. Only got to look out the window but considering it was pouring rain, I'm glad we weren't out in it. What never ceases to amaze me is the way all the shops seem to group togethyer. Eg. the furniture workshops - all in one strecth of road; the corn stalls on the sie of the road - all in the same place; the necklace shops in Kuta; the basic water/softdrink stalls etc. etc. Wouldn't it be better to have a unique spot? Only thing I can think of is that they have regular customers. There were also about 8 stone statue shops all ina row along the Ubud road (for all your essential Buddha needs). Ubud is not really as mountainous as I expected but was still up in the hills, with a few steep drops down to a river. It really was a mixture of rice paddies, rows of shops and closer to the centre, hotels next to rice paddys. Millions of art shops/galleries too. Quite touristy, but then not as well because there hardly seems to be any tourists around, plus on half the road stretches, there's nowhere to walk. A little bit like Maleny, but then again, not? Would have liked to stay there, but really, I think I have enjoyed this little town of Padangbai much better. It has a much more island feel than I expected anywhere in Bali. We're staying in a reasonable little bungalow thing - Padangbai Beach Homestay, which includes breakfast for a total of $12.50 per night. We at first thought we were being ripped off given the not so clean shower and the 'flush your own water' toilet and the holey mossie net, but really I'm impressed we wvwn have our own outdoor bathroom - I'm sure we'll be staying in much worse. Maybe we shouldn't have stayed in a hotel first! - it has obviously raised our expectations. But the 1km hike through Kuta with our backpacks (hot!) getting beeped by taxis asking if we want a ride every 30 seconds (we're at the stage we hear a beep and automatically shake our head), the Guinness Tim got to have (and me a Bintang with Lime - much better) in a bar, and the 3 hour bus trip bought us to this lovely place.
Wow! Only day 4. Feels like we've been here for ages. Tim was the one feeling a bit grumpy this morning. Probably cos we didn't yet know how or when we were getting to our next destination and also we both realised how much shit we really do have! After using nothing for days it all seemed a little superfluous, but it was certainly good to have a choice of clothes and wear something different. After a 1/2 hour on the net (plus emailing) and a quick phonecall, we had a plan of attack for getting to Lombok. We decided to go the middle road - a Perama bus and ferry, rather than the public transport option - most people seem to fly. The bus was a bit squashy but all our stuff was safe (and not lost!) and we got to see so much out the window. Place after place of Bali furniture workshops were flashing by - exactly what I'd love to decorate a house. The main highway was interesting - took a while to realise that that was what we were on. And we ended up in Ubud cos the bus went through there! [We had planned to go to Ubud for 2 days but cos we had to wait for our luggage, ran out of time]