Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hatini and Shopping

Hatini and Shopping

After my last post we decided to go to the beach where there are lounges with umbrellas set up every few meters. We walked for a while and then I decided to sit. A Balinese man approached us and told us we had to pay rent to sit in the chairs. I was quite shocked and told him we’d keep walking. It was more the shock that made me decline than me not wanting to pay. Either way, I was quite embarrassed.

We walked back to hotel and decided to head out for dinner. This time we knew where Hatini was so we went there. For the second night the sunset disappeared behind the clouds before hitting the horizon, it was still an amazing view. We ordered cocktails (first time drinking for a long time) and got a little tipsy off three each (buy one get one free). Our main meals were amazing and the Hatini definitely lived up to its reviews but it was the dessert the was the show stopper. Creme Brulee. Wow. Never tried it before and just… wow. I could have had five of them.

After dinner we decided to hit the streets with our increased confidence due to our slight intoxication. I bought a handbag and Shaun got a hat, I think about $17AUD for the two. I bought two dresses for $20AUD. Not bad bartering skills but still much room to improve. I’m still turning to Shaun every time to check what price I’m offering because I’m terrified of adding an extra zero onto the price.

Back in our room now and Shaun’s fallen fast asleep. He’s cheaper than me. Looking forward to a day of no plans tomorrow.

Oh the Zoo

Set an alarm this morning. 6:30am to give us plenty of time to have breakfast and get ready for our 8:30am pick up to go to the zoo. We had our breakfast in the pavilion today, which was a lovely area just off where the rest of the breakfast buffet area was. I have no idea why it was offered to us but I’m glad it was. The chipmunks didn’t want any of my breakfast, they didn’t come near us this morning. After breakfast we sat into the foyer until a man came up to us with a T-shirt saying ‘BALI ZOO’ on it and asked if he was for us.

It was quite a long drive to the zoo but we enjoyed looking out the windows at everything that was going on around us and we even traveled no a big main road, which I was starting to wonder if they even existed. The driver gave us VIP stickers for the zoo and dropped us off right at the ticket area.

We entered the zoo where they told us to be at a certain place at 10:00am for our elephant ride which was only about 20 minutes away so we headed straight there. We walked upstairs onto a tower which we could step onto the elephant from. We sat in a chair on the elephants back with a seat belt and a the driver (I guess that’s what he’s called) sat on the elephants neck. Our ride was half an hour but it went very quickly. We walked around the elephant track passing some tiny tiger cubs being bottle fed on the way.

After returning to the tower and exiting the vehicle we were able to feed the elephants. As we fed them the bamboo they dropped some. Shaun picked it up and tried to give it to the elephant only to be told by the keeper that the elephant wont eat the bamboo once it’s touched the ground. Fussy buggers.

We then entered the main part of the zoo. We saw that there was a bird show on at 11:00am so we hurried through the first bit but still got the chance to pet a bat, have photos taken with some birds, feed a wild pig, feed sun bears through a fence, have our photo taken with a snake and feed the little impala like things.

After the bird show they brought out a lion, which they said was a lion cub was definitely bigger than what you’d expect a cub to be. Everyone lined up to pet the lion and have photos taken and somehow Shaun and I managed to get close to the front. Our package included an ‘Animal Encounter’ and I thought that was it but there was more to come. We continued walking and saw the monkeys and the HUGE orangutang and then I got to feed a tiger through the cage for an extra $5AUD. Our package also included a lunch buffet at the zoo so we headed to lunch where we were given a card with a number on it. They told us that at 1:00pm the animal encounters would begin and we’d be called over by number. So we ate lunch and then sat around and waited. We had photos taken with a bear cat and then a crocodile and then a tiger (also announced cub, but not by my standards).

The whole day was absolutely amazing. We heading back in and looked at a few of the animals we rushed passed at the beginning of the day and then went back to zoo reception where they called our driver for the day. I think Shaun and I both fell asleep on the way home. 

Now we’re back at the hotel, I was thinking of taking a nap but now I’m thinking that will just make me feel groggy. Might go down to the pool or the beach for a massage. Whatever we do, it doesn’t matter, because we’re no holidays!

 

 

View for Dinner

View for Dinner

Zanzibars along Legian beach

Long Walks and Chilling by the Pool

After breakfast I made another mistake despite the warnings. I used tap water while brushing my teeth. Hopefully it doesn’t catch up with me.

We decided to walk to Kuta today. The biggest touristy place in Bali, which honestly doesn’t seem much different from Legian. I’m sure the nightlife would be but the shopping isn’t really. We went in search of Poppies Lane I and II which are supposedly the biggest shopping strips. Every second shop has the exact same stuff as the last and my need for shopping until I drop has dramatically dropped. Everything’s cheap and when I think to myself, Would I wear that in Melbourne? The answer is no. I was actually terrified of walking into any of the shops. I was scared of bartering and of what the Balinese would say/do once we were in the shop. Shaun started us off by buying a fake TAG watch he’s wanted for a very long time, bartering the price from about $100AUD to $35AUD. We then searched for the ‘Discovery Mall’ another big shopping destination, got very lost but eventually found it. I was expecting a big sign or something saying DISCOVERY MALL but it was just CENTRO. We only realised we were walking into the right place when we saw the little writing  on the doors saying ‘discovery mall’. The shops were normal (Nike, Roxy, La Senza) the prices were a bit lower than home but still not quite what I’m willing to pay.

We left the discovery mall and went back to Poppies Lane for my first attempt at buying something. I spotted a pair of sandles which I desperately wanted because I was getting blisters and sore in between my toes from my thongs. First attempt failed. He offered about $80AUD when I was expecting about $5AUD. “Real Leather.” He said. I tried to barter but I’m very aware I wasn’t firm or confident and I kept turning to Shaun asking him what price I was saying. I’m not catching onto the money at all but Shaun seems like an expert already. I ended up walking out of the store and found another pair (not as nice) somewhere else, bartered down to $12AUD with a pair of fake Oakleigh sunnies for Shaun thrown in, bartering assisted by Shaun. Well taken over. I’ll get better with some practice.

We ended up getting completely lost around the shops and streets of Kuta/Legian walking around for about five hours all up. We realised we were in an area where we were no longer surrounded by Aussie tourists. We asked a couple of people for directions to the beach (we knew if we found the beach we’d know where we were) but they didn’t know or didn’t speak English. I so badly wanted to give up and get in a taxi but Shaun was convinced we could find our way back so we kept walking on the uneven footpaths and every toe stubbed and a twisted ankle later Shaun hailed a taxi. It wasn’t the worst place to be lost but we were ready for some food and sitting. I was tentative about getting into the taxi because it wasn’t a Bluebird taxi and that’s what I’d been told to stick to. The taxi had already pulled over so I felt obliged to get in. The driver started the meter without us asking and all was good.

We got the taxi to drop us at a restaurant near our hotel where I had Mi Goreng and Shaun had Nasi Goreng. Both really nice. I also bought a dress for $5AUD bartered from $10. It’s just one of those elastic bust dresses but there aren’t many options and I really wanted a dress just to chuck on whenever. We returned to the hotel, chucked on our bathers and spent a few hours next to the pool reading and napping and just taking it easy, giving our feet a rest. We put up a little flag on the table between us which gets us the equivalent to room service next to the pool. I got a freshly squeezed orange juice and Shaun, a sweet mocktail.

We’ve organised through our hotel to go to the zoo tomorrow and to swim with Dolphins next week. So glad mum told us to organise the dolphins as soon as possible because they were already all booked out for this week.

I googled somewhere nice to have dinner and found a place with great reviews, Hitana. We searched for Hitana quickly trying to beat the sunset but gave up and went to Zanzibars which was also recommended to us. I was disappointed that we didn’t find Hitana but Zanzibarz was amazing and much cheaper than Hitana would have been. We got three courses, Shaun had a Mojito and it all came to bout $35AUD. I had pesto linguini and Shaun had steak.

We finally found where all the people go. Along the beach, the opposite way to which we’ve been walking there’s lounges set up on the sand all along the beach and bars and restaurants everywhere (Zanzibars included) We finished dinner and walked along the beach towards our hotel, and of course walked passed Hitana not too far from Zanzibars. We’re going to go tomorrow night.

Back at the hotel we decided to go for a night swim. It didn’t last very long because we figured out why they’re empty at night. They’re not warm!!! And the temperature outside isn’t overly warm at night anyway. Shorts and singlet warm but not jump in a cold pool warm. Still, it was nice having the absolutely huge pool all to ourselves for the 5 minutes we lasted.

Sharing some breakfast

Sharing some breakfast

Today I shared my breakfast with the ginormous fishies. Tomorrow I shall share it with the Chipmunks that are everywhere. I was so excited when I saw my first chipmunk this morning and now I’m realising there’s about four in every tree.

View from Breakfast

View from Breakfast

I don’t really want to admit what I had for breakfast but it was amazing. I’ve never seen so many options. There was chocolate croissants, banana and other fruit danishes, waffles and pancakes with different sauces (including chocolate), super crispy bacon, everything you need to make a salad, eggs cooked all different ways, different flavoured mini muffins, fruits and yoghurts. The list is endless!! I’m feeling absolutely spoilt.

Arrived today

4:00am wake up. 9:55am flight. Didn’t freak out about flying. 50 Shades of Grey, 9 chapters in. None of it seemed real.

The flight didn’t seem to long. Shaun and I were in a middle section of four seats but the one in the middle wasn’t taken. I slept and read, Shaun watched a movie or two, still didn’t seem real.

We got off the plane and immediately felt the warmth of outside but it wasn’t overpowering or too muggy. There were a lot of strange smells. Mostly insence. We followed the crowd and lined up to get our visas (USD$25 each) then followed along to the next line to get the visas and passports stamped. It was pretty obvious what we suppose to be doing.

We got our checked luggage and followed on to the bag scanning area. I can’t even think of how many people told me Don’t let anyone touch your bag. Two men came up to me and Shaun saying they’d take our bags to the checking area. I let go of my bag not quite sure what was going on and turned to Shaun who was still firmly holding on to his bag. He looked at me and said calmly but sternly, “Don’t let go of your bag.” I quickly snatched the handle back off the man who didn’t put up much of a fight, let go and walked off to the next piece of fresh meat.

Through the airport and out of the building we stood on one side of a barrier while there were so many people on the other side holding up names of passengers, hotels or companies. It took us a while but I spotted Shaun’s name and a very friendly Balinese man lead us to a car to take us to our hotel. It still hadn’t set in.

The driver didn’t speak at all but we were so taken by everything out the window that we didn’t really mind. The roads were tiny and all seemed like back streets. I was waiting to get onto a main road but it never seemed to happen. The drive from the airport to Legian seemed very short. Traffic was crazy with motorbikes swerving everywhere and cars driving on the wrong side of the road. It was how I expected it to be.

We arrived at the Padma and the only thing I could take in was the size of the fish in the ponds. It still hadn’t set in though that we were in Bali. We got some paperwork filled out and then were shown to our room. Now I was getting excited! Our room was amazing. That’s all I can say to describe it. We were hungry so we decided to walk around. We walked onto the beach and then found some shops. We sat down at a restaurant near the hotel and I ordered a margarita pizza and Shaun, a mixed grill plate that was set out very exotically. The pizza was amazing (unexpected). As we waited for our food we watched people on the streets and in the shops and I finally understand what culture shock is, although I wouldn’t be able to describe it.

After we ate we took the advice of many and walked around without buying anything just to get a feel for things. People on the street just look at you and say “Yes, yes” gesturing towards their shops. It was difficult looking in all the shops because you have to constantly stare at the ground, making sure not to trip over the incredibly uneven pavement. Every few meters there’s a piece of pavement missing filled in with sandbags.

We returned to the hotel and thought about taking a dip in one of the pools at the Padma but opted for a bath in front of the TV in our room instead which took forever to run with the low pressure on the hot water. 60 channels and there wasn’t much to choose from. It was about 7:30pm and we decided to walk around the resort again which is so huge and I can’t even comprehend figuring out my way around. We checked out the gym and the pools and looked in a few of the restaurants. The place was empty. There was no one in the lit up pools which were still open and barely anyone walking around. We left the hotel and walked around again. Most of the stalls were still open but few shoppers around, there were few pretty full restaurants but I’m still not sure where everyone goes.

Back in the hotel room and decided to order some dessert for room service. Just because we can. The chocolate mud cake was amazing and I told myself this can not become a habit. We’re on the fourth floor and always taking the stairs but that won’t cover it.

Looking forward to the breakfast buffet but have no idea how we’re going to pend the rest of the day tomorrow. Future blog posts will hopefully not be this long. This one wasn’t suppose to be but it sure has felt like a long day.