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Monday, April 16, 2012

Bali Days 7 - 9

 As I said, our resort had amazing food & it also had a beautiful restaurant.  There were some traditional chairs & tables, but we preferred to sit on the deck & lounge on the cushions around these amazing tables.







The grounds of our resort in Ubud @ night (above) & our bathroom (below).  Each bungalow had an outdoor bathroom.  My sis & niece were a bit paranoid about meeting a wild animal in the middle of the night.......something I didn't give much thought to, to be honest.  Anyone would think they were the city slickers & I the country bum in that respect!



This is what you do when you don't have a map!  Our resort didn't have one either, so I took a photo of the map they had on their counter.  We stayed at the southern end of the Monkey Forrest about a 5 minute walk away.


We had mixed reports about how safe it was to walk through the Monkey Forrest - some said DO NOT do it, the Monkeys will attack you; some said it's OK, just make sure you keep a firm grip on your bags, put away anything reflective (sunglasses, camera's etc) & if you are worried, grab a stick; Others said it's no problem.  

We saw a guy with a huge camera taking photo's with monkeys all around him.  One monkey clambered up his backpack!  The guy just looked over his shoulder with the expression "really?" at the Monkey who then clambered down.  My sis grabbed a big stick & carried that the first time, but felt more confident & actually went by herself on our last day.  The lure of a massage was greater than her fear of the monkeys.  I used my phone to take some pics.  Sorry the quality is not so good.

















We spent the entire day wandering around Ubud, looking at the shops & the Market (I was not a fan of the market - can't cope with the hawkers, nor the dead mice!).  

Plumbing boy even enjoyed the day's shopping, purchasing himself a t-shirt & a pair of solid silver Gecko door handles.  I bought a little elephant for my mate who's having a baby soon & a leather belt with a Stirling silver stingray buckle.  

Sis & co (who'd split from us earlier in the day as they wanted to catch a air-conditioned Taxi to the Market & we wanted to walk) bought dresses, (more) DVD's, shorts t-shirts & various other trinkets.   

Our last morning dawned, PB & I read for a while before breakfast just enjoying the peaceful surrounds.





Spotting the local fauna & flora.




Sadly we had to leave our paradise & head back to the city.  We'd planned to go to Waterbom park earlier in the week with our cousins, however the day we went, they closed the park 1 hour after opening as they weren't happy with the water quality after having been closed for a week for renovations.  So we tried again on our last afternoon.  One of my cousin's was staying in the hotel directly opposite the park & she'd offered us to leave our bags while we went to the park!  

We'd called Wayan & booked him for the day again to take us to Waterbom, then collect us after dinner & take us to the airport.  Our bags probably would have been safe with him, but it felt more secure leaving them with our cousin!  

Neither of our cousin's could make it to Waterbom that day - one ended up with Bali belly & the one we left our bags with has a bad ankle & it was giving her so much grief, that it wouldn't have been worth her going due to the number of steps you have to climb to access the slides.

The rest of us had a brilliant afternoon & managed to stay until closing!  While we had a locker for the valuables, we still had a bit of stuff with us, so I went on first watch & read my book while the others tried out the rides.  Tess & PB came back for me eventually (PB took second watch), then Tess took me on all the rides she'd been on so far in order of "scariness".  The 3rd slide was very high & very steep & ended up being the scariest (PB thought it was definitely the biggest rush).  

The "climax" advertised as their scariest, wasn't actually as bad (after the first 10 seconds).  You have to step into a capsule & the floor drops out from under you.  But our fave was the Boomerang.  Sis, Tess & I decided to go on it (none of us tried it yet).  Sis got half way up the stairs & said no way am I doing that!  Tess & I did it 4 times over, sent sis back for PB who did it with Tess (you're on a shared rubber tube thingy) who then said I want to do it with YOU!  Of course PB & I went faster & higher up the boomerang as we are heavier!  It was so much fun!!!!

Finally we left the park & met up with my cousin & her hubby for one final meal before heading to the airport.  Tess's was rather spectacular (she ordered the satay sticks!)



Our flight left at midnight & was uneventful asides the usual difficulty of trying to sleep in cattle class.  PB & I were home by 9.30am, just in time to pick up my furball from the cattery.  She was the smoogiest cat in the world for at least a week.  And very clean.  With nothing to do for 10 days, she spent a fair bit of time grooming!  If I went back to Bali, I'd definitely stay as far away from Kuta (& surrounds as possible) & head up the north coast away from the hustle & bustle of the towns.  Give me a sleepy village & a deserted beach any day over traffic & shopping.


We did enjoy catching up with our Western Australian relatives though, as you can imagine, we don't get to see them very often & while the holiday wasn't so much our style, we still had lots of fun.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Travelling to Ubud

 We left Sanur & headed for Ubud on day 7 of our trip.  The lovely Wayan was our driver - he'd picked up my sis for their white water rafting expedition & they developed a bit of a bond with him so we ended up hiring him for the day.  

I've forgotten the order, but all male sons are named by their birth order.  I can't remember if Wayan is number 1 or number 2 son, but there are specific names for sons 1 - 5.  I'm pretty sure Wayan was junior, so he is either son 6 or 7!  We met a lot of Wayans on the trip.....

We turned the day into a sight seeing tour, stopping first at a coffee place where these cute little guys (pick &) eat the coffee beans, then poop them out. 




They are then collected, washed, dried, peeled & roasted (or roasted then peeled.....I've forgotten!)



Here is Wayan with the lady from the coffee place, where we sampled 7 different coffees before trying the Lewat pooped coffee.  I think I prefer my Lavazza, but each to their own.  Next stop was the volcano & lake where we stopped for lunch.  This was our lunch view where we sat on an open balcony overlooking the volcano.



We then ventured down to the lake where we tried out the local hot springs.  There were a few places where you could bathe.  We checked out one "fancy" place first, but it was just a big painted swimming pool (but in a nice garden) without a view of the lake or mountains.  We ended up at cheaper place with rather dodgy change rooms, but the view was far far better.










 







I think I have 100 underwater shots.  That's what happens when your 12 year old niece realizes your camera is waterproof.  

Last stop for the day was Ubud.  We found our accommodation & walked along a decorative "secret" pathway....









 

Home sweet home.  

Time for a swim, a bit of a chill followed by more NOODLES & Sambal (Chili Sauce)!  Actually, the food here was the best of the trip.  The resort was small, 14 rooms in total, mainly traditional huts & they grew most of their produce in their veggie garden.  The also had goats, chickens & ducks.  I'm hopping the bunnies weren't on the menu....

Plumbing boy & I loved the accommodation here.  More our style.  My sisters room was a bit mixed up though.  They were supposed to have a double bed with 2 single beds in "the other room" however ended up with 1 room with a double bed, & the single bed was behind a small timber divider in the same room.  As the resort was booked out, they couldn't remedy the problem (totally the resorts fault - as I had to prove by showing them their own website & the emails sent between us on booking as the manage was off sick!) but were able negotiated a discount for them.   My sis's partner decided as it was only 2 nights they'd live with it.  He also wanted air-con & TV, which my sis & I deliberately booked with out.........!  Time to get back to nature :0)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bali

I've been flat out like a lizard since we got back & just haven't time to post about our holiday.  So here are a few pics & just a wee bit of description, especially for Tully!!!!!

Garuda airlines were really good - lots of extra leg room & a juice drink when we boarded before take off.  Tess & pretended we were in business class.


We arrived late afternoon & settled into our accommodation which we forgot to take pictures of.  Basically we shared a 3 bedroom apartment within a family  friendly resort (with  big swimming pool).  We each had our own bedroom (my sis & her man came too) with own en suites as well as a large living dining area, balcony (4th floor) & a kitchenette.   





Had a wander around Kuta (sis & man) above + an entertaining bakery; visited our cousin's resort (below)....


The whole point of the trip was my uncles 60th birthday.  We had cocktails at his villa first with around 40 family & friends....







Then we went out for dinner.  The birthday boy wore his birthday hat (as did we all)!



 



 
 There were a few other social activities to be attended including cocktails in Seminyak in an amazing place called Potato Head.





Where you could watch the sunset from the fabulous edge-less swiming pool as some of us did.


In-between cocktails, we sampled many of these.  My sis & niece shopped up a storm while Plumbing Boy & I chilled (read all 3 Hunger Games books) by the pool.  Ate my body weight in noodles & at least a litre (maybe 2) of the local chili sauce!  PB & I did a day scuba diving trip while the others went white water rafting.  


So ends days 1 - 7...........the rest to follow!