Bali, our holiday within a holiday.
Trip Start Oct 30, 2010
62Trip End May 29, 2011
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We arrived after a smooth flight and enjoyable flight with AirAsia into a country that was hot and humid. We jumped into a cab towards our first hotel.
We plan on staying in three hotels, all of which we booked many weeks ago while in India. As you can imagine trying to book hotels in the heat of India, on slow internet, with only one hour, can be quite stressful. After teetering on a full blown public domestic we hastily booked our hotels and prayed things would work out. As you can imagine we were quite anxious in the cab as it moved towards our first mystery hotel. Our fears weren't helped when the cab pulled down a dark and unattractive looking ally. However another turning brought us within sight of our hotel
We were greeted by a cheerful non-aggressive non-pushy relaxed Balian. On our walk to the room we were continually stunned. This was the most luxurious place we had stayed to date. There was a cage full of colourful parrots, a large pool with an ever flowing fountain and most importantly... a poolside bar.
I don't know how many people could resist the urge to jump into the pool as soon as they arrived at the late hour of 9pm. I know I couldn’t. After a brief swim Ellie and I set off to find a restaurant and some cheap beer. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that we found one nearby. I also found a bar that will be showing the Arsenal v Chelsea game (although at local time here it kicks off at 3:30am)!
Several days ago I spoke to my grandparents and they told me that a couple of my Canadian relatives were also in Bali. Just before we checked out of the hotel I phoned them up. After a brief bit of confusion we arranged to meet for dinner at a beachside restaurant for dinner at 7pm. This dinner turned out to be one of the strangest and most interesting Christmas eves of my life. There was a live 45minute Hindu performance (which didn’t feel like it would ever end). This was followed by a 15 minute fire dance which ended with the dancer sat in the fire. Then there was a cock fight (these are only legal in Bali if it’s for a religious celebration). Finally a pair of transvestites stood at the front and sung the fight around. I doubt any of you had such an odd Christmas Eve dinner!
After we spoke to my cousin Dwayne and before we met him and his wife for dinner we checked out and moved into a new hotel. Up until now we had at maximum been spending 11 pounds per night. Our best hotel had been the one we had just left (which was about 10 pounds), so we were worried that our Christmas treat hotel (50 pounds per night) may be a huge let down. It really wasn’t. It put our previous hotel to shame. The room was at least 2.5x the size, the air con was 1 degree cooler and we had a minibar!
He’s been, he’s been!! Santa has been! Merry Christmas everyone (we had Christmas 8 hours before everyone back home). Our Christmas day was spent getting sunburnt around a pool; I doubt we’ll get much sympathy from anyone back home! Since being in India we had eaten very little meat, but since cows were holy beef was rarely on sale, after seeing what the cows ate on the street if it was on sale I avoided it anyway. But now we’re in Bali things are different, despite still being a Hindu state, Bali imports beef from Australia. To celebrate we had a nice rare steak for Christmas dinner.
On Christmas Eve my cousins invited us to go and stay in their villa with them. Being the freeloading students that we are we decided to take them up on their offer. The villa was huge. There were 7 of us staying there and there were still beds to spare. We were with my cousins Dwyane and Dotty in the guesthouse; we had our own kitchen/living room and the bed was surprisingly the best we had slept in for a long time. The swimming pool was in the garden, lots of seating was outside connecting the two houses.
Since we’ve been here it has rained a few times
We went and visited our second zoo for the week, Bali zoo. Nothing too exciting happened here, just the same kind of zoo stuff we had already seen in Singapore. Probably the highlight of the visit was watching the White tigers mate. The female would come and tease the male, who would then try to get his leg over. Seconds later the female would snarl and swipe for his head!
That night it was the Arsenal v Chelsea game. I set my alarm and got up at 3am so that I could stream it and watch it in the moonlight by poolside. For those of you who follow football you will know that my dedication was well worth it!