Bali – Discovering New Territory

Local surfers hanging out on Kuta beach.

Local surfers hanging out on Kuta beach.

New hotel, new pool bar, new safe deposit boxes, new friendly staff. We moved on from our first hotel here on Bali to the second one where we’ll spend three nights before we go to Gili Trawangan. This hotel is more expensive, but the room is not as nice as the one we left behind. Still, the place is ok. I mean, it has a pool bar, what more can you ask for?

It’s also a fair bit up north along the beach, so we decided to hire a scooter to get around. For 180.000 rupiah (about 13 euros) we got wheels for three days and can now see more of the area around Kuta – Legian – Seminyak. It takes a while to get used to the traffic and driving on the left side, but most of the time it’s sufficient to just go with the flow. The traffic never sleeps in this part of the island. And luckily we only hired one scooter, because  Outi’s sense of location and Fredrik’s driving skills proved to be a killer combination, always taking us where we wanted in the end.

We also took our first surfing lessons today. Along the whole beach, all the way from Kuta to Legian and Seminyak, local surfers have their own turfs with a stack of surf boards, a rudimentary kitchen, some chairs and a table. There are probably hundreds of them along the beach, tightly packed in an atmosphere where everyone knows everyone. There mission in life seems to be chilling, surfing, eating, teaching tourists to surf and just enjoying themselves. For 150.000 rupiah we got over an our tuition by two really friendly boys, one of which were a junior pro surfer and had a friend in Helsinki (he actually showed us an SMS on his phone from Ari’s Finnish number). Mainly due to the differing language skills of our teachers, Outi’s learning curve was a bit steeper than Fredrik’s. Eventually, however, we both were able to stand up on the surf board and go with the wave and even almost do some small turns. Surfing was surprisingly tiring, so even though we had a deal to keep the boards all day after the tuition, we were so tired that we had to give up after about two-three hours. Fredrik’s surfing actually came to an abrupt end when the surf board hit his neck so badly that he spitted blood for a while. But don’t worry, he’s still alive and well (for the time being).

We would have stayed longer at the beach, but we made the stupid decision to leave all our credit cards at the hotel when we left, only taking our last remaining rupiah with us. They were exactly enough for a shared light lunch and the surfing lesson, so we couldn’t even afford drinking water after the surfing. Our cashier (Outi) might have to sit tighter on the cash from now on and don’t pay up every time Fredrik wants to spend it 😉 One euro is about 13.500 rupiah and they’re almost all in notes, so we walk around with a mafia style roll of notes, which in the end isn’t worth more than a few tens of euros.

Now back at the hotel (after some crazy driving), the pool bar looks frighteningly appealing…


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Filed under The Perströms in South East Asia

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