That Time I Left Part of My Toe in Bali: Bingin

By Unknown - July 19, 2016

After our many hour debacle getting back from Gili, we arrived to Bingin Beach in the afternoon…well a parking lot in Bingin where we were told we then had to walk to our airbnb, with no directions or cell service. All we knew was to look for signs for “Chocky’s Place.” Helpful. We began our trek and luckily, at the first intersection, ran into some Aussie surfers who told us how to get to the beach via a right, straight, then left at the faded red spray paint. Oookay. So we set off and were able to follow their instructions. Finally we came across some signs for “Chocky’s” and descending approximately 150 poorly made “stairs” down to our beachfront airbnb. Definitely a workout, but definitely worth it. Our airbnb was a small hut on stilts just feet from the crashing surf. We introduced ourselves to our host, Chocky, and the other guests, all of whom were ripped Aussie surfers who were watching footage of themselves surfing the “gnarly” waves #hang10??  Out of our element would be a proper descriptor for how we felt. 

sick waves, bruh
But we settled in and then went off to explore our little cliffside village, ending up at Rocky’s the “hotel” café next door to get some food because we hadn’t eaten in god knows how long and were #hangry. Exhausted, we returned to our airbnb to chill for a bit. Next thing we knew, it was 9pm and we were starving again so we walked along the beach to find some dinner. No luck. Bingin is definitely not the place to go for nightlife. Every restaurant (more like shack) was closed minus one where all they had left was squid…hard pass. Defeated, we returned home and devoured multiple granola bars each #balibody2k16. 
The next morning I dragged John to this beachfront “warung” (restaurant/shack) called Kelly’s that I had seen on Instagram. I got a pitaya bowl which is sort of like an acai bowl but made from dragonfruit. Topped with granola, coconut, and fresh fruit, it tasted as good as it looked. With an iced coffee on the side I was truly in paradise. Afterward, we asked a local surf company if we could take surf lessons with them, and the guy said to wait 30 minutes for the tide to come in so we put down our towels in the 95 degree blazing sun and sweated out everything in our bodies only to find out that it still wasn’t safe enough for beginners to surf, but that we should come back the next day. Accepting the fact that it was for the best and we definitely couldn’t handle the 10 foot waves and coral-laden sand, we decided to lie out and tan/burn. John wasn't into this so he went back to the airbnb while I stuck it out for another 45 minutes before feeling like I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion. 
all of this, though
After cooling down at the airbnb for a little, we decided to go swimming. This is where it all went downhill. To remind you, Bingin is a beach for extreme surfers with huge waves, strong currents, and a shallow reef that extends out for a while before dropping off. Perfect place to swim!!! No. But, hey, we had to swim in the Indian Ocean once so off we went. Even walking into the water was hard, as we slipped on rocks and dead coral, and got pushed over by the current. But we managed and swam around for a bit, aka John splashing me and trying to dunk me (ty, ty), before working our way back to shore. I’m not the most coordinated person to begin with so this was quite difficult, but I eventually got out and thought I was in one piece. That is until I looked down at my feet after walking for a bit and realized my pinkie toe was covered in red sand and I’d left a trail of blood behind me. I washed off my toe and it was instantly covered in red again. Awesome. So I hobbled back to the airbnb and climbed the myriad of stairs to our room, washed my toe in the shower and inspected it, only to learn I had literally taken a pretty deep chunk of it out. John was more concerned than I was and told me I needed stitches. Am I my father’s daughter or what?? Not knowing what to do because I was in a tiny cliffside village in a tiny third world island, I vetoed the idea of going to a hospital and threw on some Neosporin and a bandaid, only for the bandaid to fall off immediately. So, I approached the Aussie surfers downstairs to get their opinion, hoping I earned some brownie points for seeming hard core. Don’t think so. They told me to find Betadine, so John, my knight in shining armor, set off for the lifeguard stand, brought back their entire first aid kit and fixed me up with Betadine and gauze. Then, to top it all off, he made me wear a sock to protect my toe. Just imagine, me in a bathing suit, and flip flops, with a sock on one foot. We were those weird American tourists. 
I'll show you this pretty picture of the beach and spare you the pic of my toe
For lunch, we found a tiny Mexican place towards the top of cliff and enjoyed some empanadas, burritos, and fresh fruit smoothies with an ocean view. Perfection. Afterwards, we hung out some more on the beach and at the airbnb before getting ready for dinner. We haggled for a taxi and made our way to Single Fin in Uluwatu for a cliffside dinner and sunset, sans sock. Sharing a pitcher of margaritas, we reveled in our first real Balinese sunset and took some pics before enjoying our dinner and hanging for a bit. Then it was back to Bingin for some rest. 
fiiiiiiinallllyyyyyy
when you steal the sunset's sunshine
On the morning of last day we once again got breakfast at Kelly’s, and once again tried to surf, only to once again be denied. Oh well. We hung out at the beach some more and just relaxed, grabbed lunch at The Sun Surf & Stay, and continued to pretty much do nothing all day for basically the first time in our week-long trip. This was partly due to the fact that John happened to get sick on our last day and partly due to the fact that there’s really nothing to do in Bingin besides surf. But we packed up all our stuff and stared at the view outside our airbnb for a while, watching our final and best sunset. Then we grabbed dinner back at Rocky’s and went back to our room until we had to leave for the airport around 8pm. We got to the airport, checked in, went through multiple security checks and, obv, grabbed ice cream because why not?
perfect at any time of day
note enormous killer waves
Then, at midnight, we took off and got back to Australia at 7am for the final 24 hours of my trip. Exhausted, most of these hours were spent in bed and hanging out on campus, but we did make it into the CBD for a final dinner and (legal) drinks at Father’s Office, followed by some chocolate fondue at Max Brenner's. The next morning, we were up at 5 and John accompanied me to Southern Cross Station where I then bid him goodbye for yet another month and boarded my bus to the airport. After a 14 hour flight to LA, some almost missing luggage and an almost missed flight, which was then delayed, I was on my 5 hour flight to NYC and landed in NYC semi-comatose after spending 25 hours in the air in the timespan of two days. But, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
those Gatsby vibes, tho
~emotional eating~
Thank you to my parents and John for the trip of a lifetime. Australia and Bali, I’ll be back. 

xox,

Joanna






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