Eenie, Meenie, Mienie............Bali!

Trip Start Jun 09, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines Day,
      We saved the best for last in Thailand and went to Phi Phi Island. This was a fun island full of young travelers with an amazing backdrop. As soon as we arrived I "literally" ran into a friend of mine on the beach, such a small world. He gave us a run down on the must do's of the island including a stunning hike to overlook the islands two bays separated by a sliver of sand. You are closely surrounded by the ocean on all sides. We decided to take a fast boat snorkeling tour of the other small island surrounding Koh Phi Phi. One of our stops was "the beach" where they filmed the Leonardo DiCaprio film. Just as incredible as in the film, but a tad more populated (at least 200 tourists) lol The snorkeling left much to be desired but the wave jumping in the boat all day was well worth the money!
     Thailand's visa was coming to an end and we had to decide where to travel next. We originally planned on exploring the connecting countries Vietnam and Cambodia. But after reading about them and hearing stories form other travelers we felt it was a little too reminiscent of our days spent in Central America. So we decided to end our world tour on a high note and bought two tickets to Bali!
     We arrived in Kuta which is the main tourist hub of Bali. It was packed with people trying to sell you anything and everything, actually the same exact thing every two feet. It had tiny streets that were packed with Mopeds and Vendors. We headed towards the beach and unfortunately it was covered with litter, we apparently missed thousands of dead fish being washed upon the shore weeks earlier. lol Supposedly the trash is just an effect of the rainy season and is quite clean in the dry season. But even with the floating rubbish there was no stopping Teddy form hitting the first decent waves of the trip. So he rented a sweet board for $3 and headed out. He came back in an hour later already sick. Still went out to surf the next day to confirm the source of the illness. lol.    Confirmed.
    We decided that this was not the beach paradise we envisioned and set off to explore other areas. We actually found a small island off the coast of Bali with white beaches and beautiful waves. We took a 1 hour ferry ride in a small wood canoe with bamboo outriggers, the scariest boat yet, but a surprisingly easy ride. Nusa Lembongan was the best decision we made yet ( well right below taking the mule ride out of Colca Canyon). By chance we ended up on a small beach on the end of the island called Tamarind, where our host  "Blackie" filled us in on all the secrets of the island. We woke up and had banana pancakes (pineapple for Teddy) followed by a few hours of surf on the reef "playgrounds" for Teddy and lounging pool side reading 5 year old gossip magazines for me. Life is good! After a few days Blackie took Teddy over to a surf break that the locals ride. Before they paddled out Teddy was informed that the break is extremely shallow on the inside and to make sure that he got off the waves before he reached the metal spikes ( used for seaweed farming, the island main source of income) jetting out of the water. Blackie then pointed to the scar down his chest where he had previously rode the wave too long. lol One night Blackie was drinking the local alcohol and Teddy wanted to hang with the boyz so he joined in, later regretting the decision.  The local spirit came in a plastic bag and although they said it wasn't gasoline I am still not convinced.  Teddy didn't fell right for a few days after but I guess in hindsight he could have seen that coming.  After 11 days on the island we were contemplating not seeing anymore of Bali until our departure. But Blackie pushed us out the door to go explore, so reluctantly we headed back to Bali and up the coast to a small port town Pandang Bai.
      And after 9 months with 2 weeks to go I got my food poisoning. lol So we spent 4 days in Pandang Bai only seeing the four walls of the bathroom and then we got out of there and headed to Amed. On the way to Amed we took a tour of the court house, a huge temple and a water temple. The court house looked like a palace and had covered patios with 4 chairs underneath where the criminal sat on the floor and awaited his fate. On the ceilings they had a series of different boxes with painted pictures depicting the crime and the punishment. For example one of the crimes in the Hindu religion is having more than 2 children, and for this, much like all of the other crimes the punishment was being stabbed to death by demon's. lol They do not actually practice this kind of punishment, it was meant to deter you from committing the crimes, I am guessing it works. We then went to visit one of the largest temples in Bali which is located on the the top of a hill and has about 200 shrines. They were having a ceremony at the time, so it was packed full of local people carrying baskets of offerings for the gods. Next we winded through miles of green rice fields to a water temple. This water temple was incredible, it was landscaped with reflection ponds, statues and flowers everywhere. We went swimming in two of the large, cold water ponds and walked on water across stone lily pads. 
     We chose to visit Amed because it was highly recommended for snorkeling. Amed was a tiny town, with nice rooms and black sand beaches. It was overcast and windy there making visibility for snorkeling impossible, so we continued to wait for a sunny day. After 3 days we said the hell with waiting and got into the water.  The visibility was about a foot and milky white.  This reminded us off the conditions we had for great white diving and we only made it 5 ft out before turning around lol.   So the following day we gave up hope and headed to Sanur.
       The rainy weather continued in Sanur so we decided to treat ourselves to some TV and air con! If we have to stay inside we thought we would enjoy our last few days. Yes our time has come to return home and say goodbye to our around the world tour, well at least for now. :) So on the 18th of February we start our 48 hour trek back to the states. We are sad to see the trip come to an end, but I am very excited to sleep with out a mosquito net and Teddy wont stop talking about hot water. lol
      We are sorry that there were not pictures with this blog, we are having technical difficulties getting the pictures off the camera. But we will follow up when we get home with a final re cap blog and the latest pictures.

We look forward to seeing you all real soon!
Teddy and Brooklyn
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