Monday, 30 May 2011

Bali holiday

Cocktails on Legian Beach

This isn't a travel blog, but I can't resist sharing some photos from our holiday in Bali. We had 12 days there in mid-May and it was absolutely glorious. Unlike many Perth people, we don't travel to Bali often and I had only been once before, 15 years ago when I was young and single. That was a totally different holiday! This time we wanted to spend some time discovering the country, so we travelled around a bit and stayed in four different places - Sanur, Amed, Ubud and Seminyak. Driving around Bali takes a long time, even short distances, but I didn't mind at all as there is so much to see on the way. All along the roads, even in remote villages, are houses, shops, fields and mountains, full of people going about their daily life. I loved catching glimpses of Balinese life as we passed by. What struck me the most was how creative the Balinese people are. It seems that everyone is making something beautiful all the time, from the simple, but beautiful floral offerings everywhere, to beautiful stone and wood carvings, paintings, silverware, batik, clothing and more. Not to mention the stunning modern wicker furniture and water features - I could have furnished my house and garden many times over if only I'd had a shipping container!

Sanur was a lovely place to wander and explore. Everything is easily accessible there and the people were charming. Our driver, Nyoman, was bursting with personality and we had some fascinating conversations with him about Balinese life.

Sanur Beach

We loved the fruit smoothies and cocktails!

We had a fantastic day at the Bali Safari Park

From there we travelled to Amed on the north coast. This is a quiet village where you can really get away from it all as the tour buses are too big to navigate the winding mountain roads to get there. It is beautiful with the mountains rising up behind the beach. We had a relaxing time and did some snorkelling from a Balinese wooden boat.

Matagiri restaurant and hotel on the way to Amed. Stunning view and delicious buffet lunch

Part of the Amed coastline

Off snorkelling on the Balinese wooden boat

Balinese boat

Sunrise from our hotel

We stayed in Ubud next, in central Bali. Ubud is an interesting town with a very lively market in the centre, where we bought all sorts of interesting handicrafts. The surrounding villages and rice paddies are beautiful, but it looks like a hard life for the rice farmers. We had a brilliant time white water rafting through tropical jungle on the Agung river. One of the highlights was when four Balinese women hitched a ride across the river on our boat, balancing their baskets of washing on their heads the whole time!

Ubud market

It was 400 steps down to the river. The jungle was beautiful. My legs were jelly! Yep, we had to go back up 400 steps at the end!!

The fish doctor in Ubud - what a weird feeling, like a strong electric tingle.

Last stop was Seminyak for some shopping. We loved the Legian and Kuta areas for fantastic shops and markets. I had a leather jacket made by Cahaya tailors on Poppies Lane II in Kuta. They did a wonderful job of copying a Burberry coat I wanted and the fit was perfect. They made two jackets (one also for my husband) in just over 24 hours then delivered them to our hotel. They were prepared to fix any problems with fit or style until we were completely satisfied. I highly recommend this warm, friendly, helpful and talented group of guys (I'll take a photo of the jacket when I have time).

BB gun and bracelets on Seminyak beach

The boys were very happy to have a real BB gun each and as many Pokemon cards as they could carry. Look out for a larger Pokemon bag in future posts. The Balinese love boys and everywhere we went, adults were playing gun battles with them.

I could write so much more about this beautiful country and it's charming people, but for now I need to get back into the sewing room. That lovely Balinese fabric is calling me...

...oh yes, and the food was amazing too!

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