Day 228: The End?

So here we are, the final post I will be writing of the Erratic Ramblings of an Uneducated Daydreamer. It has been one hell of a ride. As I started writing this, this day seemed unfathomable, yet I was always trying to think of some way to end it. The whole way through I have been trying to touch upon something profound. As I started writing about my journey it truly was just something I did for me, then when I began getting messages from people who enjoyed it, I felt compelled to finish. I thank you all for your kind words, without them I’d have stopped long ago. It has been extremely difficult for me to write about everything I have seen and done over these past 7 and a half months. Everything from the most microscopic to the most behemoth experience has been ineffable. I encourage all of you reading this to go travelling, it’s not a lifestyle choice they teach you in school, had it not been for Sarah encouraging me to do it in the first place I’d have never known it existed. Before this trip I never knew what I wanted, I was closed off from the world working 34 hours a week in a warehouse, I had no idea of other people’s ways and beliefs, and now I’ve had my eyes well and truly opened. This trip has also been the closest thing to freedom I will ever get. I cannot stress upon you how much better I feel within myself everyday, compared to how I did back home, waking up to go to a job I wasn’t passionate about. I have found a release in writing, and possibly a future career. When this is all over I may consider pursuing it. The pen truly is mightier than the sword, all I can hope for is that someone reading this has been inspired to go travelling themselves. It sure as hell beats a nine to five…
So ladies and gentlemen, for one last time, please allow me to entertain you with what happened on our final day in Asia.

Yaaaaaaaay, finally, a morning where we stayed asleep until the alarm clock rang at 8:45am. Rather than get up and go for breakfast right away, we put on the last 40 minutes of the movie – although I convinced Sarah to do this by saying “it’s alright, we’ll only watch 10 minutes”. Her love of all things Oz got the better of her and it was 9:30am before she turned it off out of panic. Sarah feared we’d miss breakfast if we left it any longer. We got ready and enjoyed our final buffet breakfast of the day, although neither if us could eat very much. It made me believe the hotel staff added something to the food to make it more filling, but this is just a conspiracy theory. In reality we just didn’t feel hungry in the first place. Afterwards we got back in the lift to finish off the last of the film… there was only 30 seconds remaining. We put on one episode of “Arrested Development” then got ready for the beach.

The Internet was down first thing this morning, but while we were getting ready we received a phone call from reception. They told us somebody had been in to fix it and everything was back online. We needed to print off our flight confirmation ready for our one way flight to Perth later that evening. Rather than take our passports out with us, we took pictures of our details, then used the hotel’s laptop to print off what we needed. We were now one step closer to leaving Asia, which made us both sad and excited at the same time. Instead of thinking about all the things to look forward to, all we could think of were the things we’d be leaving behind… bye bye fruit shakes, bye bye cheap massage parlours, bye bye cheap food, bye bye cheap accommodation, basically bye bye everything cheap. Feeling slightly blue we put the printouts in the bag and caught a taxi to the beach.

The security guard helped us cross the road again, and got the attention of a passing taxi. The driver switched on the meter, then dropped us off at the other end of Legian beach to yesterday. This was better for us as it was less busy, and the tide was still out, there was no chance we’d float off on any loungers. After only 5 minutes we found a series of unoccupied loungers. A man came running out enthusiastically and sold us two beds. I then got to work on my blog in the shade, while Sarah read her kindle in the sun – it’s no wonder she’s so brown. When I was nearing completion, the enthusiastic salesman was making his way back from a potential customer, when he stopped to chat with me. He asked where I was from and for my name, I told him, then he said his name was Puldro, and that he spent a year of his life in Greenwich, London. He had met a girl in Bali 5 years ago and she flew him to England to be with her. I don’t think it worked out as otherwise he wouldn’t have been selling us the beds. After our brief chat he told me if we needed anything we were all but to ask, then he returned to the shaded area below the trees with his friends.

After I’d finished editing my blog I moved the bed into the sun and allowed myself to cook at a temperature of around 30•C for several hours. Because we were at a quieter spot of the beach not many people passed. It was a far cry from the people watching I was able to do yesterday. There were no men with monkeys, nor were there any large breasted women to admire. The time was getting on for 3:15pm when we concluded our final day at the beach, we then took a slow stroll through town. Along the way we both made a couple purchases, Sarah bought a new pair of sunglasses, while I procured a bag to help distribute the overall weight of my luggage. It appeared as though Australia was very stringent with weight limits. If the holdalls were over 15kg just slightly it would result in an additional charge. We were now low on money after those purchases, we had only 50,000 (just over £3) left to cover the taxi fare, hotel bill, and dinner later on. On top of that we had to pay an additional cost of 200,000 (nearly £14) for late check out. This meant rather than leave our bags in storage from midday onwards, we would be allowed to return to our room and check out at the later time of 6pm. We would then only have 4 hours to wait before our flight. A stones throw from the shop was a bank, we went inside and withdrew 1,000,000 rupiah (£60) then hailed a taxi back to our hotel. It was then a case of taking one last shower, packing the bags, and settling our bill.

The packing went on a lot longer than either of us had predicted. After an hour we were still moving items about to ensure our holdalls didn’t exceed the weight limit. To ensure they didn’t we put on our heavier items such as jeans, trainers, and hoodies. This was something we hadn’t done in a while, and each item felt foreign as they clung to our bodies. For the time being it was hell, the temperature outside was in the high twenties, but it was something that would pay off when we landed in Perth. According to our friends Beth and Adam the temperature there was somewhere between 6 – 8•C. This was terrible news, the whole time we’d been in Asia we didn’t have to worry about seasons because they simply didn’t have them, now we were going somewhere that was in the worst of the four… winter. When we finally juggled all the items about and fastened all the clips of our bags, we left the confines of our a/c room and went to reception.

The staff put our bags into storage, and we paid the debt on our room bill. After that we went out for dinner. The security guard outside told us there were plenty of restaurants just a ten minute walk away, but when you’re wearing jeans that small amount of time feels like forever. He helped us cross the busy street, then we followed his directions until we found a rather expensive looking Chinese seafood restaurant. For the final meal of our Southeast Asian adventure we had a feast. The pair of us ordered several dishes to share. We started off with roasted pork in honey sauce, followed by sweet and sour chicken, then kung pow chicken. Each dish was exquisite and added a perfect end to our journey. However, the bill that followed was a bit painful, there was an extortionate tax and service charge of 21%, I did say the place looked expensive. As we entered, the car park was empty, but as we left it was filled with Mercedes Benz and BMW’s, had we seen that at the beginning we would have probably given it a miss. On the walk back we had to pass a family of beggars. The children lacked the etiquette it requires to gain something from strangers, I say this because one of them said to Sarah “give me your water!” Which she did, but only because she wanted to, or so she claimed. She said she’d rather they had it considering we’d just eaten an expensive meal. We then walked the last few hundred yards towards our hotel and crossed the busy street unaided.

We were quite sweaty and sticky by now, so to help cool down we sat in the bar area that had a/c. The machines were set to 16•C, this felt just right, too bad Perth was currently half of this. As we sat at a table, Sarah used the Internet to write to Beth and let her know our e.t.a. On the other side of the table I was given one last parting gift by the ever friendly Mosquitos. Without realising it, until it was too late, one of the blood suckers had taken a sample from one of my index fingers. I was livid. After Sarah came back from the bathroom she told me there were loads flying around in there. When I felt the need to go, I exacted my revenge. I swung and swatted but kept missing, until I saw a single one pitched on the wall. BLAAAM!!!!! Double whammy! Somehow I’d managed to kill two Mosquitos with one hand. The balance was now restored, I washed my hands and returned to Sarah to tell her of my victory… she didn’t care. Shortly after, we arranged for a taxi to collect us and waited outside with our bags.

When our taxi showed up, the driver helped throw the bags in the boot. It was clear roads all the way to the airport, and no sooner than we got used to the a/c in his vehicle, we had arrived. All the porters were waiting at the drop off point, offering their services to all new arrivals. I told one particular man that we didn’t need his assistance, then we struggled to the check in terminal. Had we known it would be as far away as it was, we’d have probably paid the small fee for some help. We showed the officials our flight confirmation and were granted access to the security check in scanners. Because I was wearing jeans I had the pleasure of removing my belt. I narrowly escaped embarrassment as I rushed through to grab it before my bottoms fell down. We then went over to the check in counter to weigh our bags in. They were just on the limit, meaning we didn’t have to pay any additional fees. Now we were free of our holdalls we had the pleasure of paying to leave the country. Yes that’s right, to leave Indonesia you actually have to pay an exit fee. It’s not enough that you have to pay to enter the country, they demand additional money as you leave. Begrudgingly we handed over 300,000 rupiah for the pair of us before being allowed to enter the departure lounge.

They’re the same the world over, extortionate convenient stores, duty free perfume, alcohol, and cigarettes, and the always present souvenir shops. We took a look at the various perfumes on offer, before leaving the shop to find a bench where we could sit and await our flight. There were so many Australian tourists waiting to fly home that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d already arrived. Surprisingly we were called through ahead of time. We had to go through a second security check, where once again I had to remove my belt. As I walked through the scanner the young security guard on the other side laughed when he saw me holding up my jeans. He then jokingly asked me to raise my hands so he could swipe me with the metal detector. We all laughed, then I fumbled to put on my belt before more bags came through the X-ray machine. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 10:25pm, but we were allowed to board ahead of time of 9:50pm. We handed over our boarding passes, located our seats, then waited for take off.

Halfway into the flight I closed my eyes ready to go to sleep, but without warning there was a sudden shudder from external turbulence that rocked the cabin. Immediately I opened my eyes only to not believe what I was seeing. I sat up and rubbed my eyes to get clearer vision. Four walls covered with wood chip wallpaper surrounded me. Fixed to one of the walls was a flat screen television set. Through the window was the view of a neighbouring terrace block, and an energetic Jack Russell looked out from the window ledge wagging his tail furiously at the passing post lady. I recognised this place instantly. I was in my bedroom back home in England. It turned out these past seven and a half months hadn’t happened at all, in fact, it had been all but a dream….

Ahhhhhhh, I’m just kidding, I wouldn’t do you like that. Of course I haven’t been dreaming, how would I have added the photos of my experiences had I been. Besides Sarah tells me, to end a book with “and it was all a dream” is the worst possible way, it constantly annoys her when it happens in the books she reads. When I learned of that I thought it would be clever if I could incorporate it into my blog somehow. For 7 months I’ve been waiting to write that ending, ever since Sarah first told me about it. Not to keep you in suspense any longer, what really happened during the flight. I stayed awake working on the final post for the whole 2 hours. When we landed we had to go through the rather strict immigration, I say strict, it was more the way they sounded than acted. When it came to telling them where we’d be staying in Australia, all we could say was Beth and Adam’s house. Apparently that was enough, from the looks of things, this place really was laid back. Our bags were two of the first to arrive on the carousel, we just about grabbed them before they disappeared through the second door. We showed the security guard our yellow slip to gain access to the country, then headed towards the exit. There they both were, Beth and Adam were waiting for us with a cup of coffee in their hands. We shook their hands and gave them hugs, then we left the airport to begin a brand new journey together…

Now that we know it wasn’t all a dream, I would like to take some time to say a massive thank you to everyone I have met along the way. Without your presence in some of the places Sarah and I have visited, it wouldn’t be what it was. I won’t do any shout outs because there were so many of you, and if I forget to put anyone’s name in here it could lead to arguments. In one way or another, each and everyone of you have helped me grow as a person. The hard truths I was forced to learn, and my little quirks some of you picked up on have made me stronger and better than before. I owe so much to the people we’ve met along the way, the strangers who have helped us out at a moments notice, and my family for being so supportive, encouraging me to pursue this once in a lifetime journey. I would also like to thank the company I worked for back home, the redundancy money I received helped fund this trip. More thanks go out to all the people who have subscribed to, and liked posts from my blog right from the very start. I know at the beginning the posts were long, but as the days went on I endeavoured to make them more concise. Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now as I sit on this plane to Perth (well maybe one… tired), to everyone I’ve met, I love you all, I believe we met for a reason and I hope the world continues to be kind to you. For my last thank you, and probably the most important of them all…

Sarah Duxbury.

Without your constant encouragement to make me leave England we both know I never would have. I know I’ve not been the easiest person to travel with. This blog took up a lot of my time, meaning you did 90% of the research and arrangements, which I love you for. Thank you for having the patience to stick with me as I slaved away into the night writing like a madman. But I am a free man now, and although we won’t be together 24 hours a day anymore, I promise all my free time will be spent with you. You’re a brave girl coming to Australia, what with your incapacitating fear of spiders, but that’s what makes you great. I can say things like this because I know you’ll never read this post, like you haven’t any of the others. You’ll continue to mock my blog like you do, never fully knowing just how much I appreciate you. I love you Sarah Duxbury, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the kick up the arse to leave our little bubble back home.

Now I’d like to end this blog by paraphrasing “Big Chris” from the movie “lock stock, and two smoking barrels”…

“Thank you Southeast Asia, it’s been emotional!”

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Day 227: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Is This Evil?

One day remains of this blog guys, then I’ll be free.

We spent the majority of today on the beach, soaking up the last of the Asian sun before we left for Australia the following evening. Although on occasion I reluctantly do a lot of things Sarah suggests, more often than not I do enjoy doing them. For example, had I not gone to the beach with her today I wouldn’t have seen a man sunbathing with his pet monkeys. Yes folks you read that correctly, there was a man on the beach with not one, but two monkeys… but we’ll get to that. After the beach we returned to the hotel for a few hours, then headed back out for an evening meal. All in all it was a good end to our Asian adventure, now allow me to explain what else happened on this day.

Sarah got her wish this morning when we got up early. The cheeky so and so woke me up 15 minutes before the alarm, our bed was so big that I didn’t feel her get out, it was only when I heard the toilet flush that I awoke. We then got dressed and went for breakfast. I took advantage of the buffet for the second day running, then we returned to the room to apply sun lotion and pack a bag for the beach. When we got downstairs the security guard helped us hail a taxi again, but this time there weren’t that many on the street. There was tons of traffic but few taxis. Eventually, after blowing his whistle to halt the traffic, he helped us cross the 6 lane motorway to a cab that had pulled over for us. Rather than go back to Kuta beach, we got him to drop us at Legian. In theory they were the same beach, it was just so long that it stretched over both Kuta and Legian. We walked a few hundred yards from the entrance to get away from the sewage like smell, and paid for a couple loungers for the day. I then got to work on yesterday’s blog, and wrote an introduction to the Erratic Ramblings for anyone yet to discover it. It was shortly after I’d finished, that the man with the monkeys arrived.

As he led sunbathing on a lounger, one of them led beside him like a hairy child. I’d never seen a monkey sunbathe before, and let me tell you, it’s quite amusing. I understand the severity of the situation, it was wrong that the monkeys were with him in the first place, but it’s not something you see everyday, and the sad thing is it’s not something you can do much about anyway. I don’t quite know how long this man had owned the monkeys for but they were in no rush to get away from him. There are two sides to every story, so maybe this man hadn’t killed their mother to get the babies like most poachers do, maybe instead he had rescued them. After all they seemed to love his company and all the fruit he gave them. Perhaps they were just in it for the fruit. And unlike most poachers, he wasn’t allowing people to hold them for photographic purposes. It’s weird to think that Sarah and I are accustomed to such sights now, I’m scared to think what would actually shock me these days.

Sarah and I continued to sunbathe until we began feeling thirsty. We left our loungers, at the risk of losing them, to grab some water from a nearby shop. When we got back we were fortunate enough for them to still be available. It was then back to sunbathing. Being the gentleman that I am, I “definitely” don’t notice other women, but today was an exception. As I led soaking up the sun, a woman with very large breasts came walking by. Much like the man with the monkeys, it was hard not to notice. There’s no other point to be made here, I just felt I had to write about it. Without warning the tide came in and was as high as our loungers. Sarah had had enough of sunbathing anyway (if you can believe that) and suggested we head back to the hotel to watch a film.
“Sold to the blonde haired woman at the back!”
I thought that was a great idea and packed our bag immediately. Before we could do that, we needed to collect our laundry. We walked a long way up the beach until we found an exit. Too bad we had to go by some shops along the way, Sarah stopped in a few and ended up buying a new sarong. There was an awkward moment when I took interest in some vests, but didn’t actually have enough money to pay for it. I had to explain to the owner I couldn’t buy them, but he thought I was making an excuse and kept reducing the price. In the end we walked away and located the laundrette. As we arrived they were adding the final touches to our clothes, a lady used a fragrant spray to keep them fresh as we transported them back. With 6kg of clothing we hailed a taxi and returned to our hotel.

We stayed in our room for hours this afternoon, partly due to the fact we discovered room service brought cooked meals to us. We took some showers to get rid of the sand from the beach, then we each devoured a burger. I also had an additional plate of spaghetti bolognese because of how good it was last night. Although we came back to the room to watch a movie, we didn’t actually get round to it. After I’d finished messing about with my blog, I played my Nintendo for a bit, while Sarah plucked her legs. It was around 5:30pm before Sarah said she wanted to go to the beach for sunset. We had been in Bali for over two weeks now and hadn’t managed to see a good one in all that time. In the distance she could see the large hot ball descending, and informed me there is a classic photo people take of it setting, which she also wanted to capture. I was still playing on my Nintendo while Sarah was waiting to go, it took me 5 minutes to save what I was doing and turn it off, then we had the pleasure of catching a taxi outside.

The usual security guard had finished his shift for the day and was sat with a friend conversing. He didn’t want to help us hail one this time, so it took us twice as long to get one to stop. The fist few wouldn’t take us for anything less than 50,000 rupiah (just over £3), which was double the usual cost. Then a random driver stopped and tried charging us 100,000 rupiah, again we said no. Eventually one stopped and took us on the meter to the beach. For some reason the traffic appeared to be redirected as we grew closer, meaning we had to take a lot of side streets to get to our destination. We ended up getting stuck in traffic no more than 200m from the beach. We paid the man and decided to get out and walk the rest of the way. It was too late when we arrived, the sun had gone and Sarah was angry. An argument ensued as to why we missed it, with me getting defensive when Sarah blamed me straight away. I only had a small part in it, but I’d like to think the 10 minutes waiting for a cab, and the 15 minute car journey had something to do with it as well. We still sat on the beach and watched the sky go through the colour spectrum, before taking some pictures and moving on. Now that Sarah and I resented each other slightly, we didn’t really want to do anything. Sarah claimed it was our last night in Bali and it was ruined. I did my best to cheer her up as we walked along the beach in an attempt to find the beachwalk shopping centre. That didn’t happen, and only fuelled the fire worse when I guided us the wrong way entirely. Along the beach, a little farther away, we saw a sign which read “turtle release 4:30pm”, another thing we had missed, this also didn’t help matters. We kept walking until we eventually reached a different mall. It was filled with designer shops, all of which we couldn’t afford to shop in, so we walked straight through and asked for directions. A local man set us straight, and saw an opportunity to drive us in his taxi. We said “no thanks”, then continued to walk a new part of Bali we hadn’t seen before. Building after building, there was nothing but expensive restaurants and surf brand shops. When we got back to familiar territory we explored the markets and found the beachwalk mall. By now we were scarcely low on money, and the only way we could afford to buy branded clothing would be if we were to make a withdraw. Seeing as we didn’t have our cards on us, we left after only 5 minutes.

We then walked down Poppy Street to find somewhere to eat tea. By now Sarah had perked up a bit and we were talking to each other again. Although I wished we weren’t, every time Sarah spoke she tried encouraging me to get a massage with her. Along the road someway, we stumbled upon a cheap massage parlour, and just to shut Sarah up we went in. Now, you remember earlier when I said I reluctantly do things Sarah suggests, but actually end up enjoying them? Well this would be one of those times. We had a half hour reflexology treatment, followed by a half hour back massage. Both of which came to a total of £5 at the end, very cheap I think you’ll agree. I preferred the reflexology to the back massage as I’d never had it done before, although, having a stranger rub my feet is a punishment I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It felt really nice and I nearly fell asleep, but there was a slight painful sensation when he squeezed the little toe of my right foot. I didn’t know what that meant, so later that evening I researched. Apparently the little toe is connected to your ears, maybe I’m going deaf. I think Sarah was really chuffed with not only the foot rub, but also with what the lady had to say. She compared her arm with Sarah’s and told her they had the same coloured skin – this was by far the best compliment anyone could give to Sarah. After the half hour was up it was time for our backs to be pampered. I didn’t enjoy it much, as the whole time it made me aware of just how much weight I’ve lost. There was no muscle anywhere for my masseur to work. As he rubbed the oil into my back I could feels his fingers playing my ribs like a skeletal xylophone. Had I gone there at the start of the trip it would’ve been another story entirely, there was plenty muscle to work with then. My treatment was concluded with an Indian head massage, I found it very difficult to answer his question while he did this because of how relaxed it made me, I was like putty in his hands. When the hour was up we paid the cost and left them with a tip, then we went to Mozzarella for tea.

This was the restaurant we’d eaten at with Sarah’s parents. The food was so good then that it brought us back for a second visit. I ordered a massive helping of pork ribs. In their menu it claimed to be one of their best dishes, and I’m not surprised, it was fantastic. Sarah had an equally as tasty dish when she ordered the mushroom and cream pasta. Surprisingly, for the size of food we ordered it took no time at all to arrive, it couldn’t have been any longer than 10 minutes maximum. As we sat opposite each other at a candle lit table we contemplated everything we’d done so far. We were really sad to think this was our last full day in Asia, the past 8 months had flown by. Neither of us were fully ready to embark on an Australia adventure next, we were still having too much fun up in the clouds, but all good things must come to an end. We couldn’t have asked for better meals than the ones we had, afterwards we settled the bill, then went outside to find a taxi.

Because it was a quiet road it didn’t take long, and the driver didn’t charge us much. We were a little farther away from our hotel now, so rather than have a meter running we agreed a price of 30,000 (£2) to get back. As we grew closer I pointed out our hotel to the driver and he dropped us at the entrance. We then climbed in the elevator to the second floor and retired to our room. I used my phone to Skype my mum again, as it rang I looked in the mirror and saw the full extent of my sunburn from earlier that day. My lower back and upper legs were scarlet. My bum now looked whiter than ever. It was only a short call lasting around half an hour, but in that time my mum mocked my tan lines. After that I had a quick shower, then we attempted to watch a movie in bed. This didn’t work for one reason, when watching a movie with Sarah, she tends to like having all the lights off. This in turn made us tired, so much so that for the second night running we had to pause the movie. I then struggled to stay awake as I wrote this post before going to bed.

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Day 226: Cowabunga Dude

Only 2 days remain of the Erratic Ramblings guys, get it while it’s hot. Today was a sad day, we lost two more fellow travellers. Yes ladies and gents, both Ann and Simon left us to fly back home to their lives in England. It left a void that we tried to fill with shopping and the beach. With the parents gone we were back to our lazy ways, after going out in the afternoon we remained at the hotel. That’s basically it, but here I go once again explaining everything else that happened.

Our alarm was set for 8:15am, it was Ann and Simon’s last day so it was only fair to enjoy breakfast at a time that suited them. Even though I was shattered because I hadn’t finished my blog until close to 3am, I got up when the alarm rang – and believe me, I really didn’t want to. We knocked for them at their room, then we all devoured a very nice breakfast. It was buffet, and they had everything from bacon to fruit. I had a couple bowls of cereals, some fruit, bacon and egg, a croissant, and some coffee. Needless to say I was full afterwards. Because Ann and Simon only had until midday we decided to spend their final few hours looking around the nearby Carrefour. We quickly popped back to the room to rifle through our bags and see what we could give Sarah’s parents to take home. We both found a few items which cleared a significant amount of space, then the four of us met in the lobby before setting off.

The Carrefour (a word I just learned that day) was all of 500m down the road from our hotel. Inside it sold everything you could want and more. It consisted of three levels. The ground floor sold cars and had a couple restaurants. The first floor had an arcade and a handful of small shops. The second floor contained nothing but local eateries and a few more shops. The third and final floor was a ginormous supermarket. As we ascended the many levels, we lost the girls instantly on the second floor when they spotted a shoe shop. Like magpies to shiny objects, they were all over it. Simon and myself decided to leave them to it and went on ahead to the supermarket. They had a great electronics section full of gadgets, much like the girls to shoes, we found our obsession. It was there I fell in love with a 55 inch 3d television. Never had I seen an image so sharp and clear, nor had I ever seen 3d so perfect. The tv put cinemas to shame. I was both entranced and mesmerised by its beauty, I couldn’t peel myself away, every image looked as though it was coming at me. It only got better from there, we then found another tv that was connected to the Internet, and its remote acted like a wand. Wherever I moved it the sensor on the screen moved with it, I felt like a wizard in that very moment. After we’d spent the best part of 40 minutes looking at electronic gadgetry we decided to look for the girls. They were in the supermarket flitting between the various aisles when we found them, Sarah bought a couple items then we left for our hotel.

The time was getting on now and Ann and Simon had about 40 minutes left before their taxi was scheduled to arrive. That was enough time for us to enjoy some final drinks together. We ordered a few beers and took them to the roof terrace. It turned out the leaking roof in our old room was a blessing in disguise. When we reached the terrace there was constant banging coming from a nearby construction sight, had we still been in the old room it would’ve been too noisy. As we sat around the table we took some pictures in the nice weather and enjoyed our drinks, then before we knew it, it was 12pm. We walked Sarah’s parents to the lobby where we said a long goodbye for a second time. Unlike the time we said goodbye in London before we came travelling, this time around it didn’t feel as permanent. It was a strange feeling, like we’d be seeing them again next week. We waved them off as they drove away in the taxi, we waved until they disappeared from sight, Sarah and I then returned to the room for a short while.

Neither of us had done any laundry for a long time, so it was no surprise that I bagged around 85% of what I owned. Sarah had a few items, but nothing to the extremes of my bag. We were doing it now because we didn’t want to show up at Beth and Adam’s house with a bag full of smelly clothes and be like “hey guys, do you mind if we use your washing machine?” I’m sure they wouldn’t have, but we didn’t want to come across as rude. I was left with only a couple items which were already clean, unfortunately the one pair of boardies I had were too big, it was time to use the sewing kit Sarah’s parents had bought me. Sarah to the rescue, she took them in slightly and they now fitted my slender body perfectly. Our hotel charged per item for their laundry, so that was out of the question for my load. Instead we enquired about places in town that did it by the kilo, they didn’t really know of anywhere specific, but told us there were plenty to choose from. With that we took our bags outside and the security guard helped us hail a taxi. For just over £1 the taxi driver dropped us off at Legian street and we located a nearby laundrette. They charged me only 40,000 (just shy of £3) for four kilos of clothing. Not bad at all. Now we were free of the smelly garments we walked around the neighbouring shops.

Because the temperature in Australia would be similar to that of England, we were looking for hoodies. Nowhere sold them bar the expensive branded shops. It’s not like there wasn’t a market for them, it was mostly Australian tourists in Bali on their holidays, so if they came over during their winter surely they’d want warmer clothing to take home. We spent a couple hours scouring the streets, stopping in various skate shops admiring their items, but not actually wanting to pay their steep prices. After many shops had been entered and exited we found a little restaurant to eat lunch. Our meals were tasty, as was the added tax and service charge on the bill. After we paid the high 15% tax and additional service fee we went to the beach. The one thing this beach had that the others didn’t was entertainment. In the waters riding atop the waves were hundreds of surfers. Some were pros, others were just learning, but it was fun to watch regardless of their skill level. Some of the bails made us wince, it didn’t look pretty any time somebody face planted the shallow water, or received a surfboard to the back of the head. We sat for a while before moving down the beach a little farther. On the way we passed countless surf schools, all of which asked us if we were interested in learning. I was, but couldn’t afford it. The beach was full of people for some unknown reason, at first we thought there may have been surfing competitions, but there wasn’t. Many people were just taking pictures of the surfers for their own purposes. The whole time we were there Sarah kept comparing her tan to other girls.
“Gah, look at her tan, she’s so brown. Tomorrow I want to spend the whole day on the beach!” – terrific news for me! After a couple hours passed, we stopped in a nearby shop for snacks before catching a taxi back to the hotel. It took a few before we found a driver willing to take us on the meter, then the second we got into the car it began raining. Perfect timing.

The driver missed our hotel and began driving back down the road. As soon as we told him, he smacked on the brakes and came to a grinding halt beside the road. He apologised sincerely, we told him it was fine, paid the money, then walked 10m back to the entrance. The pair of us returned to the room to relax for a while, where we ended up staying until 8:30pm. It took me a lot longer than expected to read through the previous day’s blog, around 2-3 hours. I was so tired when I’d written it the previous evening that I pretty much had to rewrite all of it again. It was about 7pm by the time I’d finished and uploaded it. I then Skyped my mum to see how she was doing, thankfully everything was good and we had a great conversation. Afterwards Sarah and I went back to the Carrefour for something to do. We bought a delicious strawberry fruit shake to share, then spent the rest of our time in the supermarket. I went back to the new love of my life… the 3d tv, and took some pics for the blog. Sarah bought a couple more items, including crisps to replace the ones she’d stolen from the room’s minibar, then we bought another shake and returned to Sun Boutique Hotel.

Because we still hadn’t eaten tea yet, we ordered food from the hotel’s restaurant. What a smart decision that was. I chose the spaghetti bolognese, and hands down it topped any others before it. The chef had even chopped up the noodles to make them more manageable, as if I were a child. It was so flavoursome that I could’ve easily eaten 6 servings. Sarah was chatting with her sister the whole time she ate, and was practically in tears every time her niece made her laugh. When we’d finished eating we tried to take the conversation upstairs, that way Sarah wouldn’t have to shout over the top of the passing traffic outside. Unfortunately the Internet didn’t work in our room, but because my Skype was still signed in from earlier that evening, Sarah noticed my nan was online. I then had the pleasure of running around the hotel trying to find a good enough signal to speak with the queen of the family. Ground floor, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all offered zero bars. Eventually it dropped off and none of them were sending out any signal at all. I tried one last trick by restarting my device, voila, it worked. I got ahold of my nan and spoke with her from the comfort of the bed in my room. My uncle happened to be around her house at the time, so I briefly got a chance to talk with him too. He wound me up by saying he was enjoying the lions share of nan’s baking now that I was gone. Her cakes are the best things since… her sliced bread. The time was 11:20pm when we said our goodbyes, Sarah and I then attempted to watch a movie, but both of us were far too tired. Somehow I managed to find the energy to write my blog, then got to bed around 1am. Sarah had demanded that an alarm be set for 8:30am, not a minute later, as all day tomorrow she wanted to get sunburnt like the many Aussies we’d seen at the beach today… Oh the joys of travelling with your girlfriend (I’m aware I’ve probably used that line before, but at least each time you know it’s justifiable).

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