For just about the previous 40 days of the trip, we had been in native English speaking countries (Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand). We would be leaving that comfort zone.
But, we honestly were looking forward to it. We were excited to get to an exotic and new destination. Plus, Bali is heavily tourist driven, so they are pretty accommodating to English speakers (similar to the areas we went to in Thailand).
Bali is an island in the archipelago of Indonesia. I was pretty surprised to learn when planning that Indonesia is the 4th largest country in the world by population at 237 million people. Only China, India, and the US are larger.
The vast majority of the Indonesian population is muslim, and several of the provinces are governed under Sharia Law (Islamic Law). Bali is its own province (governing region) within Indonesia and is unique in that the population of Bali is almost exclusively Hindu.
We didn’t take a ton of pictures in Bali, but we got a decent bit. There were a lot of temples and inland type scenery. Plus, we dove so there are some scuba pictures. Here is the link:
We spent the day today touring the main attractions in Bali. Around 9 am, our driver/ tour guide (Made) picked us up from the hotel.
First, we stopped at the Tanah Lot temple. The temple sits on a large off-shore rock that has been formed by the ocean tides. Because it was high tide, we weren’t able to get to the temple. But we took plenty of pictures. The tour guide has really great about helping us get pictures together (something that is usually pretty difficult!). Made explained to us that most of the people in Bali are Hindu, then Muslim, and lastly, Buddhist.
Today was our first full day in Bali, and Justin arranged for us to go scuba diving in Padang Bai (a coastal city of Bali). It takes about an hour to get there from Ubud, so we had to leave around 7 am. They arranged for the restaurant to open early for us so that we could have breakfast before we had to leave. We even ordered the night before, and they had it ready to go when we got there at 6:30 am.
The group we dove with is called Geko Dive. The dive shop is located right on the beach. It was only the two of us diving with the guide, so we got plenty of attention (4 staff on the boat plus us). We did a 2 tank dive.
We arrived in Bali around 3:00 this afternoon. Surprisingly, we had a decent bit of traffic driving from McLaren Vale to Adelaide. Usually, we get to the airport about 2 hours ahead of time. This time, we only had around 20 minutes before the flight boarded. Of course, this was the flight that I would get chosen for the random body scan! I usually don’t care, but we were already running behind schedule.
The flight was uneventful. We flew Virgin Australia in economy.
When we got to Bali, there was a man holding a sign with our name waiting for us to arrive. Justin paid for a service that helps expedite the immigration/customs process (I think it was around 25$). The man took our passports and got them stamped for us, so we were able to skip all the lines and chaos. Then, we got a cart and he loaded up our bags for us and escorted us through customs. Once we were through customs, another man (from the Chedi Club) met us and walked with us (along with the other man pushing our luggage cart) to meet the driver. At one point we had three different people helping us!