Quiet Escape

IMG_3277Travelling is an enjoyable pleasure, especially if you get a free ticket. A friend of mine gave me a round-trip ticket from Bandung to Bali during the Ramadan break in 2013. I took an evening flight from Bandung, and arrived at the Ngurah Rai airport where my friend picked me up.

The next morning, we took a morning walk and had breakfast. I love the Ubud atmosphere. It is just perfect. We went to the monkey forest and an art museum. We saw giant paintings and relaxed in the Balinese bale-bale.  We looked at rice fields while we sipped a cup of tea. We walked down to Ibu Oka’s restaurant where the cute sidewalks are full of love messages. I love the neighborhood there, and of course the meal was delicious.

We drove around Ubud and rested in a gelato ice cream shop. 2 scoops of gelato in the middle of hot day was perfect. It was my cousin Paulus’ birthday. We went to Sunset Road in Kuta and gave him hugs and homemade lasagna as his present. He seemed so surprised yet happy. We met another friend and went to Jimbaran. We had an awesome seafood dinner on the beach and enjoyed the live music, the stars, and the waves.

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Early in the morning, I took a Perama bus to Sanur. It cost me Rp 140.000,00. I arrived in Sanur  and waited for half an hour for the boat. I walked to resorts and sat near a French guy. He was waiting for his wife, and we started to speak French. We quickly became friends and decided to stay in the same hostel. It took us less than 30 minutes to see another paradise called Nusa Lembongan. Unfortunately, we took the wrong speedboat and they dropped us in Mushroom beach. I tried to call the person in charge of Perama to take us to another side of the island. We were waiting for the taxi boat to take us, along with 2 British tourists.

IMG_3300I hurt my knees when I hopped on the boat. I went to a local home-stay belonging to a lifeguard in Kuta beach. I met him last year and he offered for me to stay in his family’s home-stay. I arrived there and asked for another room for my friends, the French couple. They got the room. Yeay! We had lunch together in a restaurant full of Japanese tourists. The waiter was going to turn us away because their restaurant was reserved, but the owner was kind enough to let us have lunch there.

I went to a traditional funeral ceremony while the French couple rented bikes to ride around the island. I met a local guy named Mr. Nyoman who drove me around the island on his motorbike. I was so glad to meet him.  We saw the most beautiful sites in Nusa Lembongan and I swam for a while. I brought no extra clothes which made riding the motorbike in wet clothes unenjoyable.

We missed the sun set in Nusa Lembongan, but met the French couple and asked them to have dinner. We had Balinese fried chicken and shared about our day. We were so tired and went to bed early.

The morning I was waiting for: a boat picked me up to snorkel for the day.I paid Rp 150.000,00/person/day. I met another French guy named Christian and another tourist couple. We had 5 different spots to explore. The first one had manta rays.  When they swam nearby, they made my heart beat faster. I went to the boat and started to vomit. I guess I was sea sick. The current was so strong, and I had not had enough breakfast that morning. I slept in the boat while my new friends snorkeled. At the second spot, my head was still dizzy, but I tried to snorkel. I rested again until we went to the third spot. I chose to lie down on the beach while the others were looking at the sea life. I felt better and put on my mask to see the fourth spot. This time was the most amazing. I could feel the coldest water in 5 meters, then warm water in the next 5 meters, and then cold and warm. The fish were so colorful and everything looked great until I felt headache coming on. Before we hit the last destination I asked Christian to massage my neck but he couldn’t do it right. We arrived at the last spot and saw a mangrove forest on the other side of the island. We went back to the home stay and said goodbye.

IMG_3505It was a wonderful day but my head was so heavy, I decided to take a nap. After my nap, I had noodle soup for late lunch. In the evening, the life guard, Mr. Ngurah, gave me a coconut and I drank it. I hung out in the receptionist’s area, and helped out travelers who passed by and asked questions. He invited me to see another funeral ceremony (it is the biggest event in Bali called Ngaben), and we had dinner afterwards. We went back and I visited with the French couple before going to bed.

I woke up in the morning to say goodbye to Giles and Patricia, my French parents. We had a farewell breakfast and they invited me to stay in their house if I go to Paris. I’d love to do it. Patricia gave me euro tissue paper which I used to wipe my fake tears when I saw their boat was leaving. I saw locals loading food supplies, and talked with a guy who works for Perama. I went back to my home-stay, said goodbye to Mr.Ngurah and his family, and headed to Sanur. I sat with a surfer and had a good time talking with him.IMG_3529

My friend was waiting for me in Sanur, and we had lunch with another friend. I bought some local food for my mom and brother in Krisna. I shared how happy I was on the island and felt so thankful to have that trip on my own. I went to the airport and said another goodbye to my friend who hosted me in Bali. A short trip in Bali with French speakers, made me feel that I was not in Indonesia.

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