So…things are likely going to be pretty quiet around here for the next few weeks. We’ve made our way to Bali and are staying somewhere near Legion (which is between Kuta and Seminyak but it is not at all clear where one beach ends and the other begins).
Our days are hard — so very hard. We wake up around 8, wander down to breakfast at our hotel, practice our languages for a bit (Spanish for Robert, French for Lisa), walk the 20 minutes or so to the beach, hang out on comfortable beach chairs reading our books and watching the surfers, wander to a beach bar for happy hour/sunset, walk back to the hotel, shower, have dinner, repeat. Tough, I know.
But, we do have some initial thoughts on Bali.
The traffic is insane. Not quite Vietnamese insane, but way more insane than Thailand. If we make it out without getting hit, it will be a minor miracle.
The peanuts here are amazing. So far, we’ve had fried peanuts with chili and peanuts with fried garlic slices. Both were to die for.
The number of plastic water bottles beings consumed is not amazing. Our hotel gives us two water bottles every day. The beach vendors sell water in bottles. The restaurants sell water in bottles. Nowhere have we seen any place to refill plastic bottles. And the tap water isn’t drinkable. Ugh.
The wine made in Bali is actually decent. It is way better than Vietnamese wine. And cheaper than the imported Australian wine.
There are temples/shrines everywhere. Some are just small little shrines on the street. Some are on the roofs of buildings, even Circle K’s. Others are large complexes. Oddly, the large complexes are all closed to visitors. They must be open some time though, as many have signs saying “Individuals who menstruate may not enter.” I’m pretty sure they aren’t actually forbidding all premenopausal women from entering, but who knows.
Additionally, there are little offerings scattered all over the roads in front of all the shops and around the various shrines. The internet tells me they are called “canangs” — they are small baskets made of leaves or the like with flowers and food inside, along with a small stick of incense. I’ve already accidentally kicked one and was afraid I had committed a major faux pas, but if the internet is to be believed, once the incense is out, no offense is committed by stepping on the offering.
The food is fantastic and cheap. In only three nights, we have had suckling pig, grilled fish, lemongrass chicken, chicken satay, beef rendang, and — of course — pizza. Everything has been absolutely delicious. And, every place we have been so far has served garlic bread with lots and lots of garlic. No mosquitoes are coming anywhere near us!
The beaches are far cleaner that we were led to expect. They do fill up with dogs in the evening, but the dogs are adorable and not nearly as scary as we were led to expect. Horses run down the beach each night too.
I’m sure when we move to Ubud in a few weeks we will do more sightseeing, and have more to say, but for now it is beach, beach, and more beach.