I finished my short bike tour of Bali! Luckily, no flat tires or any real problems. People were always super nice and smiled at me all the time. I learned a very basic set of bahasa, and combined with some hand motions, communication wasn’t a problem. The penultimate day of the tour, Mira and I planned to meet up south of Padang Bay and spend the night on a black sand beach.
It took a while to meet up because when a white person asks for directions, the locals will always point some direction, not always the correct way! I imagine that I’m pretty difficult to understand, though! We finally meet up at a park where I’m drinking a coconut drink. Mira rolls up and starts slicing up mangos for a snack. She’s mango crazy – we bought a few kilos of the best mangos you can imagine at the market.
We slowly make our way to the beach , only to find massive amounts of garbage swept up from the ocean. Sometimes the ocean gives the trash back. We found a surf retreat resort not far from our entry point, and they cleaned the beach directly in front of the resort. Strategically, we set up out tent very close by and went for a swim to cool off from the hot day. I’ve been lucky with no rain both times I camped.
The next day, we ride back to Ubud in blistering sun. I got news of my holiday working visa in New Zealand and was in a great mood when we rolled into Ubud. I spent the next day relaxing and saying my goodbyes to Mira and Ari and took a shuttle us to the airport.
Flights to New Zealand go through Australia, so I decided to spend a few days in Perth before I start my job at the end of the week.
Perth is in Western Australia and the entire area is a stark contrast to Bali. It is much drier here, drinking water is a precious commodity. Population density is very low. Prices for everything is high – the cost for two days of mediocre food will buy an entire month of high quality Balinese food. Buildings are drab and uninspired with no hint of the craftsmanship I got accustomed to in Bali.
The distances around Perth are so large and the sun so strong that I opted for a cheap rental car instead of the usual bicycle. I filled up the gas tank for $75 after touring around the south of Perth. Beautiful beaches, pastures, and many national forests. I saw more kangaroos on the back roads than cars!
Only one way to go…..
Stirling Range, Western Australia
When in Australia….