Australia & Indonesia: 5/21 – 5/27

(Australia) Carbla >>> Cliffhead >>> (Indonesia) Kuta >>> Legian

5/21 – Exploring Kalbarri National Park 
5/22 – Return Campervan and Fly to Bali!
5/23 – Exploring Kuta! 
5/24 – 5/27 – Luxury at The Stones in Legian, Bali!


Exploring Kalbarri National Park
+ Woke up and said good morning to our hitchhiking friends who had camped in their tent nearby. Then we enjoyed a nice breakfast with the sounds of the birds outside.
+ Since we were still heading south we all piled back into the van to continue down towards Shark Bay. (and no one else had camped in this site overnight so we definitely weren’t going to leave them there!)
+ After only about 20 more minutes on the road, we stopped at the turnoff for shark bay and said our goodbyes. Everyone wished each other safe onward travels as we continued our RTW trips!
+ Corey and I continued on to Kalbarri National Park. Unfortunately we were met with thick dark clouds and lots and lots of rain.
+ Stopped at Ross Graham lookout and snuck some peeks at the gorge and river in between the rain. Then we ate some lunch waiting for the rain to hopefully pass over.
+ We made a quick stop into the visitor center to recycle some brochures and get some advice for the area. The lady was helpful and recommended a place for us to look for emus. So we drove around the neighborhoods searching but didn’t have any luck.
+ Red Bluff lookout was our first destination along the coast. We tried to walk the short trail to the clifftop and back as quickly as we could but got soaked in the rain which decided to pick up once we got far away from the car. Oh well.
+ Pot Alley lookout was next and offered some more amazing views of the cliffs and wild Indian Ocean!
+ Island Rock and the Natural Bridge were our next stops. After a short hike out to the edge of the cliffs, we snapped a few photographs and even saw a kestrel!
+ Back at the parking lot we talked with a local bird watcher who showed us some of the fairy wren birds! We’d pretty much seen them all now!
+ On the drive to the natural bridge, we finally saw a red kangaroo! He was very wet from the rain but it was obvious he was different from the other kangaroos we had seen. He hopped away very gracefully. We had seen signs for these guys everywhere, and lots of dead ones along the road, but he was somehow the first live one we’d seen!
+ Continued driving south. Stopped briefly at Pink Lake to get some photos of the vaguely pink water.
+ Camped at Cliffhead South once again. The same place we’d stopped at our first night!
+ Before going to sleep we watched the remaining few episodes of 30 Rock’s first season. Then we re-watched the Series Finale of Sherlock while enjoying the last of our wine!


Return Campervan and Fly to Bali! 
+ Had our last cereal breakfast in the van whilst enjoying the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
+ Packed up our backpacks and swept out the van. The ground was so sandy!
+ Left the campsite and started driving back to Perth. It was still almost 4 whole hours away! Along the way we chugged a few of our remaining cokes and even gave one to a construction worker standing out in the hot sun!
+ When we finally arrived back in Perth, we made a quick stop at K-Mart to check for new sandals for Corey and then waiting in a ridiculously long line to get some gas. Then we drove to Apollo and returned the campervan.
+ Once that was completed, we caught an Uber to the airport where we used the crappy airport wifi to book some onward transportation from Indonesia and reply to a few emails.
+ Then we spent our remaining few Australian Dollars on some Mexican food before going through security and boarding our flight to Bali, Indonesia!
+ We had spent a grand total of 5 and a half months in Australia and New Zealand! We had explored so much of Australia and had gotten so used to everything it would be hard to leave.
+ The idea of going to a completely new continent and region of the world was exciting but we were also nervous about re-entering the Non-English speaking countries and dealing with all of the Southeastern Asia craziness! We hadn’t really had to experience that since we were in Central and South America which was almost exactly an entire year ago! Crazy!
+ On the plane, we worked on our devices and then Corey watched “John Wick 2”. It was awesome!
+ When the plane finally touched down, we got our bags and then searched for the designated Taxi spot that had official metered taxi’s. That way we wouldn’t be screwed over by someone looking to overcharge us. Yet in the end we paid $9 which didn’t seem like a lot but was about 6 times what the Uber would’ve cost!
+ Once our driver finally made it to the place we were staying, called Pondok DenAyu Homestay (situated on King Kong Street!), we checked into our room and dropped the heavy bags.
+ In a wild turn of events and change from the norm, it was Corey who was getting hangry now so even though it was almost midnight we set out to find somewhere to eat. Luckily we didn’t have to look far before settling on a little street cart and getting a nice meal of rice, noodles, chicken, and other mystery stuff all served in a paper packet stapled together. All for less than $1/person! Oh Southeast Asia, what a welcomed change you will be from expensive Australia!
+ After eating it back in our room, we both just laid down and drifted off to sleep in our food coma!


Exploring Kuta! 
+ Breakfast in the morning outside our room. Looked at the pretty courtyard and talked with Liz’s mom for a while.
+ Internet time inside the room while we enjoyed the A/C and escaped the heat and humidity outside.
+ Walked down the street and grabbed lunch from a little restaurant. Paid more than we thought we would (almost $4!) and already felt like we were not getting great value. It’s so crazy how your perspective can change so fast in such little time. Since we’d only paid less than $1/person last night for dinner, we now felt like we were paying too much! In Australia and New Zealand we always paid way more than this!
+ Even though Indonesia is almost entirely a Muslim nation, Bali itself is mostly Hindu. We appreciated all the offerings of fresh flowers and maybe some food placed in front of every home and business. The change in culture was so drastic it was energizing!
+ Around the corner from our homestay, Corey got a haircut from a lady who may or may not have ever cut men’s hair before. She was not the best but after some help and instruction from Corey, she did a pretty good job!
+ Back to the room to shower off all the hair and talcum powder she put on Corey and his shirt. Seriously, all over it!
+ Went out exploring Kuta. Walked through a whole bunch of little streets past a million people trying to sell us stuff. Just like Central and South America!
+ We got some satay sticks for our walk which were really tasty!
+ It had always looked so interesting to get one of those fish pedicure things we’d seen and so we finally gave in to temptation and paid the whopping $5.25 (for the both of us) to sit there for 20 minutes and have the hundreds if teeny tiny fish nibble away at our feet! It felt so weird! In the end, we didn’t really notice a visual difference but our feet felt softer at least!
+ Walked down to the beach and admired all the surfers and people lounging in the beach chairs with their drinks. We really wanted to join in but held off for today. We would do our fair share of that over the coming days!
+ Made our way through the city back to our hostel and relaxed in the room for a few hours working on our devices, trying to get caught up on the blog and pictures.
+ Went back to the same place we’d gotten dinner from the night before. This time there was a different person working there who charged even less and it was still delicious!
+ Back in the room we did a little more work and talked to friends online. We also read more about where we were going tomorrow and got excited! Then Liz passed out and Corey watched a movie before going to sleep.


Check in to Luxury at The Stones in Legian, Bali!
+ At 10 we had another nice breakfast delivered right to our door and sat outside at the little table and chairs enjoying the nice weather and views.
+ Then we packed up all of our bags and checked out and caught an Uber to our next destination just a few miles north at The Stones Hotel.
+ We would be staying at this lush hotel for 5 whole nights! This would be by far the nicest place we’d stayed during this entire trip! It was all possible thanks to our incredibly nice and generous friends back home in Orlando, John and Teresa. They are the ones who hosted our going away party way back in 2015 before we left and had offered to share their Marriott point with us. We had almost redeemed their offer a few times before but it didn’t work out until now and they were nice enough to leave the offer open for 17 whole months!
+ We were very excited to take full advantage of The Stones and just relax in luxury for a few days!


5/25 – 5/27
Luxury at the Stones Hotel in Bali!

+ For the next few days we just enjoyed paradise!
+ Luckily Corey had Silver Elite status so we did still receive some benefits. And the hotel was nice enough to offer us free breakfast! So that was a savings of almost $25/person per day!
+ The breakfast buffet was absolutely incredible! Maybe the best we’d ever had. They had a huge range of food including everything from chocolate donuts and chicken wings to traditional Indonesian food and about 20 different kinds of pastries! Each morning we would head down to the restaurant and would spend about an hour and a half gorging ourselves and finish off our meal with a smoothie or latte.
+ The best thing about the breakfast was it left us from going hungry for the next few hours and we didn’t have to venture out of the hotel until dinner time. This was good because it saved us from having to pay for the expensive hotel food.
+ So in the afternoons we would head down to the pool area and spend our time lounging in the sun and taking a dip whenever we got hot. Happy hour started at 3 so we would splurge a little and get some 2 for 1 beers or cocktails.
+ At night, we would walk around the nearby streets and find some restaurant that looked good. Most nights we would try a different local cuisine but one night we gave in to our cravings and got some Western food.
+ One evening we popped into a couple of salons to get some massages. First we got a shoulder/neck massage for half an hour and combined paid only $9! Then we got arm/hand massages for half an hour and paid only $7! Everything was so cheap over here!
+ On the last night, we watched some TV and ordered room service for the first time ever! We got a Cajun chicken pizza and it was yummmmmy!

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