11.30 PM @ Ayu Beach Inn, Kuta Bali

So, seems like we have reached the twilight of my Bali trip… spent the whole day today at the Bali safari and Marine Park.. had a blast…

the park is located about 40 kms from Kuta and it provides free shuttle services to and from various points in Kuta… the bus left at 9.30 am and we reached the park at around 11 am thanks to the awful traffic of Bali.. Now when we read the word safari, we imagine the animals in their natural habitats… roaming around freely, and being themselves… you would be disappointed immensely if you expect the safari of this park to be like the real thing.. I did the same mistake..  the 45 minute ride which they market as “safari” is actually at best a bus ride through a zoo… where the animals have their small areas and they are restricted to it… there are fine electrical wires which keeps these animals in their enclosures, making it quite similar to anyother zoo.. the park is also a resort, so you would see, at times, people hanging out at the pool side of the hotel while you are on your safari… it was bloody awful… however, we did see a lot of tigers and lions and bears and stuff… but it was nothing special because it isnt a safari, if the animals cant roam around freely…

The park also hosts a bunch of animal exhibitions which are enjoyable… but quite corny… there is one very famous show called the Agung Show, which is basically an Indonesian folk tale turned into a play…with special effects and stuff like that.. heavily advertised all over Bali… it was nice… however, I fell asleep during the first half of it..but thankfully woke up for the fighting bit… after getting back from the park, I had my first dinner at a nice sea food restaurant.. then shopped for some souvenirs and had my final dinner at Made’s Warung…

Now as I sit here and think about my stay here at Bali, I cant help but feel that the Balinese are some of the most friendliest and nicest guys I have ever met…the guy at the food court will make the food as spicy as he can to ensure that I dont find it tasteless… the guy at the travel desk will call me out from his office and ask me about my day.. the guy at  the nearby shop will chat me up about Shah Rukh Khan and bollywood… he asked me to sing a song at one point… the  people here are just awesome…they always have a smile on their faces and always ready for a conversation…

Its very easy to hate Bali… on every corner here at Kuta, shady guys will ask you if you want a girl, or marijuana, or mushrooms, or coke or whatever… you can hate the fact that there are so many tourists around and you cant get a moment of peace and quiet… you can also hate the hundreds of guys asking you if you need transport every time you step on to the street or the shopkeepers who would pester you to enter their shop for the same bloody things like  shirts or beer mugs or shit like that every other shop in Bali sells..but if you look beyond all that,  the art and culture of Ubud, the mystifying beauty of Kintamani and Lake Batur, the surfer paradises like Kuta and Nasa Dua… or just have a conversation with the locals… you will realise that Bali is trully all that it is made out to be… it is the land of the mellow…

Dont know whether I will come back here again, but one thing is for sure.. Bali will never be forgotten… hopefully the Hard Rock Cafes, Starbucks, Mc Donalds, Oberois will not take over this beautiful island and strip it off its rich heritage and culture..

 

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