You might remember that I had a pretty tough time in Central America end of November (Wenn sich Pläne ändern…. – currently only in German, sorry!) and that I decided to go home, see my friends and family for christmas, new years and my birthday (yes, traveller also get older, not only wiser).
After a few days amongst my family I could already feel the urge to plan the second part of my trip again and so the research began.
Do I want to go to Indonesia first and later on to the northern countries of Southeast Asia or should I start in Bangkok?
Days of checking and comparing prices, weather forecasts and activity planning followed and than I finally decided to go to Bali first.
Once I booked my flight all the bad memories of my first trip to Bali come back to my mind again but I try very hard not to listen. Looking back I’d say I made some major mistakes during my first visit (1. even so travelling alone I booked a room in a fancy hotel in Kuta – I was far younger then the average, 2. didn’t do my research properly and didn’t know what I wanted to see and do, 3. booked a private tour guide).
Well, I thought Bali deserves a second change, I should look at it with fresh eyes and go with the flow. As it’s just January and my new years travel resolutions are still pretty fresh, I decide to go for it and book myself in a 7-day surf camp in Seminyak (Kima Surf Camp).
After what seems like a very long time, 10th January comes faster than expected and in no time I sit in the car to the airport, ready for my next adventure with my new Osprey Farpoint 70 backpack and my new Rollei 425 action cam.
An unexpected journey begins the moment I drop of my luggage. I didn’t know that it would be the last time in 6 days I’d see it.
Due to bad weather conditions the departure is delayed multiple times. 4 hours later we finally depart from Frankfurt.
The next day in Bangkok I learn that Thai Airways already re-arrange my trip. They booked me on a flight to Singapore and from there to Denpasar as we were too late to catch the connecting flight on time. Halleluja to great airlines – so far so good. Arriving late in the evening in Denpasar my luggage is nowhere to be seen (I half expected it as the layover in Singapore was only 40 minutes ‘cause the flight from Bangkok was delayed as well).
Never mind, if there is one thing I’ve learned while travelling, it is that there is always a way to handle an unexpected/new situation.
My Bali adventure starts without luggage, but one big experience I take away from this is that we don’t need all the things we carry around with us!
Surfing starts right the next afternoon with my 7.7ft hard board. From now on I go surfing ones or twice every day and feel better and better – sunshine, summer and surfing. I learn heaps about paddling (the current was so strong, during some sessions I spend 99% of my time paddling), reading the waves in Bali (it’s different everywhere, so you have to be patient and learn), catching a wave 30 others also paddle for (the line ups are so crowed some days, it scared the hell out of me) and that you should stay calm when unexpectedly facing a very cute but venomous sea snake.
Also, I’ve met so many nice people in the camp (whom I explore the south peninsula of Bali with as well as it’s restaurants and bars), fantastic guides and great staff (they would call the airline and airport regarding my luggage at least 5 times every single day). I’m very sad to leave after only 1 week.
Now I know that the Bali I saw 4 years ago was the worst I could see. Those days in the camp, where we get to go to several different beaches on the west and east coast, opened my eyes. But in all fairness everyone tells me that Bali has changed tremendously over the past 4 years and you could tell that European and American hipster culture has arrived, especially in Canggu (still, I loved it even more).
My second adventure in Bali ought to be sunrise trekking. I book myself in a wonderful home stay in Ubud, from where I start to my Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking tour at 2:30am. It’s a nice crew even so, everyone is very tired and no one really chatty. At 4am we start from the “base camp” and arrive right on time for the sunrise at around 6am. I won’t sugar coat it for you, the hike was intense and the volcano partially very steep – I hated every minute of hiking uphill and questioned my decision the whole time. BUT the moment we reached the top, I felt I had concurred the world. The sunrise was mesmerising and for 30 minutes I was just watching and soaking in the beauty of nature.
For the rest of my stay in Ubud I enjoyed good food (Fair Future Foundation, Jalan Sriwedari 6, Taman Kaja, Ubud) and walked the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
My next adventure brings me to Gili Air, where I’ll go snorkelling and chill at the beach.
Until then, get in holiday mood here.