Why offer to help if you don’t really want to? Now I have a daughter I like to have plans in place. I like to prepare her for what is coming next wherever possible; I no longer take the attitude: ‘Oh well, if we miss the boat it’s ok, let’s just chill, something will come up.’ This all the more so when travelling to a country (in this case Bali) for the first time.
So what happened?
I was told that a friend of a friend would help us when we travelled to Bali. He lived on an island called Nusapenida. We messaged before setting off and it sounded ideal He ran a tour company so could book things. Even better, he had a similar aged daughter with whom my little one could play while I did a dive or two (with his tour/dive company). His wife was a stay-at-home mum and I was told it would be no trouble to look after my daughter for a couple of hours. A potentially win-win situation- or so I thought…
Before traveling to Nusapenida, I asked questions such as
‘Is there an ATM nearby? If not, can I pay using a card?’
‘Do you know somewhere cheap clean and quiet (maybe with outside space) to stay?’
“It is impossible to find accommodation with those requirements.” he informed me. As for the ATM and other queries, I didn’t get an answer.
Determined to find a nice place to stay, I decided to look on Trip Advisor. I booked a guest house called Kabeh Jati Gardens.
At least he was going to book us a boat ticket…
9pm on the day before we were due to leave I got a message- we had a boat ticket for 4pm the next day. Great- but clearly I needed more information-
‘Where should we get the boat from? Where did I collect the ticket?’ I asked and asked and eventually received the reply “Sanur beach”. It seemed a bit vague, but I he didn’t send more info on request.
I asked the Manager of the hotel in Kuta if he thought was enough info to give to a taxi driver (it wasn’t enough to book a Grab Car) He said it was all a bit vague and offered to call to ask for more info. After dialling a few times, the manager got through but got nowhere. I then got a message saying find another company!
So there I was, hotel booked, maybe a boat, maybe not. What to do? I decided to head to the port and see.
In the end:
I bought boat tickets, and we made it to Nusapenida. Thankfully it turned out the accommodation I had booked was miles from the aforementioned dive centre. Needless to say, I didn’t go diving – I wouldn’t want someone unreliable looking after Daisy. At least we got to explore Nusapenida. It is a bit off the beaten track and we had the most amazing time exploring and meeting people.
We stayed in in a village and could hear regular chanting for the temples. It was cool and very relaxed. When we wandered the through village, we got invited into a few homes for a chat and the occasional treat for my daughter.
We also got to learn more about the temples from a young guy called Wayan Semadi.
In the evenings we went down to the beach, joined the local kids at play and looked for hermit crabs, starfish and shells in the rock pools.
By day, with the help of the hotel and a couple of drivers (one car, one motorbike) we went on a bit of an explore to find some nice beaches. They all seemed to be a bit of challenge to reach, from tide times to being allowed access, slippy paths or steep steps but they were all really beautiful. My favourite was Atuh beach it had colourful cushions and the view from the top was stunning.
The people we met during our time there and the places we saw more than made up for the stressful start.
Have you ever been let down on your travels? Or do you not rely on others? I’d love to hear from you!