater so she got a lot out of it. The next day we went out for our first two dives.
The diving around Gili was amazing with flawless coral reefs and heaps of marine life. Our first two dives were fairly simple intro getting used to diving dives. The next day we had to do few more technical things underwater like navigating etc. I had the unexpected practice of tank sharing when I managed to run out of air, the first time it had happened to my instructor! We saw octopus squid heaps of fish and may got her wish when we came across a few turtles!!! We then had to do a boring exam but we both passed and were now qualified divers!!! Gili was totally unlike mainland Bali, no motors makes a huge inference!! Very peaceful and again the food was amazing! Defiantly worth another visit!
We made our way back to Bali to another town called Sanur which is coastal and a bit quieter than Legian. After we didn’t relax in Gili this was our relaxing stop! We got to our hotel, checked in and bam got told we had been upgraded, now I was thinking we would maybe get a poolside room but no, we get to the room and there is our very own pool!!!!! Wow,. Needless to say first day relaxing out by the pool!!! The next morning we had a ocean raft tour booked, now ocean rafting in Airlie beach was one of the highlights of my Aus trip so far…. This was not!!! It didn’t help that the weather was awful, but it just wasn’t as fun, the driver didn’t try and crazy turns etc, we had to sit in seats with seatbelts yawn!!!
Total let-down, the highlight of the day was a couple of good snorkelling spots and a go on the banana boats where may managed to fall off. Another relaxing day followed before our Triple thrills day, we were picked up by a wwii style jeep and being driven around the island a bit, before heading to an elephant sanctuary for a elephant ride!!
That was amazing, it’s quite scared being that high up and on a wobbly platform but was amazing and we got to take some great pictures with AJ the elephant afterwards!!!! After the elephant we got to white water rafting, we suited up and walked down 2000 steps to get to the rover!! Now I’ve done white water rafting before and it’s amazing, this unfortunately wasn’t, the water was a bit slow, there were too many rocks and our guide couldn’t steer for shit. But saying that the scenery on the slow and winding way down the river was pretty amazing! We spent ur last night having a nice meal a d a few nice cocktails before boarding a plane back to Darwin, it had been an amazing and productive and eventful 2 weeks, defiantly one to remember!!!!
After landing back in Darwin we moved back into the YHA for a short stay as we had booked flights on to Cairns. We still had time to meet up with Gemma and Alex to have a very booze related catch up!!!! Other than that it was pretty uneventful!!! We got our flight to Cairns and got collected from the airport by the worlds most unhappy bus driver, he was really rude, too the point where I was on the verge of losing it with him. We had browsed few hostels online and decided to stay in a double room at the nomads, cheap and cheerful, and a shit hole!!! You defiantly got what you paid for there!!! We stayed there a week and relaxed while looking for work, unsuccessfully!! There were a lot of backpackers in cairns so the market was pretty saturated!!! We decided to move to a nicer hostel, keep looking for work but get everything we wanted to do in cairns out the way in case we needed to move on. For me that meant doing my prepaid trips that I’d organized months before. The first trip was to cape tribulation, a really pretty part of the world but very similar to lots of other places I’ve been too here, huge trees in the rainforest and awesome beach’s but similar to Lichfield park and Tasmania.
The other trip was my extreme white water rafting trip on the Tully river!!! By fluke and an administrative cock up may as able to come along for free! As bad as the rafting in Bali was, this was amazing! The extreme version meant we went ahead of the rest and were able to stop and get out and do cliff jumps, and swim the rapids. The rapids themselves were so much better as our guide handled the boat expertly so we didn’t hit many rocks and picked up really good speed. We went through some rapids that really threw the boat about and at points we had to dive into the bottom of the raft stay on board!! I managed to grab Mays leg as she fell overboard and we went through a bit of rapids with her half in and half out the raft!! The rapids swimming was pretty scared but great fun. You literally jumped in the river and floated down some really fast rapids!!!!
There were no rocks so it was pretty safe but wow at points the water rages pretty high!! By the end of the day (the best day activity I’d done in Australia) we were totally exhausted!
Our last day in Cairns was spent at the cairns zoom, a high ropes course above the casino. It was a pretty fun track and had a zip lingering over a 6 M croc!!! All in all i loved cairns and had a great time but unfortunately we couldn’t find any work so we found a cheap relocation car and headed to Brisbain!!