A Travellerspoint blog

NUSA DUA (Ghost town)

sunny
View Bali Adventure on 00Verney's travel map.

After realising writing an entry on holiday everyday was far too laborious Ive decided to make an entry on each leg of our journey.

Everyone's expectation of holiday is relaxation and fun. So far it has not disappointed but relaxation in NUSA DUA is forced on you. We discovered that NUSA DUA is the town that hasn't started yet. With plentiful lavish hotels and villas and shopping centres designed around tourism but as of yet, they're arnt many tourists. For dinner you're looking at 1 to 1 service which isn't necessarily a bad thing but makes a shit atmosphere.

With a real push for water sports and not much else in the area, it's hard to do something unique unless you really look for it or travel further north such as ubud. As we will be venturing there later on in the holiday we avoided that. However we still managed to do some pretty amazing things.

Day 2 involved us hiring a driver and looking for unique spots that would give us some great photos and get us away from standard tourist spots. We managed to find the abandoned airplane that is about as random as it gets, story is a guy wanted to convert it into a restaurant and ran out of money. Even after trying to bribe the security guard he wouldn't let us in so our driver managed to find a way around and above the plane.

We then moved onto Goagoa temple which is built into the cliffs, you can't enter because it's a highly religious place and the way the guy inside acted I would probably spontaneously combust being a Christian. Never the less the view over Bali from there was amazing and it was very cool to see how much religion is built into this society as well as the cliff face.

Next was something we found online. It wasn't until the 90s that really Bali started becoming popular around the globe for tourism. So one genius attempted to build an amusement park which like many things in Bali was never finished. Strange and unique it's positioned by a beautiful stretch of beach but now completely deserted it serves as a canvas for graffiti and a hang out for taxis and rabid dogs. Got some cool photos though.

On the way back to the hotel and after confusing our driver enough with our weird requests he took us to a temple just up the road from our hotel which had incredible views of the ocean and really shows off the reef and white sands of Bali beaches. He told us it's a water temple 'surprisingly'. It is also a very popular place for the locals and not many know about it.

As a whole being chauffeured around was great especially as the capability of the driving in locals is questionable. Also we don't have an international driving license so renting scooters is a no no. It cost about 450,000 IDR which is about £25 which is amazing really.

Day 3 - we had already booked an excursion for day 3 which involved snorkelling, a visit to turtle island, Uluwatu temple and fire dance and dinner on a beach.

We had no concerns going into the day as the hotel recommended the company and booked it for us. When our driver arrived he was polite and friendly, when he lead us to the place we were getting the boat from we got a bit more worried. With a harbour full of boats and water sports going on left right and centre we were stuck with the guys operating out of a little hut. After having to figure out where to go our selves some guy threw some snorkel gear at us, got us to try it on and before we knew it we were on a little boat on our own heading out to a little spot in the ocean. I've been snorkelling before with a company and like them it was a large collection of boats all in one area but normally with someone to guide you round and at least a life jacket. I hate to complain but although I am a fairly strong swimmer Stef not so much having to get all your gear on while in the deep blue and no one watching you is a bit nerve racking. After calming down and getting to it there were some cool things to see but too much for Stef so she got back on the boat. I didn't stay in much longer and we clambered our way back on to the little blue floats.

We moved on to turtle island and was greeted by a very nice man certainly chasing that tip. He turned out to be our very own guide through what we thought was solely a turtle sanctuary. It actually turned out to be a small zoo with some pretty random animals in a small space. Very quickly we were escorted through and introduced to some little animals and some very big turtles. Always make you feel safe when a guy throws a snake on your shoulders that has its mouth taped up. Best bit was they lost the iguana and everyone was made to search. After having an awkward drink with our guide who "doesn't get paid" we ventured back to our driver who took us back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

The next half of our trip was by far the best. After a 30minute drive and a random stop at a coffee shop that sold Luwack coffee (search it) we arrived at Uluwatu temple. Which had incredible views of the coast and some cheeky monkeys. The sunset was beautiful and the completely bonkers entertainment made a very enjoyable evening. Even though we were knackered we were finally taken to our meal which was another 20minutes away. We had some very tasty fish on the beach being serenaded by a local jukebox band who were very good. Our driver took us back and it only just dawned on us that we had spent about £100 but got all of the above included. Just shows how cheap Bali is.

Day 4 - keeping it short we chilled on the beach all day ready for our early wake up call to travel to Gili Trawangan!!!!

Posted by 00Verney 01:13 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Nerves and excitment

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View Bali Adventure on 00Verney's travel map.

So it's the day of our flight and later on we will be departing from Heathrow to Bali. We have been saving and booking things as we have gone a long and now the time has come to live a dream and act like travellers.

Before we go I thought I would outline some background info about myself and my girlfriend who is travelling with me. My name is Matthew Verney I'm the one who will be annoying my girlfriend writing an entry on here everyday. I currently work as a restaurant manager and the idea of getting away is certainly something I'm most excited about.
My girlfriend Stef, yes spelt Stef not Steph don't get it wrong or she will knock you out. She works as a nurse and this break is certainly needed.

You can see where we will be traveling over the next 18nights and I will be uploading some photos and videos throughout so you can immerse yourself in our experience and see Bali from our perspective.

Posted by 00Verney 07:30 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Sun, sea and suspicious neighbours

Leg 2 - Gili Trawangan

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View Bali Adventure on 00Verney's travel map.

Paradise, sunsets and beautiful beaches. All in abundance on Gili T, oh and the fact it's basically the party spot of Bali.

It holds an innocent appearance on approach after a death trap boat ride. Has no one heard of a harbour or dock. I mean it's cool and exciting and not really that difficult to get on the back of a boat from the sand but carrying your own and your Mrs luggage while forcing yourself through the crowd of travellers to ensure a decent seat on the boat makes it a bit of a challenge. Especially when you see the poor lady in front get taken out by the ropes holding the boat to the sand. Anyway after a fairly peaceful sleep to the island a couple of stops at the other Gili isles we arrived in Gili Trawangan.

According to a very literate Ukrainian we met on our taxi ride in, the island has changed dramatically in the past 5 years. Developing itself from a no vehicle peaceful beautiful island to a no vehicle party slightly rubbish filled beautiful island. It seems to be the Malia/zante for the Australians and other nearby county islands.

I thought Stef was joking when she said you get a horse and cart around Gili but when the guy shouting taxi loaded us onto a little wooden cart in tow of an anorexic horse I realised. I mean I'm not the lightest guy and this was proven when the whole cart went up with horse, almost on its tip hooves the whole journey. It was really interesting to see the development of the island from the coast inland with dirt tracks being made very quickly into Tarmac and small shacks being turned into little bars and quirky restaurants.

Our fantastic little beach hut appeared along a very long stretch of sandy tracks and little villas. It overlooked its own private beach and pool bar. I will say this I've never stayed anywhere like it before. Considering how cheap it was I was extremely impressed with the unique, clean and creative look of site. Each hut felt private and offered some very quirky aspects you won't find in high end establishments. One included a very comfy hammock and decking area surrounding the beach condo. Also we had a great view of everyone else's huts satisfying my family inherited nosy gene (hence suspicious neighbours... Being us!).

With the little days we had on Gili we wanted to make the most of the nightlife and surrounding turquoise sea. We set off on the same night we landed into the town for a few "quiet drinks" turned into a big night out going to a live reggae bar called SAma SAma and meeting mamma the local Balinese kebab shop legend and her family. After an embarrassing defeat in beer pong to Stef, the lawless town of Gili T showed itself when we were offered mushrooms which we obviously declined. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur.

After waking with sore heads and battered faces we experience breakfast which was not disappointing and considering it was included, very delicious with plenty of choice. In a last minute arrangement we had got our self on to there very popular snorkelling tour which would hopefully be better arranged that the snorkel experience we had already had. At 12pm we were shipped away to the harbour and put on a boat which already had massive improvements to the last one. For one it had more than 1 other person on it. Also there was actual equipment and someone explaining safety etc.

Some people may understand this but blokes have a secret insucurity about other men on a boat doing something adventurous. If another guy is there making out he knows what he's doing, it's only natural other men can also do it and do it better. Otherwise where would our ego be. Might just be me. Once we got to our drop off point we were shown into the water and actually given a guide to take us around the reef.

The water was crystal clear and I'm glad it was because we had to make a dash for the edge of the reef to catch a glimpse of a 15ft whale shark that sadly just evaded the cameras view, but not mine and we saw the sheer size of this animals tale which I'll be honest almost made me shit my pants. Anyway after the drama of that our guide took us back to the reef where we got an amazing chance to swim with a couple of turtles until the end of our time on the snorkelling.

Once back on land we avoided our free ride back to Le Pirate and went searching for a chance to paddle board. Something that I've always wanted to try (manily because I thought I'd be class) turned out to be a nice way to finish the day and relax. In the evening we finished by chilling out and watching a film on the beach provided by the hotel.

On our final day on Gili T we had booked our journey to Padang Bai mainland Bali and used the time in the morning to pack and go looking for the famous swings in the sea which has plagued everyone's Instagram from people in Bali. We thought we would join the craze. After a scramble across Coral and into the high tide sea we got the snap we wanted and that was the end of our visit to Gili T. Great place great memories.

Posted by 00Verney 08:19 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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