After saying goodbye to Elly’s parents in Vietnam, we headed south to Indonesia. We spent almost a month hanging out on the island of Bali, heading to a few different places on the island. We stayed in Kuta first, which is basically Cancun for Australians. Most of our days were spent relaxing on the beach and hanging out with our new friend, Bejo.
From Kuta, we went north into the jungles and settled down in Ubud for a bit. Ubud has a much more relaxed vibe than Kuta and we had some of our best meals here as well. There was a fantastic sushi place we went back to almost every other night… From here we also took a tour of the surrounding area to see some temples and other sights.
Not all was fun and games in Ubud though… Our hotel was a little outside the center and when we were walking down to dinner on our first night we ran into some trouble. Walking past an open gateway, an angry dog leapt out and bit Elly on the leg before running off. Not wanting to take our chances with Indonesian street dogs, we went to the clinic for them to check it out. She ended up having to get a course of 4(!) rabies shots. Thankfully, we were in Bali long enough to be able to get all 4 at the local clinics. Not a fun way to spend our time though.
Last, we stayed in Legian, which is also right on the beach. Cory hung around here while I went off to get scuba certified! I had always wanted to get scuba certified and figured why not here since Bali has some amazing diving and we had the time for it. I had to complete an online learning course before starting the 3-day training program. The first day was training in the pool. I had to learn how to put all the equipment together and get comfortable in the water. I had to practice all sorts of scenarios such as taking my equipment off underwater and putting it back on again. The second day we visited a shipwreck and went diving! It was a warship from WWII that sank in 1942. It was pretty incredible swimming around it and seeing all the fish life nearby. The last day was diving at another spot that had tons of really neat coral and fish. I even saw 2 green turtles!
We had another scare in Bali while we were in Legian. We were out to dinner when suddenly we started to feel a little dizzy while eating. We then looked up and saw some the lights on the ceiling were shaking slightly, and then EVERYTHING started shaking. People were looking around very confused, and then some of the staff started running out of the restaurant into the street. We followed suit and waited for the earthquake to settle down. It only lasted 15-20 seconds, but that was bad enough. It turned out the nearby island of Lombok was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. We were on the island next door so the effect wasn’t nearly as bad but it was still scary. Throughout the rest of the week we continued to feel aftershocks every now and then. Sadly, Lombok was devastated by the quake with 80% of buildings damaged or destroyed, and hundreds dead or injured.
Despite some troubling moments, Indonesia was a great spot to chill for a bit before heading off to start the European leg of our trip. Next up would be a 37-hr travel day heading to Croatia; with a quick stop on the way to explore Istanbul, Turkey!