Tag Archives: bali

Never run in Bali after 8am…

Life has been so crazy and busy lately, some things in life have unfortunately taken a back seat. I tried my hardest to do everything at once and not compromise, but of course that isn’t how life works or how humans function. I like to think I’m no mortal human, and can do everything and anything, but that unfortunately isn’t the case.

I’ve been sick about three or four times this year. I never get sick. But that is my body telling me to slow down, stop working so hard, stop doing a hundred extra curriculars, stop running 60km a week, and sleep! I got sick quite recently, right before going on vacation, from again doing too much, trying to do everything without compromise. I had all the normal cold symptoms, plus foggy thinking (helpful at work right?). But no time for a sick day when I’m going on vacation and have a two page to do list to complete prior to departing for Bali.

The incredible thing was, once I reached Bali and slept a solid 10 hours, I had recovered. It was as if I had never been sick at all. Poster girl for perfect health. Fully rested.

The only negative part of my sleep in was that I had planned on going for a run on my first morning in Bali. Again, running had been an item that got cut when busy and sick, and I was excited about getting out and exploring and also getting the legs turning over again. But, by the time I got my act together it was 8:30am and 28 degrees. The sun was out in all its glory and not a cloud to be seen.

Still, i was determined. I am running. I will run and I will enjoy it and I will survive and it will be fun (she says with gritted teeth).

For the first 2km, that was the case. I ran from our villa down to Echo Beach. It was relatively quiet, and was nice to get a feel for the neighborhood. Villas, rice paddies, small shops…dogs and young kids, and the heat was present, but tolerable.

I made it down to Echo, and stopped to take a few photos. 

Stopping to take photos was a mistake. Within 30 seconds the heat had really hit me, I was sweating profusely, and wanted to stop. But no, I wasn’t going to give in. I turned around, turned down a side street to do a loop, and kept going. As I ran it got hotter and hotter, my legs wanted to move less and less, and I started to look less like a glamorous westerner effortlessly running in her cute lululemon gear in 28 degree heat on vacay putting all passerbyers to shame, and started to look like a deranged, dehydrated person dripping in her own sweat, a dumb westerner who thought 28 degrees was nothing, or someone who lost a bet and this was my punishment (or all three combined).

Luckily I found a road taking me back to Jl  Padang Linjong (our street) that was slightly in the shade, not too busy and which only motorbikes really used given its narrow width (though I did see one car!).

I cut my run short – I had no goal but thought 5km was just enough. I couldn’t bear to be out any longer. I got back to the villa and had never been so happy to see a swimming pool. In I went, running clothes, socks and all. I was in such a rush to cool down I even forgot to take the 40,000 or so rupiah out of my pocket that I had taken in the case of emergency. 

The water had never felt so good. And I had never felt so dumb. Don’t run after 8am on Indonesia Jen. What were you thinking? Unless you want a sure way to dehydration and heat stroke. Lucky for me I decided 5km was better than 10, and was easily able to return to the villa (I hadn’t gone too far). I still had a fresh coconut in the fridge, perfect to quench my thirst and help the body recover. And it was a wonderful start to the day, good to get my legs moving again, to run again,  even at a slower (5:17) pace than I would usually run 5km. But best not push myself too hard, that’s when the body rebels and says stop. A short run, a chance to explore the neighborhood by foot, and a opportunity to clear my head and start the day fresh 😊


Bali – beach, monkeys and a foam bar

After walking all up and down Singapore, I decided that Bali had to begin with relaxation. Swimming, sunbathing, reading, and lounging on the beach. Lots of rest – that is, indeed, what the doctor ordered! I wasn’t quite sure how El was going to handle Bali – having never been to Asia (apart from Singapore), Bali is a good introduction to Asia, however it is still quite a harsh introduction in terms of crazy traffic, lots of people, and shop owners grabbing at you trying to get you to buy their items any way possible. I have experienced many a time the ‘hello darling’, ‘morning price’ and ‘sunset price’ – but we experienced new methods. “Sexy price” and “Lady Gaga price”. They then got more inventive with “Hey I know you” or “What happened to your knee? Can I touch?”. It is all part of the fun though.

I forgot how beautiful a place Bali is though. I dislike Kuta for the fact that it is so touristy and the locals are very in your face and try to get money any way that they can. I prefer untouched Indonesia – such as more rural parts of Bali, Lombok, or my favorite place so far in Indonesia – Labuan Bajo in Flores. The people there are Christian, and you can walk the entire town in 5 minutes. There are no big stores – all roadside stalls. When I was there walking the street, a little girl grabbed my arm and just looked at me, and when I asked her name, she turned away as was too shy. In Bali however, you get touched by shopkeepers all the time as they try to pull you into their store. And the shopkeepers put on Australian accents to try to entice you – NOT a way to entice a New Zealander. Neither is chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie” – damn those cheap flights between Bali and Australia – Kuta is overflowing with Australians left right and center!

Anyway, in our 2 days in Bali I made sure we did the typical must dos – we ate at a warung, walked the beach, visited the memorial and had a beer (or two) on Kuta beach for sunset. We also went out to bars and clubs – another must do that honestly I had never done myself. It was…an experience. This one bar just kept going and going – more and more rooms appeared, and more levels appeared as the night went on. There was a live band where you could sing Karaoke (I rocked “Can you feel the love tonight”), a group of guys with bongo drums chanting (I may have been dragged up to play the drums not once but twice – my palms are still bruised 3 days later!), two big stages with cages on them to dance in, and a foam pit for wrestling. When in Bali, right?

El also experienced being a celebrity in Asia – locals asking to be in photos with her. I always find this in Yogyakarta, but never in Bali, where there are so many tourists!! However within 10 minutes of sitting down with our beers on Pantai Kuta (Kuta Beach) Indonesians started to come up and sheepishly ask if they could take a photo with us. I was then asked a few more times, and more and more people kept joining in on the photo and trading cameras. God knows how many random facebook photo albums I am in from all these photos that Indonesians take of me!

We also managed to see monkeys without them going crazy and attacking us or trying to steal our stuff. We got a taxi to take us to Pura Uluwatu, about an hour south of Kuta, which is a temple on the cliffside. It is 70 meters above the Indian Ocean, and the ocean beneath is very popular with surfers. The temple itself is pretty average, but the views were absolutely beautiful and although we missed out on the kecak (a Balinese dance), we heard the chanting, and got to walk around the temple more after the sun had gone down – resulting in magical views that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

As you can see, the monkeys were pretty awesome: