Pink Porcelain and Pokémon

Sep 25, 2012 View Comments by

We stayed an extra day on Bali. Well, we couldn’t just stay one day could we? It is an island that deserves so much more time, but time was not on our side. Perhaps one day we will re-visit and take in all the wonderful sites this beautiful island has to offer.

What we will remember of our terribly short stay here is the violently crashing waves that pound the shore so strongly they create a salt haze over the black sands of the beaches, the smiling people, swaying palms, the brilliant green and lush rice terraces, and the amazing Balinese massage!  Unlike the Thai massages I have had, (which often make me cry out as wave after wave of pain is inflicted by the small but oh so vicious masseurs!), the Balinese massage I experienced was deep, slumber inducing, but rehabilitating all at the same time. Sigh.

It was early on a Sunday when we left our little paradise and I was surprised that the roads were so busy…with it being a Sunday…but—how stupid of me—I had forgotten that Bali is mainly a Muslim society! So Sunday isn’t quiet. Duh.

Initially we made good time, although at some points, the traffic had me shouting and cursing at the sheer stupidity of the other road users! When we finally hit the highway—yep a nice open, freshly paved divided highway—we were slowed to a crawl because it only had one lane open due to an international marathon!

After many hours dripping from the heat while stuck in traffic, we eventually made the ferry, which took us from Bali to the island of Lombok. The seas were rolling and I began to suffer from the awful “almost sick with bile half-way in your throat” feeling—and this was a four hour ferry ride! The bikes had their own problems as Simon went to check on them mid way through the voyage (we always do), and found the circular motion of the boat had managed to move Simon’s bike. It was now wallowing heavily against the wall of the boat like a drunk on a Friday night! This is despite the fact that it had been jammed in nice and tightly between trucks, boxes, chickens, and other mopeds.

I had always wanted to visit Lombok but here we were again—in the blink of an eye we had reached the other side—even though we skipped the main roads and deliberately took the smaller backroads in the south.

Bouncing along the roads we managed to miss all of the “wannabe organ-donors” and stopped a couple of miles away from the ferry port at Labuhan. Tomorrow we won’t need an alarm clock to ensure we reach the first ferry out as we are staying next to the local mosque!

The days began to blur, as did the guesthouses. The rooms were of varying quality but were mostly decorated with colors bright enough to ensure you didn’t get to sleep without a fight! Bright green walls and pink porcelain flowers; brilliant yellow bathroom doors; purple bed sheets; covers emblazoned with Spiderman or Pokémon; full bright neon lights…or no lights at all. Each one had the obligatory early morning call of the mosque or the blood curdling call of a wretched cockerel.

Each day was filled with the beauty of the Indonesian islands. The further south we ventured, the quieter and more rural they seemed to become. The people, however, are all the same, really friendly, open, and welcoming.

Missed some of Simon and Lisa’s Indonesian adventure? Catch up here:

Indonesian Onion Boats and Rusty Cranes—Part 1
Suburbs to Sublime—Part 2
Dirty Brown Roads and Rooms—Part 3
Curves, Corners and Classrooms—Part 4
It’s a Green Land—Part 5
Joy Riding Through Java—Part 6
Near Misses and Near Perfection—Part 7
The Son of Kelud—Part 8
Amidst the Sea of Sand—Part 9
Don’t Blink – It’s Bali—Part 10




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About the author

In May 2003, we left our jobs, sold everything, and on 2 BMW motorcycles, set off to see the world. Nothing but a motorcycle can get you to the places and in touch with the people we have had the pleasure of spending time with. We’ve turned what was once a weekend hobby into a way of life that we wouldn’t trade for anything, and have no intention of ending anytime soon.