Travel Betty

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Travel Betty Helps You Find A Driver You Can Trust In Bali, Indonesia

April 14th, 2008 · 8 Comments

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When I arrived alone in Bali, Villa Naga Maya had arranged for a driver to pick me up from the airport. The young man was very personable and helpful so I decided I’d probably use him the entire time I was there. But in an “only in Bali” type situation, about a week later I’d come back from Ubud (having taken the Perama tourist bus to save money) only to find my driver’s office not only abandoned, but already being converted into an art gallery. And I’d only been gone two days!! I inquired what happened and a guy standing nearby the shop whispered “bankrupt.”

The problem was, that night I needed to go to the airport to pick up Travel Boyfriend and I was feeling panicky. Now I didn’t have anyone I could trust to get me there and do so for a fair price. I hate to haggle, but I knew it was going to be necessary. The ‘bankrupt’ guy said he had friends who could help, so I followed him to a building not too far away. I explained the situation and the owner told me 150,000 rupiah. No f$#@ing way, that’s like $15 and is about what I paid my first driver for a ½ day trip to Dreamland and Uluwatu. When I protested and tried to do my haggling thing the guy said, “okay, 250,000.” That made me so angry, I left in a huff (which you shouldn’t really do in Bali).

Over lunch I decided maybe I should just puss out and take a cab. Having recently endured some negative transportation issues already in Ubud, I wasn’t feeling particularly keen to track down another driver. But on my way back to the villa, I decided to attempt to find a new driver just once more and if it didn’t work, at least I’d know I’d not given up so easily. And thank god I didn’t because that’s when I found Gusdek, a fantastic driver who ended up being someone I could always count on. And best of all, he was always fair with his pricing.

 Gusdek Bali Driver

On the way to the airport and while waiting for Travel Boyfriend’s plane to arrive, we had a lot of time to talk. Like TB and I, he was 40 and his wife was in her early thirties. Also like us, they’d also been together for many years before just recently getting married. He had a really easy going personality, but also a seriousness that made you trust him quickly.

During my remaining 3 weeks, anytime I needed a driver I knew just where to look. He took TB and I up to Ubud, stopping so we could visit many of the craft villages along the way. He even took us to a stonemason friend of his so TB could buy a wicked cool Garuda. And the one time he wasn’t available due to a family emergency, he found two totally fun young guys to drive me and my Singapore friend around the island. I had him waking up early, driving far distances and stopping at any and every shop that caught my fancy and he was always happy to oblige.

It’s so nice when you’re far from home and feeling a little lost and vulnerable to find someone that you not only can count on, but that you can also consider a friend.

So, if you’re in need of a fantastic driver in Bali who speaks very good English and who is knowledgeable about the entire island, you can’t go wrong with Gus!

Travel Betty Basics

Ida Bagus Sumardika (aka. Gusdek)

Office: Kasturi Car & Motor Bike Rental & Tour Service

Pura Bagus Taruna St. No. 516X (near the Kusnadi Hotel)

Legian, Kuta, Bali

Hand Phone: 081 33876 1498

Email: gusdek_2005 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Nakula Boys Bali

If he’s booked, I’d also highly recommend Putu and Agus who were the drivers who filled in for Gusdek and took us all around the island. They’ll have you laughing your ass off! And Agus can teach you how to surf. They call themselves the Nakula Boys and you can get in touch with Putu by calling his hand phone: 081 91627 4722

Tags: Bali

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  • 8 responses so far ↓

    • 1 devari // Apr 15, 2008 at 8:09 am

      hi there, just for additional information when dealing with taxi drivers in Bali :)

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    • 2 Travel Betty // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:35 am

      Thanks, Devari. For some reason, your link isn’t going through.

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    • 3 devari // Apr 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm

      hi travel betty, it is going through now :)
      server was down

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    • 4 amanda // Apr 15, 2008 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks for the info ! Having a driver you can trust in a HUGE luxury when you are so far from home !

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    • 5 RennyBA // May 1, 2008 at 8:18 am

      Thanks for the info and advice – I’ll keep it in mind!

      Btw: Here from BlogCatalog and have voted for you at Blogger’s choice of course. You really have a great blog and since you like travel: tell me when you plan to go to Norway. In the mean time, you can always visit my blog to pick up some hints and advices too.

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    • 6 Travel Betty // May 7, 2008 at 7:31 am

      Agreed, Amanda. Thank goodness for the Internet so that now we can plan ahead!

      Thanks for the vote, Renny. I voted for your blog too! Hopefully I’ll find myself in Norway really soon :)

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    • 7 Matt // May 8, 2008 at 8:30 am


      I just discovered your website, it’s really cool. I had a similar experience in Ethiopia last year with trying to find a guide in Gondar. We ended up finding this amazing guide who gave us an extensive account of Ethiopian history illustrated by landmarks in the city before taking us into his own home for a meal and paying for our taxi to a church at the top of a small mountain. He was brilliant, and we tipped him accordingly.

      Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures..:-)

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    • 8 Alex // Aug 30, 2009 at 6:13 am

      Travel Betty,
      Thank you so much for this great tip. I had looked for this precious information for a long time. This is what I really need in Bali.

      It is so much fun to read your travel blog. Once again, thank you.

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