Life in Bali

Ever met those people who love moving? Nope, me neither. Although to clarify I love the unpacking and setting up part, it’s just the packing up bit and the house looking a schmozzle (Mum’s word for when I suspect she wants to say something far worse). Moving to Bali via plane was funny and occasionally complicated as it was. 8 suitcases all up…not including the subsequent top up trips I’ve done for imagined essentials.

But moving to an island off the coast of Bali means moving your stuff by boat. So first you do trips with suitcases and small bags and because I always go to Lembongan with Marlin, they are used to me bringing over an assortment of bags and boxes. This trip they charged me a bit extra for everything but they did carry the whole lot from the car to the boat. Side note: always a good idea, and polite, to tip the guys who carry your bags to the boat. It’s heavy work on hot sand under a hotter sun then wading to a boat anchored just off the beach. Not easy I’d suggest and I’m forever grateful they help me.

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It’s not always a smooth crossing to Lembongan, not through any fault of the boat. But it’s a big ocean and oceans enjoy bumpy waves. So choose your day and even time to cross if you are carrying breakables or just suspectible to seasickness. Three tricks I’ve learnt from Lembongan experts, including The American: wear headphones and listen to music because if you can’t hear the waves on the boat, it’s actually really calming and you might find yourself falling asleep; go early in the morning because the tides haven’t woken up yet (yes that’s not the technical reason but I like it); and sit at the very back of the boat because it’s not nearly as bumpy. But take it from someone who is actually quite nervous on boats and for years got seasick, this is a nice ride to an island. I fall asleep frequently and love waking up about 20 minutes later to see the beautiful beach of Mushroom Bay ahead. Still takes my breath away every single time.

So the last trip over the Marlin boys were brilliant. Not only did they load my stuff on the boat at the Sanur end, they unloaded it at the Lembongan end and piled it all up on their truck/bus and delivered me and my stuff to my front door. Chatting with me the whole way on the drive, telling me all the good local warungs and talking about the view. Easily the nicest ‘removalists’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. If you ever find yourself moving to Lembongan…well let’s just say, I highly recommend travelling with Marlin when you go to Lembongan. Great new boats in awesome condition and the captain and crew are brilliant. In fact if you want a hand booking tickets over, let me know and I’ll wander down the beach and sort it out for you.

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The next part is where things get interesting. While Marlin are great with suitcases and bags, the big stuff like furniture needs to go on a jukung which is kind of a flat bottomed boat. So everything has to be wrapped in cardboard then in plastic or even bubble wrap. Because it’s an open boat and things will get sea sprayed. So on Friday the truck arrives at 6am to collect things going to the beach, for porters to load onto the jukung which then takes a few hours to get to Lembongan, where more porters will unload it all and load up a truck and bring it to me. Again, when you are getting porters involved to help with your bags or surfboards, make sure you tip them. More than just being courteous, I think it shows respect to people doing a really tough job. The photo below…the two Marlin boys carried the whole lot on their shoulders or heads. I struggled wheeling one of the suitcases up the sandy driveway.

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Tonight while I write, I’m taking a break from packing . I’ve sorted out what is staying in Sanur, what is going, and have packed spices and plates next to blankets and books. And The American is making mexican for dinner while we drink my favourite Bali wine, Plaga. Bali is one of those special places where anything is possible and even moving house is an adventure. The photo at the top of this blog is the view from my ‘office’ in Lembongan…hence why there’s been not much writing of late!

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