After spending the first two weeks of my solo adventure volunteering, learning to cook and exploring the city of Chiang Mai, I packed my bags once again to take flight on the next portion of my trip, Bali, Indonesia.
When I first started planning my 2 month long journey, I knew Indonesia would be on my list. I had wanted to take a trip to Bali for a loooong time. If you asked me why, to be honest, I couldn’t really tell you. Have you ever experienced this inexplicable feeling? Where you become fixated on a place or something that sticks with you, nagging at you, just begging to be paid attention to? Well, that was Bali. For whatever reason, I just wanted to go there. Sure, I had heard it was paradise, has great diving and the friendliest people – which I was about to find out for myself – but once the seed was planted I could never fully remove it from my mind.
Initially my plan was to become certified as an Open Water Diver in Bali, then move on to explore some other parts of Indonesia. After thinking it over and making some tough choices (like deciding not to visit a highly reputable Orangutan Conservation Park), I decided to spend my entire 2.5 weeks in Bali. It killed me saying no to the Orangutans, but in the end it would prove to be too expensive to do on my own and I did not want to spend my time here moving quickly from place to place.
So off I went, on a flight with Air Asia, from Chiang Mai to Bali with no idea of what to expect or what would be in store.
After landing in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, the first things I noticed were 1. EVERYONE wanted to help you with your bags, for a small fee of course, 2. It was bloody humid. Now this second point I was expecting as I had arrived during their hot and rainy season. Fortunately for me, I had arranged a driver to pick me up at the airport to transport me to Amed, where I would be spending 5 days working towards my Open Water Diver certification. I made a bee-line towards the exit, found my driver and much welcomed reprieve from the heat in his air conditioned vehicle.
Amed is a small, quiet town located 3 hours from Denpasar, in the North Eastern part of Bali. My face was pressed against the glass of the car window for most of the 3 hour journey. During the drive, the landscape changed from the dizzying busyness of the cities surrounding the airport to beautiful rolling mountains, vibrant green foliage and rice terraces, lush from the nourishing rains. As we got closer to Amed, the city noise drowned out, the roads began to narrow, bend and snake, carving through the fertile countryside.
Finally, we pulled up to Geria Giri Shanti Bungalows, beautiful hillside accommodation owned by an awesome European couple (who also own Adventure Divers Bali, where I arranged to take my Open Water Diving certification course). Upon arrival I was warmly welcomed by Liselotte, one of the owners, who was quick to make sure I had everything I needed to make my time with them comfortable and fun. As soon as she greeted me, I knew I was in for a great stay and company.
What’s coming up in my Tales from My 2 Month Adventure? First impressions of Amed, where to eat in Amed and all about my experience learning how to dive.