We were looking forward to arriving in Kuta for 3 reasons; sand, sea and..... surfing! Oh and we also heard the nightlife was pretty good too.
We arrived with nowhere to stay and it took a while to find somewhere. All of the Lonely Planet's budget recommendations were now double the price! We walked round with our heavy bags for about a hour, and just as we thought we couldn't take it any more...it started to rain! We gave in and stopped somewhere for lunch. With renewed energy we finally found somewhere for Rp150,000 (about £10) with a pool and breakfast!! Seemed great, but we later found out that it was party central and was never ever quiet at any time of the day or night.
Kuta is the Costa Del Sol of Indonesia, except its full of Australians rather than Brits as its only 3 hours from Perth. We headed to the beach, decided not to surf as it was late and instead had a beer whilst watching the light grey cloud turn to dark grey cloud and then black...so much for the famous Kuta sunset! Later that night we headed to a place called Sky Garden. A guy we chatted to in the minibus on the way to Kuta said it was free drinks for an hour. Dubiously we went in, walked up past four levels of dance floors to the roof terrace where, yep it was free cocktails from 9-10, then extended til 10.30pm! We're not sure what the thinking was with this promotion because we didn't need to buy another drink! Cheap night!! They had already won us over with the free drinks but there was also free fruit, Wong tongs, sausage rolls and chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce!! Needless to say we went back the next night and then another! We hadn't had more than 1 or 2 drinks in a night since New Years Eve so we were definately due the nights out! We got chatting to some guys on a 'bucks' do from Perth, Australia. They seemed much more laid back than people from the east coast and also had less of a twang in there accent. We also met a guy from Perth that had booked his flight to Bali that morning, gone to work, and was now in a Kuta bar! He hadn't told his girlfriend he was going and planned to just tell her he was on a fishing trip!
We woke on the 2nd day to find rain so it was monopoly for the rest of the day (thanks Kate!). Travel monopoly has replaced Uno at the moment to keep us entertained. Its a great game if you win and incredibly frustrating when you lose! Emma seems to win most times which is why we don't play Uno as much, as that is what Kris wins at. (can you tell who wrote that last section?!)
Kuta is also the first place we have been where we can get knockoffs. Hurrah! I can't reveal exactly what we purchased in case MI5 or the CIA are reading, but I can say, 1 item you put it on your wrist to tell the time and the other items are sun defenders for eyes! Although you have to check the label on the sunglasses as some of them said 'Roy Ban' or 'Ray Space' instead of 'Ray Ban'!
It rained for the first 3 days and the surf wasn't good so on the fourth day we went to 'Waterbom' waterpark. It had a really good selection of slides. The scariest slide was one which drops you quite steeply before ascending around a bend almost taking up upside down. Doesn't sound too bad I hear you say. Now add the fact that at the top you have to enter a capsule in which you are completely enclosed and stand there whilst a computerised voice counts down 3,2,1, and then the floor beneath your feet drops away and down you fall! Horrible.
On one of the last few days it was actually a nice sunny afternoon so we went to lounge by the pool at our hotel. Within 5 minutes of arriving we were asked to leave in 20 minutes as they were fumigating for 'mosquito's' - we later suspected Cockroaches. However, the fog appeared behind us instantly and we were being fogged out! There was no warning for anyone in their rooms so people just ran from the fog with whatever the could carry. We were wet from getting out of the pool but had to outrun the fog - it felt like we were in an episode of Lost!
That evening our neighbours popped there heads over to say hello, ask about Ubud and see if we fancied going for a drink with them. We weren't sure if we were going to go drinking that night, but the idea of a night out with others swayed us! Conversation with people other than each other is a valued thing! We had a great time with Anne and Martin and arranged to meet them in the Gili islands which would be our next stop. They were from Sweden and are travelling together as friends after meeting not long before they left. As ever, their English was ridiculously good.
Whilst in Kuta we also went to the large memorial wall and fountain for the Bali bombings in 2002 which was quite moving. Its on the site of the old club which is in the centre of town next to all the other clubs. The bombings really affected the tourist industry in Indonesia for a few years after that, which is one of the reasons I think Indonesian people are so friendly! They're genuinely pleased to have you there.
The weather and surf in Kuta was bad the whole time which meant we had nothing to do for large parts of the day. Had in it been sunny though, it would have been great!
We booked our boat out to the Gili islands and left early the next morning. We had heard a few people say they swam with turtles snorkeling from the beach on Gili Trawangan. Could this be true, could it happen? Could Emma swim with turtles? Find out in the next blog post only on www.krisandemmasbigtrip2.co.uk !!!
Photos (Lacking again - sorry!)