Compared to my trip through Latin America, I would say that I acted more like the relaxed tourist during my stay in Bali. I learned the basics of Indonesian before coming, but I eventually let it peel off my priority list. I visited some temples and listened to some bell chorals and hymns, yet I had no idea what any of it meant. I met locals, learned some facts and ate their food that could even rival Thailand’s, but all in all I felt like I just needed a straight vacation this time. As a result, I’m leaving Bali with a backpack almost the same size as when I came in.
Kuta is the tourist hub in Bali and that’s because it’s where almost all the surfing is. Kuta beach is more consistent for waves and can suit surfers of all levels. Of course, if you rent a bike you can go more south and find more surf there too. Bluepoint beach at the southwestern tip of the island especially was an area I grew particularly fond of. As you wind down the cliff to the beach, you walk through a village that hugs the land that it’s built out from that then offers inspiring views of the ocean and surfers below. There’s a distinct community feel here and one in which I’d want to get more involved in if I had more time. There are plenty of other ocean side beach towns that rely on surfing and diving, but I’ll leave them for you to find yourselves. As for the inland, heading back north past Kuta you can come across Ubud, which bases itself on natural living. Therefore, if you want to do yoga, eat some dank vegan food, or see some wateralls you might find you spend more time there than you originally planned. Annnnd there’s also a monkey forest.
There are three main aspects that made my Bali trip meaningful. The food, surfing, and the motorcycle I rented for $7o CAD per month. That bike and I had a relationship and it helped me adventure out to see 12 exotic waterfalls in the farther north of the island. This isn’t to mention the drives there that made me feel like I could hear my own heart pound. To ride down a curvy road that swings around rice fields in a valley absorbing sun, to then driving up another winding road reaching a thin cliff line with views of ocean fronts on either side. Some moments stay in your memory.
…Coming back to Kuta. With my bike costing $3 a day including gas, my rent at $10, the meals at $1 each, and surf board rentals at $5 a day, my total spending per month was $630 CAD. Needless to say, if you find yourself in debt or need a place to rethink life decisions, Bali could be the island for you. I set up shop and went to the beach every day to see if there was surf. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in November. However, I can honestly say that I can surf alright now and learned that a lot of surfing isn’t actually about riding your board. Waves may not look fast and violent coming in, but they are. You have to know how to protect yourself, where to catch the wave, be aware of the wind directions, water currents, and surfer etiquette. You have to treat each with patience and respect, and when you do get up on to one, you need to pay attention to it. Like riding a horse I presume, with the right relationship you soar down the landscape feeling a sense of empowerment and appreciation.
So that was my two month experience in Indonesia… Maybe my backpack is a bit larger than I thought. On to Thailand, where this international lifestyle first started for me 2 years ago.
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