For all pictures from our trip to Bali, please click HERE.
August 6 | Arrival in Bali
A week long relaxing holiday in Bali was just what we needed. This was my second time coming here and Phebe’s first. We booked our hotel at the Matahari Bungalow which was conveniently located closse to the shops and beaches. Our stay included a free candlelight dinner, daily breakfast, taxi to/from airport, and a welcome drink on arrival. They also had a nice swimming pool in their tropical garden.
August 7 | Beaches, dinner, and a stupid promotion
As it was a nice and sunny day out, we decided to hit the beaches. Along the way to the beach we were confronted by a local guy giving out free promotion cards. At first we ignored him but he persisted that we scratch the card to see if we had won anything. Sure enough, we scratched a “winning” ticket. He was overjoyed and said it was the first time anybody had scratched a “winning” ticket. Apparently, we had won either a) $1000 Australian cash, b) a week-long stay at this hotel, or c) an ipad. We wouldn’t find out our prize until we sat in on a 60 minute product demonstration. That was the only catch. The local guy said he was really happy as this was the first time it happened to him and that by us scratching the winning ticket he would get $50 USD. At first we were hesitant to go but I wanted to find out where this would lead. He drove us to the hotel and there we were greeted by two ladies who wanted to get more information from us. They wanted to get our passports to confirm that we were tourists and not local people. We didn’t have our passports with us so we had to drive back to the hotel. Along the way back, the driver warned us that the whole promotional thing was a gimmick and that people who do this usually win the free week-long stay at the their hotel and no one ever wins the $1000 cash or ipad. Although it sounded like a pretty good deal, we already booked our next trip in Thailand. We decided not to go back to see the demonstration as it was a waste of our time and had better things to do.
The whole afternoon was spent relaxing on the beach in Legian. We didn’t do much but sleep, relax, talk, and reflect on all that’s gone on the past few weeks. It was just what we needed to unwind from our busy week.
In the evening we were treated to a lovely candlelit dinner at the hotel. It was a pleasant way to end the day.
August 8 | Seafood Galore
We decided to rent motorbikes and take a trip down south to Jimbaran beach and Ulu Watu. It was Phebe’s first time on a motorbike so I made sure to take it easy for the first little while:). Our first big stop was at Jimbaran beach. The beaches there were nice but what we didn’t expect was the selection of seafood. As it was near lunch time, we walked to an area where they were serving seafood lunches. We compared a few of the restaurants and ended up eating at this place called Menega Café. There, we ate to our hearts content. Our seafood platter contained jumbo prawns, a whole fish, skewers of squid, mussels, rice, potatoes, veggies, and fruit dessert. I was so full that I almost wanted to pass out. It was very satisfying. It was probably one of the best seafood dishes I’ve had in a long, long time.
After lunch we rode all the way down south to Ulu Watu temples. It has a great look-out point and views of the Indian Ocean.
August 10 | Kintamani Batur Tour
Due to our limited time in Bali, we rented a driver and van and decided to take a tour for an overview of Bali. Some of the things we experienced include: Barong dance, Elephant cave, holy spring temple, wood carving, coffee tasting, Kintamani volcano, Tegalalang rice terraces, and Ubud. The day was jam packed. Some of my interesting observations include:
- Not sure if the Barong dance is really a dance. It’s more of an exhibit of cruel and demonic behavior
- If you want to go inside the elephant cave, make sure you bring a gas mask. If you don’t have, just hold your breath for a very long time
- We also had a “magic” driver. Everytime we finish seeing a particular site, we would wonder where and how we would look for him as it was pretty crowded. However, he would miraculously appear out of nowhere to meet us each time.
August 11 | Snorkelling and Turtle Island
Phebe and I went to Nusa Dua and did some snorkelling. There we saw all types of different and colorful fishes. We fed it some bread so they all came a bit closer to us. Afterwards we went to Turtle Island. They wanted us to donate for the turtle conservation but we saw the way the tourists were handling the turtles. There were signs saying not to hold or disturb the turtles but they were grabbing the turtles and taking pictures with them. It was pretty cruel to watch. So I said to the person why I should pay the conservation fee when you don’t really take care of the turtles? They are swimming in their own filth and they get mauled by tourists all day. How is that being taken care of? He didn’t have a response for that.
August 12 | White Water Rafting
At this time we were all “templed-out”. We decided to do some white water rafting for some excitement and adventure. We have both done it before (Phebe in Sabah, Borneo and me in Ecuador). We rafted the Teluguwala River in Redang which was a class 3 and 4. The river was really rocky and we had to dodge quite a few rocks at the beginning and got stuck a few times. There were times when it was really rocky and bumpy and Phebe managed to bang her big toe into the raft and this caused her toe to bleed from her nail. It stung for a bit but Phebe was a trooper and stayed to the end. The highlight of the route was dropping 4 metres in the raft. That was a huge thrill.