Crossing the boarder into Cambodia was a cultural shock. Even with that experience behind me I was not prepared for Indonesia or, more accurately, Bali. The flight from Bangkok to Bali was uneventful, which is saying something when you're flying an airline sporting 3 crashes in 4 months, and I arrived at the Denpasar Airport just itching to get to the beach and get in some surfing. Being the only person on the flight needing a visa made the process the least painful of all the boarder crossings thus far. I was standing at the immigration desk fully grooving to the music they had blaring in the airport, when it hit me just what I was listening to; Good Charlotte - 'Keep Your Hands Off My Girl'. Welcome to Bali. I was stunned at how unlike my mental image Indonesia was and it was one of those moments you think is funny- really funny - so you turn to tell someone that you/they are experiencing a very funny moment and you realise you are completely alone (except for a crusty looking immigration officer) it could have killed the moment for me; but I was loving it too much.
Arriving in Bali, I was alone for the first time in 5 weeks, I found a cheap guesthouse and a cheap board shop and went straight to the beach. I think I was in Bali for a total of 4 hours before I was in the water and paddling out back. The water was warmer than the showers I'm used to and, even now, I had a hard time getting used to the feel of my board on my skin; I can't imagine putting on my full-body wetsuit again when I get home. Everything was great until I headed out for dinner with some fellow travellers and stubbed my big toe. This wouldn't be a big deal except I keep hitting the same toe; my nail is falling of, the skin is super tender and all I need to do is bump it and the new skin rips off and I'm back to square one. I decided to keep it dry and let it close a bit before going back in the water. (The water here is unclean, while you paddle out you end up with plastic bags on your hands and they wrap around your legs while you sit on your board; I lovingly call it 'Kuta seaweed') After 3 days I wrapped my toe in plastic and headed out again. It was great; I got 15 days of surfing in before I did it again, I should stop wearing sandals and invest in some steel-toed boots. Anyways; the point of the whole toe story is to say that I've decided to change my flights and fly to India one week early. I'm hoping to fly out tomorrow which means I'll be meeting up with Robyn, David and Stephan in less than 72 hours! Can't wait to see some familiar faces.