We arrived in Denpasar, Bali on Tuesday 1st September at about 4pm and got a taxi from the airport to the centre of Kuta which cost 80,000 rupiah (£4) but it only took about 15 minutes. We hadn’t booked anywhere to stay as Bali is the kind of place you can just walk into guest houses and hostels and ask if they have any available rooms. But we hadn’t stayed in Kuta before (we’ve been to Bali once already in 2012) and we were losing our bearings so we sat in a coffee shop along the main road for a refreshing iced green tea and take advantage of their wifi. We found a hostel called Funky Monkey which was walking distance down Poppies 1 road. One bed there cost 130,000 rupiah a night (which is about £7.50) and it had a pool and free pancakes all day every day so we booked two nights there. Once we’d settled in to our tiny room with smelly toilet (but comfy double bed) we went for dinner at Club Havana just down the road. It was a tad expensive but the food was delicious and really generous size portions – it was an American themed restaurant after all! Jordan had a pizza and Natalie had the tuna fish special with vegetables. After dinner we had a wander around and then headed back to our hostel to chill as we had had a long day of flying. Later that night three American guys came into our dorm room and we got chatting with them before they went out for some drinks. They didn’t get to Kuta until midnight but as they were only in Bali for a two week holiday, so they were keen to make the most of it. We on the other hand, just wanted to sleep!
The next morning we went for breakfast with the Americans – Nick, Nick and Laura (or Ginger, Percino and Mittler as we came to know them) – at a great, cheap little restaurant called Bamboo Corner down the road from Funky Monkey. Breakfast was great and so cheap and for the rest of the day the five of us chilled on the main Kuta beach, splashing in the big waves and catching some sun.
After a late lunch and a dip in the Funky Monkey pool, it was time to get on it and go to Sky Garden where from 5pm to 9pm it’s all you can eat and drink for just 100,000 rupiah which is £5! The food is so good with lots of freshly barbequed meats and seafood, veggies and several different kinds of potato – so Natalie was in heaven obviously! (She loves all kinds of potato in case you didn’t know). And then the drinking began…The Americans taught us a new dice drinking game so we stayed in Sky Garden for a while and then someone thought it was a good idea to go a karaoke bar, so we sang our little hearts out – badly.
The next day we were all feeling a bit fragile so we lay in and then went for breakfast/lunch at Bamboo Corner again – the Nasi Goreng was really good there. We then all rented mopeds from Funky Monkey and drove south to Padang Padang – one of our favourite places in Bali when we went there three years ago. It should only take 15-20 minutes to drive there but Percino’s sat nav took us a long way round, over the new sky bridge that they were building when we were there in 2012. Unfortunately we were stopped just outside the police station by coppers that wanted to make a bit of money that day off of the tourists. Apparently, as we did not have an international driving license, we had to pay a hefty fine. Note to self: always have a small amount of cash in your pocket in case of such situations, so the bent police don’t see all the cash in your wallet and bump up the price of the fine just because. The Americans – as they will be known – had looked at a few homestays and guest houses before leaving Kuta but they were all quite expensive or didn’t have enough room for all five of us so we stopped off at a Mexican restaurant called Cacho’s Sunset Grill that we used to go to all the time when we were in Padang Padang before. The food wasn’t as good as it was last time but it was good to use their wifi and search for a place to stay. It pretty much took us half the day to realise that all five of us were not going to be able to stay in the same resort, so we split off and found rooms that suited our budgets – ours was a lot lower as, let’s face it, we’d been travelling for 3 months and they were on a two week holiday. So we stayed a Kenanga Inn which was 300,000 rupiah (£15) a night for a private room with ensuite and air con. We met up again down Padang Padang beach and went for some dinner at Om Burger, a healthy alternative to the greasy burger joints. Afterwards we were all feeling pretty shattered so we decided to have an early night.
The next day met the guys at Padang Padang beach where The Americans and Jordan tried their luck at paddle boarding.
We chilled there for the morning and then The Americans had to move rooms as their first room was too pricey so we met them later in the day at the other part of Padang Padang beach where their new hotel was.
That night we had some drinks outside the minimart shop where everyone buys drinks and sits outside on the tables and chairs (it’s one of the only places to socialise and drink as there are no bars in Padang Padang). At the weekends there are beach parties so that Friday night we went to the beach party where the Americans were staying.
On Saturday they left early in the morning to travel to Nusa Lembongan island but we wanted to stay an extra night as we love Padang Padang so much. So that day we rented a moped and drove to another one of our favourite beaches in that area, called Dreamland. The beach was just as we remembered it. Soft white sand, amazing blue sea with huge waves, and a nice breeze to keep you cool. All in all, a pretty perfect beach. We walked down away from the restaurant there as we don’t like to be crowded by people on the beach, and found a spot to relax on.
After a shockingly bad late lunch at the beach restaurant, we drove back to our neck of the woods and relaxed on Padang Padang for the rest of the day. That night we had a really nice dinner at Mango Tree Cafe where we skyped Jordan’s family and ate yummy chicken fajitas and chicken pesto pasta. There’s not a lot to do in Padang Pandang at night, unless there is a beach party going on, and even then they don’t get started until late in the evening. It’s much better to go there with a group of people and drink at a restaurant or outside the minimart as so many people do. But as we were friendless and there wasn’t a beach party on we went back to our room and watched a film we had on our laptop.