Bali + Gili

Oct 29, 2017

So, I woke up drunk this morning, at 5:45am. I don’t really remember getting ready, nor packing my stuff. But, I remember that I didn’t forget anything and that I woke up in time to get the tuk tuk to the airport. At the airport, I successfully navigated through the Siem Reap airport, immigration, and got to my gate…still drunk. I got some Burger King nuggets as my drunchie snack (drunk munchies).

On the plane, I was given 2 meals by AirAsia (I must’ve gotten a meal pack or something). But I’d just eaten 6 nuggets and had 2 meals to eat. So I had one, which was curry and saved the second one (pasta) for later, in case I got hungry again. I slept the whole way on the plane because I’m drunk/hungover. Once I got to the Kuala Lumpur airport (where I’d have a 7 hour layover), I had to go through security again. This time, the lady working security asked me if I was carrying scissors. Mind you, I’ve been through at least 4 different airports and no one has said anything about my scissors, plus they’re TSA approved. I said yes and argued with her because obviously I’m pissed I hafta get rid of a perfectly fine pair of scissors. The fact that they make you go through security again is stupid.

So for my 7 hour layover, I basically FaceTimed my whole family for 3 hours, effed around on my phone while it was charging, then finally when it was done charging was when I took a nap. I napped for a good 2 hours on a couch until it was about an hour and a half till I’d depart to Bali. Once at my gate, I had a lovely conversation with a Filipino lady. She’d just lost her dad and she was on her way home for the funeral. She was a maid for a Chinese family living in Malaysia, something very common for Filipinos. 

Finally, once on the plane I watched some of my downloaded episodes of Stranger Things & Orange is the New Black. I didn’t want to sleep since I already napped at the airport and I wanted to be able to sleep once I got to Bali. I’d arranged a car to pick me up from the airport and take me to my hostel in Ubud beforehand, so luckily he was waiting for me after I landed. I didn’t want to get scammed by a taxi driver or other drivers in the area and it was really late by the time I’d landed (12am). The driver took me to my hostel and I immediately went to sleep.

Oct 30, 2017

I woke up a little late today since I came in the hostel late. Plus, I haven’t really slept in since the last few days have been getting up early for temples and flights and stuff. I didn’t have a plan for the day, and I kinda just wanted to walk around to gain my bearings and to check out the town. I left the hostel around 12:30pm in search for some food. I came across this cute little restaurant that was empty (and cheap). It had a little temple inside of the restaurant, and I felt so at peace in there. I tried a Balinese dish, it was okay but I couldn’t finish it and I got tired of the taste after a while.

After lunch, I walked around Ubud looking to buy. I had dollar signs in my eyes, ready to spend, spend spend haha. I picked up some souvenirs for friends and family, got a new necklace since the one I bought in Laos turned brown & started to irritate my skin. I also splurged on some clothes for myself because, that’s what I do. Ubud also has really cute boutiques so I couldn’t resist (plus I don’t have anyone here telling me not to buy things and I have no self control). 

I got back to the hostel around 4:30, hungout, then went out again around 7 to get some dinner. I found a spot off TripAdvisor that looked good (and cheap). It was another Balinese restaurant and I ordered some tofu & Tempe (a sort of soybean cake similar to tofu) curry. It definitely didn’t disappoint me and I was greatly satisfied with my meal. I went back to the hostel where I watched Stranger Things and OITNB before falling asleep.

Oct 31, 2017

Another slow morning, I decided to order fruit and yogurt from the restaurant at the hostel. I chilled a little more until around 12:30pm. I wanted to do yoga at 2, but I had to get there a half an hour early and it would take me 30-45 mins to walk there from the hostel. I took a really quiet road to get there–there were rice paddies, kids playing in the street, dogs wrestling with each other. It’s also the day before the Balinese Hindu holiday, Galungan. Everyone was busy preparing for this holiday, making extravagant poles sculptures made from palm fronds and covering their statues with gingham print robes.

I got to Yoga Barn around 1, so I drank a smoothie to past the time. I was also finally getting over being sick and I really wanted to try yoga again. This time, I tried an “Intro to Yoga” class, which ended up being really easy but very informative. I’m not sure if it was worth $10 for the class, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, especially if you’re learning. When yoga got out it was 3:30 and I was starving. I opted for this place in the Monkey Jungle area of Ubud and got another delicious Balinese dish. 

Around 4:30pm I got to the Sacred Monkey Jungle, a park full of 3 sacred Hindu temples full of monkeys. I’m sure this whole area used to look like this at one point, big beautiful trees, monkeys swinging around everywhere, green and lush scenery. The monkeys are pretty chill, unless you have food, then they sneakily try and steal it from you (or not sneakily). You’re not supposed to look at them in the eye because they think it’s a sign of aggression. If you just kinda watch them and leave them be, then they’re cool to look at. If you do/have any of the things I mentioned then they’re little shits. For example, I put down my huge water bottle in between my legs to video cute little baby monkeys. Another clever monkey saw that my guard was down and tried to grab my water bottle. But since I was holding onto it with my legs I grabbed it away and stared at it in the eyes and it ran away back to what it was doing. I think it got really brave at one point and just grabbed my water bottle while I was paying attention, this time I stood up, stared it in the eye and lunged toward it to scare it off, luckily it did just that and was scared off. For the next hour, I just roamed around the park, watching the monkeys doing their monkey business all while being surrounded by a beautiful forest. I visited all 3 temples, which were closed, but it was still beautiful to look at. 

I went back to the hostel, where I just chilled and chatted with some of the people there. One of the girls I talked to convinced me to go to Gili Trawangan, so I booked transportation that night for the next morning. Since I would have to be ready by 7am for the shuttle, I opted not to do anything that night, even though it was Halloween. Ubud doesn’t really have a party scene, but I didn’t mind. I was still getting over being sick and I couldn’t justify going out in such a peaceful, zen place. So, my night consisted of French fries and Stranger Things. Not a bad night if I say so myself.

Nov 1, 2017

I woke up really early for my shuttle that would pick me up at 7am. After 15 minutes of waiting, I went back to the hostel to ask if they’d forgotten about me. He said they would pick me up between 7-7:30 and guess what, I got picked up at 7:30 (could’ve slept an extra half hour damnit). I slept on the car ride to the boat place. Drank a mango juice while waiting for the boat to Gili T, then slept on the boat again. I guess my sickness/fatigue is still getting to me, I really need a lot of sleep out here.

Once on Gili T, I realized they didn’t have any tuk tuks, motorbikes or even cars. It’s such a small island that everyone bikes around or uses a horse and buggy if they really want to get somewhere fast. These poor horses do not look like they live happy lives. They’re over worked, tired, and I don’t even see them getting something to drink or even being brought to the shade. I didn’t want to take one during my time there, I didn’t want to support that kind of animal exploitation. So instead of getting a horse and buggy to my hostel (which was only 0.4 miles away but a long walk in the sun with all my shit) I opted to walk.

Once at my hostel, My Mate’s Place, I got some fruit and yogurt for breakfast and chilled before my room was ready. Adam, a local who works at the hostel and puts on all the activities, asked if I wanted to sign up for snorkeling the following day, so I did. After getting settled in and relaxing for a bit, I walked around to find food and check out the beach. For some reason I was craving Thai food, so I got some Thai fried rice on the beach and chilled with this cat that kept meowing at me. It even jumped on the chair next to me and made me think that I had a friend lol.

After food I was really tired at this point. I went down to the beach, laid out my sarong in the shade and sprawled out. Gili T is such a beautiful island. The beaches are white, the water is clear and the views are amazing. I was so relaxed at this point I fell asleep for about an hour. I could have slept for longer, but I wanted to get ready for yoga at 5:30. So I went back to the hostel, changed, then went back to the beach for yoga. This time I tried a regular class, it was Vinyasa Flow. The teacher wasn’t as good as the others I’ve had, maybe because it wasn’t a beginners teacher, but I was able to keep up with the pace. I’m really starting to enjoy yoga, the breathing, the meditation aspect, focusing on your movements and being aware of your body as a whole. I want to start doing it as much as possible, that’s how much I enjoy it out here!

Yoga was nice and relaxing and I was hungry after we got out. So I found another cute local spot on the beach. I tend to grativate towards restaurants that don’t have a lot of people in them (aka empty). I find it that a lot of tourists are scared to eat at Bali/Indonesian focused restaurants, they’re more into that fusion/Western food places. The local restaurants usually serve really good food and it’s pretty affordable, especially in Gili T where all the restaurants are pretty pricey.

I went back to the hostel, where I took a shower and got ready for the nighttime. This was the intimidating part, trying to meet people. There were so many dudes when I walked out the hostel, I didn’t know who to approach or what to do. So I went back in my room, regrouped, gained more confidence, and walked up to the first table I saw with actual girls LOL. I asked them if I could join them and they said of course. It was a group of 5 Brits (again) who’d met each other while trekking in Ubud, a French Canadian, an Austrian and Irish lad. We all enjoyed drinking games and stuck with each other that night. We all mentioned that we were going snorkeling tomorrow as well, which was great, I found people to chill with!

We went out that night to a few bars, I was pretty over it by the 3rd bar but I tried to put on a good face. I guess the heat and the sucky music (mixed with the fact that it’s impossible for me to get drunk from this watered down alcohol they have here) just gets me really tired and I become bored. We all walked back around 1-2ish because we wanted to be able to wake up for snorkeling the next day.

Nov 2, 2017

My roomies, two Irish girls, were also going snorkeling today. We got ready, scarfed our food down, got our gear, and walked with Tom and Adam to the boat. We’d be snorkeling in 3 spots today: 2 by Gili Meno and 1 by Gili Air (there are 3 Gili Islands in total, Gili Trawangan is the biggest one). The first one we stopped at was a small reef by Gili Meno. The best thing here was an underwater statue. It was really cool and there were so many fish surrounding it. The water is so warm and clear, an ideal spot to snorkel. I was the last one on the boat, me being a freaking fish and all (I’m a Pisces and I’m a swimmer, I’m just naturally a water lover…that’s why I’d be a water bender!!).

The next spot was the best area in finding turtles! Our guides were looking through the glass bottom to see if they could spot one. Once they did, we all go in the water to try and snorkel with it. If you don’t already know, I’m obsessed with turtles, they’re my favorite animal and been my favorite animal ever since I was a kid. I was really excited to actually spot one, get a selfie with it, swim with it and just be in it’s presence. Turtles are amazing, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to swim with one. Again, I was the last on the boat. I kinda got caught in another group and went the wrong way, luckily I’m a good swimmer and swam back to the boat where they were all waiting for me.

Next was lunch, we stopped on Gili Air to eat at this pretty nice place. I got a margarita pizza because I’ve eaten local food for the past few days now and I wanted some pizza. In the middle of lunch it started to down pour so we all brought our food inside to their deck. After waiting a little while for the rain to pass, we had the option of either going to our next snorkel place or going back to the hostel, because it was still a little rainy. We chose to ride it out and go to our next snorkel spot. This place, we were able to feed the fishies bread. I was really sad that my little cube video thing’s battery died because this was super cool. The fish were all swarming around, and when I dove down to swim with them it just looked like a cool ass picture. I guess I don’t need footage, I can just remember in my mind. I loved every second of snorkeling and the vibe was seriously perfect.

After snorkeling, I went back to take a shower. I tried to nap because I was so exhausted but ended up just relaxing and closing my eyes. For dinner, I opted for a Poutine at the hostel restaurant. I know, it’s not that healthy, but I couldn’t resist fries and gravy. That night all of us drank again. I went with them to the first bar but after 10-20 minutes I couldn’t take it anymore, I was way too tired, so I walked back to the hostel and went to sleep.

Nov 3, 2017

I took a while getting up today. I didn’t really have any responsibilities. Some of the group got home this morning after they watched the sunrise. I was a bit jealous that I didn’t make it, but it would have been way too late for me. I had to switch rooms and my roommates, the 2 Irish girls, had to leave because they didn’t extend the night before. After breakfast (eggs, I know I’m getting adventurous), I wanted to bike around the island. A guy named Freddy from Germany asked if he could join me, I said sure the more the merrier LOL.

Biking on the shoreline was really pretty (but freaking hot). I stopped at some shops, we stopped at Ombok Point to take a picture on the iconic swings. After biking for a while, we got really hot and decided to stop and get drinks. I always get some type of juice out here, they take fruit and ice and blend it and it’s usually really cheap. We saw ominous dark cloud coming our way and we immediately paid for our drinks and left. Well, we got stuck in the rain and it was really sucky because we also got lost. But, somehow we actually found our way to the hostel (yay my sense of direction even when I’m lost haha).

I got another gravy chicken sandwich from the hostel, anything with gravy has my name written all over it. I let it digest a bit before heading over to the gym. It was only a 2 minute walk and our hostel gave us 50% off a day pass. I worked out for about an hour and a half, had a protein shake at their bar, came back and took a shower, then went out with Adam, the activities director to watch the sunset. I was going to go by myself, but he told me it was his job to take us and it was only me because no one else wanted to go.

It’s nice being with a local though, he knows everyone on the island and was able to get me the best spot to watch the sunset. Even though there were a lot of clouds, the sunset was definitely breathtaking. All those colors reflecting on the water, it’s just a beautiful combination. We rode back to the hostel and I had drinks again with everyone. We went out again and I got sweet corn as a little snack on the beach. Well it must’ve given me really bad gas because my stomach really hurt afterwards. I was not enjoying myself and Hannah was tired because she watched the sunrise that morning, so we walked back together. I went into my room seeing that nobody even checked into my room, so I was a little confused as to why they didn’t allow those Irish girls to extend their stay.

Anyways, I’m in Canggu right now. One of the scariest things has happened while I was out here, and I want to save it for my next blog post. But, just remember to live every day like it’s your last. Hug your friends and family and remind them how much you love them. Life is short and can get cut short in a matter of seconds. Thank you everyone for being patient with my posts, I’ve been trying to find time to write but it’s still a little difficult. I’m also finally trying to work out every other day (that or yoga) because wellness and health are very important. So stay tuned for the next episode of MELISSA’S SOUTHEAST ASIA BACKPACKING ADVENTURE!!

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