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8 April 2012 3,983 views 12 Comments


have had the most smashing sleep • breakfast, that is to say, i breakfast on rice, eggs & salad, and the mosquitoes breakfast on me • change • have some massive heart attack that my yoga course is starting today but it turns out the date was wrong on my watch • walk to beach • chat to lifeguard • sun bed • say ‘no’ to a lot of vendors • swim • first ocean swim for maybe ten months. tell ya what, am a bit nervous. but it’s ace • get past the three breaks, that third one is massive, properly massive • head south, turn around, head north, i am most definitely in a rip, bugger, i am out • chat to surfers hanging out the back, is cool • get my timing just right and swim back to shore inbetween sets • body board please • smash around in the first set, is good n fun but man, it’s filthy, like playing in the gutter • make a play for the second set, catch a wave, no, wave catches me. am thrown away and my pants come half off, sorry everyone • actually this beach is gross, i’ve seen more condoms in the last day than in the rest of my life • sun bed • reading • got that salted, crispy feeling, Lise would say i’m like pork crackling • back • shower • pack • walk up the road • head for the beach and find somewhere to hang • Beach Lounge is cool – squishy cushions and big sofas outside, wide bar, good juices, WiFi, oh christ, i’m supporting this western development thing aren’t i • pineapple juice • send some emails, do some writing • decide to change my plans. i was heading to Ubud today but i’m not gonna. i’ll stay on the beach – but a different beach – for another night instead • very, very carefully book a place to stay • salad club sandwich • more writing • soda water and fresh lime • the waitor and i watch the YouTube video of the Beach Lounge September pool party. s’a whole lotta teenagers there… • another soda water • in case it’s not already obvious i’m trying to stay off the booze
battery going • couple more emails • battery done • wow, been here four hours, maybe five • taxi • nap • Sanur • i came here briefly when i visited Bali in 2010, thought i’d see what the east coast is like now • check in • arrange for transport to Ubud tomorrow, i/e/ argue about price for transport to Ubud • reckon i must have done alright, the bellboy/ porter type guy leans in: ‘you have got very good price there. you did very well.’ badabing • change • go for run up the beach • this is what i walked when i was here last, there was a footpath all along the coastline, and, yup, it’s still here • the beach is busy • my feet are feeling this, all the little toe, ankle, feet bones. i don’t know if it’s cos my feet are/ were swollen, or a long time since i’ve worn the Vibrams or long time since i’ve run on the soft sand but yeow • decide to trade the soft sand for the hard sand, except it turns out to be wet soft sand and i’m sinking up to my ankles, smart move • return to the path, and some grassy bits • ah, things look familiar – the outdoor market and the BBC cafe • been going fifteen minutes and am pouring with sweat • the full moon rises from behind a pile of cumulus clouds, it’s incredible, glowing orange and reflecting across the still ocean • the last time i saw the moon rise was on my birthday in Thailand with Dad, good memories • about turn • i’ve run past some seriously nice hotels, enjoy people! • back • straight in pool with full kit on • shower • change • dinner at the Watering Hole, it’s not flash but it’s good • several rounds of soda and fresh lime, tuna satay (omg omg omg, soooo good), rice, veg, er just a light meal then • read some more about design & resources, there’s a very interesting bit about lawns – why do we fertilise, moisturise, encourage & tend to them only to cut them as short as possible when they, god forbid, grow! point • home • hmm, it got late • do some brief research on whether too much soda water is bad for you • sleep


ergh, i was meant to wake up to see sunrise but i didn’t • get up and get ready anyway • walk down to beach, the sun is beaming through the trees, very inviting • the beach is busy with people, it’s nice, there are kids splashing in the little waves • have a paddles and a wander then sit on the beach • very odd, get asked to be in a photo with Balinese people ‘don’t move, just smile’. er.? this happens seven times. er..? someone says it’s because i ‘look so sweet’, again, er • wander back • blimey, have i already drunk a litre and half of water • not really hungry (might be the water!) but go for breakfast because i need to get on with things • eggs, rice, fruit, coffee • mas papaya (this reference only works if you know any Colombian music..) • have another wtf moment.. it’s 7.30, not 8.30, my Mac and phone clocks are wrong. how? how? am i such a loser? but also, yaay, i did sort of make sunrise! • sit on verandah drinking earl grey, doing work & listening to Baden Powell • change • back to beach • ocean swim • this is a good one, the water is cooler, refreshing, there’s a lot of debris but it’s mostly plants & coconut shells, less plastic than the west side • rash vest drama – sleeves aren’t long enough to cover the chaffing from running last night • nice swim though, and thirty minutes, that’s alright • coconut water, hack hack slurp • corn on the cob. is confusing to me that a nation with such bad dentistry enjoy such crunchy veg.. • back • shower • pack • chillin on the verandah, work etc • the hotel massage lady asks if i want anything, no no, oh, foot treatment, well, yeah • am amused to be having a foot treatment, in Bali, while pinging work emails. and all on Easter Sunday, ha ha • done, ooo lovely, good tip • taxi • ride to Ubud is quicker than i remember, glad i bargained this one down • arrive at homestay, i’ll be here for four weeks • off the main road i have to take a steep path then a narrow path alongside a little aquaduct, through some jungly garden and then zing, am there • there is Balinese music playing from somewhere in the jungle, bells, xylophones, i don’t know what else but it’s very ‘typical’ • Nirwa Homestay is proper Balinese, all stonework buildings, giant-leaved foliage everywhere, rice paddies on the doorstep, a host with a massive smile and glasses of watermelon juice who pronounces my name ‘Lucky’, no argument from me • unpack, drink juice • meet my neighbour, she is German, traveling around, here to do Ashtanga and she’s also doing a nutritionist course online, i think we’ll be talking a fair bit.. • walk into town • investigate hiring a bike.. i tell the dude i want something for a month and he takes me out the back to the ‘good bikes’ ha ha. get a decent, front suspension mountain bike and the dude pulls a face cos i’ve selected his ‘best bike’. ha ha again. see you in a month! • ah, love being on wheels • lunch. went past this cafe a lot when i was here last time but didn’t come in • soba noodles, veg, ponzu sauce, black coffee, happy happy days • chat to the lady next to me, she’s a US diplomat, this is ridiculously interesting, we talk politics (i can’t tell the time but i can talk politics with a diplomat..?) • oops, talked too long, opening ceremony for yoga course – the entire reason i’m here – starts in one minute • bike, pedal, park, lock, run • fly up to ceremony, sweat n sunglasses everywhere • they haven’t started yet so that’s cool, grab a drink and go to sit in the circle with everyone else • nope, fkd that up. sat with the teachers, in the important teacher bit of the circle, in fact took a teacher’s cushion from under her feet and sat on it (thought it was for sharing). retreat, humbly, to students’ part of circle where my – now very obvious – cushion and welcome pack await me • Sarah, the Australian girl i am sitting next to thinks this is hilarious, not tragic and so she is now my friend • opening ceremony • it’s an amazing start, just amazing • we do introductions, from teachers, practitioners and students, there’s a lot of information, we go through the schedule – it’s brutal, we talk a lot about how challenging this journey is going to be (sounds like Masterchef) • i am excited but nervous, really nervous • Yoga Barn is still so beautiful, and we’re in a brand new building, first people to use it, with lots of breeze and jungle-ness around • the spirit of the group is wonderful, there’s a lot of energy, even when we’re finished no-one wants to leave • the session finishes with a puja to ‘clear the way’, a puja to Ganesh, it’s a wonderful experience • Uma, who leads the puja has the most powerful voice: deep and rhythmic, and sometimes when people ask her things she just laughs in response, it’s awesome, we’re all captivated by her • even if i didn’t go back to one more day of the course it’s already been incredible, i love that feeling • i’m a bit caught, on the one hand i feel like this experience is quite private, some of it embarrassing almost. on the other hand i feel like i want to share all of it, Avatar-style as a video diary. we’ll see what happens • ride my bike back through the massive amounts of traffic • realise i’m hungry (well, i did do an extra hour today!) • tuna, rice & veg, soda & lime, same same but different • i eat so fast the staff are staring but i want to get home, i have to get up at 5.30 tomorrow! • ride my bike alongside the viaduct with my headtorch on because it’s pitch black • home • shower • faff around • writing • nervous panic • bed

some brilliant things people have said to me in the last couple of days:
‘where have you been?’ when i’m wearing a bikini, have wet hair and dries salt patches on my face
‘transport?’ as i’m walking in the opposite direction down a one way street
‘you want tattoo miss?’ my reply: ‘dude, it’s not even ten o’clock’
‘transport?’ as i’m walking into the dead of the dead end
‘yes. maybe later?’ brilliant, just brilliant
‘transport?’ as i’m walking along with a bike

long morning shadows

lovely morning light

hack hack, coconut water (i pay a fortune for this in Wholefoods!)


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