On my second vacation to Bali, Indonesia, I decided to live the adventure and venture outside the tourist area of Kuta to see some of the island… and got mildly stranded. It all started with an eleven minute taxi ride from Kuta beach to the village of Seminyak. Said to be more sophisticated than Kuta, with it’s luxury accommodation and fashionable high end restaurants and bars… maybe I was standing on the wrong side of town? A mother was sitting at the foot of a little tree rocking a small child in her arms whilst she cried out to people and whimpered. Children followed you everywhere. Some trying to get you buy bracelets, other children handing you Australian money asking for you to exchange it for rupiah. I wouldn’t say the shops were any different then Kuta beach but in Seminyak there were mysterious puddles on the sidewalk…..
We had lunch at a Greek restaurant and I picked the table looking out onto the street….. big mistake. Our entire lunch was interrupted by children, more children, men trying to sell DVDs and women wanting money. Along side our table were rows of little grass plants and when the small children would come over to us, little hands would separate the plants and little eyes would just stare at us. It was cute. The food at the restaurant was the most horrible food I have ever experienced in Bali, even the cocktails were watery and horrid. During lunch, we searched for hotels that we could go check out on the beach. We found a great one but lost WIFI connection. Figuring we knew vaguely where this place was, we jumped in a taxi and told the driver to head towards the beach where all the hotels were. Simple instructions right? Seminyak is known for beautiful beaches.
Thirty minutes later the taxi stops at the end of a dead end road that looks out to a beautiful beach, few buildings, a group of men on motorbikes and jungle…
After paying the taxi and sending it away, we started to walk towards a white building thinking it was a hotel. Turned out not to be a hotel and the security guard, who was sitting out the front, did not speak any English. I learned Indonesian is year eight, got high grades and all i remember is Hello, my name is Myra. How are you? and how to say ‘yellow’ and ‘cat’. Trying to think of how I could make it useful in this situation…. hello, my cat is yellow??? Due to the area being an industrial type area, we were left with one option: turn around and walk.
After walking for ten or so minutes, with jungle on either side, we came across the mysterious building pictured above. This place had no obvious entry but looked like a temple. Stone wall encased the tall building with lots of green vines, grass and trees growing out of the building.
Across the road from the mysterious house was the jungle house pictured above. A small run down house played across the big yard over run with plants, vines and grass. Big piles of rubbish filled the yard as extremely skinny chickens with big bald patches of feathers missing, hid in the vegetation from being chased from young children who themselves were being yelled at by a women in their native language
After that we walked for about thirty minutes in tropical heat with half a 600ml bottle of water in what seemed like the middle of no where. I was starting to think this is how episodes of ‘I shouldn’t be alive’ start, when we came across a motel that was a bit too silent. No one was in the dusty office at the front gate and the grounds seemed abandoned. So we moved on.
This amazing sign for ‘Cheap accommodation’ was being held up with broken down sticks. A dirt road ‘driveway’ with very high grass on either side looked like the raptor scene out of Jurassic Park II. Then came the house….
Well, there seems to be a power line from the street to the house so it must have power……. but running water?? Please note the small tree growing out of the roof. Cheap accommodation on the island of Bali can start at an astounding $32 a night including breakfast in a nice hotel (sometimes you can find five-star hotels real cheap) so I hope this house is…. free? I wonder what their advertisement is:
‘Big house in the middle of no where, quiet and peaceful, view of jungle, surrounded by plant life … literally. Bring own food, water, blankets, sheets, pillows, TV, laptop and couch. We supply mozzie spray. Beach within walking distance’
Twenty minutes later we came to a street and a field where Indonesian people were sitting on the side of the road with a little vendor food box selling strange meat. Then down the street on the side of the road was…….. A TAXI!! After trying to ask the Indonesian people where the driver was and getting a ramble reply in Indonesian, the driver came running towards us. He had been visiting a friend in a nearby house (there were no houses around, he just came out of the jungle) and after bartering a price for him to take us back to the hotel in Kuta, he refused because of traffic at this time. He agreed to drop us off at at an intersection where we could find another taxi to take us back to Kuta. Driving around the corner from where we were, we came across a field where a group of men were standing around the car and stared as we drove past. They had rifles lined up against this car and I’m just glad we found the taxi when we did. Coming to the big intersection, the taxi driver dropped us off in the middle of the road (very normal for Bali) and beeped at a taxi nearby. We jumped in and headed back to Kuta beach.
Even though I was so thirsty, hot and needed to use the bathroom desperately, I had fun. Next time I visit Bali, I’m going to find that ‘cheap accommodation’ house and check it out…. I will also pay for a taxi to wait for me x