This Must Be The Place

Sorry I’m behind! I arrived in Bali 3 weeks ago after a looooong flight from Istanbul. I met some Aussies on the way to the airport though who were on my flight to kuala lumpur and we navigated the airport together which was fun. I got off the plane in Denpasar Bali and was immediately attacked by so many taxi drivers trying to take me in their cab. When I finally arrived at the hostel I had booked (granny’s hostel which I read online was the best hostel to meet people) I had accidentally booked my bed for the week before- oops! But the owner (balto) said not to worry and they put an extra mattress on the floor for me. That’s pretty much how granny’s hostel goes. Everyone wants to stay but they dont have enough room so there’s people sleeping everywhere. The staff at granny’s is Balto- the owner, an amazing and kind Indonesian guy who also speaks german and is a shameless flirt, Lexy- also Indonesian and also a flirt and very sweet, Dedy- the driver, who is hilarious though I can barely understand a word he says, the ladies who work in the kitchen, and ALL of their friends who come every night to play guitar and drink arak (the local vodka which I refuse to drink because it is sometimes mixed with ethanol) and bintang (the local beer). I immediately felt welcome, safe, and comfortable here and met a ton of other solo travelers. We have a little family in granny’s hostel. Grannys is the type of place where one can get stuck easily and I did just that for a week and a half. Time moves so slowly and everyone is so relaxed. Oh also I was swimming in the ocean with some hostel friends late and night and left my stuff on the beach and it got stolen. Totally my fault but huge pain to try to figure out this credit card situation and get some western union money (thanks mama!!) After about 3 days of non activity I decided to do a temple tour, I got some friends from the hostel and Dedy drove us all around Bali. We left really early in the morning and I was so happy to get out of kuta as it is sort of a surf/tourist trap. Driving around the island I was mesmerized by the architecture, detailed wood, carved doors, silk fabrics, Buddhas, vibrant colors and motorbikes everywhere. Our first stop was Ubud where we went to a monkey sanctuary. It was basically just a bunch of old temples with monkeys hanging all over them but it was really cool! From there we drove up a mountain called Tegal Alang and stopped to check out a beautiful volcano that sits on a river. We continued north and arrived at the basaki temple which is nestled into the Kintamani mountain and it was so beautiful. We were there during a ceremony so there were a lot of locals all wearing white and carrying baskets on their heads. Also in the temples everyone has to wear a skirt (even the men). After the temple we headed back to Kuta. I did one more day trip to Uluwatu which is on the southern coast of bali this beach is known for its surf breaks as well as its stunning cove beaches that come straight out of cliffs. There is a beautiful temple there on top of one of the cliffs where we watched the sunset. We took a taxi there which took about 2 hours and cost us about $3 a person it was a nice drive and so worth it! Pictures to come. Other than that, During my week and a half in kuta I did a whole lot of nothing (other than the temple tour). Beach, beer, delicious food, massage… The money here is amazing! 10,000 rupiah equals $1. There is a food stand who parks outside of the hostel and makes mie goreng (friend noodles) nasi goreng (friend rice) cap cay (vegetable soup) and mie ayam (noodle soup) all for 10,000 rupiah. So I don’t spend more than $4 on food even when I go out to eat and to get an hour long massage at the spa it costs $5. So that’s awesome! One thing about Indonesia and I’m guessing the rest of Asia is that people try to rip you off a lot. It’s not a big deal because instead of $2 they want you to pay $5 but now that I have been here for a little while I know what things are supposed to cost and can bargain down pretty well. Next stop: Gili islands.

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