Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We've been in Bali for 5 days now and are heading out to the Gili Islands in the morning. We arrived here late, and after Aaron had to bribe the customs agent with $400 to get into the country, due to a lack of space in his passport, we we're all a bit frazzled. We decided to change our original plan of going to a less touristy area and took a cab to Kuta, where we knew we could find a place late. The only way I can think to describe Kuta is the Cancun of Indonesia. It's literally lined with souvenir shops and bars, and the company isn't exactly ideal. None the less, the surfing is amazing, so we decided to give it a go. Camille, Aaron and I rented boards and headed out on our own (I've been surfing once mind you, 5 years ago) and attempted the waves. After much saltwater swallowed and a few spills we came to shore where the guy who rented us the boards promptly informed us we "should probably take lesson".
The next day we went to the airport to pick up Sarah only to discover she wasn't on the flight. After a few hours though we got hold of her (she was in Japan) and picked her up the next day. Once she got in it was back out to attempt surfing again, without a lesson mind you. We actually didn't do horrible, and I managed to stand up long enough to snap a picture. Sarah even got out there after all her jet-lag and gave it a go, doing quite well for her first time and with my instruction.
Today however, we decided it was time to get out of Kuta for a while so we headed inland to Ubud. I'm really glad we made it there and would love to go back if we had more time, but the one day was a good taste. I of course have been wanting to visit this "Traditional Balinese Healer" which I read about it Eat Pray Love (I know, I know, but it sounded really cool). We road down these small windy alley roads until arriving in front of a small shop with herbs growing out front. We sat down and promptly ordered the "Vitamin Lunch" which promises to revitalize. I can honestly say I've never had anything like it, and it was by far the best meal I have had here. It began with turmeric lime and honey juice which was made right at our table and followed with a spread of red rice, tofu, bean sprouts, spinach, seaweed, stuffed tomatoes, and fried coconut. It was absolutely amazing and each dish came with a tag telling out not only what was in the dish but which vitamins, and what part of your body it helped. Of course I felt slightly ridiculous as the woman (Wayan) who owns the place immediately asked if we had read "the book" and introduced herself as the one and only star. She also informed us that they're making a movie after the book, staring Julia Roberts. All that aside though, I'm really glad we went there, the food and hospitality were amazing and it cost us each only $10.
After the lunch we visited a monkey sanctuary which was quite a trip. The monkeys weren't afraid to literally scale tourists to get the banana in their hand. Needless to say we didn't have any bananas, so we didn't have to worry about that.
Now we're off to the Gilis tomorrow for some relaxation on the beach, I'm sure I'll take way to many pictures and post them as soon as I can.