Category Archives: Bali

Bali Road Trip

So, after spending 5 glorious days in Ubud, we hit the road for Lovina with the words of warning “Be careful, the road to Lovina is a snake” ringing in our ears.

Road tripper!

We took it slow. And got there safely after some confusion about what road we were on. Turns out that neither of the 3 husketeers are good at directions. And there we were thinking the kind man who was trying to correct our mistake was a bit of a nitwit for insisting that we were going in the complete opposite direction from where we thought we were.

Ah, well, we made in the end.  It did take us a few more hours than it should have, we did get stopped by some policemen who made a nice 300 000 rupee off us, we were forced to pay a couple thousand rupees to some very unofficial looking men who insisted we pay to pass. It felt a bit like Gandalffin Lord of the Rings when we hits his stick into the ground and screams “you shall not pass”. And we crept around the curves of the mountains at around 30km/ hour.

But after conquering that first day we were a pack of road warriors I tell you.

Our road trip went something like this~

Day 1: We travelled from Ubud to the black sand beaches of Lovina. We ended up staying in Lovina for 2 nights, which was a wise choice as, after one too many Arak cocktails, we found ourselves on the back of a random man’s scooter being whisked off to play guitar and sing and dance the night away in…was it a bar? someones house?…maybe we’ll never know!

Sunset in Lovina

Day 3: After a day of R&R we got up at the crack of dawn to go and watch the dolphins off the coast of Lovina. Although it was very pretty seeing the sun rise over the water and looking at pods of dolphins, I felt rather uncomfortable with the way the boats encircle and chase after the dolphins and it is not something that I would do again. After that we hopped back on our hogs and took the coastal road to Amed. It is a small fishing village that has become famous for diving. The beach is not the most wonderful place if you are simply looking to swim and relax because it is just pebbles. With that being said the water was lovely. Crystal clear and warm.

Day 4: The hogs were remounted and driven down to the port town of Padagbai where we spent our final 2 days. Although most people just go to Padangbai to take a ferry to the Gili Islands it is a really nice little town with 2 beautiful beaches. The final days were spent in a haze of sun and sea. There are many people offering to take you out snorkeling, and aside from some horrible plastic floating in the ocean (I suppose it is a port town) it was good snorkelling.

Padangbai

Day 6: The end of the road, as they say. We scooted back to Ubud and bid farewell to our trusty 100cc hogs and took on the market vendors of Ubud. (Personally I think driving a scooter was easier than haggling with the market woman!)

Kate x

(I would highly recommend renting scooters to get around the island. Although the traffic, people, dogs and general chaos can be a bit daunting at times it is a great way to see the island. And cheap. We paid 35 000 rupees/ day and then spend about 10 000 rupees/ day filling up the tank.)

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Ubud Bali

Bali is an island dream.

It offers everything you may expect from a paradise. Beautiful ocean vistas, rice paddies, coconut trees, temples, mountains, lakes. It is filled with, what must be some of the most friendly and helpful people out there. There is good food on offer. The sun shines, the grass is green and the water is warm. Could you possibly ask for more?

And I was lucky enough to spend 11 days there!

The first stop was Ubud, a bustling village in the verdant landscape of central-east (east- central?) Bali.

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So, here are some things we did with our time in Ubud:

Ate the delicious Bali specialty, babi guling. Tender and juicy roast pig! Most restaurants require you to pre order the meal at least 24 hours in advance. It might seem like a hassle, but it is well worth it. You’ll also be asked to put down a deposit, we had to pay 50 000 Rupees.  Do it!

 

Went to a spa. Ahh, what glorious, cheap, therapeutic and relaxing bliss! There are little salons all over the place offering massages, manicures, facials and anything else you would require to feel relaxed! We went to a place about a 10minute drive from the center of Ubud called Putri Bali. They come to pick you up, give you ginger tea and extend your 2hour session to 3 just because they take such good care of you (and my nails needed a lot of work to make them look pretty)!

Hired a driver to take us to Mount Batur and the Batur hot springs.The 1.5 hour hike to the summit is done in the cool, dark hours before dawn.  This makes for an interesting start to your day. From Ubud we had to get up at 3am, drive for an hour and start hiking at 4am to beat the sun. Our guide gave us each a torch and then marched us off into the darkness. It can be rather hairy hiking in the dark, so make sure to wear closed shoes. Hiking sandals are not recommended! (You’ll thank me when you are descending down what can only be described as a sand dune interspersed with sharp rocks.) The hot springs on the shores of Batur Lake are beautiful  and very relaxing after a pre-dawn hike.

These warm baths were made for relaxing!

Went to the zoo.Now, I’m not a massive fan of zoos as I have been spoilt with being able to see the real thing back in South Africa. But my travel companions were excited about the prospects of seeing a white tiger, and their excitement can be rather infectious. So along we went. And we saw the white tigers, which are impressive beasts, I must admit. We also saw an educational elephant show, got to feed the ellies and,highlight, got to hold a baby orangutan! Let me warn you that the water park is pretty much just a swimming pool with a slide or two. And the amusement park is a slow mechanical boat along a circular stream (that or a flying ferris wheel type affair). The safari was pretty decent. They load you into a truck and drive you around various regions, like SE Asia and Africa, that they have created.

Hired scooters!On our last day in Ubud we hired scooters and headed off into the countryside, viaMonkey Forest Road. It was a good day! I loved the monkeys, but seriously,don’t even reach for your bag, you’ll be pounced on. I warned you!

While we were in Ubud we were also lucky enough to see the cremation ceremony of the dead (duh!) queen. Apparently the town had been under preparation for 3 months. The body was placed in a sarchophogus of a massive bull and carried (yes, carried, all 8tons of it) down the main drag of Ubud by teams of local men. The whole village rallied together for the cremation and it felt like everyone was out to witness the happenings.

We then extended the rental of the scooters for the next 6 days and headed off for the coast!

Stay tuned!

Kate x