We are staying in a beautiful, quiet, surfing village on the west coast. Medewi is what Bali was like 20 years ago, so we are told by returnees. There is an easy left hand point break, rocky but not sharp reef. There's not the sharky river mouth of Balian, or the crowds of the Bukit but it gets the same consistent west and south swells.
Rob had wanted to come here since we booked this trip, and since I had never intended to surf this holiday, I was happy so long as there was a pool I could read by. It was always going to be a quiet week. We made the two hour drive from Kuta on Monday, and checked into Mai Malu, a perfect guest house 100m from the break. A room with AC costs £12 per night.
Despite this seemingly perfect set up, week 16 did not get off to a good start. It didn't get have a good middle, either, and the end is pretty grim too. Bali Belly is the generic name for the unglamourous travellers diarreah, Delhi Belly or any other undiagnosed gut poisoning bacteria, parasite or virus that up to 6 in 10 travellers to Bali pick up during their holiday. Both times I had been to Bali before I had not suffered. The whole previous week I had been absolutely fine. And then, BAM. Hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I cut out meat, pre-prepared fruit and veg, fresh juice, smoothies, ice and all fats since it began. I tried to eat three meals a day. Breakfast; two slices of dry toast. Lunch; rice with a banana. Dinner; rice with a banana and two slices of dry toast. Not that much of any of it stays inside long enough to do any good. Of the limited selection of restaurants here, we stick to the restaurant in our guest house over the beach side warungs because it seems like the cleanest place, and all the staff think I am batshit crazy. Luckily food out here only costs pennies, and the women at least understand I am suffering from what they think is morning sickness. I do not look four and a half months pregnant.
Pocari is a life saver, a cheap Ion/Electrolyte drink that is sold everywhere in Bali. Like Powerade but with less colouring and more salt. You can also buy Yacult, the little fermented milk probiotic drinks, everywhere. Other than that, bottled water and rest are the only things I could give myself to help. Nothing helped.
I am now at the end of week 16 and although not normal, things are getting better. I ate some chicken last night that I asked to be nuked into oblivion. It was plain and chewy and tough and burnt but it was the first bit of protein in a week and it was delicious. The standard chocolate milk craving came back today so my appetite must be returning
But when you have something to lose, something as huge as this, and a body that no longer behaves as you expect and throws you new curveballs every week, is the worry worth the suntan? Miles from anywhere, with no ultrasounds, no fetal dopplers, all I wanted was to see or at least hear that Spud was doing okay. I have doctor and prenatal appointments booked in for next week, the day after I land, and it cannot come soon enough.