These first 24hrs in Bali have been insanity. It all started yesterday when I went to the train station in Surfers Paradise headed for the airport. I saw this guy (Nathan) with a board bag so I asked him where he was going and turns out he was going to Bali, on the same flight. His two buddies, Chris-O and Nick-O showed up who have both spent time in Bali and are die-hard surfers. They invited me to cruise with them on their trip so I was happy to have met people who knew the place. I’ve never been on such a cool flight. Everybody in the terminal had board bags and sunnies and you could feel the “stoke factor” on the airplane. As soon as we landed (around 10pm) last night we took a van to the nearest city, Kuta. It’s the Las Vegas of Bali. Multi-level club after club playing loud bumping jams 24/7. Chris-O knew where to stay and it had a huge pool and nice amenities and was directly downtown. We didn’t waste any time and headed for the party scene. Nathan needed to get local money and went to the exchange office and when we were leaving I saw a guy bump into him and stick his hands in his pockets. I yelled to Nathan and he was able to grab the guy who luckily had aimed for the wrong pocket. Being in Kuta was pretty hectic at first because there were hundreds of people partying and hundreds of locals trying to get you to go to their bar or sell you something. We’ll probably go back to Kuta one or two more times, but you don’t want to live there. We had a pretty crazy night checking out all the clubs
In the morning we got right to it. We found a local guy who rents motorcycles and started bargaining. We all walked away with sweet motorcycles with surfboard mounts on the side. We have the bikes for the next two weeks and can extend if we want to. I was a little hesitant about getting a bike as there are no road rules, lanes, or signs (and you drive on the left side of the road). It’s the chaos theory in practice!
Chris again hooked it up with another contact from a previous trip and we booked a multi-million dollar villa in the middle of the peninsula. Getting out of Kuta to the villa was super chaotic. We got right into the thick of traffic and had a blast honking at people, driving on the sidewalks and splitting traffic. You definitely have to ride aggressive here. Riding around on the bikes has been so fun. We all have super funny big helmets on which adds to our entourage’s hilarity. When we got to the villa we were blown away by how nice it was. We each have our own king bed and bathroom and the kitchen is fully loaded with granite everything. There is a huge infinity pool out front too. For only $200/wk (yes per week and split 4 ways!) this place is a dream. After checking the place and unpacking we quickly reloaded the bikes with our boards and headed back out to the hustling streets. The first break we surfed today was called Green Bols and was a huge macking right onto pretty shallow reef and the place was completely empty. The walk down to the break was pretty surreal too. Its 345 huge stone steps down a cliff side to get to the beach. It was fine going down, but when we were done surfing the trek up was very tiresome! When we got to the top there was a Balinese man (who gave us the step count) selling cold drinks and food, so clutch! We got back on the bikes and crossed the peninsula to Balangan which is a super nice left. We stopped halfway to Balangan when I spotted a little crowd around a small bbq. We walked over and haggled for some tasty beef (I think it was dog) on a stick. We surfed Balangan until sunset and headed back to the villa to get ready for dinner. Chris showed us this little Warung (means eatery) that had really tasty food at criminally cheap prices. We each ordered 2 entrees, 1 appetizer and multiple fruity drinks before calling it quits. We walked out each paying just over 4 dollars!
Right now, I’m sitting in the villa winding down from an off the wall first 24hrs. So far I’ve been absolutely loving this country, it’s a giant playground! I’m so lucky to have started talking to Nathan at the train station as his buddy Chris has been leading the charge as tour guide and human GPS! I wonder where I would be right now if I hadn’t met them? Sorry no pictures, I’ll take heaps tomorrow and do another post. Slater