My image of bali was lots of colour, spices, markets, beautiful beaches and lots of green areas… I wasn’t far wrong! Bali was one of both our favourites stops. As it was our last big place on our Asia tour we had pushed the boat out and booked into a gorgeous hotel.
We arrived very late on into the evening on our first day in Bali. We checked in and hunted for food. Finding only a few shops or a sushi bar. Never having sushi we were a bit dubious but we did enjoy it although the meal was very small.
The weather had predicted rain and thunderstorms for the whole 5 days in Bali but over a delicious breakfast at the hotel we saw that the sun was out and not a cloud in the sky. Taking this opportunity we lay by the pool most of morning into the early afternoon.
We then (stupidly maybe) decided to walk into the town kuta and to visit the beach. In 36degree hear 2.5km is not fun, even if there were lots of stops on the way into the nicely cooled mini super markets hunting down a big bottle of suncream (this was never found only small bottle and all ridiculously priced £9!!!!). Bali is a very spiritual place and they believe that they have to keep a balance between the good and evil Gods so all along the roads we saw these offerings to the Gods.
One day a year Bali has a day of complete silence, even tourist have to be quiet. Nothing is open, no one leaves their house even the airport is closed. They do this so that the evil spirits will not hear anyone on the island and will pass by. Very different culture but very cool too.
The beach itself was a bit dirty but it’s surroundings and the long stretch of golden sand made the walk worth it and the cool pool and huge run and jump into it when we got back to the hotel was worth the walk back.
That evening we ventured into kutas night life but with it being low season it was very quiet. We still found a bar with good music and drink though and enjoyed ourselves.
The second full day we hired a moped…. This was our 5th and I’m terrified of them… Not so much Fergal’s driving but other peoples driving especially those people in Bali… Just crazy!
We drove round the bay of kuta to Jamaran. This was a gorgeous secluded beach that we enjoyed for about an hour before the sky went very dark and the rain pelted down. Fergal loving the freak weather change headed straight out for the huge waves!
After the rain had died down we jumped back on the very wet scooter and headed to the sea temple Pura Luhur. After being dressed appropriately we followed the crowds destined for the temple. Surrounding and keeping guard of the temple were lots and lots of cheeky monkeys (cheeky as they stole anything they could get there hands on!).
On our third full day we again lounged around the sunny pool until it got cooler and the clouds came over. We then drove to a temple in the middle of the sea further down the coast called Tanha Lot. The experience here has to be one of the best we’ve had. After wandering around the markets and walking down to see the temple we were lucky enough to be taken through the sea by some spiritual people to the temple. As the tide was coming in the sea was quite high but this added to the excitement and amusement. Once on the temple the spiritual people blessed us with holy water stuck rice on our forehead and a flower behind our ear. We were then allowed on to the temple steps and only to a specific part of the outer temple but it was amazing!
On our last full day we took the bike to Ubud a very uncomfortable 2 and a half hours away. Ubud is in the centre of Bali and is a very artsy town, lots to see and do. We first went to the sacred monkey forest. The temple there is protected by monkeys, loooots of friendly hungry monkeys that will jump on your head and come in for cuddles. This temple is also deep into the rainforest making it look very cool but making it feel very muggy. We walked down further into the rainforest to the natural springs
And then through the site to Ubud town. Just as we were walking up the huge hill into the main town Fergal had a panic as he couldn’t find the moped keys…. Retracing our steps through the monkey forest, hoping one hadn’t taken them off the ground, back to the bike where we found the keys still in the ignition!
We then hauled ourselves back through the forest and up the hill, through Ubud town to the ridge walk. The sky at this point was very dark and we were a long way from the bike. The ridge walk is a walk through the rainforest but you’re kind of on top of the rainforest looking down onto it until it turns into the rice paddies. We decided we’d chance the rain. Literally 5 minutes in and the heavens opened and we were soaked through to our underwear! We carried on, barefoot as flip-flops and rain clash, till we saw a glimpse of the rice fields a good 30 minute rain walk on. We then hastily and wettly turned back to do the long trek back to the bike. Luckily the heavy rain stopped but driving back in wet conditions, in the dark, on Bali roads meant we got lost a few times and let’s say that we had many disagreements about the speed of the bike and position on the road. The only time we’ve have disagreements is when driving on those stupid mopeds!
That evening we went to a gorgeous bakery restaurant and had a feast as a treat as it felt like our last night traveling.
We were sad to leave Bali it had definitely been one of our favourite places!