What a way to start my first long haul solo trip with a threat of volcano erupting!
On the second day of my trip I was sitting in class and kept feeling my phone vibrating. Trying not to get distracted and give the course my full attention, I ignored it until lunchtime. When I eventually checked it I had several panicked messages saying the volcano was erupting and asking if I am alive. Of course there was some panic, but after asking the staff and assessing the situation we realised we were far away from the volcano and we were not in immediate danger.
The airport was closed for two days causing chaos and delay for many travellers and leaving many people stranded. When it did open, all the tourists in Bali fled, I think more from fear of being stranded for longer than anything else. Most of the flights out were at full capacity. Everywhere I went was like a ghost town! The eruption of Mount Agung really impacted the businesses in Bali. It was interesting to see how reliant Bali is on tourism. No people no money!
I arrived in Seminyak after finishing the MLP and an unpleasant few days with Bali belly,I was still feeling rather delicate but soldiered on. I spent the evening exploring with some of the other people who were staying on. Seminyak is a great place for shopping and night life (when there are people around that haven’t been scared off by erupting volcanos!)
What a fun evening we had. we went to the double six beach and a couple of the guys tried their hand at surfing. The rest of us just watched the sunset while having a nice chat. After sunset, we headed off to a roof bar right opposite and had a few cocktails and listened to a live band play, they were very accommodating and played any songs we requested. It was like we had been locked in a cage for the past week. We all just felt free and happy and completely forgot that we hired a driver for three hours and he was hungry and annoyed that we were longer than we said we would be. He kept sending me very strange messages! I think he thought we were going to leg it.
I knew this was the last time I would have the comfort of being with people I knew, from here on out it would be just me! In my head there was some ambivalence, should I stay or should I go?! What about the volcano? Everyone else is leaving maybe I should too…. All the local kept asking me are you not scared? ‘How come you stay and so many people leave?’ they would say to me. My answer was, I trust my gut and I know I will be just fine.
Let the Adventure begin!
All the guides said this place was awful - full of tiny boppers in belts, getting off their faces and shagging on street corners! And they were right! I did plan to spend a night here but on an evening trip to Kuta with some friends I decided against it. So not much worth mentioning here, it did appear to be a good shopping area but I decided against exploring.
I wished I had had time to explore this town a bit more, but there definitely will be a next time! I stopped off here for an evening to visit an Aunty of a friend and it ended up being an impromptu house party in a beautiful villa. It was really cool.
Next stop, Gili Trawangan!
Just off the coast of Northern coast of Lombok you will find Gili Islands. I didn’t get to go to all of them unfortunately but if Gili T is anything to go by then I’m sure the other two islands would be just as beautiful.
Of all the places I travelled while I was in Bali, Gili T was my favourite place. The beaches are to die for, and the view out onto the ocean with the mountains in the background are just spectacular.
It’s a fairly small island you can cycle around the island in about an hour. There are no cars on these islands by the way. You have to walk or cycle! And I would suggest cycling because if you walk you will slowly dissolve in a pool of your own sweat! The heat there is something else! Great for sunbathers but make sure you slap on the sunscreen! I stayed in a cute little villa which was very reasonably priced with a private pool and living area. The staff were friendly and really made me feel at home. They also served the best pineapple pancakes I have ever tasted! Yummy
To be concluded in Part 3