Indonesia – First taste of Asia

Monday 29th December 2008

Hello guys Taz here! Well what can I say we have finally landed and its sweat city!ย Boiling in other words….

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What a place its so picturesque here like nothing we have experienced before. It took us ages to get through customs, I think every flight for that evening land when we did. oh well….. The transfer to the hotel took a while, there is one road that leads through the main part of Kuta and its jam packed everyday and night. I Was dying for a pee since we got off the plane but because it wasn’t far I thought I would risk and wait till we got to the hotel. What a mistake it took well over an hour in the traffic and I actually thought my bladder would burst!!!

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Went for sushi thats directly opposite the hotel, was really good and we ate loads. Not badly priced compared to the U.K less than half what it would normally cost but that was expensive here compared to a non tourist part. Same standard if not slightly better.. Waiting for the jet lag to catch up tho, cant wait to see what tomorrow brings..

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Tuesday 30th December 2008

Hello, it’s jemma!
We woke up soooo early today, about 5am, wide awake! Time difference I recon. It was nice though, the sun came up at about 6 and we went down for breakfast – see pics of my noodles!

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The hotel we’re in is really nice. The air con is amazing and the water is hot.
We decided it’d be a good idea to find this wonderful beach, so we headed out at about half 7 and walked up the beach for hours.

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Then we made the mistake of heading onto the main road for a bottle of water and couldn’t find the way back for ages… we asked a kid sat at the side of the road where the beach was and he pointed down a little alley. Ten minutes later we found a dead end! Little rascal! The walk was really nice though.


Anyway back in Kuta we tried out the pool which is nice.

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We got a big meal each and a couple of drinks for 100,000 rupiahs, about 7 quid. The food dishes were all about 2 pound, they make their money on cans. Jet lag kicked in and we slept for a few hours and woke up for tea.I felt really weak before, so I put it down to 2 days without chocolate! So I had a massive drink of coke and feel much better.

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I don’t think we’ll be going out tonight, there was a huge downpore going on this last hour and we don’t fancy a drenching. We’ll have a few beers and work out how to get to the Gili’s. The tourist boat is 20 times more expensive than the public ferry…! Less than 1 pound each on the ferry ๐Ÿ™‚ The hotel staff were talking to us about Gili, one of them was born there. He said the accomodation’s nice, and all under 100,000 rupiah’s. He told us the views in the morning when you wake up are amazing, and the snorkelling is good! Can’t wait.

Well I’m going to go now, will send some skype texts that unfortunately you can’t reply to!
Take care everyone! Love Jemma
Ps – Taz has a red nose! Ha!

31st December 2008

New years Eve in Bali was very interesting! We got drunk on cheap bintang beer and celebrated in paddy’s bar, full of Ozzy’s!

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1st January 2009

We checked out of our hotel but we still didn’t know where we were heading. So we picked up our bags (HEAVY!) and walked 5 min’s to the perama bus office, and bought a couple of tickets to Penang Bai. It wasn’t on our to see list, but after the hustle and bustle of Kuta it seemed we needed somewhere a little quieter and nicer. There was a lovely beach called blue lagoon, bit touristy though, but much less hastle than kuta.ย 

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We actually ended up in a cheap shite hole of a place to sleep! The family that ran the B&B were really nice but the bathroom was a bit dodgy and we slept on our sleeping bags… ew. The view was also a little dodgy – a building site full of men in flip flops… he he.

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2nd January 2009

Still in Padang bai. We moved out of the B&B after breakfast into a much nicer hotel, the Serangan Inn 2 for only a quid more than the dodgy place.

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We found an amazing white beach and we lazed about all day. Best bit – we got a MASSIVE coconutand some cool little spikey fruit things for just over a pound without even haggling. We love this little beach ๐Ÿ™‚ We swam about all day. Taz got Burnt! The secluded beach we found is worth sticking around for, so we’ll probably stay until Monday, then get a boat over to the Gili’s. This is the life!

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3rd January 2009

Today we woke up at 6, a boat came into the harbour which is only 5 minutes walk away and honked its massive horn about 6 times. Wide awake! We sat on the balcony for an hour and then the hotel made our breakfast and brought it up for us. taz is paying for his sunburn, so we’ve invested in higher factor suncream, it’s quite expensive here because it’s only for tourists, I dont think locals wear it.

We had a mooch around the harbour, it’s soooooooooooo hot today there isnt a cloud in the sky and you just feel ike you’re being blasted with a blow torch if you’re not in the shade! Looking forward to our usual afternoon kip, and getting up for some nice cheap seafood. We like Padang Bai. It’s completely different to Kuta, so much nicer ๐Ÿ™‚ Ooooooh, and taz spotted a snake today when we were noseying about by the harbour today. He scared the living daylights out of me with his reaction, I expected to see a man size spider dangling above, but it was a snake wrapped up in a hole in a rock, he he.

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Speak soon everone. Will get some more pictures up! Love Jemma and Taz in the sweltering lovely heat of Padang Bai, Bali x x x x

6th January 2009

Hi everyone!

Yesterday we got on a 4 hour ferry from Padang Bai to Lombok which is the island next door to Bali.

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After the ferry we hopped on a bus for an hour to Senggigi where we were dropped off at “tourist information” where they tried to charge us 300,000 rupiahs for a room worth 100,000 or less. So we sat in a cafe wondering what to do… looking at a luxurious hotel over the road. I sent Taz to check it out while I watched the bags and before we knew it we had checked into it. 35 quid ๐Ÿ™‚ The Sentosa, 5* A massive pool, posh marble floors, a swim up bar. Posher than either of us had ever experienced, and the breakfast this morning was ace, I made sure I had 3 cups of tea because they were so good!

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This afternoon we reluctantly checked out after a swim and another lovely bath with hot water(rare here), and into Raja Bungalows for 100,000 a night. We found an ace bakery and bought a loaf and some cakes for just over a quid, and some spicy rice over the road for a pound. Sorted. We’re making up for the occassional stay in hotel like the one last night…ย 

Well I’m going to join Taz for a giant Bintang. He’s entertaining the loacals outside ๐Ÿ˜‰
Bye for now!!xxxxxxxxxxx

7th January 2009

This morning we called the bus company and they came to collect us at 8am in Sengiggi. By this time I was feeling really ill as we’d had our malaria tablets but no food. A doughnut sorted me right out!

An hour later we arrived at the port of Bangsal. A really weird guy was following us around, asking taz loads of questions and saying I had soft skin…. well weird!! We teamed up with a German guy who had loads of info on the places we’re going to travel to, Vietnam and Thailand etc. At 10am a very overcrowded wooden boat set sail to Gili Trawangan. Taz was the only white person! The journey was 30 minutes but it felt a lot longer because of the worrying that we were going to sink. The top of the boat was only inches from the sea it was that crammed with people, so everytime a big wave hit us it nearly sank us. Hell raising!

Bali 037In Gili we found it overpriced and waaaaay to many drug dealers. Both our neighbours invited the dealers in and they returned about half an hour later smoking mushrooms. Loosers. There’s no police on the island. Even the poshest restaurants had adverts for mushrooms. Too much hastle. Just found it hard to walk around without being sold something.

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Bali 025We found a cheap bar that night (after some rubbish overpriced food!)that sold Arak and orange for 10,000 so we got tipsy. The island grew on us a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚ But never the less it was definately for the typical tourist.

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8th January 2009

We couldn’t decide whether to stay or leave… so we stayed 1 more night on the party island. Partly because we were slightly hungover and couldn’t be arsed packing/moving. We paid for another night at hotel Permata.

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All we did was read and sit on a log by the beach. It was a slightly cooler day thanks to a downpour.
We had a really amazing tea – seafood kebabs, meat kebabs and jacket potatoes, all done on a BBQ right by the sea. We were stuffed! Best tea we’ve found so far… As we were waiting for our food some cats were hanging round and I felt something scamper over my foot but it didn’t feel like a cat… it was a big fat crab being chased by a cat! EW!

We went back to Rudy’s bar more Arak and orange.

9th January 2009

The journey back to the mainland was death defying! We thought the trip to the Gili was bad. This time the boat wasn’t as rammed with people, but the waves were much bigger… force 4. In a tiny little shed of a boat. The navigation guy sat at the front got that worried that he put his life jacket on at lightning speed, not very reassuring especially as the 2 guys working on the boat were the only ones with life jackets… We had to hold on tight as the waves kept coming over and tipping us. Taz prayed to god every 2 minutes that we would make it and not die today. Ha ha.

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We’re now safe and sound in Pagand Bai after a further 2 hours in a minibus and 5 hours on a disgustingly dirty ferry. Feels like home turf here! We even got the same room in the same hotel, and we’ll go to the same warung for a snapper and rice tea! Thank god we’re alive.

12th January 2009

The morning after our hellish journey back to Bali we boarded a minibus to Ubud, away from the coast in search of a little more culture.. we are not dissapointed! When we arrived we found an ok hotel and wandered down the road to the famous monkey forest – at the time of writitng lonely planet says some locals try to charge tourists to go in – now they have a full blown ticket office! They aren’t daft, these Balinese. The forest was great, and obviously loads of monkeys!! They climbed all over us and stole the bananas we’d bought at the gate. It was great. We went in a temple in there too, but before going in a guy wrapped us both up in some bright green cloth as not to offend anyone as we were in shorts, we looked a bit odd but everyone looked the same, he he.

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That night the rain came and it didn’t stop til morning. The thunder cracks came 2 or 3 times and minute and they were so loud!! Bit scary in a room that feels like you’re camping – mesh for windows, we might as well have been outside! Little sleep that night.

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We checked out and into a new hotel yesterday. A bit nicer and only 50p more ๐Ÿ™‚ We paid for another night this morning. We both know there’s lots more to see in Ubud and we like the guy that runs the place. And we’re the only guests there, out of about 10 bungalows, bonus!

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Sarah who is reading this religiously – get your ass over here woman ๐Ÿ˜‰ Come and get a tan!
Love Jemma and Taz xx

15th January 2009

Hello, it’s Jemma – Taz is sat next to me trying to work facebook out, bless him!

I have been ill for a couple of days. The Bali belly is not a myth ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Woke up Tuesday morning and couldn’t eat brekky, so I went back to bed and didn’t wake up for 4 more hours… still couldn’t munch anything apart from some soup! Yesterday I felt a bit better but we stayed by the hotel lazing about all day, Taz has been making me drink yakult and vitamin tablets! Today I am right as rain and I’m making up for it. I think we both needed to do nothing for a few days.

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This morning we set off walking to some elephant caves in our guide book, it took ages to get there! It was nice though, but we thought it’s be easier to rent a scooter.

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Back at the hotel I had a quick shower and Taz went to pick up some washing from the laundry place and came back with a scooter and 2 helmets! ha ha! It cost him 40,000 for a day which is just over 2 quid. It has a full tank and a nice pink paint job, ha ha. So we’ve been razzing around on that, finding this nice cheap internet cafe outside the main hustle and bustle of the main street in Ubud.

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As I’m typing some very strange Hindu parade’s happening outside, they’re all dressed up, playing instruments and the women are carrying massive loads on their heads (which I presume are offerings or something) to a temple. We feel really at home here. There’s some eerie chanting going on too. Literally hundreds of people have filed past!!

Leanne and Brian – good luck with the 20 week scan ๐Ÿ™‚

16th January 2009

Remember the other day when we mentioned a night of unbelievably loud thunder? Well it seems that in the early hours of the morning after the storm had passed over Bali, a passenger ferry in the Indian ocean got caught in it. According to the BBC website, 300 people died. The ferry was overloaded, as many are. It was the middle of the night when the huge waves flipped it over. Many were asleep… There was a storm warning but the captain set sail anyway. He is one of the only 35 survivors. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7831493.stm

On a positive note, today we’ve been scooting about on our 2 wheels, and have managed to dodge the rain again by hiding in the internet cafe ๐Ÿ™‚ This morning we rode up to a place where there’s a 25 foot carving in a rock face that’s apprently very old and tells a story. The place was really quiet and a little old lady that didn’t speak englsh pulled me by the hand to a shrine and indicated that I should bow. So I did. Then she flicked some “holy water” on me and pulled a petal off the shrine and put it in my hair. Then she waved Taz over and did the same to him ๐Ÿ™‚ Strange, but nice.

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19th January 2009

We’ve had some fun the last couple of days, in and around Ubud. The other day we found an amazing sushi restaurnt called Ryoshi just around the corner. We ordered enough sushi to feed an army. And then we ordered more. Taz couldn’t resist sending a pic to Rick ๐Ÿ˜‰ It only cost us 12 quid as well. We’re going back tonight!

Yesterday we we for a ride on our scooter to a place called Batur – there’s a lake and a volcano there. The areas realy nice and took us about an hour and a half to get there along the bumpiest road ever. On the way back we found a smoother route, only to be flagged own by the police about 5 minutes before we reached the safe haven of Ubud again. We’ve been warned that ifย you don’t pass them a 10,000 or 20,000 immediately with your driving licence they can get annoyed and demand more. Taz showed the guy his driving licence and the papers for the bike… we were rumaging about for money and the guy said 50,000 which is extreme but we thought, ok, we don’t want to pee him off and get sent to jail for nothing, so we gave him a 50,000 note. Then he pointed at his corrupt copper partner and said “50 for my friend”. How annoyed were we. He took the money, grinned, and said enjoy your honeymoon! I was seething for ages!! But what do you do, argue and risk god knows what, or just give the idiot of a copper what he asks for. The most annoying thing is that after it was too late for us to offer him a 10,000 we saw several cars get pulled by his “partner” and they didn’t even speak, just passed him a red note (a 10,000) and drove straight off. We know for next time. They’re not interested in your papers or your licence. He didn’t even look at them. They just want your cash. And quickly!

Today seems extra hot. So we’ve hung around Ubud and booked a taxi to Sanur for the morning. The bus is 50,000 each and they’re usually rammed, we haggled a private taxi for 40,000 each. Yey! I think we’ve been in Ubud for about 9 or 10 days… we’re heading to the beach for a couple of days before we fly out to KL on Thursday afternoon.

24th January 2009

Hello everyone!

Since we left Ubud we went to stay in Sanur for 2 nights before we left Bali.

We don’t really rate it to be honest. The beach was really nice but food was an issue. It was generally rubbish and over priced for what it was. Anyway, we made the most of the lovely beach while we had it and we rented some canoes. I have better balance than Taz ๐Ÿ˜‰ he kept tipping in. Ha ha. They were quite cool, more like a flat surfboard than a canoe and you could ride the waves on them. We were sat drying on a pier when about 200 kids arrived – we presumed some kinda school trip was going on. They all came rushing over and for about 30 minutes we were both celebrities! “Excuse me Mr and Mrs – Picture?” It was like being hounded, ha ha.

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I went to the doctors in Sanur and they have me some tablets for the Bali Belly. 24 hours later and I’d literally made a 100% recovery. Cost my about 10 quid for the lot… not bad! Lesson learned – Don’t suffer 10 days of feeling crappy in Bali, when a quick nip to the doctor sorts you right out!

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