First of all apologies for not writing any sooner. But I couldn’t find the time or peace of mind to sit down and write. And when time passes the mountain of stories gets higher and higher which doesn’t help either. But it is 2011, so I wish you all a healthy, loving, sharing new year with me in it hopefully!! I will take you now back in time..
In Kuta I met a Dutch guy Ivo, we share a mutual friend in Holland, and he is living here 5 months of the year, as we say in Dutch ‘overwinteren’ and what a winter it already is!
Not here though, here you sweat like a madman with every move you make, not a pretty sight but that is life. Humidity is enormously but I am not complaining because the sun is visible! I got myself a room where my new friend is staying, there are 7 rooms with terrace all facing a huge garden and strangely enough it is very quiet. As soon as you enter the road the noise begins, the motorbikes are everywhere. And the Aussies. By the time I arrived all the Aussies were celebrating the summer holidays and probably their first holiday abroad without parents. They are easy to recognise; they all wear a Bali Bintang singlets, are extremely loud and most of the time drunk. They also shout; ‘ Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!’ whenever they feel like it. Like others wouldn’t have noticed by seeing them. Entertaining sometimes. It’s like the Australian lloret da mar I presume. Anyway got myself a good room including bathroom for only 5 euro per day. My neighbours at the right is a crazy French man with a beautiful ever sweetest and caring Japanese girl I ever met and at the left there lives a German girl. My first day we spent watching the sun melt in the sea at the pantai kuta (beach), my favorite time of the day (or sunrise but you can’t see that here and mostly I am sleeping by that time, or still dancing) we had some drinks at our balconies and went out for dinner. I got introduced to the Adabar which is the place where the French gather and play some pool and there we decided to dance that night. We went to the Bounty, a giant ship, where the young Ozzy boys show their pumped torso’s and the girls wear a bit of cloth on their skin all moving on the beats of the dj. Most of them are beyond drunk, as long as they can still stand and move a bit it is all okay, but when they try to climb the stage it becomes a different story.. It is very entertaining though. And ofcourse you have the surfer dudes with beautiful tattoo’s and well shaped bodies, a true candy for my eyes! It was great to dance again after a month. The next morning I got home for the first time in Kuta. The day after I am in recovery. That week I went out each other night and met in that way new people which was nice. Then I decided to leave the party for what it was and go to Ubud. Ubud is beautiful, it is in the hills surrounded by the magical rice fields, the colour green can arise in so many ways and the reflection of the sky in the water is magnificent. My first night I spent in a typical Balinese room of a family who rents out a couple of rooms. It was high up in the sky and felt kind of lonely so I decided to move to a homestay and choosed the Ubud Inn after seen three places. I loved the pool, water is the best play to be if you are not sightseeing. So I treated myself to this beautiful place, the pool was one of the attractions, the garden was another one. So many different flowers, it was luxuriant and felt as sweet paradise. Once I arrived I immediately met my neighbours, 2 young Dutch girls. One was ill already for a couple of days so I spent that afternoon with Elke. We went to see the monkeys and the temple at the Monkey Forrest attraction. In front of the entrance you can buy banana’s (‘are you mad?’ is the only thing I can think of) but nevertheless people buy them.. so the monkeys come up to them or sit on their shoulders, I would never dare. For real, monkeys remain animals in the wild with unpredictable gestures. So I was busy avoiding the curious animals and my friend was a hell of a lot braver than me. We watched Balinese woman and men passing by, they had just been to the ceremonies at the temple, bringing their offers. They looked beautiful. That night we met another lady from Amsterdam and we decided to do the following morning a tour around Ubud. I hired a scooter and off we went. We were driving through the rice fields and the light was just breathtaking, one of those moments which you capture in your memories.. We visited the security guy from the Inn at his home, his dad climbed in a palmtree and offered us the coconut with some lime and herb, it tasted the best I have ever had! Afterwards I had a good swim and discoverd the book ‘The shadow of the wind’ by Zafon in their library. I have the Dutch copy at home and never read it. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop. Incredible story with words being used in a way it touches my heart. This library was meant to borrow the book, I stole it when I left, I just couldn’t leave it behind! The next day I did some shopping, they have really nice shops with art, leather and a lot of yoga minded stuff. Ubud is a lovely quiet place, would love to return here in January if I can.
Next story will be about Gili and Lombok.. hopefully tomorrow as I am leaving to Flores, Komodo, Rinca and Sumbawa on Wednesday!
PS. the difference of Sumatra to Bali is their culture, their religion, their architecture and the fact that Bali is rich/spoiled, the locals are well build and they have no becaks here.