Bali – A Dream Island and a Nightmare Karma

When it comes to beautiful places on earth the Indonesian Island of Bali is sure one of them. On our last roommate-trip we decided to experience the promised Valhalla of relaxation, fun and surfing with our own eyes. It was amazing at all levels, but be aware! Never go there with a bad luck strain or really bad Karma; I tell you our story!

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First Day in Paradise

Highly motivated after the impressions we gained in Jakarta, Jacek and I arrived in Bali in the evening. Due to the strict regulations against Uber to protect local Taxi drivers we had been forced to take an over-priced ride to our first stay, the Canggu Surf Hostel. There we went to bed early to gain power for our first full day – after got eaten alive by mosquitos.

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We rented scooters to go around easily from beach to beach and chose the Canggu Beach as first location to explore. For 50.000 rupiah we rented surfboards and become one with the forces of nature, or at least the few good waves we caught. Due to the cloudy and mildly rainy weather I creamed myself to less, leading to a heavy sunburn on the back of both legs. This burn was still visible two weeks later.

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Nonetheless, it was a great surf although the weather and the waves and the sand and the location did not exactly look like the post card samples. For lunch we ate at Deus Machina before doing some cultural activity for digestion. The famous temple Tanah Lot was truly nice to look at, as far as your camera zoom worked. But the other 1000 tourists faced the same problem – who cares, we saw Luwaks at least.

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In the afternoon we drove to Seminyak Beach, where Jacek proved his surf skills a second time, while I was cooling down my burnt legs in the sea. Then we headed to the awesome place of Potato Head, where we had our real first postcard moment at Bali. Watching the sunset from the pool while listening to the mix of nu disco music and the chilling sound of breaking waves 20 meters away from you gave me visual chills. That was experience to remember, that was pure life!

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Back at the hostel we missed a Beer Pong Tournament but found a way to funnel our urge to party at Old Man’s Bar at Canggu Beach. There, all foreigners from the district met to shake off their sorrow and sing and dance together as friends. Australians – Note: not Austrians – are really crazy when it comes to parties, and 90% of the people there had been Australians.

After dancing the soul out of our bodies we went home, looking forward for the next days to be even richer in awesomeness. Little that we know, that our bad luck strain began the next day.

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Ubud and my bud

Our second station had been four days in the inner-island village of Ubud. Our Uber-driver used Jacek and my sleeping phase during the ride to drive a 2-hours route instead of 50 minutes, thus charged us double. It was still cheap – so no complaints. After cooling us down in the pool of our hotel White House, we visited the Monkey Forest, where semi-wild Macaques strolled around the sanctuary. Jacek almost get one to serve us as butler, but the guards of the park had not been happy with our plans for Charles the Monkey.

In the evening we wanted to see the Ubud Palace, but because of traditional dance performances held, we could not enter without paying – so we did not enter. Due to my burnt legs I got fever, or at least it felt like I self-ignited. Thus I went to bed at 8 in the evening to finally get up the next day after 13 hours of sleep. The fever was gone with all my fears of catching Malaria, as Doctor Google suggested me the day before. (Life-Hack: Never google your symptoms. Either you are pregnant, you have cancer or your cancer is pregnant.)

On the next day we got new scooters to explore the inner part of the island. Because of rain in the morning we had to wait after noon to really ride the scooters. First we visited the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, which was really impressive. Then we proceeded to capture the marvellous view of the crater volcano Mount Batur. On our way to the active volcano Mount Agung it started a bit to rain. We were well prepared – so we did not complain. At the temple halfway to the top we got some good shots, when you are able to photoshop the clouds away. Still impressive – so no complaint. On our two-hours way back it started to rain heavily. That was not that cool – so we complained a bit.

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The next day was not Jacek’s day. After breakfast we wanted to go to the Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, but on the way we had a scooter accident, where my Polish bro scraped his elbow, knee and feet. Luckily 20 meters away from the crash spot a local medicine station was located, so his life could be saved without troubles. But the accidents showed his true evil in the fact, that he could not go to the water anymore and could not drink alcohol due to the antibiotics the doc gave him. So everything that is cool on Bali was locked for him. However, he stood his man and did not complain – a true warrior.

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So we went on to see the Rice Terrace as well as a beautiful waterfall and one of the 1000 temples that are on Bali – the island is actually called island of 1000 temples. Our plan was to visit the famous waterfalls in the north of the island but really really really really heavy rain forced us to first wait 30 minutes in the rural nowhere and then to give up our plan and drive back to our hotel. There ants invaded our room and infested our beloved crackers. The day ended after one restaurant suggested restaurant from TripAdvisor had been overbook, one was closed down and the third one was finally ready to give us food.

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Our last full day in Ubud started as usual with rain in the morning. After breakfast it cleared up and we could ride to the east of the island where we wanted to see the Blue Lagoon Beach. On the way there we had to make a break because of – yep – rain! The Blue Lagoon was the first beach looking like on the Bali advertising pictures. We chilled as we learned in Tainan to chill, before we went to the next beautiful shore of Virgin Beach. There I swam in turquoise water looking at the white sand and was happy.

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We rode home without rain or accident, the dinner was gorgeous and the room was not taken over by insects, so we began to wonder, if our curse had been lifted. Truth to be told, our bad luck just took a run-up.

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Nusa Lembonga – the peak of Bad Karma

Following our itinerary we headed to stay one night in the side-kick island of Bali – Nusa Lembonga. We got there by ferry where my sunburn-cream fell off the boat. Afterwards we could not find our Hotel because on AirBnB it was called Backpackers Bed&Breakfast, in real life the name was D’Camel Hotel – pretty similar right.

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The hotel was fine, but we did not stay long, because we went to the only hospital on the island to change Jacek’s bandages. There they charged him with the 10-fold price of the first aid help in Bali, so we almost ran out of money. To our convenience, the only ATM on the island was broken. Luckily we had Euro and Singapore Dollars with us to at least survive for one day.

We then rented one Scooter to explore the Island. The streets there looked like a battle field and riding a scooter was a pain in the ass – literally. Nonetheless we managed to get to the amazing places of Dream Beach, Mushroom Beach, Devil’s Tear and Sandy Beach Sunset Bar, where we watched a highly anticipated sunset, that turned out to be colourless due rain clouds all over the sky.

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Back in the room there was a sudden black out in the whole village we have been. Back to electricity the WIFI in our room was disrupted and unusable. But that was not too bad, because the whole island shut down the power in the time between midnight and 6 am. So nothing loaded during the night.

After breakfast we got picked up by the ferry company when it suddenly hit me. I thought that I forgot my sport shoes in the room, and Jacek forgot his too. But the room was empty when we left, so we lost them somewhere else. After a brainstorm sessions of yesterday’s memories, we came to the conclusion, that we forget them because of the stress of getting out the Tuck-Tuck-Truck that was supposed to bring us near our hotel in combination with big luggage of strangers. When asking the staff and the company supervisor, they denied in finding our shoes, so technically they had been stolen. Poor old good Asics sport shoes – I loved them. However, this island was still amazing!

South Kuta – An appropriate farewell of Bali

On our last full day in Indonesia, we went with the ferry back to Bali to eventually land in South Kuta, where we spent the last night. We rented a scooter as always and explored the south of the dream island. We saw awesome cliffs aside wide beaches at the Pandawa Beach, Green Bowl Beach and Pantai Melasti, where we even could see wild wild monkeys playing around.

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In the afternoon we went to the Uluwatu Temple, which was currently holding a mass. Besides cool architecture placed on the edge of the cliffs, free strolling monkeys had been the highlight of the religious place. We then encored the Uluwatu Beach as our last spot for spotting the beautiful colours of the sunset, which we had seen last at the first day in Bali. The problem was that there was no beach, as the Uluwatu Village there is built into the sharp cliffs, and there was no sunset due to heavy rain as always.

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For dinner we once treated ourselves like kings, where especially the lava cake was of royal ancestors for sure. Our last night was of royal blood to, then such as in Game of Thrones, it got beheaded brutally by our alarm at 5 in the morning. There was a plane to catch, and sadly we had to say goodbye to Bali, the island of dreams – and luckily our bad luck at this vacation!

To conclude: we saw amazing natural and human built places, dined like kings, had fun and laughter. Sure, on the islands a lot of plans were destroyed by unlucky circumstances, but all what happened is worth a story to tell. And even when I did not get anything from the Island as souvenir, I have the memories of spending a hell of a good time with my best friend and brother during exchange in Taiwan. Thank you!

Deutsch

Das ist wirklich viel zu übersetzen. Also:

Jacek und ich waren für acht Nächte auf der Trauminsel Bali. Obwohl alle Strände, Städte, Restaurants, religiöse Stätte atemberaubend waren hatten wir eine Pechsträhne in Bezug auf Wetter, Timing und Motorradfahren.

Am ersten Tag waren wir Surfen und sehen und Kultur und Strände in Seminyak an. Dann waren wir vier Nächte in Ubud, wo ich die erste davon krank war. Die restlichen Tage unternahmen wir Scootertouren, welche meistens in einer Regenfahrt endeten, Jacek hatte zudem einen Unfall und konnte somit weder ins Wasser gehen, noch Bier trinken.

Unsere dritte Station war die Insel Nusa Lembonga, welche weiße Strände und türkises-blaues Meer bot.

Den letzten vollen Tag nutzen wir um den Süden von Bali zu erobern, was uns mehr oder weniger gut gelang.

Alles in Allem war es eine Traumreise mit Hindernissen, aber diese machen eine Geschichte erst erzählenswert.

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