Day #103 - Hard Rock & Soft Sand

An early start today- 4am wake up call so that we could catch our 7:15 flight to Bali. 

Transit days as I've said before are an ugly mix of excitement (at a new destination) and excruciating boredom (queue here, wait there, sit still for hours, security checks, passport control...). 

Having said that, Sydney airport was one of the best and the security checks were one of the most efficient (or lax!) that we've experienced (less than 10 mins). The duty free shopping was its own shopping mall - huge. Not that we wanted anything other than a fridge magnet! 

The flight itself was nothing to write about but was a bit arduous since it was a budget airline and a six hour flight with no onboard entertainment did test our resourcefulness!

On arrival at Denpasar we navigated the visa entry system and e-customs declaration which were all new experiences for us. Every country has different ways of doing things and you have to be vigilant to ensure you do things the right way! 

We are staying at the Hard Rock Hotel which is not too far from the airport - just 6km. However, the taxi ride there took about 40 mins since the traffic here is just one slow moving traffic jam. I felt like I was back at Disney on one of those slow moving Omnimover rides - crawling along in neverending line of cars, snaking off in the distance, with scooters zipping in and out of the vehicles just to keep everyone on their toes. 
Our hotel is stunning. It boasts the largest free-form pool in Bali along with a spa, gym, restaurants as well as regular entertainment. It's quite a different type of hotel for us which is great since we love variety. 
For our first afternoon, we just took it easy with a lovely post-flight swim in the amazing pool to relax followed by a light pool-side lunch. Since today was also one of the hotter days (hitting about 32°C) we retired to our air conditioned room and watched a film (The Batman). 
We then ventured out to the beach which is just over the road from our hotel. This is quite unlike any of the beaches we have experienced before with rows of traders selling all manner of goods and pop up bars with crates for tables. The area was very busy with locals and tourists alike. Everyone seemed in good spirits which was nice and gave it a bit of a party atmosphere. We then crossed back over into the main streets which rapidly turned into a grid-pattern labyrinth of roads, crammed with shops, scooters and cars. Every inch of space was being used and every establishment owner was calling us over to try and entice us in.
It definitely signaled a change in culture for us. Everywhere we have been has been "western" but here the Indonesian culture is dominant (and rightfully so). It's going to take a bit of getting used to!
A flamingly good evening meal back at the hotel signaled the end of our first day in Bali. We have so much to explore here and we're very excited to start. Bring it on!