Our first night of our backpacking trip started in style, thanks to Sean’s treat of a swanky hotel. He booked us a night in the Kuta Seaview Boutique Resort. It was strange to drive down the familiar Kuta Beach Road and pull up outside a fancy hotel, then get out with our big backpacks to be greeted by an attentive porter. I felt like I shouldn’t even be allowed in, me being the smelly backpacker that I am inside.
It also felt strange to be escorted so politely down a tropical path framed with lush green leaves to our room, which was more like a chalet nestled in the tropical green and the deliciously moist air, thick with the sound of crickets and mozzies and Indonesia-ness.
We played it cool as the guy showed us around the massive room. The four-poster bed, the towel shaped like an elephant, the huge bathroom, and the two extremely fancy chocolates lounging on the blindingly white plump pillows were all making me squeal with excitement inside, but outside we kept it together until the man left.
Daaaaaummm this was mighty fine.
As soon as we had finished expressing our excitement, there was another knock on the door. We opened it to be greeted by a tray of two bright red drinks housing large chunks of fresh aloe. Again, we kept it cool until he left, and then cheered and toasted and felt like VVIPS!
We took our drinks out to our gorgeous porch and relished the warm air that smelt so familiar, and so fantastic. I was overcome with emotion as I thought of my friend A, who had been my travel partner here the last time. It felt wrong to be there without her.
Despite our fabulous surroundings, I was eager to head outside, as I didn’t really feel like we were really in Bali. I needed to hit those familiar streets to believe that I was really finally travelling again.
Sure enough, within seconds of stepping outside, I had been offered bracelets from two children, been accidentally pushed off the curb by a drunk, overweight Australian and spotted a gang of messy, sunburnt ladies on a hen’s party. I could smell incense, clove cigarettes and the salty air. Ah, it was good to be back.
We headed to a Circle K, where I got emotional over the familiar sound of the door buzzer, as well as the familiar biscuits (sad, I know!) and bought a couple of drinks and some popcorn.
We went back to the porch and relaxed, and then retired to the decadent bed where, exhausted, we watched MTV like zombies before falling into a heavy sleep.
The next morning, we left our luxury abode and the damp warmth engulfed us as soon as we stepped outside. We headed to the restaurant for our breakfast, where a big buffet awaited us. We gave our room number to the woman and then learned that the breakfast wasn’t included as we had thought. My heart jumped a little at yet another unexpected expense. We couldn’t exactly just leave, so we took a seat.
I ordered an omelette and was delighted to see it came packed with cheese, veg, chilli and a lot of garlic. Mmmm. I also got over-excited by the bright pink guava juice and almond croissant. When I left Australia, I thought I had said goodbye to my sweet, crumbly friends forever.
When we were leaving, there was an awkward moment when the woman ran after us, calling loudly, and then escorted, or marched, us back to sign our name in a book. It was pretty embarrassing as she made us look like we were trying to do a runner on the bill or something, but we had known it was going to be billed to the room.
We went to get ready for the beach, and walked the two minutes to the hot sand. The wide stretch of beach decorated with stacks of standing surfboards looked the exact same. We had a quick dip before heading back to check out of the Kuta Seaview Resort, and start the real backpacking.