Well, we have arrived in Bali! The land of palm trees, white sands and crystal waters. Almost. I know Bali is tourist-stricken and not the idyllic paradise it once was, but after the mayhem of Java, it feels like paradise. We had a 4am alarm to catch our Bali flight, and we left Yogyakarta in darkness. Despite the early hour, the streets were already bustling with the sound of scooters and beeping horns. We were so ready to leave behind the fumes and mayhem of Yogyakarta, not to mention it’s soaking humidity.
We fell asleep on the plane and woke up as we landed in Bali. As soon as we left the airport, we saw that the roads were quieter, the buildings smaller, the streets cleaner. I’ve heard for so long about Denpasar and Kuta, about how busy these cities are and how they are nothing like the island bliss you expect from Bali. Those people have never been to Yogyakarta first! We could feel the stress melting from our shoulders and the dust clearing from our lungs.
And then we arrived at our AirBnB. I’ll do a proper post on this tomorrow but oh, my, god is it heavenly. Back in Java, we stayed in the back room of our host’s house, with no view out the window and only a single fan to blow around the hot, sticky air. The bathroom was shared, the shower was cold and there was no body of water nearby to cool down from the relentless sun. Now we have our own thatched villa. Near the beach. With a pool. Our own bathroom/wetroom, with a hot shower. Plus a veranda! Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t uncomfortable in Java, but here we felt like we could properly relax. As we’re working on the road too, it’s something we hadn’t taken into account. Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort for peace of mind 🙂
That afternoon we explored the area to get a feel of where we’re staying. We’re based in Seminyak, which is a nice area just outside the main kick of Kuta. The place is brimming with cafes and restaurants, chic bars and beautiful people. It’s a known fact that this region of Bali is mostly tourists, but we still found the place has a relaxed and chill vibe, with an electric current running through it that comes alive at night. We found an idyllic beach bar on Petitenget Beach, Mano, and had a few drinks here as the sun began to set. The previously empty beach began to fill with crowds coming to watch the sunset. A group of people were doing Tai Chi, and Hindu offerings were made on banana leaves before being floated out on the tide. It was a beautiful start to our stay in Bali.
We finished off the night with a meal and a cocktail or three at Warung Mina, people watching on the street below before heading to bed. We were rudely woken up in the early hours of the morning by a weird slapping sound above us, like a penguin or a lizard walking. There’s also an inconsistent but loud clicking noise. I did some research this morning and I think we’re roomies with a giant gecko. Not sure what to name him yet, suggestions welcome though.
The morning dawned refreshingly cool, the sunlight was soft and our hearts were light. We are so happy to be here. We layered on the suncream and went down to the sea for our first beach day. The waves were choppy but fun to play around in, the water was warm and the beach was quiet. I read my book and listened to the waves and felt so lucky that this is now life.