Good morning, Bali!
My first full day awaited!
Sadly I lacked sleep; even though I fell asleep so quickly the night before, I woke up after 4 hours due to 1) jet lag, and 2) thunder storms! I am a scaredy cat when it comes to thunder and lightning anyway, but this one boomed and shook the room! After many quick Googles looking for ‘best ways to beat jet lag’, my efforts were unhelpful, with most information saying travelling East is more difficult compared to West. With Bali nearly 8,000 miles away (close to Australia), it’s easy to understand why I’d struggle over the next few days!
Onward! Today was a very relaxed one, where I started by having breakfast with my friends at the hotel restaurant, Asparagus, like the night before, with a yummy buffet of Western and local food. It was included in my hotel price which was great!
Then it was off to the beach. The walk took just over 10 minutes I’d say, although there were a few stops as I admired the tropical surroundings and absorbed everything of the island which I inevitably knew I would fall in love with – I think I already had by that point.
We got to Seminyak beach and it was stunning. As I expected, we were approached by many people on the beach trying to sell things or get us to their sunbeds.
In Bali, I’ve heard it’s bad luck to refuse the first sale of the day, so when it came to the three of us getting sunbeds, I suspect that’s why we got a good deal. Compared to our time in Kuta in a couple of days, we managed to get sunbeds for the WHOLE DAY for 50k all day (£2.70)! We stayed for the morning, turning away the influx of locals selling bracelets, scarves, watches, sunglasses etc on the beach. We read our books, embraced the morning sun – and I might have fallen asleep…
By early afternoon, the sun showed no more signs of coming out so we explored a little more of Seminyak including the local shops and mini shopping centre. We even grabbed some ice cream (25k = £1.30) to pass us over until dinner. That’s the thing about the heat, I didn’t feel too hungry and always made sure to load up at breakfast.
Pumped up on ice cream, we headed to the local flea market where I unsuccessfully haggled for shoes (I can’t quite remember what I offered but it was something really low). On the way out, we popped into another shop where I got a Gucci bag and J’adore Dior perfume for 320k (£18), down from 700k (£38). It just shows what mark-up they put on them for tourists! Haggle them down! Dare I say I still thought it was all a little bit overpriced? But for my first ‘win’, it was a good start.
As we headed back to the hotel, another colourful shop caught my eye – many of the shops look the same, yet they are so perfectly unique! I was on a mission to get Birkenstock-like shoes which my friend got from Thailand, and I succeeded: down from 600k (£32) to 180k (just under £10)! It’s also where we met Baim who helped us with tours – more on that in my other blogs.
Since my nap, I’d fortunately managed to stay awake, but it was a struggle! We were so ready for dinner, where we headed to Naty’s, a short walk from our hotel. I’m pretty annoyed I can’t remember what the chicken dish was called but it was delicious. The best way I can describe it is that it looked like fried fish from a chip shop, with the same cod texture, yet it was all chicken – with rice, of course. Most scrumptious, all for 80k (£4.32) with a Sprite! I was missing my chocolate fix, so I grabbed a cashew nut Cadbury bar for 9k (just under 50p).
Are you surprised that I managed to fit in another haggle that night? I’d been after a Gucci belt, which I secured for 140k (£7.56 – I even set myself a budget not to pay more than £8), originally 300k (£16.42). It’s okay, although I’m not surprised some of the material has already started to wear away. The guy even cut more holes in it for me!
A great first full day in beautiful Bali! You don’t always need to do a lot to have fun!