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.
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.
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!
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!