So, it all began in Perth, Australia. We were staying at the Tibooburra Bed & Breakfast for a few nights before our cruise around the Indonesian Islands. It was while talking to the owner Bronwen; she suggested a driver she had used. A Mr. Wayan Bawa. We thought, well I know I did. I bet there are hundreds if not thousands of drivers around Bali. But we were assured his English was excellent and very reasonably priced. So we thought, why not. We added him on Facebook and informed him of our arrival.
Fast forward, we are now in the very hot, sticky, humid Bali. Tina at this point had made a very long list of places that she would like to visit. This was not my domain, but I trusted her on this.
Perfect, conversational English!
Before we did anything off this list, Bawa wanted to escort us on a half day trip to the Uluwatu temple and the South Kuta area (Nusa Dua). Well, what can I say? The experience was incredible; we were treated to cold towels when it was apparent we were melting. Coldwater (bottled), at equally relevant times. Everything is inclusive in the price, although, the only thing you need to pay for is the entry to these places. All fuel, water, and excellent knowledge are included in the price.
I will tell you now; there are many tour guides out there who will only take you to the tourist places. The places that you have to pay megabucks to visit, why? Because the guide gets a slice of the fee, you pay to get in there. It is a kind of commission. But there had been many times in which Bawa took us to places where he would make no additional money. So his 375,000rp (half day) and 600,000rp (full day) rates would in some cases only have him pocketing 100,000rp a day after all the business deductions.
We spent a further 5/6 full days with this incredible man. He helped source a company to create our amazing t-shirts and hoodies. We even got to meet his wife and children (which was a real honour).
If you are heading to Bali or know of anyone, who is heading there. Don’t worry about your driver. There is only one guy, Wayan Bawa.
So get out of the tourist traps, and go and see the REAL Bali!