moonwire

legian (part 2)

Posted in bali, indonesia, legian by moonwire on May 24, 2009

I haven’t blogged much these past few days for the one and only reason that I simply haven’t been doing much. I decided to stay in Legian til Monday morning and I’m still at the Legian Village hotel, which I love. It’s only a 5 minute walk to the beach and they have a great bar/restaurant and pool. On Friday I mainly stayed at the pool, to recover from a bit of sunburn, but Saturday I was better and I went for a very early morning walk up on Legian beach all the way past Seminyak. The more up north I got, the quieter it got. Seminyak is mainly a resort town and a lot of them are right on the beach. Most of them have security guards at the entrance to the beach.

Seminyak beach.

Speaking of security, at the bigger hotels they check your car with mirrors before they let you in. Also, quite a few bars and restaurants won’t let you just in. They search your bag first.

Another thing that surprised me was the ritual of the offerings. (please note that Bali is Hindu.) I had read about it, but didn’t expect it to happen on this scale. The whole place is littered with little baskets made of banana leaves. They then put flowers, crackers and incense in it and these little baskets are left out on the beach, in front of stores and hotels. For the gods. And they are everywhere (the baskets, not so sure about the gods). I’ve seen the stray dogs munching on the crackers 🙂 Anyways, it is quite a lovely sight and it makes for the whole place smelling like incense. Quite wonderful.

People leave their shoes outside their homes/shops. Next to the offering baskets.
Anyways, I have enjoyed my time in Legian. I know it’s a touristy town, but it’s also really laid back, with great beaches and cheap food and drinks. There isn’t much to do here. I expected there to be snorkeling, but there isn’t any here; you’ll have to go to Nusa Dua or Padangbai in the south. Both Saturday and Sunday I just spent lazing on a beach chair, reading a Dutch book by Kees van Kooten which I found at a used bookshop, swimming and jumping in the waves. Got a bit of a tan. Ate nasi goring and gado gado and drank Bintang.

Seminyak beach.

Saturday night I met Henk and Sandie, father and son from Holland. Henk was born in Java and had left at the age of 12 to go to Holland. He was now back with his son, whose first time it was in Indonesia.  We had food and drinks and lots of laughs. I’m usually not for hanging out with ‘the Dutch’ but I, to my big surprise, hadn’t encountered  any here. However, I was so surprised that I made a remark and they immediately started smiling and chatting and \I moved to their table and we had a great evening. I really did enjoy their company a lot. Fun, funny, smart and down to earth people. Good times.

Other than that, I don’t have much to report about. All I can say is that I enjoyed it here a lot. When I come back from Australia I will land in Bali again. I might spend some more time in a different place before I set off to Java.  We’ll see…

I’m leaving Legian in the morning. I need to take a taxi to Kuta and then catch the bus to Padangbai. I’ll then take a ferry that takes me to Gili Trawangan. There’s fast ferries and such, but I decided to take the slow way. At least on the way there. I’m in no rush and I think it will be fun to be on a boat for a few hours. I have a really cool hotel booked on Gili T, Tir Na Nog and I’ll be there for 2 days. We’ll see how much I like it, but I definitely also want to visit the other two ‘Gilis’; Gili Air and Gili Meno. Internet on Trawangan won’t be a problem (though I’ve heard it’s slow), but I’m not sure about Air and Meno as they are much quieter (especially Meno).

I’ll report whenever I can.

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legian (part 1)

Posted in bali, indonesia, legian by moonwire on May 21, 2009

My first real day in Legian started off with breakfast at the hotel bar across the street called ‘Bar Joni’. It really is a neat place with a fairly big pool right in the middle. That’s also where I access the net from. There’s a lot of internet cafes, just no free wifi hotspots.

The restaurant and pool at my hotel.

My (free) breakfast consisted of toast with butter and jam (hah), some really good coffee… mmm, I’ve missed that, and fruit. It was already really hot at 8.30. It just never seems to cool down one bit. After brekkie I bought a SIM card. I chatted a little with the girl, Wayan, who helped me set it up. People here smile a lot and say ‘halo’ a lot. Not just the hawkers trying to sell you the ‘copy watch’, ‘copy handbag’ (it’s as bad here as it was in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong) but also random people on the beach, the construction workers at the pool here (there’s a bunch of very flirtatious young ones here. They can’t be older than 16 yet they are blowing me kisses. I could be their mother!)

In the afternoon I took a walk along Jl. Pantai, the beach road into Kuta. Speaking of the Seventh Circle of Hell. I was thinking of relocating there because it’s a bit cheaper but after wandering around for about 10 minutes I knew there was no way I was going to stay there. The streets are even narrower than here. No sidewalks, frenetic traffic. Motorbikes, cars, pedestrians. No rules. Madness. I have decided I’m going to stay in Legian til I’m ready to move away from this part of Bali. But so far I really like it. Legian is not too busy. At least there’s not flocks of  20 year old Aussie kids here. They are in Kuta 🙂

This morning I went for an early morning swim at Legian beach. It was beautiful. The water was warm, it was very quiet and I enjoyed being in the water. After a quick swim, I got some breakfast and l went for a long walk in the surf. All the way from Legian to Tuban, which is south of Kuta and that’s pretty much where the airport is. It was really nice and I got a bit of a sunburn, despite using sunscreen. You can see the strap of my messenger bag across my chest. How sexy is that?

Legian beach.

I got back to the hotel and took a shower and chilled out for a bit. Not for too long because I wanted to go back to the beach. I got myself a chair and an umbrella and went for a swim. Unfortunately, the tide was low and I had to walk quite a bit to get into the water, but it was lovely. It was warm, but breezy.. A lady came by with fresh pineapple. She cut the thing right in front of me. Very quickly she managed to get it peeled and get those little thingies (I don’t know the word for the things where the skin attaches itself to the fruit) removed. It tasted really sweet. Yum. I ate the whole thing (okay, it was a fairly small one, but still).

After chilling out at the beach for a few hours I got bored with it (and slightly sunburnt) so I went back to Joni’s bar (which belongs to the hotel) for some nasi goreng, which is Indonesian fried rice, with satay and krupuk (shrimp crackers.). Not vegetarian, but oh, did the satay ever taste good. The food is great here. I really enjoy it.

Different view: hotel pool.

Chilling out at the hotel now for a bit. I’ll go back to Joni’s later for a Bintang when it’s happy hour.

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