It was a long drive to Vancouver, but the opening of the airport doors refreshed me with a second wind as I waited to board my 2am flight. The 12 hour flight to Taiwan, followed by a 5 hour flight to Denpasar was daunting. I usually find it impossible to sleep in cars and airplanes, but the adventure ahead would be worth the long travel time. Surprisingly, I was able to get a couple hours of sleep on the plane after watching a few movies, making the flight seem much shorter.
Flying into Denpasar was a moment I will never forget. The runway was right at the edge of the Indian ocean, and a bright aqua blue from the view out the airplane window. I had finally made it to Bali, Indonesia.
It only took about an hour to go through customs and exchange currency (a tip for my fellow travelers, exchange money outside of the airport, you will get a much better rate). We took a taxi to Citadines hotel, where we would be staying for two nights to celebrate my recent birthday. After roughly 40 hours of travel, including driving and layovers, it was truly a site for sore eyes to finally arrive at our beachfront paradise.
We showered, ate dinner, and dozed off around 9pm, hoping to cure our jet lag. We woke up early the next morning and ate breakfast before heading off to get massages. The streets were lined with vendors offering motorbike rentals, tour packages, and merchandise. Little girls rushed to our sides selling bracelets they had made, and “Taxi! Taxi!” could be heard on just about any road we walked down. Hindu offerings were plentiful, and designated prayer areas were beautifully maintained. It is humbling to see “how the other half lives”…while Americans are demanding $15/hr minimum wages, the vendors lining the streets are living in a poverty most of us have never seen or acknowledged, creating whatever income they can for themselves and their families. (That being said, some are not always the most moral people, so use caution and don’t get yourself scammed!)
One USD was worth about $IDR13,150, and despite being a popular tourist destination, food and attractions were fairly inexpensive. For those who may be a little more health conscious in their eating habits, there aren’t a lot of options, but you will make do.
Our short stay in Kuta did not disappoint. On the last morning of our stay, we woke up at around 5am…perfect timing to watch the sunrise before grabbing breakfast at the hotel. It was too beautiful to describe, and pictures could never do it justice.