What’s tired, hungry, miserable and stinks of sulphur?
Us on the ferry back to Bali. Karen had done a quick wardrobe change in the back of the van while John waited to use the facilities on the boat – big mistake! John was no longer after this.
Getting to Bali by ferry is easy from Java, the hard part is that the ferry port on Bali is in the far west of the island – an area that is not developed or frequented by tourists. After walking off the boat and being offered ridiculous prices for private cars we were offered a minibus for 450,000 Rupiahs. Expensive but we thought it would be hassle-free after the ordeal of the last few days. As we walked through the bus station we saw a group of nice looking minibuses ahead of us. After arriving at them, we kept on walking to the back of the lot.
There was our ‘minibus’, a beaten up public bus – all damaged leather seats and rusty metal. Oh and the promise that ‘nobody would be picked up after’ – yeah right mate!
We politely refused and opted for the slightly longer public bus for 60,000 Rupiahs to Denpasar and then got a taxi for the last half hour journey to Seminyak – our final stop in all of Asia.
We had been to Legian and previously been to Kuta so now it was time to check out that other place on the west coast – Seminyak. Lonely Planet describes Seminyak as
“flash, brash and filled with bony models and expats”
Sadly true… on most of the beach. However we did manage to find a little haven in a place called AW Residence that sheltered us from the posers.
One of our first tasks on getting to Seminyak was to do some washing, particularly our Ijen clothes with there sulfur residue. Sadly the infamous ‘black cap’ did not make it (You will be glad to hear this Ben Bernstein). We assumed that, like everywhere else east of Delhi, you pay by the Kilo for laundry – in Seminyak you pay by the item.
Attempts to negotiate were met with the following gems from the local launderette community
“You no like, you go to Kuta!”
“It’s full of foreigners here so we can charge what we like!”
In the end Karen swallowed her pride and we found the cheapest of a bad bunch to do our laundry.
But what we lacked in washing we made up for in the shopping…
Seminyak is full of shops – most of them top end designer clothes. An enticing web built to lure the older Australian women who shop like crazy here. John was able to replace the last of his original wardrobe – only 1 t-shirt left that was in the backpack in London. Karen managed to hum and haw her way through the markets and buy one dress, a new belt, and a new pair of havan….she bought a few things 🙂
With only 3 days left to go to Australia, we through out the usual diet of rice and a curry based sauce and tucked into some good healthy western food – at affordable prices. Our local became the nearby Cafe Moonlight.
Unfortunately for our readers there are no temples, palaces or museums to describe. This was respite time. So much so we even forgot to put on sunscreen – for the first time in 7 monthes we got sunburnt!
All that was left to do was to clear out the rucksacks for Australia’s Border & Customs Department. Australia has a tough policy on what you can bring in as they are very protective of their environment – for more information please see the Simpsons Episode – Look it up.
This meant all the shells, that were picked on various beaches had to be dumped. All food eaten, and our shoes washed as they had been all over the place.
It was a funny feeling leaving Asia after so long exploring it, Australia would be a massive checkpoint on our journey and the prospect of working again was looming. All too soon from now, Sunday nights would actually mean something again. But at least we would be regaining those Friday feelings!