Going to Padang Bai, Bali.
For the entire ride to Padang Bai the driver of the share van kept asking me, “are you sure you want me to drop you off there?” He told me to get off in Amed. To stay there. As we passed Candi Dasa he pointed it out as another option. When we arrived at my destination he again asked if I was sure. He told me to get a cup of coffee. To think about it. He offered to drive me back somewhere else.
I was getting agitated and said, forcibly, “I’m sure,” and got out of the van.
Truth was, I had no idea where I wanted to go, and I wasn’t really sure Padang Bai would be the right choice. But I wanted to get out of Lovina. I wanted to get away from the tour guide who knocked on the door to my room the day before to see what I was up to.
I knew I didn’t want to go to Amed because he had wanted to take me there and I was worried for some reason that he would track me down. So I half-heartedly picked Padang Bai because I had no idea where I wanted to go and my guidebook made it seem like a travelers hub more popular than the driver thought it to be.
I was getting kind of sick of Bali. None of the beaches I’d seen were that nice. And Amed’s black sand didn’t appeal to me. The touts were aggressive. The men exhausting. I just needed to get somewhere where I could figure out what to do with my next ten days in Bali.
Part of me wanted to just get out. Cut my losses and move up my onward ticket. Part of me thought to just go back to Kuta and waste away my time there. Part of me wanted to go to the Gili Islands. Because everyone upon everyone told me they were amazing, but the boat there was expensive, all of the accommodation I found online was either booked solid or over $100 a night, and the guidebook seemed to suggest that during high season you had to have a booking if you wanted to stay there.
I had ruled it out as an option.
I hemmed and hawed all morning in Padang Bai, changing my mind by the minute, staring at the tourist boards that had all of the options of where I could go.
And finally, I decided to say fuck it all.
And booked a ticket to Gili for the next morning.
I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go.
I asked the lady who worked at our hotel if I’d be able to find cheap accommodation if I just showed up, and she assured me I would. I figured in any case, I could always stay one night somewhere way too pricy and just come back.
So I enjoyed the rest of my day in Padang Bai, visiting the blue lagoon, eating fresh seafood meals, preparing myself for my next stop…