I have already been one week in Bali, time flies so fast!!! After I have stayed with Anastasia, I changed my home to Alvin’s place whom I have met through Couchsurfing as well. He was very worried at the beginning that I wouldn’t like his place. As he said it is nothing special but I assured him that it is just a place to sleep and we will be a lot outside anyway. He was so worried because I have been his first female couchsurfer. He already hosted so many people but always guys. So, he thought that girls might have a higher standard. He didn’t have to worry at all as his place is beautiful and more than enough! ☺
On my first day, we went surfing at Kuta beach. We rented a board for 50.000 IDR per day at the DMS surf shop, Jl. Poppies Line I Gg. Pasar Agung Kuta – Bali. It is just the road down from the beach – so perfectly in walking distance. It is incredibly cheap, compared to everything else I have heard. You can’t get a teacher though… so you should be able to stand alone and catch a wave already by yourself. If you go there, just say “Hi” from Julie! ☺ You can also go by motorcycle: we took the board on the motorcycle to the beach with us. I was holding the board under my arm and Alvin rode the bike (thank God my parents just read the post after I have done that!!! ^^) Just don’t drive too fast, though, and watch out for tourists who are standing in the middle of the road staring at what you are doing there. ^^
Surfing is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine doing on earth, being in the ocean, feeling the power of the water and a kind of “flying” on the wave. Just an amazing experience!
We went walking at Legian beach at night, watching the colorful beach bars and listening to the live music every bar offers. It is so peaceful with the sound of the waves. What topped all of that are the lanterns which are floating from time to time into the dark sky. I watched one woman lifting up her lantern into the sky and sent my own wishes with it. Just beautiful the lightened sky, the ocean and the nice songs. I recommend to enjoy it at least one night. During that time, Alvin also explained to me: “People think Balinese people are lazy. The truth is, work is just on the 3rd place after God and family. So, they are not interested in becoming wealthy or working hard.” I believe it is how I want to live my life as well. I want to have a happy and healthy family and my job comes somewhere after that.
Another day Alvin and I went to Tanah Lot Temple. It was raining a lot on our way there so we had to stop for a couple of times. It was totally worth it though! I had beautiful views over rice fields and rice terraces which are still very special to me. They look so green and peaceful.
Tanah Lot Temple is located in the middle of the ocean. Just beautiful over there! I felt very connected with the nature – the ocean, the flowers, the stones. I also received a holy blessing with holy water at Tanah Lot Temple. You water your head and your mouth and afterwards they put a bit of rice on your forehead and a flower in your hair. It felt very special to me!
A couple of tourists, especially from Java or other places in Asia, asked me not to take a picture of them and the temple but of them with me! Alvin already joked around that now I became the star instead of the temple. ^^ Because I have blond hair and blue eyes people want to have pictures with me to show it back home in their villages. Such a weird feeling!
Afterwards we visited the local art market Sukawati, which is the most famous and cheapest one in Bali. We both bought a Sarong – the traditional clothes in Bali and also some local fruits and I drank my first fresh coconut out of a plastic bag!
For sunset, we went to Canggu beach, where two cultures stood in complete contrast to each other: there was a big Sunset beach party with live music and soooo many surfers in the water during sunset. Just a couple of meters down the beach was a big gathering of Indonesian people who had Ngaben, the cremation ceremony in Bali. There were a lot of different families giving their last blessings to the deceased because not every family can afford a Ngaben on their own so they share the expenses, as Alvin told me. In the ceremony, a lot of white and yellow umbrellas can be seen: a white one for a deceased man and a yellow one for a deceased woman. As Hindu, the people believe the soul will still live on. They pray for the souls and spread the ashes, but see it more as a feast instead of a mourning. However, I didn’t like Ngaben and the beach party so close to each other…
At night, we went to a nice restaurant called Made’s Warung with traditional Balinese Dancing which was really interesting to see. They move a lot with their eyes and fingers to scare the bad spirits! We went in the traditional Balinese clothes with our Sarongs and Alvin with the typical hat from Bali which we bought earlier that day at the local market. Therefore, I had to sit sideways on the motorcycle and it made me realize how much freedom sitting on a motorcycle can give – with the wind in the hair it lets you forget about anything in the world!
For me, the best way to enjoy life while travelling is still at a beach. Alvin brought me to nice beaches like Padang-Padang beach or Bening beach. The second has a lot of stairs, so come prepared with enough water and energy to walk the stairs back up! ^^ It is crystal clear water so you also could enjoy some snorkeling and the sunset is impressive! If you are into surfing, Padang-Padang beach is a great surfing location as well.
If you’d love to visit a waterfall in Bali, I can highly recommend Tegenungan Waterfall. Just not during raining season as it would look like brown sugar. 😉 I was lucky and had a beautiful scenery at Tegenungan Waterfall! ☺There is also a sign at the waterfall that says “Don’t worry, be sexy – but not naked” Thank God, there was also a holy spring from which the water makes you feel younger so at least I tried to be sexy… ^^
We also got a massage and manicure at Kuta beach which made my day even more relaxed and enjoyable with meeting “Mama loca”, such a great local Balinese woman who never left Kuta, has 3 daughters who are all married and went to university. The daughters are 27, 29 and 31 years old. Mama loca has already two grandchildren and right now two of her daughters are pregnant. She loves her daughters and her grandchildren but she also thinks that her daughters married to young and should have went traveling before getting married like me. She never complains about her life, just about her drinking husband though… and she has one wish: she would like to go travelling one day. Mama loca has such a great personality! So if you meet her at Kuta beach just say “Hi” to her from me and get some manicure or pedicure and pay some more money. She is really good! ^^
Alvin actually has a master degree from a law school but is not interested in working as a lawyer. He prefers to have some money but still be able to relax and travel around the world. Alvin said: “I don’t want to be rich or buy an expensive car. Then I would be too worried about that money instead of being happy” I guess this is one of the reasons we understood each other perfectly and had such a great time! What do you prefer to do in your life?
Since I also met Alvin with my other “new” Couchsurfer, Ferdi, in the last days, we always said “Hi, ex-husband / wife” to each other. That’s because while we were exploring the island together usually the people thought that Alvin and I were married. When he denied that, they asked him if I would be his “guest” and he would be my paid tour guide. They never asked if I would be just a friend. Alvin explained to me, that it is not common here in Bali that local people would be friends with foreigners. He said as long as you are not living in Bali, not speaking Balinese and also not looking like them, you hardly can become friends with them…
Have you had similar experiences? Let me know about it!
Your happy travel girl from Bali,
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