Monday, March 2, 2015

2/11/15 Day 391 Nenagh the Balinese Taxi Driver

What an absolutely grueling day of travel! A total of 9 vehicle transfers: minibus, angkot, angkot, bus, angkot, ferry, minibus, taxi, and then our last vehicle swooped in and changed our night, vehicle number 9, a taxi! We arrived to Denpasar in the middle of Bali, a few miles from Kuta only 6 hours later than our expected arrival and now the middle of the night with sunrise just 4 hours away we began walking towards the beach to find a cozy spot to nap and wait. A taxi driven by Nenagh pulled up and offered to pick us up and take us the rest of the way, we declined saying we couldn't afford it, he insisted: no charge, no problem he smiled. Julie Kevin and I piled into his Bluebird Taxi with our bags and away we went. Before we reached the beach he turned around to ask if we were hungry, we sheepishly hesitated and he asked again, this time we answered that yes we have been on the move all day and eating has literally been on the back burner to getting to Kuta. He parked the car paid for parking and took us to a busy warung (street food vendor with seating) and insisted on buying us dinner, mixed noodles rice and chicken, it hit the spot perfectly after such a long day traveling. Finally after eating he further insisted that we crash at his office as the time was already after 1:00 a.m. finding a hotel might be difficult, we tried to refuse, insisting the beach would be great, but he further insisted that it is unsafe at night and finally in the end convinced us to rest our eyes until morning when he could deliver us safely to Kuta beach where we found a place to stay for the three of us for 120,000 rupiah (10$) on Poppies 2 at Hotel Duli Wisata.
We spent a day on Kuta beach being constantly hassled by touts who seem to think we have money, selling everything from massages to popsicles. After they would realize we were not the big spenders they were hoping for they would head to the surroundingg bules, it is incredible how much money the Australians were dropping into the whole scene. No wonder the vendors think we have so much money the drunk Aussies stumbling around the beach are on vacation and it is very difficult to explain that we are actually not on vacation, but traveling; (including accomodation) we might spend in a whole day what we hear people pay for a single pineapple or an hour on a surfboard, unbelievable!
Since we are in Bali we might as well check out the party scene. 
There is this 6 level bar/club in Kuta called Skygarden which is simply an invitation for drunken debauchery; every day they hand out these flyers for free entrance, a free welcome drink and free free-flow booze between 9-11 if that wasn't enough they also serve free appetizers. As per the flyer the deal is only for "international visitors" which is about 95% of Kuta as is. At first we couldn't comprehend how this club makes any money but once inside you can see the hordes of bules (foreigners) all drinking Smirnoff Ice, which at home for the Aussies cost an outrageous 8$ a bottle, so the 4$ at the club seems like pocket change to them. For us we see it differently, but they are on vacation and we are traveling after all a difference we know all too well. The club is absolutely huge with gogo dancers, bottle service, deep house, an outside lounge, a buffet, a casino and a big room house floor. Before we left we also managed to meet the only Aussie getting down to deep house and that is how our friendship with Gus was bonded. We also found a local brewery, Stark which was offering two free beers, just to spend a half hour in their new club space, for Hefeweizen, you do not have to ask us twice! The Hefeweizen was almost reminiscent of a sour, they need to work on the citrus balance, but it certainly beat drink another lager beer like Bintang. In the end it was easy enough to get our dance and drink on in Kuta...for free! 

Blue taxis number 365 is driven by our favorite and most generous Balinese local, Nenagh
Turtle Conservation Center on Kuta Beach
Because why wouldn't you need a blowgun or bow and arrow while relaxing on the beach
The most mobile of lunch sellers
A local woman selling hand fans 
Famous Bali sunsets
The big house room at Skygarden
The intimate sized deep house room, where we found Gus in his high socks and man-bun
Stark a Balinese brewing company, we got four free beers and a Valentine's Day Rose <3

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