Leaving Seminyak we headed into Ubud to the Monkey Forrest. To be honest I wasn’t that keen on visiting the Forrest.. For a couple of reasons; 1) monkeys are disgusting flea bag disease carrying creatures and 2) forrest = vegetation = Mosquitos!
Manning up, Shemu and I crept into the depths of the forrest. We purchased some bananas at the entrance to ensure we didn’t get anything stolen. Shem wanted to see what would happen if he tried to play tug of war with one.
Me on the other hand was using the bananas as a buffer for disease. I am the first to admit that I screamed when one came running towards me with his stinking hands out.
We scored a cute little bungalow villa in a hotel west of the forrest. It was two stories, with the bottom being the bathroom and then you had to climb the steps up to our bed. I say ‘our’ because this was the first time we’d slept in the same bed. “Taking our relationship to the next level.” At this point this was the least of my worries, we were amidst vegetation and this meant the enemy – Mosquitos!!
Panic set in as usual. I left incense to fill the room and carefully let down the Mosquito netting.. It would have been romantic if we were both with someone else. Instead we drifted off in between air conditioner on and off.
The worse part was Shem’s insomnia in combination with the squeakiest door in the world. Worst sleep ever!! I had wished I had taken a sleeping tablet!
Awakening at the crack of dawn, I ate a staple breakfast of pancakes and awaited the arrival of our driver to the harbor.
The Balinese in general are lovely. Each with intricate stories of their lives. Many living in conditions I wouldn’t let my dog sleep in. We had already given a couple of thousand to a lady who slept on the side of the road with one kid in her lap and another behind her. Compelled by their stories of the simple life, we asked our driver to tell us of his life.
Eating three meals of rice per day, and probably earning the equivalent to $2 per day, our driver was bubbly and excited to drive us to the harbor. He told us of living at home with his entire family including parents and working late hours to feed his family.
It really puts perspective on things. I worry mostly about having enough money to travel to buy the things I want. I do not worry about not having enough money to eat. Although with my current employment situation that might come into reality. But everything always works out. I tipped our driver 100,000 which is about $10, which will help out his new born baby, which is unlikely to be educated.
As a lover of sea travel, I was über excited to spend a couple of hours ripping through the water in a speed boat. We made friends with a two boys from Perth. Shem was happy as I had someone to chew the ear off instead of his. I was already complaining of his silences in travel. Nothing bugs me more. “Let’s debate world issues” I always say!
Almost three hours later we get to Gili Trawagan, the largest of the three Gili islands. We hadn’t booked accommodation, which is unlike me. Arriving into the port, we noted that the journey of Asylum Seekers is almost worthy of entry into a foreign country. Being on a shanty wooden boat and traveling for months on the open ocean is a nightmare in itself.
Fresh of the boat we were met with “accommodation” from a local who asked us to follow him down a little filthy lane to a ‘Homestay’ house. I couldn’t have been more disgusted. It reminded me of the crack den hotel Dover and I stayed in Phnom Penh. I was done with it, find me a Internet cafe and I’ll pay $1000.
Fortunately we were able to secure rooms for about $150 a night. That night I was exhausted and could barely wait from Shem to return from the gym. 7pm I was gone. About 9 days of hitting the nightlife in Bali hard, had accumulated to a 12 hour sleep.
Waking up at 7am is so in these days, considering Shem has been awake since 5:30am, it’s just an average morning. The only downside is that you’re up so early that days seem to last forever.
We hired bicycles a little before 8am and head off our a tour of the island. An hour and a half later we arrived back in the same spot. I did however learn a couple of things; 1) buy a bigger bike seat and 2) stand up when you go over bumps. My bottom is ridiculously sore and all I could thinking was about Chelsea and her 250km around the bay. And finally 3) I am totally into bike riding now.
So by 1130am we had cycled the whole island. So what next? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Apart from a snorkel we had done Gili in an hour and a half. I was immensely bored. Should have learnt my lesson on how much I hated Fiji, that I should not go to places with nothing to do. This really doesn’t help my self diagnosed ADD.
I spent the rest of the afternoon being creeped on by a Cuban at the pool bar. Shem had snorkel and landed face to face with a turtle- ‘cockroaches of the sea’.
There is no mechanical transport on Gili, it’s either bicycle or horse and cart. I hated every minute of getting on the back of these horses, who have been working all day. They also look under fed. I felt as if I was paying into this slave labour, but as the roads were unpaved we had no option. On a side note my Samsonite suitcase is full of dirt and I’m not happy.
We rode past a turtle farm and patted the back of the little cuties. I wasn’t keen on holding one, but was happy to donate 100,000 to the conservation. If not for myself then for Linz.
After dinner we planned up to catch up with the boys, but forgot the place we were supposed to meet so we settled into a mattress as hard as the floor. Great!
By the early hours of the morning, I was done with sleeping on concrete and we packed up ready for the boat ride back to Seminyak. This is where I write now. Between sweating profusely and swaying side to side with the waves, I’m feeling lucky they gave me water and a cupcake.
The whole ride from the harbor back to the hotel took two hours. Meaning we began traveling at 10am and finally got to the hotel at 4pm. Absolutely unequivocally a nightmare of the horror variety..
We are ready for GrandmasHotel and KuDeTa. I’m done with sea travel!!
Ps. Gili is a waste of time. Go to Fiji.
~We are shaped by the experiences in which we seek~