Just Back




May 2003



I have never written a JBR before, but Im sitting back on this freezing Sydney night, reflecting, and decided to type something since I havent been on the forum for a while, plus Ive changed my BTF name, and thought Id give it a go!

I left Sydney March 26th, after 5 months of trying to book after the bombing ( but no seats), waiting on waiting lists, and then having to cancel the December flight I picked up due to work, and by work I mean 3 jobs...Bali holidays mean a lot to me / the more holi's I have in a year the better!

It was well worth the wait, as all my friends there seemed to be more optimistic in March than they were in November regarding Tourism, although I did find it very quiet and it took me ( a person who doesn't stop talking) a few days to find another traveler to chat with.

When I first arrived, I stayed in Renon with my friend Kim and her fiance KumKum. It was quiet and relaxing, and we went out that night to Troppo-Zone to watch Kumkum's band play. It was great to taste the real Bintang again...and catch up with the lads there...! Linda is still there, as with all the guys except Tommy ( or is it Johnny)??? He is doing transport just up the road from Mata Hari Legian ( he caught me walking up the street and begged me to buy him and his wife an icecream).

I stayed the rest of my time at Sorga Beach Inn, in Jl Sahadewa ( also known as Garlic Lane I believe). I love this Losmen, cheap ( about $5-$7 per night, depending on room and how long you stay) and clean, the family are great. I spent Nyepi there as the only Westerner staying in the Losmen, they made me welcome and it was an awesome day trying to keep the kids and dogs quiet!! Plus, Wayan and her Mum are the best cooks!!

Spent my nights traipsing between Billys (the staff were busy just lazing out front, putting on a good show when a few tourists were in eating.. great to catch up with Billy and his new Green "taxi" car), Indo-National ( Milton and Kerry have a great lil business going...nice food and general atmosphere is very welcoming)...also had a Meal-With-Movie at Bagus Bar...my old haunts still open but everyone cant wait for the Aussies to get back over there. Spent the afternoons sneaking into the pool at Joni's where I met up with most of my Expat mates, and some other darling people.

Dropped into Bali Rock a few times to catch up with my Heart Flutter, but the night-life certainly is revolving around the Seminyak (JL Dyana Pura)area, and the new Bounty and Expresso Bar in Kuta were quite busy at night.

My usual trips to Bali are a minimum of 2 months stay, but this trip I booked for only 2 weeks, and ended up extending to 3 weeks (pushing the friendship with the bosses back here in Sydney). After viewing the incredible Ogoh-Ogoh in Kuta ( ending up a very wet night with the heavens opening up to drench my mate Sue and I on the bike), and spending Nyepi in Sorga ( being a bit naughty and camcording the very still Melasti St with my Balinese friends), I hired a car and headed North with Nengah and his cousin Ketut. I stayed with his family for 3 nights in Singaraja, waking at 5am to go to the temple, sleeping on the floor, washing in a cement room with river water, and eating some pretty incredible Balinese foods - parts of animals that I never knew existed. I sat and made offerings with the sisters for hours on end, and they constantly picked on me for looking like one of the girls out of Los Ketchup band!! ( I said " ahe aha" ) They are a very poor family, and it was great to see them again...I shouted them the day out to the baths just East of Singaraja...and all 17 of the family packed into the Kijang ( rented for 100,000 RP per day), and we had a glorious day swimming among the masses of Balinese...I being the only westerner, attracting many giggles, and had my blonde goose-bumped hairs on my arms pulled numerous times(the water was cold)! Lovina was quiet, dropped in to see the very busy Gloria and the Crisis Clinic, and grabbed a yummy Babi Guling on the way back to Kuta.

The rest of my trip I guess was spent eating my friend Sue's chicken curry in her groovy new house, hanging at the carts around Kuta and seminyak...munching on Sate, Martabak, and the odd Pisang Goreng! Oh, and who could resist, the Makan Padang...if you have avoided Padang (due to the flies and what-nots hanging around the window where the food is) you are missing out...despite the creatures touring the food you are selecting, it is the yummiest food ever! I miss Nasi padang!!I spent a small part of my time dancing and drinking a few too many with my pals, and then the day came, where I had to celebrate my last night...couldnt do it, I was sick with grief about heading home, so I extended...I would have loved to keep extending, as the next departure date neared and I found myself vomiting again..but hey, there is always next trip.

I managed to cart home my luggage which was 14 kg overweight, but due to being a crying mess, I could only barter the Customer Service guy down to 5kg and I was charged aussie $100...I was having a real emotional blonde day, as I didnt even realise I had put my very heavy hand-luggage on the weigh tray as well....!

Torrential rain in 20 minute spurts over various days flooded the entire southern area, leaving me pushing a very water-logged bike through " up to the knees" flood down Legian Street. Nengah hired a nice convertible VW to take me to the Airport, and what else can I say, Bali was a great trip once again... safe and friendly!

I visited the bomb site 3 times, the last kneeling to pray and shed a tear, and opening my eyes to see a woman and her 2 children, who had previously begged me for money on my way to the site, kneeling beside me and praying....my heart melted, so I handed her the last of my money.




Garlic Lane ( Jl sahadewa) is great for buying...I bought over 20 of the peasant-type tops ( that have still lasted, and are great quality...price if you email) in the first glass-windowed shop up from the JL Melasti market on the corner ( heading towards Padma St on the right). Andre Leather has great priced leather, and stylish jackets, shoes and bags, etc...and the alley just before the Pink painted Andre leather, ( on the right heading towards Padma) is a nice lil shop where the lady, Made sells doonas and sarongs...she has some lovely clothes there too. I bought 2 massive wooden statues for 200,000RP, they were heavy and bug-free, looking great on the wall here! DVD's from the stall on the corner of Melasti and Legian streets...cheap and good quality, although I bought mine and dont have a DVD player yet?!?! Gave many as gifts when I got home, and my friends said " Good Quality"!

Ive written enough I think, if anyone needs any info or wants to know more about any of my trip, please email me and I will elaborate more.. Ive tried to keep names and shops out of this so FA doesnt think Im selling...plus, I couldnt include all the "really good bits" as some viewers may be offended!!! ha ha ha!