Posts Tagged ‘beach’

Five lazy days in Puerto Viejo

Posted in Costa Rica on January 26th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

We’ve been laying really low the last 5 days because Ryan has been really sick (probably from eating questionable chicken) so from January 22nd to the 26th we spent our mornings in the hostel and our afternoons relaxing and people watching on the beach.

Beach crowd - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Locals arguing - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Ryan was relegated to a diet of powerade, ramen, and pizza, but I continued to be adventurous and try various foods including rice and vegetables with fried plantains and salad for 2,500 colones from Sunrise Backpackers (tasty, large plate of food), a veggie burger from Veronica’s for 2,500 colones (it was just ok), cheese pizza from Pizza Boruca for 850 colones (good and cheap) and pb&j with salad for 2,200 colones from Bread and Chocolate (very good).

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The dog that lives at Hostel Pagalú, we think his name is teddy, has a funny habit of walking around and around this tiny palm tree in the yard very very slowly. He’s a sweet dog, we think he is a rescued stray. There are a ton of stray dogs here and they’re much friendlier than the strays in Indonesia.

I’ve noticed that families start early in this part of the world. We’ve seen tons of pregnant young teenage girls and older teens with multiple children. There is also constant PDA no matter where you look; a stark contrast to Indonesia where even holding hands in public is looked down upon. The people here seem very happy despite the poverty and terrible living conditions that affect many of the locals.

Locals - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Local girls - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

One night, after eating dinner at Ali Baba, we were approached by a hippie looking old white dude. He told us he was a comedian magician and he entertained us with jokes and card tricks for about 15 minutes. He had us laughing a lot, so we gave him a donation of 500 colones. My favorite joke was “How many deadheads does it take to change a lightbulb?” “None, they just let it burn out then follow it around for 20 years.”

There are wild horses that roam the beaches here. The stray dogs like to herd them.

Wild horse - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On Sunday, January 24th we saw eels, crabs and an octopus under some coral at the beach when the tide was really low. While there we played fetch with 2 stray black lab sisters who insisted on fetching the stick as a team.

Stray dogs - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On Tuesday, January 26th Ryan started to feel better so we rented bikes again and rode to Playa Cocles. We watched the surfers and collected shells.

Surfers - Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

I bought a coconut from an old guy with a machete for 430 colones. It was yummy.

Drinking from a coconut - Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

We rode on to Playa Chiquita and I bought a watermelon from some guys in a truck for 1,000 colones. We parked our bikes and walked south along the beach. We saw the same fishing yellow lab again and we collected a lot more shells.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day. We’re going to the Jaguar Rescue Center where we will see sloths, monkeys and snakes!

Sunset - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Bike ride to Punta Uva

Posted in Costa Rica on January 24th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

We heard that Punta Uva, 6km south of Puerto Viejo, is one of the best beaches in the world, and THE best in Costa Rica.  Of course we had to check it out.

On Thursday, January 21st we rented bikes for the day for 2,000 colones each, and headed south. On the way to Punta Uva we stopped at the end of Playa Cocles to take a break from the hot sun.

Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

We rode on to Playa Chiquita for some swimming. Ryan made friends with a super cute yellow lab that was fishing for something and jumping around in the waves with us.

Dog - Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica

After our swim break we stopped at a store for a guava juice (615 colones) break. Next we grabbed some food from a place just before Punta Uva. I had rice and beans with salad for 1,800, and Ryan had the same with chicken for 2,500. We didn’t know it then but this turned out to be a terrible idea.

Post-lunch we finally got to Punta Uva. We were already pretty sunburned but we ignored it (oops) and frolicked in the sun and water anyway. Punta Uva is an incredibly gorgeous white sand beach lined with palm trees stretching to the water. I even tried my hand at climbing one, but I kind of sucked at it.

Punta Uva, Costa Rica

Climbing a Palm Tree - Punta Uva, Costa Rica

Before it got dark we rode home and turned in our bikes. We went to Bread and Chocolate for dinner where I got a fantastic Mattwich (sandwich with cream cheese and avocado on wheat bread made at the restaurant) with salad for 2,500 colones. Ryan had a turkey bacon sandwich with fruit for 3,200 colones and a pineapple yogurt smoothie for 1,400 colones. We also split another one of those tasty mint chocolate brownies; we earned it!

Sun, Sand, Sloths, and Sandwiches in Puerto Viejo

Posted in Costa Rica on January 22nd, 2010 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

The hot water in our place at Coco Loco Lodge didn’t work and the wifi didn’t reach our room so we decided to move. After looking at a few places we decided on Hostel Pagalú which we moved to on Wednesday, January 20th. We LOVE this new place! for $28 a night we have a clean and nice room with a double bed, ceiling fan, bathroom with an amazing hot water shower, lovely common area, free wifi, and a common kitchen. This is the nicest hostel I’ve seen; I highly recommend Hostel Pagalú.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Kids - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On Tuesday, January 19th we spent the day taking a long walk south down the white sand Playa Cocles  and through a forest path along the ocean. We sat and watched surfers for a while; one surfer was doing handstands on his board. We also saw three sloths: one in palm tree, one in a more sloth-friendly tree, and one dead sloth on the ground, with it’s back leg still clutching a branch 🙁

Sloth - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Island - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

When we returned we went to dinner at Soda Flip Flop where Ryan got a hamburger for 1,200 colones and I got nachos for 1,500 colones. Then we went to the Mega Super grocery store to buy bread, jam, a mango, and beer before turning in for the night.

Forest - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On the morning of Wednesdsay, January 20th we moved to Hostel Pagalu. After that we went to lunch at a place called Bread and Chocolate which we heard was fantastic. It is. I had a delicious veggie sandwich with a huge salad for 2,500 colones, and Ryan had a blt with fruit for 2,500 colones. We split a mint chocolate brownie for 1,000 colones and it was probably the best brownie I have ever eaten. The chocolate is so good because it’s made locally.

Bread and Chocolate Veggie Sandwich - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

We spent the afternoon hanging out on Playa Negra the black sand beach  just chillin and swimming. I found a stick and played coconut baseball for a while,  and a super cute stray bud dog hung out with us for a bit.

Stray dog - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

We went to dinner at Soda Flip Flop again where I got a spicy fish taco for 1,450 colones and Ryan ordered spaghetti boloñesa for 2,600 colones.

Then we headed to bed. Tomorrow we are going to rent bikes and ride further south to Punta Uva, supposedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Sunset - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Posted in Costa Rica on January 18th, 2010 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Ryan and I made a last minute decision to take off to Costa Rica for 18 days. So far I think we made the right choice 🙂

Beach - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

We arrived at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday January 17th at 7:30pm. After some searching, we found the driver of the shuttle that we had arranged to take us to our hotel, the Costa Rica Guesthouse, for $22. We only spent one night. The single room with a king bed and private bathroom cost us $45. The rooms were clean and nice, but we were very itchy in the bed. The shared bathrooms looked nice and clean and if I were to stay here again I’d save money and go with a single room with a shared bathroom.

We were supposed to get up early on the morning of Monday, January 18th to catch our 6am bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. I set our alarm to wake us up at 4am, but then we slept in until 5:10am. Oops. I rushed around throwing our things back in our packs while Ryan went to the front desk and managed to convey to the clerk in his very limited Spanish (far better than my non-existent Spanish) that we needed a taxi. The taxi arrived at 5:30am. The driver had a fast and crazy driving style and we flew to the bus station in about 10 minutes. I had a huge shit-eating grin on my face the whole time because I love an adventure! After paying the $3 cab fare, we bought two tickets to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for 4,290 colones each.

Out the window of the bus we could see some stunning lush scenery, including vast cloud forests with waterfalls and rivers. This is truely a gorgeous country. The bus ride took 4 hours and we managed to sleep for a bit of it. The buses don’t have bathrooms but we did take a 15 minute break in Limon about halfway through the ride. The public buses look pretty similar to Greyhound buses inside and out, but without a bathroom in the back.

At 10:10am we arrived in Puerto Viejo on the southern Caribbean coast. The weather here is sunny and fairly hot, but definitely bearble. Our accommodations here are at the Coco Loco Lodge where we have a clean one bedroom bungalow with a full kitchen, double bed, bathroom, and porch with a hammock (yay!). The room is $55 a night which is more than we’d like to pay but since this is high season most places are booked up so we have to take what we can get.

While waiting for our room to be cleaned we took a stroll around the village. The highlight of this walk was the momma sloth and baby sloth we saw chilling in a tree right outside the place we got lunch! I was so excited; sloths are my favorite animals. Our lunch was excellent too: falafel sandwiches for 2,000 colones each.

Sloth - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

After our walk we went back to our room and got ready to go to the black sand beach. The ocean is too rough to snorkel but we had a blast alternating laying in the hot sun and playing in the waves to cool off. Unfortunatly, laying in the sun was so comfy we both fell asleep and got a little sunburnt. Oops.

Beach sign - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

When the sun started to set we headed back to our room to clean up and then went to dinner. Ryan got a slice of pizza from Pizza Boruca for 875 colones, then we went to Soda Flip Flop where I got a grande red bean taco for 1,500 colones and we split a plate of chips with some delicious guacamole for 1,500 colones.

We hit up the Super Mart gorcery store on the way home to buy juice, a mango, beer, and water. Everything except fruit products are more expensive here than they are at home. You’re not supposed to drink the water in Puerto Viejo (which I found out after already drinking some earlier in the day, oops AGAIN, hopefully I don’t get sick), though the water in San Jose is safe to drink. But, of course, beer is always a good choice. Travelers should note that there is some forced recycling in place here: you can’t buy bottled beer without bringing in an empty bottle to exchange for it, so if you don’t have a bottle either pay the steeper price, or go find one!

Sunrise, sunset, the days melt away on Gili Air

Posted in Indonesia on July 5th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Friday, June 26th, 2009

We went snorkeling again in the morning but since the waves have picked up again the visibility wasn’t that great and the current is getting stronger. It was still fun though!

For lunch we went to (you guessed it,) Munchies again where I got Urap-urap with tofu. I am really going to miss this tasty food.

urap urap tofu

We did some more reading and bumming around for the rest of the day before watching another beautiful sunset and hitting up Munchies for dinner.

gili air sunset

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

We skipped snorkeling today because the visibility was so bad yesterday. After watching sunrise and bumming around we spent most of the afternoon shooting the shit with our buddy Rouling at Munchies. He’s a 19 year old surfer kid, born on Lombok and now living on Gili Air trying to make enough money to get by. Like most people here he works from 8am till closing at around 10pm and only gets 2 days off a month. He’s a good kid, just living life and hoping he someday finds true love.

gili air bathroom

In the evening I bought a fresh mango for 10,000 to eat for lunch tomorrow, then we watched the sunset and went to Munchies for dinner. Wash, rinse, repeat… this is the life!

gili air sunset

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

After breakfast I bought a pack of peanuts from Ozzy’s store for 5,000 and inside was a 1,000 bill taped inside one of the peanut shells! Later I learned that it was part of a marketing contest, apparently I was the lucky winner of approximately 10 cents!

gili air beach

gili air beach

We spent the afternoon chilling at Munchies again. There is a momma cat and her 3 kittens that live there so we played with them and talked with Rouling for a while. In the middle of the day it was super hot so Ryan and I had an impromptu water fight to cool off to the delight of the Munchies crew who thought it was a riot. I borrowed Rouling’s bike to go buy our Perama boat tickets back to Ubud which cost us 335,000 each after the 15,000 discount we got for being repeat customers. We’re leaving on June 30th, but we really don’t want to…. On the way back from buying the tickets I rode through some of the village on the interior of the island. I wish I had more time to explore this place!

gili air road

gili air sign

At night we went back to our favorite place for dinner and beers with Rouling.

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Today is my unofficial birthday because we are traveling all day tomorrow, June 30th, which is my real birthday. We had breakfast brought to our room where we ate and watched the sunrise before heading into the ocean for some snorkeling. The visibility was much better today but the current is getting super strong! It’s fun to just get in in front of our hotel and be able to float along the the sea wall in the current.

We went to Munchies for lunch where I got iced coffee for 6,000, large Bintangs for 25,000 and a mixed lassy for 10,000. We chilled there for a while and took pictures with the Munchies crew.

gili air munchies crew

Later we watched the sunset and then I got a half hour massage by the beach for 50,000, it was lovely. We also gave one of our flashlights to the lady we bought necklaces from a few days ago as a gift. We gave her the manual recharging one so she won’t have to buy batteries. It’s interesting the things people have asked us for here; so far people want our flashlights, extra clothes, and Ryan’s sunglasses.

We headed to Munchies again for our last dinner and beers on this amazing island. I got my all time favorite Indonesian dish, Gado-gado for 13,000, and of course, Bintangs. We stayed until they closed and then asked Rouling to walk back to our hotel with us. We talked along the way and then gave him some money as a gift. It was a small amount for us but we really hope it will be a help to him. We promised him that when we come back we will all climb Mount Rinjani on Lombok together because it’s something we really wanted to do but didn’t have time for, and it is a dream of his to make the trek. Rinjani is considered a sacred mountain to Lombok’s people and making the 3 day trek to the summit is important to them.

We’re not ready to leave this beautiful island, but we are nearing the end of the trip and we must get back to Bali to fly home.

Goodbye Gili Air, you are by far the coolest place I have ever been, now back to Ubud, Bali!

Gili Air aka Paradise

Posted in Indonesia on June 26th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 4 Comments

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Our complimentary breakfast at Kaluku Bungalows consists of fruit salad, toast and coffee. Not as much as we have been accustomed to eating but I for one have been packing on the pounds so a dietary change is in order anyway.

We walked around island, started heading north. We found a sweeto deserted beach in the southwest that we chilled on in the shade for a while enjoying the beautiful view. The other island in the pictures is Gili Meno, and the mountain in the background is on Bali.

me gili meno from gili air

gili meno from gili air

One the way back we went to Munchies for lunch. I got Urap-urap (a Sasak dish containing boiled veggies with grated coconut and spices with rice) for 15,000 which was AMAZING! This and Gado-gado are my favorite Indonesian foods so far. I need an Indonesian cookbook so I can make this stuff when I get home.

urap urap

Later we hung out in the pool at Blue Marlin Dive shop next door to Kaluku and read all day. We ate dinner at Munchies again, I got really yummy iced coffee for 6,000.

Ryan used the internet at Ozzy’s where you can use their moderate-speed connection for 400 a minute.

At 9:30pm I went to a “big” party at the Blue Bar on the south end of the island where I met a few travelers and lots of locals, most born and raised on Gili Air, but a few from Flores, Sulawesi, and other Indonesian islands. We hung out, drank a few Bintangs, listened to the DJ spin some rave-y music, and I spun fire poi with the locals! Afterwards I headed home and slept in a hammock outside under the stars, it was lovely.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I woke up to the Muslim call to prayer at 5am. I think it’s a pleasing sound to wake up to. Went back to sleep for an hour and then got up to watch a beautiful sunrise with Ryan.

We packed a daypack and headed to the southwestern beach we discovered yesterday, stopping to trade books and have a lassy and iced coffee at Munchies on the way.

On our trek to the beach we took pictures of these super sketch huge spiders that are all over the trees and bushes. Important warning: don’t wander off the main roads and go tromping through the bushes on these islands, you WILL face plant right into these palm-sized fuckers, they are everywhere. Ugh, gives me the creepy crawlies!

gili air spider

We spent the day lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun and reading. We found a huge pile of seashells and when they started moving we realized most were inhabited by hermit crabs. There were lots of fisherman out, some with nets and some with poles. I dig how this guy has a pack of smokes strapped to his hat.

gili air fisherman

When the tide got really low we waded into the water. Gili Air looks beautiful from a few hundred feet out in the ocean!

ariel gili air

Ryan also had an excellent photoshoot with this crab.

gili air crab

On the way home we stopped at a restaurant on the south tip of the island where they had baby sea turtles that were sooooooo cute!

baby sea turtles

We grabbed lunch at Munchies (now our go-to place because of the cheap lassies we are addicted to) where I got Tempe in a thick spicy tomato based sauce with rice that was fantastic! This was also a Sasak dish.

spicy tempe sasak

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I woke up to a bright pink room and looked outside to see one of the most vibrant sunrises I’ve ever seen. We went out to watch and then I walked along the beach and gathered seashells.

gili air sunrise

gili air sunrise

In the late morning we snorkeled along the southeastern part of the beach. The current was incredibly strong, it just sweeps you along so the best way to do it is get in on the northeast beach and drift down to the southeast beach.

In the evening we watched sunset over the water from northwest side of island.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Got up early to watch sunrise again. It’s so beautiful every morning and it’s a great way to start the day.

gili air sunrise

At around 10:00am we snorkled getting in in front of the Abdi Fantastik bungalows a few steps south of Kaluku. We floated down to around Manta Dive, then got out and walked along the beach back to where we started, stopping to play on the swings along the way.

gili air beach swing

We did this twice, and we saw turtles! The visibility and reef are much better in the morning. The only downside is the ruthless jellyfish. We’re both covered in little welts from their stings.

Ate lunch at the Green Cafe where I got a vegetable and fruit kebab with a carrot and cabbage salad for 30,000. The kebab was delish but there are tastier things for the price. Green Cafe is right next to Munchies so Ryan ordered a lassy and they brought it over to him.

We watched another beautiful sunset on the northwest side of the island before heading to dinner.

gili air sunset

gili air sunset

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

After breakfast we snorkeled again, getting in in front of our place and floating with the current down to Munchies. We saw turtles again and a giant spotted eel!

Ate lunch at Munchies where I got Pelecing (water spinach with coconut and a spicy tomato sauce) which I had tempe added to, costing me 18,000 all total. It wasn’t bad, but not my favorite.


Later we tromped on some central trails to get the the southwest side of the island where we watched the sunset over Gili Meno.

After sunset we bought necklaces from a primary school teacher named Mustafa. He teaches ages 6-12.

At 10:30pm we went to the once-yearly Dark Moon Party at Legends Reggae Bar on the north tip of the island. There were mostly locals there and it was very rave-y. We drank Bintangs, talked with our buddy Rouling from the Munchies crew, and I spun fire again. There are lots more tourists here now, and, surprisingly, Americans. The island is getting noticeably busier and it gets into peak season.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

We woke up late and went snorkeling a little later than we planned. We got in the water in front of Kaluku at 11:30am and floated south for an hour. The visibility wasn’t as great as previous days because the waves had been kicking up the sand all morning.

We had lunch at Munchies before walking back. We chilled at Kaluku for a while and then went on a new book hunt. We ended up buying one book from Kira Kira Cottages for 15,000, trading our Stephen King book for a 2008 copy of Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (such a steal! this book is $26 at home) and trading 2 of our other books for Obedience by Will Lavender. I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the 4th book I have read on this trip (the other three were Stephen King’s The Dead Zone which I liked, How to be Good by Nick Hornby which was a quick and light read, and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown which was not good at all.)

gili air fish seller

gili air street

We watched sunset on the northwest side of the beach again, then headed to dinner at Munchies where I got a traditional Sasak fish dish called Ikan Parapek for 30,000. I thought it was pretty good, untill I found out that “fresh fish” means “caught sometime in the last month, maybe.” In fact the local joke is to say “Fresh fish, caught tomorrow!”

ikan parapek

I have gone mostly vegan here (had to give up lassies!) since dairy is hard to come by and I was already vegetarian anyway. So far I don’t really miss it and I feel great.

Yum, Lassy! To Gili Air by Perama boat

Posted in Indonesia on June 21st, 2009 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

The only noteworthy thing about today was our discovery of the lassy, a ridiculously delicious drink made by thoroughly blending fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and ice to a creamy smooth texture. It’s like a cross between a milkshake and a smoothie. We’re SO making these all the time when we get home.

mixed fruit lassy

Oh also we goofed off with my underwater camera in the pool.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

After breakfast we scrambled to get ready to leave for the Gili islands. I bought a sarong for the beach for 25,000, we changed some US dollars for Rupiah because there are no ATMs on Gili Air, and we bought snacks and tickets for the Perama boat ride to the islands.

bali atm

padang bai beach

Goodbye Padang Bai, you were a pleasant place to be sick in, now on to Gili Air!

Gili Air is the middle of the three Gili islands when it comes to land area and busyness. It has the largest local population, it’s the closest to Lombok, and it’s not too busy, not too quiet. Gili Trawangan is the largest, most developed, and most expensive island, and is generally just one huge drunken party day and night. Gili Meno is the smallest, quietest, and least populated island. It lies between Air and Trawangan and has a salt water lake.

The Perama boat ride to Gili Air lasted about 4.5 hours, cost 300,000 each, included dinner onboard, and made everyone pretty seasick. It was very cool seeing Bali, Lombok, and the sunset from the boat so we alternated lying down with taking pretty pictures.

perama boat to gili

sunset from perama boat

We arrived on Gili Air after dark and got a ride on a cidomo (horse drawn cart) to get to the Coconut Cottages. The ride cost 20,000. There are no motor vehicles allowed on the Gili islands so the only way to get around is by foot, bike, or cidomo. It’s not much to walk though; you can get around the perimeter of Gili Air by foot in about an hour.

We stayed at the Coconut Cottages for one night in a fan room for 250,000. After we got settled in our room we went out and got pineapple juice at Lombok Indah for 6,000 before going to bed.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

For breakfast at Coconut Cottages I ate toast with pineapple jam, fruit salad, and Lombok coffee in the company of a super cute cat.

gili air cat

We walked around and looked at a bunch of different places to stay, most are along the East side of the island. We decided on the Kaluku Bungalows next to Blue Marlin Dive Shop which we got for 300,000 a night (down from 350,000) for an air conditioned room with a tv, minifridge, lovely open air bathroom with hot [salt] water shower, and a pool. The pool is a huge plus because this place is HOT.

gili air kaluku bungalows

We tried to go snorkeling but the visibility was terrible and the current was strong so we gave up and sunbathed on the beach instead. We’re told that the ocean has been rough lately and that it should settle down in the next few days and when it does we plan on doing a day long snorkel trip around the three Gilis.

ariel gili air beach

The power went out on the whole island sometime mid-morning and stayed out almost until sunset. For dinner we went to a place called Munchies where Ryan got some tasty chicken curry and we both got mixed fruit lassies.

gili air road

gili air beach

Passing time in Padang Bai and a trip to the BIMC

Posted in Indonesia on June 16th, 2009 by Vagablonding – Be the first to comment

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

We went straight to the Hotel Puri Rai in Padang Bai. We stayed in a nice air conditioned room with a large bed, but our hot water didn’t work. They have 3 swimming pools and a decent breakfast included. It cost us 400,000 for the night.

In the afternoon we wandered around the 2 road town in search of some food. When we found a place I got my usual Gado-Gado and we were entertained by the 3-4 year old daughter of the workers with songs and drawings, and not a bit of English though she enjoyed hearing Ryan say the word “monkey”.

ariel and a little balinese girl

After lunch we hung out near the beach and then walked to Blue Lagoon, a popular snorkel spot 10 minutes from town.

For dinner we went to the Kerti hotel restaurant where I had a fruit salad with yogurt and honey for 15,000, and Ryan got a pizza for 40,000.

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

After breakfast at Hotel Puri Rai we went snorkeling for an hour at Blue Lagoon where the visibility was great and the reef wasn’t bad, but the current was very strong, and we saw a sting ray!

We rushed back and checked out of our hotel at 11:00am so we could move down the road to an equally nice but much cheaper place called the Padang Bai Beach Bungalows where we paid 220,000 a night for an air conditioned room with a super comfy big bed and use of the brand new infinity pool.

We walked around town in search of lunch and a convenience store. We ate at the Kadek Cafe where I got Gado-Gado again for 15,000 and a chocolate milkshake for 15,000. We found a convenience store and I jumped up and down with excitement when I saw that they had my new favorite thing, COFFEE SODA!!! We shared a coffee soda and Ryan got an ice cream to sooth his swollen tonsils. His tonsilis aren’t getting better or worse, and since he’s been taking antibiotics for a few days now we are a bit worried and aren’t sure what to do next. Stay on Bali where the hospitals are in case it gets worse, or throw caution to the wind and head to the Gilis? Hopefully time will help us decide.

We spent the rest of the sunlight hours hanging out in the super sweet infinity pool. For dinner we went back to the Kadek Cafe where I got corn flakes with plain yogurt for 15,000 and a coffee for 5,000. Afterwards we went to the Topi Inn and used their wifi for a few hours to research what else we can do about Ryan’s tonsils. They charge 200 per minute for use of their wifi. We hear they have great food but it’s pretty spendy so we haven’t eaten there yet.

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I’ve come down with a cold so today was spent sleeping in, lazing about in the pool, reading, visiting the convenience store 3 times for coffee soda and ice cream, and going to bed early. Tomorrow we are going to the Australian-run Bali International Medical Clinic (BIMC) near Kuta to see what can be done about Ryan’s tonsils.

padang bai

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

We got a ride to Kuta to go to BIMC. Our driver was a local guy who charged us 300,000 for the ride, waited outside the hospital for us for the hour and a half we were there, and took us to the supermarket afterwards so we could buy peanut butter and jelly. People here are so nice!

At the clinic the doctors took Ryan’s vitals and asked him questions that were obviously designed to find out if he had swine flu or not. Then they got to asking about his tonsils and decided to prescribe him a 3 day course of a different kind of antibiotics, throat lozenges, multivitamins, and ibuprofen. The doctor wouldn’t give him an antibiotic injection because he doesn’t have a fever, but we tried our hardest to convince her. Oh well, hopefully these new antibiotics will fix him all up.

We’re planning to move on to the Gili Islands either tomorrow or the next day, depending on how the antibiotics work.

Three days in peaceful Amed and Sanur is a Sewer

Posted in Indonesia on June 12th, 2009 by Vagablonding – 7 Comments

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

We left Ubud for Amed at around 11:45am with our driver from the Jalan-Jalan tour company. The drive was through some lovely scenery on some not-so-lovely windy roads so we both got a little carsick. We went through the rice fields and small town of Sideman, then up to Amed on a road between Mt. Agung and Mt. Seraya. The drive took about 2 hours and cost us 250,000.

We found a hotel quickly, mostly because the first place we went was so nice and also I had to pee really bad. We stayed at Kembali Beach Bungalows in a one room bungalow with a big comfy bed, a nice open-air bathroom with a western toilet and hot water shower, and a deck with chairs, right on the black sand beach, all for 365,000 a night.

Kembali Beach Bungalows

In the afternoon I went for a solo walk down the East end of the beach to the bay of Jemeluk. On the way down and back I was met with hordes of local kids trying to sell me hand made baskets of salt and little wooden boats. At one point I had a group of 8 of them walking down the beach with me trying to sell me stuff while I distracted them with questions about what they were learning in school and how old they were. They’re very sweet kids but they are incredibly poor so I didn’t mind them hounding me for money, though I didn’t end up buying anything.

Amed, Jemeluk bay

For dinner we ate at the Three Brothers’ Restaurant and I had some delicious vegetable curry for 18,000. Ryan had the Nasi Goreng Special for 17,000 and we split a large Bintang for 23,000. We talked with a drunk aussie guy who was there on holiday with his mate and their Balinese dates.


Thursday, June 11th, 2009

We got up early to watch the gorgeous bright orange and pink sunrise, then we went to the complimentary breakfast at our hotel Kembali where we both had toast, scrambled egg, fruit, and of course, a pot of Bali coffee.

After breakfast we went for a walk around the one street very small town which consists of little hotels, restaurants, dive shops, and one small convenience store, where we bought Coffee Soda, a delicious concoction that I wish we had at home!

coffee soda

We arranged for a driver to take us to the Japanese shipwreck that was 20 minutes away for 150,000. Our driver was a nice young looking guy who has one kid and said this is his first job. The snorkeling was fun but the visibility was so-so to start with and just got worse the longer we were there. It was the first time I had snorkeled around a shipwreck and swimming down to touch the ship was a cool experience. I let Ryan use my fins so I was extra tired by the time we were done.

We went to lunch at Three Brothers’ again and this time I had Gado-Gado which was also very tasty, though it took them about an hour and a half to bring us our food. That’s a pretty good example of how time goes on Bali: no one is in a hurry and you shouldn’t be either, so plan your stay loosely.

In the evening we talked with three local boys for an hour or so who were walking the beach selling stuff. We talked about what they were learning in school and looked over some of the English lessons they had written in their little torn up notebooks. They asked us questions about America and Barak Obama (he lived in Indonesia for a while, you know) and about the airplane ride that we took to get to Bali. We didn’t want to buy anything from them but they said they were hungry so I made them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and brought them water.

Ryan’s throat and tonsils look like they are getting infected again like they did at home a few months ago, so he started on a course of antibiotics today. Because of this we decided to go to Sanur instead of Padang Bai (we were planning on heading to the Gili Islands off of Lombok via boat from Padang Bai). Sanur is a larger beach resort town with a pharmacy and doctor on call, and it’s right next to the big city of Denpasar and the airport, so we figured it would be smart to hang there for a few days and see if his throat gets better before heading off to the middle of nowhere on the Gili Islands where we would be a day’s boat ride and a long drive away from medical help.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

We got up early so we could go snorkeling in Jemeluk bay which is just a short walk along the coast from our hotel. The visibility was much better and we had fun chasing fish with my canon camera with the underwater housing for a couple hours.  I got stung by a jellyfish but we were having so much fun we just kept going.

Goodbye Amed, you were a peaceful break from the pace of the city. On to Sanur!

We hit the road at 11:30am on our way to Sanur. The drive was pretty and the drivers we shared the road with were crazy! Giant tour busses passing each other on these narrow windy roads while motorbikes dart between them. I would not drive here. We stopped at Candi Dasa for lunch on the way. We paid 250,000 for the ride and we’ve been tipping our drivers 50,000 in addition to the fare (which we usually bargain down first).

Shortly after we entered Sanur we nicknamed the place Sewer. It’s a boring town with no charm, a sub-par beach, and over priced dismal places to stay. We’re staying in a place called the Swastika. Yes, you read that right. Comically only a skip away from the German consulate, and filled with blonde haired Germans… The rooms are dark and dismal with annoying fluorescent lighting, stains on the bed and walls, and one of the worse bathrooms I have seen in a hotel, all for 300,000 a night. They do have free wifi and a decent pool, though.

To pass the time in this crappy town we decided to go get massages, which were lovely. Ryan got an hour long foot massage for 30,000 and I got a half hour back and half hour foot massage for 50,000.

The only other noteworthy thing about this town was the multi-level Hardy’s supermarket we visited that had a nasty fish smell to it. I bought a pear, a snake fruit, peanuts and gum for myself, and a tub of neapolitan ice cream for Ryan which was promptly devoured outside the store. The best thing about this supermarket was the girl giving out free vodka samples!


This town is lame so we are leaving tomorrow to go to Padang Bai, which we wish we would have done in the first place. Ryan’s throat isn’t getting better yet but we figured we should at least be in a place we’re enjoying while we wait to see if it’s healing.

Goodbye Sewer, on to Padang Bai!