Bali redemption 

   
 
It took me another couple of weeks to recover from the infamous ‘Bali belly’. After a while I started to worry that a parasite might be munching its way through my stomach lining, coz every time I tried to eat I’d double up in pain, and because Google told me there was about a 3% possibility that terry the (tax-evading) tapeworm had found a safe haven inside my person. But eventually the stomach cramps started to subside and we (Google and I) determined that it must have been a reaction to the antibiotics. The silver lining of this whole sorry saga is that my metabolism appears to have been awoken from its “you’re not in your twenties anymore” slumber and I now feel a lot like my old (young) self again. For that reason Bali, I have decided to forgive you your filthy, unsanitary, non-hand-washing ways. I shall retract this forgiveness should Terry ever rear his ugly head.

Despite my ongoing suffering, we had a wonderful time on Lembongan island. We gate crashed our friends’ plush villa (and their mini bar) on New Year’s Eve and had ourselves a stunning hilltop pool party, whilst the locals fired hundreds of fireworks in our general direction. I’ve always found New Year’s Eve to be a monumental disappointment, but not this one. This one was effortlessly awesome.

    

We spent over a week on Lembongan and hired bikes to explore the island and to cross the rickety bridge over to Ceningan, a tiny island to the east of Lembongan. We ate (well everyone else did), drank, swam, played numerous games of shithead, and generally thanked our lucky stars to be alive and in good company.

  

Vroom vroom…

 

  
A curious dog watches Andy and Amy whizz past in Cennigan…  

Coconut shenanigans and me in the background worrying about the existence of ‘Terry’, as I recall…
  

New Year’s Day, not a shit way to start 2016…   

Little surfer practicing his moves amongst the mangroves…

  

The islands are surrounded by seaweed farms. Here some freshly harvested weed is left to dry under the sun…

  

White sandy beach, lovely sunset, sick Jodie…

 

Watching everyone eat delicious food. Bastards…

  

Beach posers…

 

Lovely travellers…

 

Making the most of our secret beach…    

We were very sad to leave Lembongan and sadder still to part with Andy and Amy, but we were running out of time and the Gili islands were calling so we jumped on another speedboat and headed north towards Lombok. 

We were about twenty minutes into our journey when the boat’s steering broke and the captain turned the engine off. This shouldn’t really have freaked me out too much. We’re both strong swimmers and if it came to it the nearest island was only a couple of hours swim away, at most. But we hadn’t had any rain for a while and it was about 36 degrees Celsius. Within five minutes the boat was like a floating sauna, and we’d foolishly forgotten to bring water with us. I started to feel a little anxious and contemplated licking the sweat from Rodney’s face. Then everything went eerily quiet and we realised that a large shark was circling the boat. I’ll repeat that in case you missed it (and for dramatic effect). Then everything went eerily quiet and we realised that a large shark was circling the boat. I’ll be honest, it occurred to me at this point that Bali wasn’t keen for us to make it out of there alive. 

Fortunately, before I could have a total shit fit, the crew fixed the steering and we were off again, leaving Bali and its sharky waters behind. I took a picture as we were racing off into the sunset. You can just about make out the dorsal and tale fins…

  
“Not Dolphins”, said the captain, “big f*cking Shark”!

A couple of hours later we arrived on Gili Trawangan and immediately wished we’d stayed on Lembongan. It had been 5 years since we were last on Gili T and the transformation was heart-wrenching. What a shit tip. If ever you need proof that the world is spinning out of control, just head to Gili T. The worst part about it is knowing that we’re part of the problem. Tourism tends to be a nail in the coffin for paradise islands and as much as we might think we’re considerate travelers, our mere presence has a devastating effect on nature and local resources. Tis a bitter pill to swallow, but all things considered we think this may turn out to be our last trip to SE Asia. Gulp.

We stayed one miserable day on Gili T before getting a boat to Gili Meno, the quietest of the three Gili islands. We were pleased to find it relatively unspoilt (ssshh don’t tell anybody) and even quieter than we’d been led to believe. We stayed for a week before heading back to Bali, and it was bliss…
  

  
  
  

The day before we flew out of Bali there was a terrorist attack in Jakarta. We probably wouldn’t have known about it except our taxi driver heard it on the radio and, clearly upset, translated for us. His thoughts were that it is only a matter of time before Bali suffers another terrorist attack. He’s probably right but I don’t know how anyone could bear to hurt the Balinese (or anyone else for that matter!). Non-hand-washing ways aside, the Bali folk seem to be the loveliest people on the planet. The world is indeed a f*cked up place.

   

My next blog post will focus on our travels across the hills of Sri Lanka , which thus far have been a total f*cking disaster. A hilarious disaster, but a disaster nonetheless.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s