Terribly sad we had to leave Gili T after extending our stay for an four amazing days relaxing in the sun. It was time to get back to the main island for some final shopping, Marissa’s 21st birthday and flying back to Australia for the second half of the semester. Having caught the ferry early with Becca not feeling to well and all of us being very tired, we crashed on the ferry ride back for the majority of the ride. Once back on the main island, I came back to reality, relearning how crazy the island is compared to how lovely it was on Gili T. Wishing to go back, made it even worse because I saw an increasing amount of pollution as we drove further and further into the island before arriving in Kuta where the trip all began and would end in just a few short days.
Day 1 | Travel & Shop
On the agenda for our first day back, we wanted to keep our laid back attitude, deciding to get settled back into Bakungsari Hotel and wander off a bit for food and shopping once again. Having only stayed here for our first night in Bali after our late flight from Australia, we were eager to see what the city had to offer us for our final days in Bali. With Becca feeling under the weather, we didn’t want to stay out to long. We asked for directions and left our hotel to find the shops. Once on the street behind out hotel we walked into the shops to see what they had. Only needing a handful more things for ourselves and gifts for family and friends, we were sure we would find them here. Sussing out the shops, buying a few odds and ends for gifts and for ourselves, we began planning the big day tomorrow for Marissa’s 21st birthday. Wandering around a bit more and ended up grabbing some snacks at a nearby mall grocery store and to get some simple food and drinks for Becca to bounce back to her old self. With all of our supplies we wandered back through the intense traffic and streets to relax at the pool before deciding what to do for dinner. Kristen and I at the pool solo met another traveler our age that was interesting to say the least, but more importantly we got to know an Aussie traveling in Bali. Having cooled off in the pool until we began to become pruney, Kristen and I headed back to our rooms to change and get everyone together to decide what we would do for dinner. I wanted to make sure Becca had something to eat and drink to aid in her recovery, but arriving back in the room she was resting. She had opened the packages of food we brought back was a good sign. I tiptoed around to shower, change and get ready without waking her.
Everyone ready and leaving Becca to rest we wandered back to the street we were shopping on earlier, stopping at Warung Kak Rebo, it was inexpensive and had all the authentic meals we wanted to order. Thankful we chose this place, as it began to down pour as soon as we sat down and ordered our food. The restaurant seemed to be everything we had already observed and experienced here on Bali and Gili T, but it turned out to be a sketchy restaurant. As we were waiting for our food, we saw them in the back taking food out of tupperware containers and things being mixed, rather than chopping, sautéing and baking, that more commonly occurs. Unsure of what was happening, we all joked and hoped to not get sick from this place. Having my nasi goreng (fried rice) laid in front of me, looking and smelling fantastic, I dove in. Satisfied with the flavors and authenticity the cook presented to us, I took my last bite of rice, veggies and a bit of egg whites being ready to pay and walk out into the rain. The torrential down pour wasn’t a cake walk to get through and back to our hotel, but bobbing into a couple shops for cover before running across the road to the back entrance of our hotel was the safest bet. Hanging out and having some fun together in the other girls rooms before calling it a night our second time here in Kuta, was the only way to conclude one of our final nights here in Bali.
Day 2 | Marissa’s Birthday
April 15, Marissa’s big day was finally here. With Marissa turning 21 in Bali we decided to have a girls morning and early afternoon. The day being all about Marissa and happy to be pampering ourselves we got dressed and had breakfast at our hotel. Indulging, yet again, in the wonderful jams, juices, toast and some mini pancakes we were off to the races. Becca, still not feeling well, did her best to have some breakfast and push herself to be there for Marissa on her birthday. Marissa wanted to get a massage, pedicure and have her hair braided on our girls morning.
Following the birthday girls lead we made our way to the main street behind our hotel to wander in and out of a few shops for more shopping. Shopping lead us directly to the massage place that had tried pulling us in yesterday when we were shopping. Bartering and agreeing at a reasonable price, we followed the lady up the stairs to the upstairs massage room for group massages. Spending an hour unwinding, getting our sore muscles rubbed out and feeling mellow, we were set for waxes and pedicures. Kristen and myself wanted our eye brows shaped and that we did, but mine wasn’t very good. I kept asking them to take the excess from around the main brow, but we were lost in translation. Splitting up to get the fish pedicures first Kristen, Marissa and myself walked across the street. Personally never trying fish pedicures, I was nervous it would hurt or not be anything special. Kristen, nervous and not wanting to put her feet in the tank, Marissa and I with much convincing and counting to three, the three of us put our feet at the mercy of the little fish. Tickling our feet as they ate any dead skin off our feet, we left our feet sit for about 15 minutes before being able to take them out. Headed back across the street to where we had our massages, Kristen, Marissa and I got our nails painted. Choosing a burnt orange wasn’t my best idea, but it turned out fine. After all this relaxing and pampering, we only had one thing left before lunch, braiding. Marissa had her hair done when she was traveling in the Bahamas with her family years ago. Wanting to relive her experience there, we had our hair done with four side braids. The pulling I was fine with, in fact it reminded me of when I was growing up and my mom braided my hair for school or sports. This time it was odd though because it was a man braiding my hair and instead of one or two large braids it was four tiny little braids that resembled cornrows.
All pampered out and having paid our bills, we were off for more food. Marissa’s favorite meal of the day being breakfast, we made sure we had second breakfast today in her honor. Having done a bit of research, we found a waffle and pancake house not far from where we were pampered. Flapjaks is an amazing little joint that serves every kind of pancake and waffle batter imaginable, including every combination of toppings. Everyone going for something chocolaty and largely gluttonous, but for me, my tastebuds made the decision. I LOVE fruit and what better way to enjoy my waffle than to top it with fresh tropical fruit, whip cream and vanilla ice cream. Everyone looked at me like i was nuts, but thats where I stood and happy I did. The fresh fruit left a light sweetness in my mouth before I smothered my waffle with the ice and whip cream for a soft and elegant touch as I grew full.
With our bellies full and pampered out, it was time to head back to the hotel to let Becca rest and chill out before going out for Marissa’s 21st. Snacking and just hanging out before getting ready, we didn’t have much of a dinner. Too excited for going out with Marissa we didn’t care not having a heap of food for dinner. Having found a ‘liquor’ store nearby, we asked for directions from our hotel staff. Wandering through the uneven concrete streets again, we managed to find the store. Buying some vodka and some mixies, we had the necessary supplies to do a 21st right. Having some pre drinks after getting all dolled up, we made sure Marissa was going to have a forgettable 21st birthday, like many do. Having a good time in the club, Marissa let loose making for a fun night for all. Spending our night at two clubs and offending a local shop keeper, was the highlight of our night. After dancing and having some cocktails, we concluded the night at a quick mart for late night snacks. Marissa talked the attendant into giving her free food, while the rest of us paid and were nervous to return for embarrassment of our drunk friend. Putting Marissa to bed, we all followed. Not waking Becca as I tried getting ready for bed was unsuccessful, but only having a brief conversation about our night before we both dozed off after a crazy fun and relaxing day.
Day 3 | Relax
Wanting nothing more than to do nothing again, like on Gili, we laid by the pool all day. Jake, being the one constantly moving, was finally relaxing like the rest of us. Having said goodbye to Jesse and Jenna as they departed for Australia, we just chilled out. Pool, sun, snacks and drinks, were honestly everything our day consisted of. Finally setting in that our time here was temporary and coming to an end, we reminisced about the past two weeks of travel and made our final to do list before it was to late. Making sure we enjoyed ourselves the rest of the time we agreed to go out again, eat as much food as we could, see another temple and complete our shopping list before leaving tomorrow.
Having lounged out all day and hung out in are air conditioned rooms, we had dinner down the street at an Italian restaurant. Run by Indonesians, of course, but by this point we were getting sick of the food and seeing people get sick from both the food and water (Bali belly). Ordering pizza and pop, Kristan, Marissa and I enjoyed our ‘normal’ meal and time out of the hotel before returning to keep our to do list going. Going out for the second and last night in Bali, we had a couple Bintangs at our hotel bar, including me dropping one by mistake due to condensation and not realizing how slippery the bottle was on a hot humid Bali night. Laughing and getting laughed at we continued the party and get the boys to join us, but falling ill to Bali belly and wanted to continue with their chill day, we left them to go clubbing. Having a great night the three of us lost track of time and didn’t return until very late, but happy we were keeping the fun going on our last full day in Bali.
Day 4 | Temple – Markets – Beach
With our final day upon us it was time to make sure we completed our to do list and make the most of our final day on this beautiful island. Getting a driver to Uluwatu, Kristen, Marissa and myself made our way to check off seeing another temple. Once at the temple we were asked to be more presentable and respectable, we turned our surrounds into long skirts and tied a sash around our waste after paying the entry fee. Wandering about the temple that lay just on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The gorgeous views, stone work and plants were beautiful, but in no real comparison to the other places we had seen in Ubud. The temple was small and we walked through it in less than thirty minutes not wanting to do the walk to either end of the cliff for a view, we chalked it up as a check on our checklist. Silly and unaware, we told our driver we didn’t need him to wait for us and we would find a ride back another way. Little did we know that no taxi’s or drivers come here without passengers, drivers wait, driving passengers to and from here. We were in a bit of a pickle and needed to urge a driver to let us do a split fare with another group or find someone who was randomly here with no other passenger. Finding someone to take us, but for an outrageous amount of money we moved along. The first driver approached us each time we tried talking to someone else, speaking in Indonesian, telling the next driver to not help us. We were outraged by this behavior and managed to get far enough away to find someone uncoerced to drive us. Relieved we were able to find a driver, we left Uluwatu and got back to the hotel in time for Becca to come out of her funk.
Elated to see Becca back on her feet, we decided to have a little bit to eat and do some final exploring before dinner. Learning that we needed to go a bit further than the street we had been stuck on to get to some serious markets, following simple directions to find them. For what looked like a jumble of material flowing from one stall to the next, we were in heaven. Sarongs, shirts, pants, shorts, trinkets and more all in one place for us to pick out our favorite colors and styles. Still wanting some pants and sarongs for myself, we went on the prowl to find our items. Stopping at several stalls we weren’t finding the right colors and patterns we wanted, but after stopping at over a dozen, we were in luck! We wanted to find enough designs in one place to buy multiple for a major discount. Knowing we had found exactly what we wanted and probably being too vocal about it, the lady raised the price. Angry, we argued with her for minutes about what we would and would not pay. Being stubborn, she didn’t budge, we all knew we had to look elsewhere. She countered our price when we left, but it still was to high. Not until we had walked past the next half a dozen stalls did she follow us to give us the price we asked for. Getting two pairs of pants that were very different for the price I wanted, made me extremely happy, leaving me with only one more mission. The final mission being to find more intricate sarongs. Not long after deciding to search, I found a great place with beautiful sarongs. Unable to pass up the design, Marissa and I went in on getting two each to reduce the price further. With my pants and sarongs in hand, my shopping for my family, friends and myself was complete and just within mere hours of leaving.
Walking out of the markets on the other side, we had arrived at Kuta Beach. Having seen some beautiful beaches on Gili T, there was no comparison. We chalked it up to being,’ hey, we’ve been here and taken some photos, so that’s enough’. Doing the minimum, we walked back to our hotel to pack all of our things and head off to one final dinner together before Kristen, Marissa, Jake and myself were to go to the airport.
Dinner was another American meal because of how sick of being sick we were. Marissa and I never did get Bali belly, but Marissa had a cold and I had experienced some minor indigestion. Playing it safe, American food just seemed to be the best option. Stadium Cafe, just down the street from Flapjaks, making it an easy place to find and manage to get back in time for our taxi to the airport. The Contender Burger with a side of fries, was my meal of choice the last time here in Bali and I do not regret it. The burger was well cooked, flavorful, well seasoned and came with an exceptional side beverage. Knowing we all were sad to leave and starving, there was silence at our table once the food arrived and until it was gone. Completing our meals, it was time to head back to our hotel, finish packing, check out and take our taxi to airport with Jake.
Saying our final goodbyes to one another and Bali was tough to say the least since Becca and Andy would be staying one final night. Taking one last photo with the girls (minus Jesse & Jenna) in our new ‘Bali pants’ as we liked to call them. Off to the airport, we got into a blue cab with Jake for our final ride in Bali. Getting to the airport early to split the cab, we needed to wait over an hour till we could check in. We Lounged at one of the airport cafes to kill time. Soon enough we were checked in, buying snacks and water before heading to our gate. I chose the mango smoothie, a banana and Reese’s to share with my last giant water, that later would be taken away from me since it was to large for the liquid limit. (regardless of the fact we bought them in the airport) Saying our goodbyes to our water, jokingly, we boarded our plane to head back to Australia after two wonderfully unforgettable and life changing weeks with great friends.