Bali

The path into Bali was surprisingly smooth, I was dreading having to arrive at 1am and try and negotiate the touts and get to the hotel. But they seem to have cleaned up the airport here and a prepaid taxi got me straight there and in. I’d picked the most expensive room in the most expensive hotel listed in the Lonely Planet, totalling 9 quid a night, but it is really quite nice with 2 outdoor pools and looks more like a Bhuddist temple than a hotel. The weather is great, not too hot at around 33 degrees but bright sunshine all the time, the bluest skies I’ve ever seen I think. I didn’t do too much yesterday except find my way around and sleep, until 10pm when I decided I should pop out for dinner. I ended up staggering around at 5:30am trying to remember where my hotel was…

I stopped in at the new Paddy’s Bar, one of the two venues that was destroyed by the bombs. It’s rather eerie as there is a shrine behind the bar with photos and names of the people that died there. Across the road, the site of the other bomb at the Sari Club is still a big hole in the ground. This morning I managed to get out of bed just in time for breakfast at 11am, and did some sun lounging. I decided to treat myself to a massage and that’s where things went slightly wrong, as I got into a bit of a backstreet place somehow. Having negotiated a price of 30,000 rupiah for an hour (a little under 2 quid) I had about 6 people working on me simultaneously, a full manicure and pedicure thrown in and a small child running around on my back. At the end of course the price had hiked to about 500,000, so I gave them 50,000 and left it at that. Thieving gits.

Everything is incredibly cheap though, main meals are under a pound as are beers. The taxi from the airport was only just over a quid as well. Things are evidently still quite turbulent, and although it’s reasonably busy in Bali you get the feeling it’s nowhere as busy as it should be, considering this is high season. Perhaps people have yet to start coming back here in full numbers yet. Right, some sleep is on the agenda for me now!

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