Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Bali Revealed: Day 1
At the Guam airport I ran into some friends that were on the same flight as me! I met Rebecca and Ben during the Fall Beach Volleyball league when I first moved to Saipan. They're such a great couple. I'm just happy to know that I can hang with them and their friends at any given point of my trip.
It was only a four hour and fifty minute plane ride from Guam to Bali. I ended up with a whole row of seats to myself so it gave me a chance to catch some zzzzzzzzzz. We arrived around ten pm in Bali. Getting our visa ($25) and going through immigration was madness! There were so many tourists for the holiday. I finally made it out and exited the airport only to find myself engulfed in a sea of drivers holding up colorful signs with names on them. I had to walk over three times before I found my driver, Ketut Mendra.
Judy and Dennis gave me a referral to their driver they used when they were last in Bali. I was glad to have someone honest and reliable to take me around since some drivers over charge you if you are not familiar with the rates to different locations.
Anywho, I went my seperate way from Rebecca and Ben at the airport. They went with friends to Kuta (aka party town) with some friends and I headed off to Ubud. Ubud is about forty five minutes away from the airport. They are going to meet me in Ubud in a couple of days.
Ubud is such a charming village. I love this place! It is perched on slopes leading towards the central mountains. The people here are gracious and take time to chat with you. For the first couple of days I am staying at Adi Cottages. Its in the middle of the main road Monkey Forest Rd in the middle of all the shops and cafes. I'm on the upper level with a patio that over looks the pool and lush gardens. It's only $29 bucks a night but I will be moving to the White House Bali Cottages for only $15 bucks a night to save money.
It was hammering down rain today. Unfortunately it may rain the whole week dag nab it! I wanted to see sunrise at the volcano but there might not be much of a view. It's ok. I don't mind the rain since it gave me a chance to start reading my new book Eat, Pray, Love. This trip was really all about me relaxing and exploring Bali on my own pace. The first day I spent wandering Ubud Market, Ubud Palace, rice fields, cafes, and the shops! There is so much to see in Ubud. I will need to spend atleast a couple of days here before I move on.
The food is amazing here! They've got all kinds of food for every type of budget. Whether you eat at a warung (food stall on side of the road) or trendy restaurant the food is all delish. My favorite cafes so far are the Three Monkey Cafe and The Rice Noodle Bar.
I read some travel blogs before I came here. Alot of the blogs warned against "vultures" or locals trying to sell you things nonstop. So far I haven't really experienced that although the locals think I look Indonesian. Maybe that is why they haven't bugged me as much. I love that I can just blend in wherever I go. Well except for Europe (another story to tell later).
The highlight of today was visiting the cute monkeys at the Monkey Sanctuary. Its a nice park just to walk through and observe the monkeys. If you want you can feed bananas to the monkeys. There is a raging river that runs through this forest. Just really loved it here.
Anyway, I'm going to have breakfast and start my venture. Merry Christmas to my family and friends back home! I heart you.
*I uploaded some pics =) 1/7/08