Hello! Thanks for coming back to check in on Marvins adventure!
This is Kevin checking in today!
It has been one crazy week! After two years of planning and saving our money, we finally hit the road on August 31st. The week leading up to our departure was filled with many friend/family events that gave us the opportunity to say farewell to everyone. Some goodbyes were easier than others. For example, saying goodbye to my little bro and his boyfriend was easy because they will be meeting us in Thailand mid-November. But I’m a mommas-boy, so saying goodbye to my amazing mother was of course more difficult. I’m actually a mother-in-laws boy too, so it was tough saying goodbye to Gwyn as well. I was also surprised at how tough it was saying goodbye to my older bro, Marcus. Marcus has been my hero from day one, and I guess I never realized the comfort that I find living in the same city as him. But I’m sure he will come find us along the way (RIGHT!?)
At 2pm on August 31st we caught a plane to Vancouver where we had a 12 hour layover. Normally that long of a layover would suck…but my dad picked us up to take us to my little bros soccer game, and then dinner. My aunt, uncle, and some cousins were able to join to. It was really special to me to see all of them before we took off.
Our next flight was a 12 hour one from Van to Taiwan. We had four seats to ourselves so we were able to sleep for the majority of the flight. It went by surprisingly quickly. We then chilled in Taiwan for 5 hours before catching the flight to Bali.
As our plane touched down in Bali, I read a line from our guidebook to Marni. I said “Eight people die in traffic accidents every day in Bali”. I laughed at the quote and said to Marn “ya right!” But by the time we got to our first hostel, I said to Marni, “There is no way that only eight people die a day”. There are seemingly no rules to the roads here in Indonesia. Everyone drives so fast, up on the sidewalk, honking their horns, smoking their cigarettes. Traffic lights are few and far between, but everyone ignores them anyway. Although this appears very hectic, it seems to just work. I swear the chaos actually prevents traffic jams because everyone does whatever it takes to keep moving.
We arrived in Legian at roughly 4pm and immediately checked into our first hostel. The hostel was in the heart of the very busy tourist city. Legian actually reminded me a lot of the touristy part of Peurto Vallarta, although that may be because I didn’t have much else to compare it to. The streets were filled with hawkers begging you to buy their art or bracelets. Cars and motor bikes were whipping by. Tired and filthy dogs roamed the sidewalks. It was a total sensory-overload. Once settled in our hostel, we went straight for the beach. We grabbed some Bintang beer, plopped down on a beanbag chair, and watched our first Balinese sunset. We then grabbed a quick dinner at an ex-pats restaurant before finally crashing at our hostel.
The next morning, we decided to get a second night at the same hostel…but the guy wanted to charge us an extra 40,000IDR ($4cad). $4! The guy must not have known what we did to earn that $4! So we decided to check out of there and head to our next destination – Sanur! We picked a place on Air B&B and hopped in a cab.
Sanur is nicknamed “Snore” because of its laid back vibe. It was exactly what we were looking for! Beautiful beach, great restaurants, friendly people. We stayed at a hostel called Hotel Sanur Indah. It had an outdoor shower and HBOs movie channel to pass out to. We spent two days in Sanur just being lazy beach bums. Just reading, biking, drinking, etc. But by the end of day two on the beach, we were both feeling restless and ready for some adventure!
For 500,000IDR ($50cad), we were able to hire a taxi driver for 10 hours. I’m still amazed at how far a dollar goes here. It’s one thing to read about it, but when you actually experience getting so much for so little, it is amazing!
Our first stop, on the way to Ubud, was at a coffe plantation. They gave us 13 amazing free teas while our “Luwak Coffee” was being brewed. To make this coffee, they feed coffee beans to Luwaks (mongoose looking thing). The beans are then fermented in the creatures belly before it shits them out. They then collect the shit to brew the coffee. If you had told me a couple weeks ago that my first ever coffee would be shit-water, I would have laughed in your face. But “when in Rome” I guess! The coffee was “meh”, but Marno drank most of it.
Our next stop was at Batuan Temple. It is a 1500 year old Hindu temple. All of the stone was hand carved and absolutely beautiful. I only wish that they had some info posted about it because I would have loved to learn-up on the historic spot while we were there. Regardless, it was very special to see. And theres always Wikipedia later.
Next stop was at the Ubud Monkey Temple. It’s located in the heart of Ubud and for a few bucks you get to wander around the macaque-infested temple. I always thought that I would love to play with monkeys, but in my opinion, these guys were terrifying. Tourists can feed the monkeys, but we opted not to because we wanted to keep a safe distance. I made the mistake of having an empty cookie wrapper in the side pouch of my bag and a monkey jumped and my back to investigate. Although a little scary, it is another experience that I will never forget.
From the Monkey Temple we went straight to the Ubud Market. Just more cheap goods sold by over-eager hawkers. I felt so lucky because everyone had a “very special price” for me. But Marvin is pretty determined to only spend our money on food/beer, accommodation, transportation, and special experiences. So we didn’t spend much time at the market, only stopping to eat at a local hole-in-the-wall.
Lastly, we stopped at an incredible waterfall. Thinking back, it’s hard to believe how amazing this spot was. It looked like one of those wallpapers that comes pre-loaded on your windows computer. The force of the waterfall was enough to send me underwater, burping me back out 10 feet away from the falls.
Needless to say, we were exhausted at this point so we headed back to our hostel in Sanur, ate a bunch of junk food, and passed out.
NUSA LEMBONGAN, BALI
The next morning, we caught the first boat to Nusa Lembongan. It’s a 30 minute ride from Sanur. My guidebook explains that it is “the Bali people dream of, but rarely find”. It’s a tiny little island that has no cars on it. We have been here for one day/night so far, and I’m already dreading leaving. Hardly any hawkers here, which is a very welcome change for me. You can only say “no thanks” so many times in a day before getting pretty annoyed…especially since no one in Bali ever takes no for an answer. Yesterday we got hammered at lunch and then ate dinner at an outdoor movie theatre that was playing “Eat, Pray, Love”. I really enjoyed Eat and Pray, but passed out during Love. Marn says Julia Roberts ends up with the douchey-guy so maybe it’s better that I can make up my own ending now.
Today we are renting a motorbike to tour the island. And my new tattoo is finally healed enough for me to go in the ocean so we are going to check out the “world class” snorkelling that Nusa apparently has to offer.
Sending love to all my fr
iends and fam!