With the lads having a few days head start over myself in Bali, they wasted no time in getting as far away as possible and made the boat trip across to the infamous Gili Islands on the east coast of Bali. After a one hour boat journey, they made it to the island of Gili T and checked into the Gili Backpackers which is well known for its long history in making life long alcoholics. They took it easy the first day on the beach, taking in some snorkelling which they say was some of the best they have done so far on the trip. After one day in rehab, the next two days descended into partying madness, until they could take no more and made a very rocky boat trip back across to the mainland to meet me in Ubud about an hour north of the airport in Denpasar.
Having landed fine and spent over 2 hours filing through immigration, with a serious amount of cursing en route, I grabbed an extortionately overpriced taxi and made the trip up to Ubud at night arriving at about 9pm. The trip up itself was nice passing through various typical Indonesian towns and almost hitting 36 cyclists too. After checking into the Happy Mango Hostel it was straight to the bed as the Asian Belly symptoms were kicking in.
After a not so early rise, it was back to the Italian for breakfast. Kev was still feeling unwell so it was back to the ranch for himself while Chris and I walked down to the Ubud market before going for a famous Balinese massage, which was quite strange as the masseuse just pummelled on the arse cheeks for about 20 minutes. Slightly limping, we grabbed some lunch trying the typical dish of Nasi Goreng which is absolutely delicious. That evening was quite chilled as we just stayed in the hostel with fellow travellers and got eaten alive by the mosquitos.
The next morning we decided to rent some bikes and go around the outer area of Ubud. Little did we know we would be risking our lives as the Indonesian roads are some of the maddest I’ve ever seen. As we left the bike rental shop I can only imagine we were the spitting image off Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. Firstly we cycled over the Goa Gajah temple about 10km outside of the city which was really quite impressive. It is a 9th century temple built when means it is feckin’ old! We went for a mini hike after entering the temple which took us down a ravine and to some cool waterfalls. On the way we bumped into a local priest who invited us into a mini chapel where he made us sit down, pray and anointed us when leaving. As we were walking out the door, he carefully pointed at the tip jar on the altar. And they say different religions have nothing in common?! At least they don’t have 2 collections like back home.
After arriving in Kuta we headed over to Granny’s Hostel which was recommended by many travellers on the trip for its laid back atmosphere and friendly staff. And it’s true. The staff knew your name in 2 minutes and made us feel right at home. We just chilled most of the day in the hostel and had some Nasi Goreng with fellow travellers before hitting the hay as we were all a bit wrecked.
A big thanks to all the cool people we met during our short time in Indonesia, both fellow travellers and the locals, who were especially welcoming. Nasi Goreng will always be a personal favourite. Terima Kasih!