I don't think many people will argue with the fact that the most famous thing about Bali is its beaches. Something we also learnt quite quickly when researching Bali was that the main city, Kuta, did not have the best beach (and wasn't the most scenic town in itself, either, very built-up)... The best beaches were apparently in South Kuta, where all them party-oriented Ozzie bogans would be too hungover to travel to. (Sorry, generalisation. But still. Sort of accurate.)
|Kuta looks ok too...|
|No swimming allowed -flag|
Jimbaran Beach, our next destination, was about half an hour away. It meant going past the airport on a big highway and round big roundabouts. It was pretty exciting – and disconcerting at times -, being on this little motorbike on a real big road, with normal cars and stuff (not just the taxis and occasional crazy bus or truck like in Vietnam)... But we managed!
The first impression was BEAUTIFUL, as you can see. Take away a few clouds and it would be IDYLLIC. And swimming was not prohibited here!
|View from the place we went to the toilet at and bought a coke.|
Not that you could really swim – the waves here were amazing and just so, er, wide? They came at you slowly but powerfully, so it was lots of fun playing in them. As long as you managed to stay away from them very dodgy plastic baggy things that sometimes clung to your leg when a wave threw them at you. Ewwww.
|I prefer sand to plastic bags|
The best part of Jimbaran beach, for me, something Nikki frequently dispaired over, was the close proximity to that AWESOME AIRPORT I told you about two entries back. The runway literally starts when the water ends. I wonder if they've even built the runway on water. (According to wikipedia, yes, they built over 1,000m of runway towards the sea.) (Apparently, North Bali is planning a floating airport! Yet another reason to return...) Anyways, it looked as if the aircraft were landing on the water, and it was amazing. And they'd wait there for other aircraft to pass, sometimes appear to kiss, ahhh it was amazing. My kind of beach.
|Mummy Malaysian airlines waiting for take-off turn...|
After the clouds started coming back, we went to look for food. This beachy area we'd found had one or two resorts, and the rest were very traditional food places, whose owners were shouting at us to try their very fresh (very alive) seafood. Unfortunately neither of us are the biggest fans of seafood.
|Bye bye beach|
|Down this alley|
So, at 3pm, we found this deserted looking eating hole – however when we asked for food the lady produced a very long and comprehensive food menu and sat us down. They even had both the things we ordered, and they were pretty scrumptious! The lady also owned a clothes shop, where I bought this STUNNER of a turquoise, er, drapy beachware dressy throw-over. Yes, that's it. A nearby lady came to give me a 'massaa' (massage) and only later did I realise she was trying to advertise her own massaging services. Oh well.
|More kwetiau om nom|
|With the newest caniney friend|
|Funky zebra dog!!|
Then, back home, quick nap, and then we went shopping around Kuta. I don't particularly like shopping around Kuta, because the salespeople are PUSHY. Not all, I learnt happily, but most. The main greetings are “Shopping, shopping” and “Looking, looking” and “Five dollar” (or any other price) for something that you may've accidentally looked at while passing by (and even if you hadn't...) Then they would run after you, lowering the price of that thing by like 90%, which would probably be a decent price, except that you had no desire or need to buy that random adaptor/swaggy watch/ornamental object designed in the shape of man parts...
And if you go to Bali, and are even slightly budget-concious, buy your magnets and other 'junk' souvenirs (in Finnish you have a word for this: krääsä. It means stuff you don't really need but are pretty or cute or fun or something so you get them anyways, and a lot of them.) from the shops, not the stalls. I got a set of ten Bali-keyrings for 15,000 at a shop. I asked a dude how much he charged for his set of five, identical. Guess what he said? 120,000. I'm not gonna even start calculating the percentages...
Then we chanced upon a place called Eikon, which happened to be brilliant, so much dancing and Nikki got introduced to them, er, bogans (who we christened 'muskeliaussit' in Finnish, since literally ALL the Ozzie guys were HUGE).
Then we went to the famous Skygarden, which is known
to be a bit of a tourist trap and not very pleasant, but it is also
known for its five floors and many different dancing/hanging out
areas. And we loved it. If you got bored of one area, there were many
more to choose from. I have not had that much fun dancing somewhere
for AGES. And, if that's not enough, the toilets were AWESOME...
Tomorrow, further south towards Uluwatu and its monkey temple and its beaches...