Our flight from Medan was early in the morning, so we hired a minibus from Bukit Lawang to make it in time. This time we had a race car driver, and arrived to the airport 2 hours earlier than expected. We were very relieved to arrive alive and very quickly hopped out of the van. It was a 3 hour flight and we arrived in Denpasar under the cover of darkness. We cabbed it straight to Sanur to find a place to stay. I was immediately surprised at how busy Bali was – loads of traffic and even more retail. We hopped out of the taxi on the main road and chose Yulia 1 Homestay – two single beds for 250,000 rupiah. The first day I was sick in bed while my friend, American #4, worked at the nearby Starbucks. We managed to make it out that evening to see the beach and grab some pizza while being serenaded by a cover band. Sanur was a bit too commercial for us, so we jumped a slow boat across to Nusa Lembongan for a night. 100,000 IDR and 45 minutes later we were on a beautiful little laid back island. We walked along the coast until we found our home for the night - Ketut's Bungalows. We were sold by the gorgeous sea view from our room, infinity pool, and price tag of 250,000 IDR. After a dip we wandered the beaches and ended up at one of the many surfing spots. There wasn't much nightlife in Nusa, but we managed to find a great little warung for a 15 IRD dinner of nasi goreng.
The next day we rented a motorbike to explore a bit further. We headed to Mangrove Point – it was gorgeous so we thought we'd go for a snorkel. I hopped off the bike and noticed a couple of small monkeys chained up to poles. I walked over and a man was feeding one a rice ball. I was abhorred and felt very sorry for this monkey, and lost my head. I bent down and the monkey climbed onto my lap to eat the rice ball. I left it there for a moment, which was long enough for the monkey to latch onto my palm and attempt to suck my blood. I ripped that sucker off and managed to get away with a painful monkey hickey and a scratch from its tooth. I was very shaken and appalled by the lack of reaction from the monkey's owner to my bite and the fact that they were chained in such a way. We hightailed it out of there to Bobo's restaurant next door to figure out our next steps.
We decided to take a nice, relaxing snorkel and were told to just swim out to “where those boats are”.... Well, our friend Bobo didn't let us know about the very shallow water, the seaweed farms, the poisonous snakes, and the long swim without fins... It was a terrifying 30 minutes after I saw that first snake. We finally made it past all of this, and were rewarded with one of the most beautiful coral reefs I've ever seen. We were exhausted and a bit shaken, however, so we swam to a nearby boat to take a rest. I wasn't sure we would be able to make it back, and I had no desire to retrace my steps so I waved down a small fishing boat, swam over, and asked the guy for a ride back. My friend was visibly relieved when Jerry drove over to pick her up and take us back to Bobo's. Quite a morning... it was time to motorbike it back to town and catch the ferry to Bali. On the way we caught some stunning views from the top of the mountain and Mushroom Beach. The roads were full of potholes, but there were very few trucks or cars which made for a nice ride. We made it to the boat in time for the very choppy ride back to Bali. Quite a day so far!
Back in Sanur and a bit seasick, we decided to visit the local hospital and to check out my monkey bite. We made it to Bali Royal Hospital, which was spotless and efficient. Within 1 hour I had 2 rabies injections for $45 and was back out the door, with the promise of 2 more injections over the coming month. Something to look forward to along my way... My friend was leaving the next day, so we had a delicious farewell dinner at Warung Little Bird and found some live music at Mango on the beach. My friend and I said our goodbyes and I decided to stay one more day in Sanur to figure out my next steps. That night I headed back to Warung Little Bird for acoustic night and their delicious ginger honey iced tea! Back to Yulia 1 to get some sleep – the next day my roadtrip up the coast begins!
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference and a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born. A place to share stories, resources, and a way to inspire and support others in realizing their individual travel dreams.
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Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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