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Verkala

Beautiful beaches, minty mojitos and yowza yoga!

sunny 33 °C

So Verkala is gorgeous. We rocked up after our overnight train and headed off to shower the krap off us, then met for dinner at a hill top restaurant with a stunning view of the Indian Ocean. It was fantastic. We all had breakfast and Charles told us that we had no activities plannned for the two days that we were here. We could hit the beach, have a massage, go to yoga, have a look around the shops, use the internet, go for a cocktail at sunset or whatever we wanted. And that's what I did - all in the one day. :D

After breakfast myself and Kay went with Charles to meet he blind lady who assesses you and tells you what massage to get. Unfortunately she could not see us at the time (arf) and we spoke with the doctor instead. I said I'd like a spine treatment for my back and Kay went with an 'oil-dripping-on-your-head' massage. So off we went to our separate rooms, whereupon this teeny tiny skinny gorgeous little girl with a lovely head wobble, comes in to me and tells me to take off my clothes. .. ''Even my pants''.. says I?? ''Yes'' says she. So there I was starkers in front of this little angelic looking young one, (who doesn't look like she'll have the strength to do a massage) and she hands me these amazing paper pants. lol. The massage was lovely though. I'm used to deep tissue massages, so this was'nt quite as pummelly or as kneady as I would have liked, but it was still very enjoyable and very relaxing. I nearly fell asleep in the middle of it.

After, I was outside waiting for Kay yapping to the male masseuse, this tall skinny fella who was absolutely hilarious. He kept laughing and covering his mouth in a cartoony ''hee hee' kind of motion and I was laughing my head off, whilest making up this imaginary boyfriend that I have back home. He probably doesn't miss me and is probably watching football or drinking beer (lol) and maybe (in response to his question) we might come back to India next year with a baby. (bwahahahahhaah) .
So anyways he was massuesing here for 6 months and as the seasonn here is nearly over, he'll head off to Chennai to work in a hospital there. It's his ambition to be a masseuse in Maritius and he is everyday checking the job section for jobs there. :D

After the massage we headed down to the beach for a swim. The rip current here is mega strong! and the waves were CRASHING into us. It was whopper. The water was warm and there were no fish heads in sight. Although a crab feckin bit my ankle, the jerk. Sheesh. I knew they were after me. I was nipped out of the water so I was. Had a bit of a sunbathe in my factor 50 (lol) and then went for the second shower of the day.

Met the girls then and off we went to what was the best yoga class of my life. It was so good. I didn't think I'd be able to do it in such heat, but the room was really cool and had lots of fans. It was very relaxing. the yoga teacher puit us in Savasnah for about 15 mins or so, then started the class with the usual hands up, over, leg back, into upward dog, downward dog and repeat. After that he went into some other cool moves between savasnahs and even put us all into the CRAB. I haven't done the crab in ages. Didn't think I was going to do it as I had said to him I had some lower back pain, but he came round and put us all into it one by one! Wowzers. It was amazing. So ace.

After yoga we had some well earned mojito's as the sun set and then a dinner of momos (dumplings) and hummus and naan. The lads had a big seafood platter with big prawns, barracuda, and squid. The sauce tasted delicious, but I wasn't really in the humour of taking the heads off prawns (my favourite activity after dodging live crabs).

Day 2 of paradise - spent the morning faffing around and spent the afternoon on the beach. It was glorious. Saw a guy paragliding right next to some power lines. SAFETY DANCE. Had mucho cocktails in the evening and hit the sack.

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Posted by squeakylee 00:34 Archived in India Tagged me beach cocktail verkala Comments (0)

GoAn ourra dat

The end of the trip! Simultaneously exciting yet tinged with sadness..

sunny 36 °C

Well on the way to the hotel in Goa, Charlie Charles Charles told us we'd been upgraded to a 4 star hotel. ANd I got a single room. Oh Joyous Day!
The hotel was fab and it had a pool. I got into my room and scrubbed the two weeks of Indian dirt off me and headed down to the pool to get langered with Clara, Charles and Corey. Clara and Charles are picking up the Irish slang nicely, so they are so they are. WILL YA!? etc..
2 English lads at the pool put on their Best of U2 album for me (lol) and we stayed by the pool all day swigging beer and swimming and sunbathing. God it was great. Trundling around is fun, but a day at the pool after 2 weeks of hectic travelling was fantastic. We lived it right up that day.

Later we went for dinner on Baja beach and then a few of us went out and got hammered in the local bars. Great craic til the next morning when I had the worst hangover in ages. Thanks be to jaysus I hadn't been getting drunk all the way through the trip. Sore head ahoy.

The next morning, waved good bye to the lovely Clara and Emily, texted Kay - who was living it up in the Hilton before her flight home, and hit the road to Palolem beach with John and Corey for a few days of beach, beer and bliss. Excited to have a bit of independent travel and time off from the hecticness. Sad to say goodbye to the gang as they were all lovely and great fun. Also a bit nervous about heading off on my own. xx

8)

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Posted by squeakylee 10:10 Archived in India Tagged beach goa pool baja Comments (0)

Bali - Echo Beach & Canngu

sunny 30 °C

So I spent a while hanging out on Echo Beach - a beach with construction work going on on it, and not the prettiest beach I've ever seen. But it had whopper waves! I met my gorgeous amazing Dutch roomie Sanne - who was a big bright bubble of boundless energy and enthusiasm. I loved her and wanted to be her instantly!
Sanne was hanging around Echo Beach to do a surfing camp on the 5th July. We arranged to meet later for drinks and dinner. Craig biked over to see me and we had some lunch at Echo Beach and then met Sanne and her 2 US dudes later for drinks and chats. The 2 US Guys were from California and had been looking after Sanne and bringing her out surfing with them. We had a grand auld chat and then myself and Sanne bid adieu to the lads and had another beer and some awesome chats on the rooftop of our hostel Echoland. Sanne was wise beyond her years and great fun.

Next day I rented a motorbike - my first time renting a moped/scooter/bike on my own. I was pretty nervous but once I figured out how to start the yoke (after sitting on it for 10 minutes and twisting keys and what not, I had to ask the guy in reception), I had a great time wobbling off up the road and out on the quieter roads of Echo Beach. It felt like THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! It was awesome. Ok so I was only going about 10kph but it was still ace. I ''zoomed'' off around Canngu and biked to another beach 5 minutes down the road. I dumped the bike and then walked up and down a few deserted beaches for an hour and a half before biking back to the gaff.

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Craig biked over to Echo and we went (me on the back of his bike as I didn't know if I was ready for the rambunctiousness that is the Bali Highways) to Tanah Lot (land in the sea) - a lovely old temple that sits on a large rock just off the shore. Tanah Lot is supposed to be the work of the 15th-century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

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We crossed a small patch of sea to get over to the temple, paid the Holi Man and got blessed with rice and drippy stuff. Then we mosied around and sat watching the sea til it was dark. There was no sunset but it was pretty beautiful. We biked it back to Echoland and met Sanne who had arranged for us all to go to Seminyak to meet the 2 US Guys and their pals for dinner. So off we went -with not a clue as to where we were going. The blind leading the blind.
We nearly got there so many times but once we got to where we thought the lads were, it started lashing rain, so we camped out in a pizza joint for a while. Then grabbed some food in a cheaper place nearby. Unfortunately after another hour of biking around, we still hadn't found the lads and then Sanne got a text to say they had gone home! ARRRGH. It was a hilarious disaster of an evening but we had a good nighttime tour of Bali and then had a beer on our rooftop!

The following day Sanne moved to the gaff where the US lads were and I decided to rent a bike again and try moped myself across the highways of Bali to meet Craig in Sanur. I thought it was only fair to give him a day off scooting and so off I set. I was going ok actually, manouevering myself in and out of the crazy Bali traffic. (No easy feat!) Anywho I pulled in to check my GPS and make sure I was going the right way (I wasn't) and then when I started up the bike again, I accelerated and braked at the same time and lost control of the bike. The back wheel whizzed out from under me, I fell over, whacked my chin off the ground and the bike fell on top of me. OOOPS. It wasn't sore or anything. It was mostly my pride that was damaged as lots of little Balinese people had witnessed my incompetence!! A small woman came over to help me pick up the bike and I took a few minutes to calm myself and steel myself to get back on the bike again and head back into the highway traffic!
So off I went again on my journey - probably not the easiest place to learn how to use a moped really - the Bali Highways - but sure where's the fun in learning somewhere easy. ;)

It took me bleedin ages to get to Sanur. On the way a policeman flagged me down and asked for my license and registration. I said I didn't have one. (I didn't) And he said I would have to pay a fine of 300,000. I said I only had 100,000 (I had this ready in a separate fining pocket - they fine foreigners so often, ye need a separate 'fine' purse) and paid the man. And off I went again. Another half an hour later, I found the Pineapple Backpackers joint at last. LOL. It was 4.20pm. I'd left at 2.30pm. BWAHAHAHAHAHA

Anyways I met Craig and we went for some nosh on the beach, before he had to chaperone me back across the Balinese Highways to Echo beach - IN THE DARK. It was certainly challenging. So much for giving poor Craig a day off motorbiking round the island. ;)

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FUNTIMES! :D

Posted by squeakylee 04:59 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali beach tanah lot echo canggu echoland Comments (0)

Gili Trawengan, Bali

sunny 34 °C

The speedboat over to the Gilis was awesome. We were on the top deck with a load of crazy Kuwaitis clapping and singing. We all got soaked by the waves splashing back over us! We were soppin'! The journey was cool though. The sea was fairly calm, the sky was gorgeously blue and we had lovely views of Bali as we bounced over the waves to Gili T.
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Once again, as soon as we jumped off the boat onto Gili T, a young man offered us a room and off we went to our new abode - a cool little joint in a nice garden on one of the backstreets. The young staff were nice but the old guy was kinda grumpy - probably cos it was Ramadan and they can't eat, drink, smoke or bump uglies from sunrise to sundown. Bummer! To my delight we couldn't hear the roosters from our room! YAHOOO! Also if we closed the bathroom door, we couldn't hear the mosque either. Ace! (No offense intended but it was VERY loud and was going at 4am and again at 9 am and all through the day. It gets pretty annoying).

Our gaff..

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We went straight to the beach and caught a few rays. Gili T is gorgeous with beautiful white sandy beaches, clear bright aquarmariney water, and clear blue deeper water a bit farther out.

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Gili T itself is a very small island - you can walk around it in an hour and a half! It's full of little restaurants, bars, cafes, homestays, shops, clinics, dive and surf schools and tons of men on the street corners selling you everything else you could possibly need. There are no motorbikes or cars on the island so everyone gets around on bicycles and by horse and cart.

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For the first week, the skies seemed to cloud over in the afternoon so we pretty much had to get up early to see the sun. I was dying to get out in the sun and fill in my farmer tan - i.e. colour in my torso! :D
Craig brought me out snorkelling a good few times the first week. The first time I went out, I was like a coughing, spluttering, panicky octopus but he was very patient and literally held my hand when we went out. :) He is quite the knowledgeable chap and pointed out loads of awesome fish and corally things to me.

He did however have a habit of swimming down and wiggling his hands at the very poisonous fish that hung out in the coral. ARRGH! I was desperately trying to swim away while he was having the craic with the lads. After the first couple of days, I kinda got better at the snorkelling but it still freaked me out when we hit a batch of jellyfish, or when we had to try and get back into shore over the coral in VERY shallow water. Craig told me to fill my lungs full of water so I would float a bit more and not bash myself off the coral. Needless to say, there was a lot of spluttering going on that day.
We did see some awesome stuff underwater though. There was loads of really pretty flowery coral, funky colourful fish and lots of lovely big turtles swimming along. After a few days snorkelling, I started to really like it! It was great fun, once my mask didn't leak, I was sound as a pound. We also got to see the cool Biorocks that the Balinese people have placed just offshore in a bid to encourage speedy coral growth. Just a few years ago, the lush coral reefs off Bali were dying out, bleached by rising temperatures, blasted by dynamite fishing, and poisoned by cyanide. But with the help of these Biorocks, the coral is now thriving on dozens of metal structures that they have put in the bay. The structures are fed with low-voltage electricity, which coral experts say is helping to revive the reef. The rocks are in the shape of flowers, aeroplanes and there's even an old desk and chair down there too. : )
Just as I was getting the hang of snorkelling, the next week the tide was out a lot and I didn't get out much. :/

The rest of our time in the Gilis was spent snorkelling, sunbathing, walking around the island, having a spliff at sunset, having the craic at Tir na nOg with various oddballs, reading, eating at the market, having a few beers and generally having holiday times.

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The time went by pretty fast and once again I had to leave before I got kicked out of the country. I said goodbye to my hero Craig who was staying behind to do his DiveMaster Course and headed off on the speedboat back to Bali.

(I collected my Om earrings on the way back. - happy days!)

Posted by squeakylee 22:23 Archived in Indonesia Tagged sunset bali beach surf holiday gili t Comments (0)

Bali Round Up

sunny 35 °C

Had a great time in beautiful Bali..

Went kayaking and met my hero Craig in Sanur..

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Went partying and got robbed in Kuta...

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Sunbathed, went to Tanah Lot, rented a moped for the first time ever, fell off said moped, got fined by the police for being on said moped, met the lovely Sanne, and hung out with Craig more in Echo Beach, Canngu.

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Did some yoga and saw lots of art, birds, temples, weird statues and monkeys in Ubud..

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Sunbathed, snorkelled with giant turtles, read, walked and relaxed in the sun on the beautiful island of Gili T.

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and generally had a great holiday, at the end of my em.. holidays... :D

TERIMA KASIH BALI. Thanks for all the sun and injuries..

Posted by squeakylee 18:22 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali beach up round ubud echo sunbathe sanur snorkelled Comments (0)

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