The day finally arrived, moving to Legian the final episode of our amazing journey. We got up and got ready for the day, still experiencing some intermittent pain, trying to listen to my body and being kind to myself. Anyway the plan was to meet up some friends for breakfast at a cafe nearby and then check out at 11am for our driver to pick us up. In classic, style we were late to breakfast (honestly we need to get better at time management – when I say we, I mostly mean my husband ?). We had breakfast at Tutmak, just around the corner from the guesthouse – this place is amazing and the price for food is little for the amazing quality one gets. After quick goodbyes with our friends we headed back to get packed and ready to leave (at this point I was a little sad, because I hadn’t experienced Ubud the way we had planned). Husband cheered me up by reminding me there is always next year, on the way back from London – brother’s wedding). At 11am we were packed and checking out – the family at Pondok Pekak were really lovely and made our stay even better. The driver was already waiting for us, loaded up and we were off. The trip to Legian was eventful – me in mild pain and husband car-sick, it’s a miracle we survived! After an hour and half we finally arrived at our hotel, Zest Hotel Legian.
This is our second stay at this place. It is really affordable, they have fantastic service, comfortable beds, great air conditioning, it’s located near the beach and has an amazing rooftop pool. Check in was smooth, I had requested a room on the third floor, however at check in there was a little bit of a miscommunication – that was quickly rectified. Before 2pm we were already checked in and already in the pool ?.
The next few days nothing magical happened, a lot of swimming, reading – the usual. The day finally arrived for my supermarket rendezvous, Carrefour.
Before heading out, I decided a haircut was required – was looking a little too afrolicious for my liking. Googled, barbers nearby; now there are tonnes of barbers – but the key question is ‘can they handle black hair?’ – as black hair is a whole different beast… Only one barber had photos of ‘my people’, having their haircut and that was Bali Barber in Seminyak. Husband decides to drop the H-bomb again (health ?), so it was decided we were going to walk. It was only a 25minute walk but it was excruciating – it was blazing hot, by the time we arrived we were both sweaty messes.
The service at Bali Barber was amazing, they knew what they were doing and cut my hair exactly the way we wanted (I tend to be a little sensitive about shears etc, they were very accomodating).
On they way to the barber, husband noted he only had IDR300,000 in his wallet (we had left most of the money in the safe), but decided not say anything because he knew – I would have insisted we head back and catch a taxi back. So when it was his turn to have his haircut he decided to break the news. Panic settled in – would the money be enough? It was! Total cost of haircuts, IDR 290,000!! Yet again the universe is always looking out for me. At this point husband was no longer in my good books – kept giving him the evil eye ‘look’, as now there was no way we would be hopping into a taxi. Oh well, off we headed back to the hotel in the blistering heat. I couldn’t stay mad at him for too long – he started commenting on how noticeably smaller I am looking ?.
Once back at the hotel we got changed and this time no-one talked about walking to Carrefour. Zest is conveniently located, all you have to do is walk out and you are on the road and there are taxis everywhere. We jumped into one and asked for the meter to be switched on. Unfortunately, it’s taxi drivers like the one we had who give Bali a bad name. First he tells us he has a minimum charge – no problem we have seen the stickers in the taxi. And then he decides this was not enough and he was going to ‘negotiate’ the price. Husband disagreed and insisted we would pay what was on the meter – and there would be no further negotiations (at this point neither one of us thought of taking his details down). He then, kept trying to negotiate to take us to all the tourist spots – at this point I was already frustrated and about to ask him to drop us off and we would walk the rest of the way (but husband being the level headed one, kept being polite but firm). Finally we arrived and again I left husband in the taxi, to pay the man. I completely understand that they are trying to make ends meet, but at times it is such a draining experience. At this point – you would think this would dim the excitement of being at Carrefour – nope it did not (I love supermarkets – ?). Man-oh-man is the store huge!! I couldn’t keep from oohing and ahhing. Electronics, clothing, makeup, food – it is amazing! Husband was also impressed by the stock and the size of the store.
We spent so much time walking isle to isle (hoping to have lost more weight from all this walking ?. We got a few things for family and friends back home – and husband got his favourite fruit to snack on (jackfruit), as he has been on the hunt since the beginning of the trip. Once done, we headed out of the store thinking it was going to be difficult to get a taxi. As we walked out, we spotted a family were arriving to the supermarket in a Bluebird taxi. The journey was easy, the driver was polite and kind, and was not trying to get anymore money from us. Once back at the hotel we decided to call it day, my feet were aching at this point and the heat had taken a lot out of us – so off to the pool to swim and read. The rest of the days were spent relaxing more as the days to return were fast approaching. Our evenings were spent watching the beautiful sunset from Legian beach, watching the drag show from the hotel restaurant across the road at Sendok Emas, always very entertaining, and also having massages ?
Before the week ended, husband decided we needed to head Gloria Jeans for breakfast one morning (it’s our favourite go to back home). So we got up early, went for our exercise.
The mornings are the best to see Bali before it gets busy. From the hotel it was a quick stroll to the beach. Already by 6.30am the beach was busy with people running, walking, doing weird poses in the sand, running after dogs – you name it.
Really enjoyed the cool breeze from the ocean – it didn’t feel like exercise. After an hour and a half we headed back and got ready for breakfast. Husband decided we would walk instead – we basically walked everywhere in Legian. I love Gloria Jeans and it did not disappoint.
Afterwards we decided to head to the Beachwalk shopping mall (not my idea of course).
The walk was not as bad, however the market sellers were really aggressive in trying to get us into their stores – at one point they grabbed husband wrist forcefully (husband is always polite but firm). In Legian people are always trying to sell you something or trying to tell you they are not trying to sell you anything. It can get really frustrating, but they are trying to make ends meet – being polite didn’t cost us anything. By the time we reached the mall I was racing in through the security checkpoints to get away from ‘I am not selling you anything just take this flyer’. Once through, I was starting to wonder why we even bothered because it looks like any other mall – and then I SAW CANDYLICIOUS!
Basically I was like a kid in a candy store literally. I was more into the stuffed toys than anything, hubby was clearly embarrassed every time I screeched ‘cute!!!!’. The lights, the shiny wrappers – it’s a sight to behold!
Husband got his supplies – I was just happy to look and cuddle the soft toys (I am still a child underneath this veneer of adulting…). After spending what we considered to be an embarrassingly long time in candy store – husband purchased his snacks and we left. It was fun walking from store to store on all the levels. Decided not to bother purchasing anything – just window shopping. We decided to have lunch at Johnny Rockets the new American fast food store.
They should call is slow – food, it took them ages to take our order and another long period of time to bring out the food and it wasn’t anything amazing. An experience none the less. Decided to head back to the hotel via the beach – best decision! The breeze from the ocean cooled us off as we walked back.
I so hope when I see my nutritionist when we get back, I have lost weight because I have walked the length of NZ at this rate!! (I don’t weigh myself as I can not be trusted to weigh myself sensibly…). Once back at the hotel – back into our bathers and into the pool, followed by more tanning! Hoping to be really golden before heading back ?
The day has finally arrived for us to head back to Auckland. We got up early so as to see and do as much before heading home. Headed to Grain for breakfast – beautiful, on the way back headed to a laundry place we had spotted.
Was a little nervous as we had opted to not use the hotel facilities due to them charging per item (and it worked out well – we have been learning new tricks on this trip!) The day before we had enquired about the price and informed it was IDR12,500. However on the day of dropping our laundry the price had doubled to IDR25,000 – perhaps it was lost in translation – we will never know.
Spent the rest of the day getting massages and collecting our laundry (paid IDR170,000) and packing. Before we knew it we were off to the airport for our 10pm flight (we had organised with the hotel for an airport drop-off for IDR200,000 – slightly expensive most likely but we wanted to be stress free). Got to the airport, had already checked in online (picked the seats we wanted and didn’t have to pay an extra $180NZD for them! Thank you universe!! and Emirates!) – through security and immigration without any issues. Decided to have dinner at HardRock cafe – a yearly tradition (zero patience to wait to eat on the plane, by the time dinner is served, may have already passed out from starvation at 11pm…)
Currently sitting at the International departure lounge, a little sad to be leaving, but looking forward to getting back home and getting into the swing of things (hoping my attitude of gratitude will be in full swing for the rest of the year and to eternity… we will see…). It has been an amazing holiday, for the both of us and we have enjoyed every single moment (the good and the bad). Bali is truly magical and it has re-energised us, as we needed it. Despite the little mishaps – I am grateful for such an amazing time. This Island (Bali), just flows with one’s own rhythm – you make the holiday how you want it; pace and all.
Taking time out, helped re-focus me on what is important. Life is precious, every moment is a gift, even the difficult moments – nothing like a relaxing holiday to make you realise your own mortality ?
Goodbye Bali, see you next time!