My alarm went off at 3:30 this morning, very painful. I had to get the 4am bus from just outside the hostel to get to the airport. After checking in got McDonald's hotcakes at the airport, something that was always a treat when we flew to america but they were disgusting, they didn't taste of anything and they syrup was high fructose corn syrup with artificial maple flavor. I had a very non-eventful flight to Brisbane, then to Bali, all was on time and went smoothly. Paid my US$25 for my visa (in 2004 bills or newer) and got my bag. Luckily I didn't have any drugs on me, as the punishment here is the death penalty.
I had booked transport from the airport, and my hotel through STA and the guy was here, with a welcome pack to take me to the hotel. This was the most interesting part of my day. How can I describe Balinese roads? Crazy. Most people have scooters or motorbikes here and I though I was on a one way street, but then a load of bikes start coming towards you! It took me ages to figure out that they drive on the left and the scariest thing, being is a car was that bikes were both overtaking and undertaking you, and coming past on the left hand side. The driver took me on a 'short cut' through the back roads and I have no idea how he knew where were were going. They were a labyrinth of narrow streets with no traffic lights, and maybe one stop sign or two. I only saw a few road names. There were rows and rows of shops, some streets seemed more for locals and some for tourists. Again I have now idea now people knew where to walk, the shops looked so simmilar, they were basically rows of garages full of dresses, sunglasses, and souvenirs. There were a few cafes, restaurants, mechanics, and a supermarket scattered in between. I didn't see anything that looked like a town centre or anything. We did pass a couple of Hindu temples though. It seems to be India meets China, with a little Zanzibar thrown in in terms of architecture and layout. It looked fascinating through the window but I would never want to drive here! There seem to be no rules and we witnessed a few near accidents.
I checked into my hotel, very luxurious after hostels, there was a porter to take my bag and some sort of iced fruit drink on arrival! This was after over an hour of driving through the mad crazy streets of Kuta to get to Seminyak, the slightly quieter area. Its seems a bit more posh here, there are shops with names instead of just these random garage type places. It was 4:30 when I arrived, I had a quick shower then went to get a pedicure! It was pretty good, and very cheap. that took about an hour and now I am just going to get dinner in the hotel restaurant (NZ$3 for a meal!!!) and got to bed. I didn't sleep well last night, and I got up at 3:30. and they are 4 hours behind here.
So we shall see what tomorrow brings on this next stage in my adventure!