A Travellerspoint blog

Road Tripin'

sunny 27 °C

We woke up around 9am to the smell of a good fry up. We very quickly got showered and dressed and headed downstairs to tuck in! We were still full from the amazing Thai but of course managed to put away bacon sandwiches, eggs, tomatoes, bacon and mushrooms! We quickly headed to the car register office before it closed as it was a Saturday. We were a bit nervous that we didn't have all the correct paperwork or that we had filled in something wrong, but thankfully it all went through just fine... So now we are legal owners of a Subaru 1995 Liberty! We headed back to the house to pack up our stuff, get out of John and Marita's way and get on the road! It was Anna's turn to drive, and she very slowly headed out of the drive to avoid what Ben did... Scrape it and bash it along the floor! But no matter how slow she drove she still scraped the back. We blame the drive. The first thing we did was take the car for a much needed wash. We did it ourselves at a car wash where you put in a dollar and then you have a limited time to use the selected tool. We had a laugh doing this but when we had finished the car still looked pretty dirty! Then it was time for the inside, we took it in turns to hoover the hell out of it in our limited time for $1. We did a pretty good job of the inside, we just need to buy an air freshener now! We have to give the car an MOT before we leave New South Wales. We tried to find someone to do it after the car wash but didn't have much luck as it was a Saturday. Everywhere here seems to close early on a Saturday over here. We would have to time our journey so that we were still in New South Wales on Monday morning. Once the MOT is done, we fill in some bits online and then we are all set for the year!

We carried on driving along the Pacific coast highway seeing some amazing sites. Our first stop was to see a blow hole! Unfortunately the water didn't come up very high but it was still cool to see as neither of us has seen one before.

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It was then time for a much needed picnic. We got out all our Aldi snacks and prepared our bread for sandwiches then realised we left the chicken in John's fridge! Ben decided that cheese sandwiches were just not enough so he ran to the shop to find some meat leaving Anna to fend off the birds for herself. Ten minutes later he returned meatless as it was a Saturday.

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After looking in a few shops we got back on the road. Our next stop was Dolphins point. This one wasn't planned, we just saw a sign and got excited so followed it. We didn't see any dolphins though. But we had a lovely walk along the beach in the sunset.

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Anna decided Ben could drive the last stretch as she had had enough for the day. The last stop of our day was Bateman's bay. As we approached, the car started to smell. We didn't know why or what of, but it stank. We found a hotel so Anna got out to ask their availability and prices of course. She then realised it was in fact outside that smelt. And boy did it smell. A few hotels later we found a caravan site that was more in our budget. We got the keys and drove around to number 18. We had some trouble getting into it in the dark but we soon unloaded the car into our humble abode for the evening.

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By this time we were starving and so headed out to get some food. We are loving having the freedom of the car, like the bikes, it's a very good investment. We went into town and found a woolworths (not the same as the U.K. one) and got some cereal and hot chocolate. We then went along and found a nice restaurant. We still found it quite expensive like Sydney but the pasta was good portion size so it was worth the money. We got up and went to the bar to pay. We didn't have enough cash so paid by card. Annas card got declined again! Luckily the woman let us pay in cash even though we were 2 dollars short. We then decided before going back to the car to google why it smells so bad. It turns out it's the bats! The bats are flying foxes which is a type of mega bat. On average their wing span is 1 meter! Apparently the locals are begging the council to do something about them, and we can see why! We headed back to the caravan, made our hot chocolates and Anna rang her bank! After 20-30 min she managed to resolve the majority of issues she's having with her bank. However there's still no luck transferring money overseas and so we are now going to have to withdraw £300 a day until we are satisfied with our bank balances. What a pain. We very tiredly walked to the toilets (downside of a campsite) and got ready for bed.
At around 3/4am am we were woken by banging on our caravan. Ben instantly jumped on top of Anna to save her as we both thought someone was trying to get in. We looked out of the windows and turned on the lights and couldn't see a thing. We then both really needed to pee so braved walking to the bathroom. Anna was that scared she went into the men's room with Ben. When we returned to the caravan and got back into bed, we heard footprints across the top of the caravan. We told ourselves it was bats and fell back to sleep.

Posted by Benannatravels 02:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Some more of Sydney and New South Wales

sunny 26 °C

We had a bit of a lie in and decided to do some flat hunting online. We found a few in our price range and sent out some emails. We found one amazing place with a pool and gym and all sorts! Unfortunately we couldn't apply to that one as it was an early bird offer only, in other words you have to pay to send a message. We continued our productive lie in by car hunting. Again we found a couple and sent out some emails. We ended up going slightly over budget as we wanted a manual and a car which was still registered. We were having a lovely relaxing morning until Anna found a spider in the bed! After that Anna was a bit on edge so we decided to get up and start the day properly. We walked into Maroubra and got ourselves a couple of opal cards (the Sydney equivelant of an Oyster card) then headed over to bondi beach on the bus. We walked from Bondi to Coogee (about 6km) along the coastal path. It was beautiful and hard to imagine that the locals walk home from work along the same path!

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After watching the local wildlife: big spiders and extremely colourful parrots we caught the bus back to Maroubra.

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We walked home and had ourselves another BBQ and watched house of cards thanks to Alex giving us his Netflix password!

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Anna decided that she would have a nice cup of tea before bed. But then the kettle wouldn't turn on. She tried all the plug sockets in the place and it still didn't work. By this time she was dying for a good English brew and so she annoyed Ben until he did something about it. He started to mess around and pretended to give the kettle some much needed CPR. Amazingly this actually worked.. Anna had her brew!

The next morning we had an even longer lie in. All that walking must of tired us out! Once we eventually woke up we set to work on our phones trying to makes some amendments to our online banking, search for flats/jobs/cars and send some emails. Unfortunately not only was the wifi playing up but our plug adaptor had broken meaning we had very little battery life left on our phones. So once again we headed into Maroubra. We found some plug adaptors in the post office when finally sending bens postcards! The next step was to find somewhere with wifi and plug sockets so we could charge our phones. We found a cafe with all our requirements and sat down. We ordered some food and in the end spent 2 hours using the Internet and power supply. It turns out using our uk bank accounts from Australia gets very confusing and frustrating. We won't bore you with the particulars but frustrating would be the best word to describe the day. We basically spent the day trying to transfer our money from the uk bank to our Australian bank, but as the web page kept failing, this was unsuccessful. On a happier note we had a reply from Charlie who was looking to sell his car, he could even meet us on his way home from work. He met us at 6pm and we gave the car a thorough going over. Dads, you would've been proud! Ben test drove the car and it was hilarious. He couldn't get it into third gear at all so Charlie ended up taking us for a spin. The gears can only be described in a picture...

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But it is a twenty year old car! We told Charlie we liked the car but would have to talk over the price. Luckily we had test driven the car right to the end of our street. We walked back and fired up the BBQ. After a little bit of haggling with Charlie over txt we reached a deal. We celebrated with another episode of house of cards. And house of cards was that good we even watched another one!

The next day we were up and out early as we felt we wanted to see some more of Sydney as we'd spent so much time on the internet! We had a couple of last errands to run. We went back to our new bank to withdraw as much money as possible from our uk accounts to deposit in our Oz accounts. Thanks to the time difference and limits on our withdrawals this failed quite spectacularly. Honestly I think we went to the bank every single day in Sydney... They were sick of seeing us!! We also went back to the post office to return our new plug adaptors as they broke too! We were determined to have a fun filled sight seeing day though so after changing our address at Vodafone and grabbing a double 1/4 pounder (surely it's a 1/2 pounder) for Ben, we hopped on the bus and headed to Hyde park. Hyde park turned out to be a lot smaller than we thought it would be, it only took about ten minutes to walk across it if that! We strolled under the giant trees towards the closest train station.

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Here we got the train over Sydney bridge to lunar park. A 1950s style funfair on the other side of the harbour. Luckily for us it was closed for a private event 👍. Still we were determined to have a good day. We took some pics and Anna was determined to get a Polaroid of what we could see of the park. Amazingly her Polaroid camera broke then ran out of film 👍.

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STILL we were determined to have a good day. We walked back to Sydney bridge where we realised you can cross it on foot. We climbed to the top of the stairs where a security guard told us that that was the side for cyclists, pedestrians had to use the other side 👍. We climbed back down and back up the other side determined to see the sights and have... A day.

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By the time we walked back into Sydney centre we just wanted to sit down. We bought some snacks (not from the cinema of course) and went to the cinema to watch deadpool. We even managed to persuade the ticket man to give us student discount.. Winner! And the film was wicked! Afterwards we headed home where Anna spent a long time on her iPad sending emails to her bank as her card seems to be blocked and there were strange transactions on her account. To top the situation off, Lisa (the house owner) brought Anna some post... Her bank card that she cancelled earlier that day as it didn't come in time! We then ate the last of our BBQ food and went to bed as tomorrow we had to be up early to collect our car from Charlie and check out of our Airbnb.

We walked to the ATM to withdraw money. We just about managed to withdraw enough for the car as Annas card had been blocked and we had no money in our Oz accounts, so thankfully bens card worked. We caught the bus to near the airport where Charlie worked. We met him in an underground car park and exchanged cash for keys. We are the proud owners of 1995 Subaru Liberty!

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We had a practice drive around the car park and drove back to Lisa's to collect our stuff. Turns out Anna is better at getting third gear than Ben! But of course we got lost as Ben entered the wrong Edgar street into the sat nav!
We loaded up the car and set off to John and Marita's house about 2 hours away. First we went back to the mall to save Anna's bank card that arrived in the post the night before, luckily this was a success! We went to aldi and stocked up on snacks for the journey. John is Carries (bens step mum) brother and has been very helpful with advice about buying a car and Australia in general. They very generously offered to help us register the car and use their address even though they were very busy. Their house is on the way to Melbourne so as that is our next stop things seemed to work out perfectly.
We were both very impressed with the car, especially for its age. We were even more impressed with the petrol. Half what it costs in the uk! Anna had to fill it up as Ben couldn't quite manage the old style pump. Annas used to them living up an old mountain in Wales. The pump reached $52 and stopped. Anna thought it had broken as surely it couldn't be full yet!?
The drive was amazing! We took the Pacific coast road which was incredible. At points we were literally driving over the ocean and at others all you could see was forrest!

We arrived at John and Marita's and after a drive without incident we managed to scrape the front bumper on the floor going up the ramp too quickly! No harm done however. John and Marita were very welcoming and were ready to take us to the car rego (as the Aussies call it) office. They also offered us to stay the night which was unexpected but a relief as we weren't ready to sleep in the car just yet. We got there and were told what we needed and the forms we had to fill out so we would be fully prepared the following day to transfer the cars ownership to ourselves. After we had finished getting bank statements to prove we existed, we were taken to dinner by our amazing hosts. We weren't just taken to dinner though, we were given a full guided tour of the area. We finally arrived at a Thai restaurant and had the best Thai we've ever had! Even though we have been to Thailand!!

Posted by Benannatravels 02:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney

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Despite the lack of sleep and time difference we arrived in Sydney excited. We almost found ourselves in a "private car" with a pretty creepy man but luckily used the excuse of having no cash to make our way over to the registered taxis. We got a taxi to Lisa's house. We have used Airbnb for our stay in Sydney as it is very expensive. Lisa has a small studio appartment in her garden with an ensuite and an Ozzie style BBQ (bloody huge mate!). Oh, and a pool!

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We helped ourselves to a bowl of gluten free cereal, Lisa had stocked our room with musli, milk, bread, peanut butter and tea, and fell asleep. A few hours later we woke up, showered and met Lisa. She told us where we were and how to get into Sydney. We head for the bus stop and into town. Luckily for us our stop was the last one so no confusion as to where to get off. We found ourselves at circular quay. One of the stops surrounding... Sydney harbour! We walked down to the waterfront and saw Sydney bridge. We walked a little further and saw the opera house. It was time for selfies!

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Before leaving we had done some research into gluten free resteraunts around Sydney. Anna was craving a burger and as we'd eaten rice and egg for 2 months Ben was hardly in the position to deny her. Not that he would ever turn down the opportunity for burgers! We headed to the train station where we got on a DOUBLE DECKER train. The train has reversible seats so if a large group of you gets on you can push the backs of the seats in front forward and all sit opposite each other! (I'm afraid that's the best way I can explain it, if you don't understand then YouTube maybe?). After a short train ride we had to get a rail replacement bus service as they were doing works on the line. We got on board the minibus and the drivers swapped. Our new driver drove off with the doors still open and the mechanical step sticking out! We arrived at burger fuel starving but boy was it worth the wait! After waiting a while to digest we headed out into Newtown and explored the quirkier side of Sydney. Lots of independent book shops, record stores and art galleries. We loved it but it was getting late and we were tired! So we headed back to Lisa's.

It is the little things in Sydney that we're really enjoying: being able to drink tap water, no horns, peaceful, clean, English speaking and of course the food. For example Ben has had a burger every day since we got here! We loved south east Asia it was an amazing experience that we wouldn't have done any differently but sometimes you just can't beat the home comforts.

The next day after a good night sleep (apart from the weird sounding and very loud birds and being under the flight path) we had breakfast in bed and got showered. The room gets very hot after showers and it felt like being back in Bali. We got ready to go food shopping for the week and walked into Maroubra in the rain. We got our BBQ supplies from Aldi! It came to $44 which is the same amount our gluten free burgers came to! We'll be cooking our own from now on! And then went onto Coles for gluten free bread. We walked back in blazing sunshine and blue skies. You don't get that in England!

We got the bus to meet Alex (Ben's friend from uni) and the three of us went on a wild goose chase to find Ben a belt. He has lost weight over the last 2 months in Asia and has trouble keeping his one pair of walk shorts around his waist! Unfortunately no belt was found so he just had to hold them up with his hands all day! Alex gave us a bit of a tour as he's been here for a couple of weeks. We eventually found a cafe where Anna got herself some gluten free beans on toast! (We can stop mentioning the gluten free now as it is so common here and we don't want to bore you guys!). After food we went to the oldest Irish bar in Sydney where Ben and Alex enjoyed a Guinness!

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Alex then took us to his place of work. A 65 year old tall boat that was built after the war out of oak based on designs of trading ships from the 1800's. We got to sail out into Sydney harbour and watch the sun set. We climbed the mast, Anna in bear feet which was very impressive! We think we saw some dolphins from our vantage point but couldn't be sure. It was amazing seeing the harbour all lit up from the sea. And the stars are incredible! Alex gave us a behind the scenes tour of life on board the boat which was really cool.

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We were dropped off under the bridge and headed home on the bus. Only after purchasing some Uggs for Anna, they are a dime a dozen here and on sale everywhere!

The next day was all business. We woke up and headed back into Maroubra and to the bank. We asked to set up bank accounts and did all the paper work. We were told we wouldn't get our cards delivered before Friday (when we head to Melbourne) but we could withdraw money using the app. For this however we needed Australian phone numbers so off to Vodafone we went. We found ourselves a pretty good plan that we can cancel at anytime. We sat down to do the paperwork and were told we needed to set up our net bank accounts to finish the process. Back to the bank. We set up our net bank accounts using our new phone numbers. All went smoothly although the Australian accent is still something we have to get used to. When reading out our customer IDs T sounds like 2, she also told us to write down a Swooft number when in fact she meant Swift. But we got there in the end! She showed us how to make card less withdrawals and then it was back to Vodafone. We logged into our net bank accounts and the job was done! Next on the agenda was car shopping! We want to buy a cheap car so we are able to travel under our own steam, it's a very complicated process getting the registration (or rego as the Aussies call it) sorted but we have asked for some assistance from friends. In the meantime we thought we would do some window shopping to see what our budget would allow. We walked for ages to what we thought was a car dealership but could only find KFC. Burger number 3 for Ben. We headed back into town after speaking with a guy in a garage who gave us a website where we might find a car in our price range. In town Ben got his much needed haircut and Anna a much needed manicure and pedicure! Whilst Anna's nails dried we waited for Alex to arrive. It was our turn to entertain! We got back to Lisa's and fired up the barbie! We had a lovely night sitting on the deck with (MORE) burgers and beers for the boys. We walked Alex to the bus stop and headed home to car shop online.

Posted by Benannatravels 19:50 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Bali day 6 to 8

Today was spa day, thanks to Nigel. After Ben snuck in a quick surf and everyone had had breakfast we were on our way. Ke Tut was once again our driver but this time didn't quite know exactly where we were going. We pulled over a couple of times for him to call a friend for directions. We soon found the hanging gardens resort and although we tried to convince Ke Tut to go so we wouldn't make him late for the ceremony that night he insisted that he had a friend near by he could spend the day with and drive us back in time. We checked in and enjoyed the world famous two tiered infinity pool overlooking the jungle. After an hour of lounging in sun and enjoying our complimentary cocktails it was time for lunch. And what a lunch it was! A 3 course meal was included in our package but we could only manage the first 2. While we were still digesting it was time for a massage. This wasn't too bad as it had started to rain a little so we were happy to stay indoors for a while longer. We were escorted down to the spa in the resorts cable car where we all chose to have a Balinese massage apart from Nigel who wanted a nice foot rub for his tired little toes. While we were receiving the massage of a lifetime Nigel was up off the bed in pain more than he was getting reflexoligied. During our treatments the rain had turned into a huge thunder storm, we knew this because the treatment rooms were open to the rainforest on one side! After showering and having some herbal tea, the rain started to subside and we headed back upstairs for pudding. Once again it was superb! Although the weather wasn't quite back to brilliant sunshine we jumped back into the pool to get the most of Nigel's money!

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At half 5 Ke Tut was ready and waiting to take us home to get ready for the Hindu ceremony. We showered and donned our sarongs we'd bought the previous day. We asked Wayan if we could borrow the mopeds so we weren't walking in the pitch black. He lent us 2 so Sonya had to ride as pillion side saddled because of the sarong. We got to the temple to find (not so surprisingly) that we were the only tourists there. There was also no sign of Ke Tut so we did our best to blend in while we waited. We obviously didn't do a very good job as when Ke Tut arrived he spotted us from a mile off! He took us inside and sat us down. He then disappeared! We watched people pray and make their offerings and a few different dances. The costumes where incredible, if not a little scary and we were sat right next to the band which was also incredible. It was a real privilege to have been invited and among the 5 or 6 tourists that were present but come half way through we were covered in sweat and mosquito bites and sitting on the concrete floor was very uncomfortable so we thanked those around us and headed back to the villas.

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The next morning Ben headed out for his morning surf while Sonya and Nigel headed out for breakfast leaving poor Anna to breakfast by herself at the resort 😞 once she'd finished she set off for the beach to watch Ben only to find he wasn't there. We had somehow managed to pass each other along the only road down to the beach as Ben was back at the villas looking for Anna. When he realised he ran back to the beach to finally give Anna some company. We went back to the hotel to chill in the pool only to find it closed for the day for cleaning. As it was Nigel and Sonya's last day we still had a lazy day around the pool just not in it. Just before they left with Ke Tut Bali gave them one final goodbye with another huge thunder storm.

Once again left to our own devices we headed out on a moped for some food along the gluten free road as it had come to be known. We ended up at Deus Ex Machina a custom bike and surfboard shop/cafe. Ben was in heaven. We had a mooch around the other shops and got ourselves some pudding from a gluten free bakers. We headed back with our desert for a film and early night.

We decided to spend our last day in Bali at the worlds 3rd best waterpark. Ke Tut took us to the airport where we left our luggage then returned to find in the 3 minuets we'd been gone he'd fully reclined his chair and was asleep! He took us on to waterbom where we said our goodbyes. We had a relaxing day and went on all the rides. We showered and head out to kill some time in the shops before heading to the airport. Ben finally got some sensible trainers!

At the airport we weren't exactly spoilt for choice when it came to food so we had a rather disappointing dinner only to find a Hard Rock Cafe on the way to our gate! Our gate that we only just made it to! We were the last ones on board which was lucky for us as the plane was so uncomfortable we wanted to spend no longer than absolutely necessary on board. It was a long 5 hours with little sleep despite the extra leg room from sitting in the emergency exit seats. But then we finally landed in Sydney...

Posted by Benannatravels 17:05 Comments (0)

Bali day 3 to 5

First of all, we would like to apologise for the lack of blog posts throughout our time in Bali. We were just having WAAAYYY too much fun hehe!

Day 3...
Anna especially enjoyed breakfast this morning as gluten free toast accompanied her gluten free pancakes, it was a great start to the day. We decided that we would rent scooters for the day. Sonya was determined to ride one all by herself as she hasn't done it before. There were only three bikes available to rent and so Ben and Anna shared, Ben drove and Anna played human sat nav on the back. This gave Sonya the chance to ride! For those of you who don't know my mother, she can be rather ditsy and we do often worry about her. For example, the last time she got on a bike with a motor.. She ended up in a hedge! Surprisingly Sonya did really well and we arrived at Nusa Dua in one piece only a little later than expected. We parked our bikes up, bought some refreshing drinks and headed down the walkway to the beach. The reason we wanted to go to Nusa Dua was because its suppose to be one of the best snorkelling spots in Bali. When we got to the beach we found out we would have to get a boat ride over to the reef where the snorkelling is. We debated this but when we realised it was only £5 each we strutted down the sand to the collection point (after Ben haggled an amazing price ofcourse like the cheeky London chappy he is). The boat pulled up and we realised that it was another walk in the ocean to get on boat. Here is another prime example of where I get my occasional ditsy from... Sonya started to take off her trousers so they didn't get wet in the sea, then instantly horrified pulled them right back up as she remembered she didn't have her bikini on and was infact showing the whole of Bali her lovely knickers! She decided to roll her up her trousers instead and we were soon all safely on board. The boat was just for us four and was also glass bottom. We set off and it didn't take long at all to reach the reef. Ben and Sonya were straight in the sea with masks on where as Nigel and Anna sat on board spotting fish through the glass. Anna had really hurt her neck from surfing and so didn't risk drowning by snorkelling. Nigel was just being a grumpy old man. Ben soon was doing some tricks under the glass bottom boat for our entertainment as the snorkelling wasn't as good as it could of been due to the poor visibility.

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After an hour we got the boat back to the beach where we found a nice spot to sunbathe and read. Nigel decided to sit away from us in the shade. A few minutes later we looked over at him to see that he was infact having his photo taken by three young Asian girls! It was more of a photoshoot actually. We all found this rather amusing. After a dip in the sea we got peckish and lazy, so what better to do than order some takeout onto the beach! It was perfect and tasty.

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Whist we were eating, Sonya realised she had infact lost her motorbike key. After combing the beach and emptying out bags, Nigel returned to the bike to find the key still in the ignition! Thank god no one realised this and drove off with the thing.. Naughty Sonya! We then headed back towards the hotel. As we reached the road to the hotel we decided to take a little diversion to the beach to watch the sunset. I think this photo says it all....

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Back at the hotel we handed in the keys to the bikes and paid for them. Ten minutes later, the hotel staff are running after us saying we had forgot to return one key. We were confused as we had given back three keys for three bikes. The hotel worker told us that two keys were for the same bike as one was for the ignition and one to open the seat for the petrol. Yet again it was Sonya who had lost the key but luckily it didn't take Ben long to find it. This situation was where we met Wayan. Wayan is the loveliest hotel manager any of us have ever met. We already knew about him before getting to Bali as the hotel reviews are full of praise for him. He infact exceeded our expectations. After all the excitement of the bike key, we found ourselves exhausted and so decided to order gf pizza and watch a film in bed. A healthy days eating I know..

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Day 4...
We spent the morning eating our breakfast, swimming in the pool and heading to the beach to watch Ben surf. Anna didn't partake as she still had an injured neck. Ben is getting back to his usual surfing standards. He was surprised to find how out of practice he was. Every time he goes out he gets better and so every morning he is up and out and ready to hit the waves!
We all spent the day at the beach until a big storm cloud came over and threatened to rain on us. We soon headed back to the hotel where we had discovered that whilst we were gone, Wayan had moved all of our things to a bungalow... Not just any bungalow... The best one in the place! As you know we were disappointed to be staying in a standard room and so we were over the moon with this discovery. It has a bathroom downstairs with a huge bath, and upstairs a massive room with a balcony. Wayan being the sweetheart that he is even tried to put things back exactly where he got them from in the previous room.

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The storm soon passed by without a spec of rain and so we had another dip in the pool. It's that humid that we basically just spent the whole time in the pool. We were feeling unhealthy from all the take out and Ben was feeling motivated to get his fitness levels up for surfing, there's two feelings resulted in is jogging down the lane and back to collect our laundry. It wasn't far but it we tough due to the sweltering heat.
After some much needed showers we decided to go to the restaurant across the road for our dinner. We didn't stay too long as we forgot to put our mozzy spray on... Potential for disaster!

Day 5..
So it turns out it's rather noisy in the bungalows. We were woken by screaming kids, bird calls and the construction site next door. It seems to be getting hotter and hotter, so hot that we had to eat breakfast up on the terrace just to get a bit of a breeze. We spoke to Wayan about the days trip we had planned and we asked if he knew anyone who would be able to take us to all the sights. He said he had a friend who would be more than happy to help us out. Moments later Ke Tut appeared in his nice big people carrier taxi. This was a relief to the Ashbarry travellers as they wouldn't have to be squished up in the back! Turns out we wouldn't have been squished anyway as Nigel decided to take the day off and spend it lazing around the pool. Ben, Sonya and Anna soon set off for the hours journey to the lake. There's 3 lakes in Bali and each lake represents a different thing as they are spiritual and a place of worship. We drove up very steep and windy roads to get to the lake and as we were so high up we even entered a rain cloud. We were not dressed for this weather! As we were walking round taking pictures, the weather took a turn for the worse and so we decided to go and get a buffet lunch, and it's a good job we did as in no time, buckets of rain came pouring down!

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After lunch we headed to the hot springs. The advantage of having a local taxi driver instead of an organised tour is that you get access to the local secrets. Ke Tut took us to local hot springs where there wasn't a single tourist in sight. Anna and Ben were the first in as Sonya played photographer. Ke Tut soon came down to the pool laughing and informed us we were actually in the baby pool. We did wonder why it was so shallow! We all got into the adults Spring where it was much deeper and even hotter. It was a sureal experience as we were in the middle of the jungle right by a waterfall. Anna didn't enjoy it as much as the other two as she was a bit grossed out by all the algae.

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After drying off and discovering that our swimsuits might potentially be stained orange due to the sulphur/algae, we headed to the rice terrace. This is literally a lay by on the side of the road where you can see all of the rice fields and mountains. The view was stunning.. I will let the photo speak for itself...

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After the rice terrace we headed to a local temple where the timing couldn't of been better. A ceremony was about to take place and we were about to whiteness it. We got very excited and got our cameras ready. Floods of people arrived with offerings all dressed in white and live Indonesian music was being played. After standing around for a while we were soon all horrified to see how they started the ceremony... Chopping the head off a tiny, cute and little innocent duck. Anna couldn't bare the sight or thought of it and thankfully it was over quickly. What was more upsetting was that they just cast its body to the side of the road and left it twitching. I guess they leave it for the gods but it can also be seen as a waste of a life. We got back in the car and headed to temple number two. By the time we arrived here it was dark. The temple was actually in the sea. As the tide was out we walked across the sand in the pitch black towards it. The temple wasn't lit up much so we couldn't see it in its full glory. There were lots of Indonesian men stood around and so we joined them. Anna and Ben soon ended up giving a small donation to wash in holy water. In return we got rice stuck on our head and a flower behind our ear. We were then practically chucked out as it was closing. We were kind of glad as the bats and mosquitos were getting to us! We headed back to the car where we looked around some shops. Ke Tut joined us as during the day he invited us to his temples ceremony and said we needed to buy sarongs. We quickly picked some out before closing and headed back to the hotel where we dropped Sonya off. Ben and Anna then proceeded to the Italian restaurant. Getting there was a story in its self as Ke Tut didn't really know where it was and he didn't follow our directions at all well and so we ended up embarking on the longest route! Finally we got there and enjoyed our meal! After receiving the bill we were shocked to find we couldn't pay by card. We didn't really know what to do apart from one of us walking to an ATM. The waiter then offered to take Ben on the back of his motorbike instead. This beat walking and so we wet able to pay in no time. Ke Tut got us back to the hotel in a faster time than the journey there. When we got back to the hotel we ended up giving Wayan a motivational chat as it turns out he doesn't really enjoy his job because of his boss. We explained to him that that issue was one of the reasons we went travelling! It turns out it's common in every country. We headed to our room where we almost had to break up a dog fight... Luckily no one was hurt!

Posted by Benannatravels 06:44 Comments (0)

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