Truthbutter

Bali: Day 1

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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted something! I’ve started writing at least seven different posts, but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. But I’m determined to finish this one. So get ready.

Last week, I travelled to Bali for five days with about 20 of the other study abroad students at Murdoch. I wasn’t originally planning to go, because I wanted to see Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island instead, but then I decided that I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend 5 days in an awesome villa with a ton of fantastic people. 

I was on a different flight from the rest of the group, but luckily the flights were only half and hour apart, so I got to see everyone at the airport. Their flight got delayed, though, so I had to wait about an hour for them once I arrived in Bali. The Bali airport had little statues and plants and incense scattered around, which was neat. I also saw a cat inside the airport, and when I asked the immigration officer if there was supposed to be a cat in the airport, he tried to convince me the cat was a demon.

I was so happy to see my friends when they finally met up with me in the airport. I would not want to come to Bali on my own; just an hour by myself was plenty! Luckily the villa we rented organized transportation for us, so we didn’t have to brave the taxis quite yet.

Even though it was past midnight by the time we left the airport, we were all pretty hyped, so it was a fun ride to the villa.  But it was also a little terrifying! Just picture for a moment the worst traffic you’ve ever been in. Now add a motorbike (sans helmet) for every car and subtract stoplight, stop sights, and traffic laws, and you have a general idea of what it’s like to drive in Bali.

Nevertheless, we made it to the villa safely, and at first I was a little skeptical. Our street and the entire area we’d been driving through looked pretty run-down and a little sketchy, and the front of our villa just looked plain and sort of blended in with the other buildings on the street. But once we opened the doors, it was a different story!

Walking into our villa for the first time is still one of my favorite memories from Bali. The first thing we saw was the big beautiful pool right in the middle of the courtyard, surrounded by lights and with a big bridge over it. A few of our friends were already there hanging out in the pool, which added to the welcome. The living area and kitchen were on the opposite side of the pool, and there was a gazebo in front of the pool. Everything was outside still, but just surrounded by the walls of the villa, so we could see the buildings rising up on either side but we still felt like we were in our own little world.

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There were seven or eight suites with bedrooms and bathrooms, which were closed off from the courtyard/living area and air-conditioned (thankfully). All the rooms and bathrooms were beautiful as well.

Since it was about 1am by the time we got to the villa, I didn’t stay up very long, although other people swam and hung out for a while. The next day, we went downstairs to the kitchen (in the already oppressive heat and humidity) to find a buffet breakfast being made for us by the villa staff! Breakfast was included in our rate, so they came every morning and made everyone tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and food. The first morning we had fried rice, yogurt with fresh strawberries, and fried eggs, but on mornings where the food wasn’t gluten-free, they made me omelets. I have to say, I could get used to waking up every morning and being served hot chocolate and breakfast!

The first day in Bali was pretty chill. After finishing breakfast and cooling off in the pool, a group of us walked about 15 minutes to a spa for massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Walking in Bali is just as scary as driving, because the sidewalks (at least where we were) are extremely narrow and have lots of holes and obstacles to fall into or trip over, and there are motor bikes and taxis and people and cars everywhere. It’s just hectic and noisy and crowded and overwhelming. I’m sure I’ll say this many times in my blog tales of Bali, but I’m SO glad I was there with a big group of people and not by myself!

The massage place couldn’t take us all at once, so some of us hung out at a bar next door and drank frozen margaritas while we waited. Hard life, I know. I got a one-hour full body massage for $6, and it was wonderful. I wanted to go back every day, but that didn’t quite happen, so unfortunately that was my only $6 massage of the trip. Definitely a good way to spend the first day, though!

We all went to dinner together, and I broke out my Indonesian Gluten-Free Restaurant Card and gave it to the waiter so he could point out safe things for me to order. I’m really glad I brought it with me, because the servers at many of the places we ate didn’t speak much English, so having the card to explain what I couldn’t eat was helpful. The food in Bali still wasn’t great for my health, since we were eating out every meal, but I think I managed to at least avoid gluten (for the most part).

I ended up ordering nasi goreng at almost every meal, because I knew it meant some variation of fried rice with chicken and egg, which I could (probably) count on to be gluten free. I also got beef teriyaki with rice a couple times, and had one disappointing curry. And I ordered some kind of juice or smoothie at pretty much every meal, because we couldn’t drink the tap water, and if I have to pay for a drink anyway, I’d rather pay for something more exciting than bottled water. And in Bali, when something is listed as a “juice” on a menu, it typically means they just take the fruit in question and blend it up, so you’re actually getting a delicious fresh smoothie-type thing.

After massages and dinner, we all just pretty much hung out at the villa and in the pool. There may or may not have been skinny dipping. Some people wanted to go clubbing, but it’s hard to want to leave the comforts of your private beautiful villa and enter the crazy hectic streets of Bali, so nobody actually ended up going out. But it was awesome to just hang out with everyone, and I was definitely feeling glad I had decided to come to Bali! Hopefully I’ll get to writing  about the rest of my trip later today or tomorrow.

One Thought on “Bali: Day 1

  1. Anne luck on November 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm said:

    The resort sounds fabulous, especially the $6 massage! I think I’d have been there at least twice a day.

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