Saying goodbye to Christie, Riss and Gabby was an emotional event – after spending every minute of every day with these girls for 5 months, not being able to see their pretty faces the whole time was upsetting! I even shed a couple tears… we all did, except Christie of course – the Ice Queen strikes again.
My feelings of sadness did a quick 180 when I saw Kate standing in Denpasar Airport in her grey trackies and her peroxide hair on the top of her head in a scrunchie. It was like we’d seen each other last week instead of 7 months ago, with an ‘alright mate?’ settling us back into familiarity.
Although I’ll admit Kate didn’t provide much assistance while we bartered with the taxi drivers standing in the arrivals hall, we got a good deal (even cheaper than the hostel offer!) and brought them down from 300k IDR to 175k.
We arrived at our hostel in Seminyak, Capsule, within half an hour and checked into our private room – I’m so done with dorms! As we’d arrived quite late and Kate had come a long way from London, once we were in bed we passed out.
On our first morning in Seminyak, we headed to the Coffee Library for a spot of breakfast – god was it nice to not cook in a hostel kitchen!
After that, we had a bit of a wander and then met our school friend Sol, his girlfriend, his sister and her boyfriend at the famous Finn’s Beach Club in Canggu – now this is what I’m talking about. Beach clubs are probably one of my favourite things in the world, and in Bali, you don’t have to pay through the teeth for it! Being able to Lounge on comfy beds while day drinking and being waited on hand and foot doesn’t have many downsides.
That evening, Kate and I had a few drinks and played some beer pong in the hostel before heading to the famous club ‘La Favela‘. It was probably the beer talking but this was (most likely) the coolest club I have ever been to. Think the love child of a rainforest and Dishoom. The old rustic style club had trees all the way through it and an open courtyard in the middle led onto a number of dancefloors.
The next morning we were a tiny bit hungover (and by tiny, I mean Kate was chunning) so we chilled by the hostel pool until Nia arrived around lunchtime. Once Nia had finally got to the hostel (yay!) we made our way to the beach. En route we stopped a local cute restaurant to eat and had some fantastic pork satay – pork being a Balinese delicacy – and fried rice.
After a long (and sweaty) walk, we finally made it to the beach via the beach club Ku De Ta. We tried to have a relaxing afternoon on the beach but it was extremely windy and we just ended up with sand in places I didn’t even know existed!
That evening we went for dinner at Corner House – the food was delightful and then we had an early night as we had a 5:30am wake up the next day to get the boat to Gili T.
I have to admit, I was very glad we were not hungover for this journey. It involved a 2-hour mini-bus journey to the port and then a 2-hour ferry across – the boat was SO rocky and I was extremely grateful that I don’t get seasick. All were rewarded when we pulled up onto the stunning shore of Gili T.
Our hostel, Broken Compass, was only a short walk from the beach and was just what we’d hoped for – a cute little place, with a small pool, a nice bar with great food and clean rooms. The max in a room is 3 which was an added bonus for us.
We spent the afternoon at the beach, you can use the sun loungers next to the beach-front restaurants if you buy a drink. After Nia had fallen fast asleep, Kate and I had a very surreal experience. We were just on our sunloungers, chatting away, when we noticed a large group of Indonesians having a photo shoot on the beach. Before we knew what was happening, they had all surrounded us and were asking for pictures! We sat there for about 15 minutes while one by one they came up and had pictures with us… I hope it impressed their Facebook friends! Nia couldn’t believe she’d missed this whole thing happening, other people on the beach were definitely laughing at us.
Before dinner, we joined a group from the hostel to help with a beach clean-up. The amount of rubbish, especially cigarette butts was disgusting – if you are smoking on the beach, PLEASE put your butts in the bin. Other people shouldn’t be searching through the sand to pick up your slobber covered cigarette and put it away for you.
That night we went out with a whole group from the hostel – a lot of Bintang’s and Joss shots were involved and it was a fantastic night.
The next morning, we tanned by the pool before heading out on a boat to do some snorkelling. The snorkelling in Bali is fantastic, apparently so is the diving but I neither had the time or funds to do a dive. Our first stop was to a coral reef full a hundred of vibrant fish and marine life. The visibility was miles better than on the Great Barrier reef, I couldn’t really believe it.
The next stop was to ‘The Nest’, a man-made underwater sculpture designed to represent the bridge between land and marine life next to Gili Meno. It’s also circular to signify the circle of life. It was placed there in order to encourage a new reef to blossom, and in a few years, it should be a thriving ecosystem. It was a pretty spectacular thing to witness.
The final snorkelling stop was to Turtle Point – I have never seen so many turtles in one place, and I have never definitely seen them so close! I swam next to one for a full 5 minutes before it dove to the depths. I loved every minute of it.
Our trip ended with a quick stop on Gili Air, Gili T’s more relaxed and quieter cousin before heading out to sea to watch the sunset. All in all, it was a beautiful day.
On our last full day on Gili T, we worked on our tans. In the evening, we cycled to the other side of the island to watch the sunset and take pictures on the famous sea-swings, they did not disappoint.
The next day we had a very long trip to Ubud. Our boat was delayed by an hour and a half and the boat back is much longer because it has to stop at Lombok first. We finally got to Ubud just in time to check into our hostel, In Da Lodge, book an activity for the next morning and get some dinner.
We all wished we’d had longer in Ubud but when you’re only in Bali for just over a week it’s very hard to cram everything in! We started our morning early as we’d booked a downhill cycle.
This involved them driving us up to the top of a mountain, we were given a quick breakfast of banana pancakes and then we jumped on some bikes. We cycled down through the countryside, rice paddies and a splattering of small local villages.
We were given a tour of a local Balinese house and a temple. It was a really fantastic way to see the beauty of Ubud and would highly recommend it! The tour finished with a simple lunch of satay and rice but it was perfect.
After the cycle, we got dropped off at the Monkey Forest – a place that is inhabited by hundreds and hundreds of monkeys! Watching them play and groom each other was a fantastic experience and a must do when you’re in Ubud.
We had dinner in Ubud and then got a taxi back to Seminyak that night. We actually ended getting some under-the-table deal with one of the hostel workers’ brother giving us a lift for a discounted price! Worked out well though.
It was sad that our last full day in Bali has already come around, it had felt like we’d just arrived! For our final day, we headed to the world famous beach club, Potato Head. You have to go about an hour before opening to secure a day bed but it worked out perfectly as they have a restaurant you can get breakfast at.
We spent the whole day tanning, eating and drinking by the end we (well, I) was quite drunk! We also met this group of Irish lads who insisted on buying us cocktails and it would just have been rude to decline! Their spin on a margarita was to die for. We ended our last night in La Favella – such a great day.
Our flights home wasn’t until late evening. In the morning we went for a fantastic breakfast at Sisterfield’s and spent the rest of the day tanning.
In the afternoon we went for an early dinner at Motel Mexicola. This place is supposed to get wild in the evening so I wish we’d been able to come in the evening! We only ate from the bar menu but the food was delicious – we completely over-ordered. The margaritas left much to be desired but you probably shouldn’t be having anything with ice…
My flight home was at 9:45pm – I couldn’t really believe my whole trip was over, I was actually heading back to the UK. Okay, so I’m currently in India till the end of August but this is the end of an era. I can’t thank everyone who made this trip so memorable enough for giving me the best 6 months of my life. Bali (and Australia), I will be back.