When people think about Bali, they think great surf or beautiful nature or palm trees and all other pieces of paradise. We can happily confirm you: it’s all true, it’s all that and much more. Like the most friendliest inhabitants of the planet and a fascinating rich culture.
First we wanted to go to Bali in a few months because now it’s rain season, but we got a message from our good friend Robin that he would be hanging around Bali for a month, so the decision was quickly made to follow Robin towards paradise. The first thing we did after arrival was take a taxi to Ungasan on the Bukit Peninsula, the most southern part of Bali, where Robin stayed. The second first thing we did was hop on Robins bike to get something for lunch. The one thing we actually promised our family not to do: ride a scooter in Bali. But the damage was done, without a scooter it’s actually quite hard to get around, so the next day we rented our own bike for a month. After this another promise came out of our mouths and that’s to be very careful whilst driving.
We stayed around Ungasan for about a week and rented together with Robin and Anya a nice villa. It sounds a bit over the top and muy expensivo, but it’s actually very affordable over here. Told you: paradise 😉 The first week we chilled out a bit, went with the pro’s (Robin, Anya, Sabrina & Patrick) to check their early morning surf session, surfed a bit ourselves, had a New Years Eve poolparty, a fish bbq and much more of good times with good people. When we went partying in Single Fin on sunday evening we ran into half of the Zarautz Surfblend crew. Very photogenetic we are, indeed. Only Lotte and Nienke did alright 😉
After being soaked in coziness we decided it was time to hit the road again. We left the biggest part of our luggage behind (of which we actually already sent 10kilos home by boat) and only took the most needed. Destination: Ubud, cultural heart of Bali. Ubud is a bit busy and that’s also the charm of it. There is always something new to discover. Wether it’s hiking the ricefields or hanging around in some hippie bar. We went to see a traditional Balinese dance performance, went hiking in the jungle on our slippers and got caught by Bali belly. The last mentioned kept us busy for at least one whole day and a night. Not bad. Hum. Hum.
Our all time favorite was leaving early morning to Pura Tirta Empul also know as the Holy Water Temple. The Holy Water Temple consists of 3 parts with in the central part 2 bathing pools with 30 showers. The water is supposed to purify one from the bad influences in life and is supposed to protect you against illness.To fulfill the cleaning ritual you have to start at the first shower, drink 3 times from the spring water, let the water flow over the back of your head, pray and move over to shower number two until you get to the last. The third last and second last of the first bath should be skipped. Since we left so early it was just us and a lot of locals there.
After being purified we left the Ubud heat and went to look for some refreshment in the mountains around Munduk. On our way we stopped at Jatiluwih with its magnificent ricefields.
Munduk is actually the first place where I set foot in real jungle. Jiha! We hiked -this time on propper shoes- to some remote waterfalls and I saw my very first very huge very scary spider who was luckily not too nearby. I decided to stop looking for spiders on this trip, but this one could not not be noticed. In Munduk we got the refreshment we wanted. It was only 15 degrees and we were -coming from 32 and more- actually really cold. Add a bit of thunderstrikelightningboldandheavyshowers to that and we quickly decided not to wait too leave for a warmer place again.
A beautiful, winding road lead us to Lovina and Pemuteran and later to Menjangan Island. About Lovina I have not much to say. It’s cheap. And we got interviewed by at least 12 youngsters to practise their English as part of a school assignment. And that’s it. Pemuteran is a small seaside village and the perfect place to stay if you’re into diving/snorkeling. We went a few days snorkeling. Let’s be honest the first day I practised in the pool -haha, also big fun- the second day we explored the Pemuteran waters and the third day we went for the real deal at Menjangan Island. In Pemuteran a lot of the natural reef was distroyed by a tsunami some years ago, but they’re restoring it now. The project is called Bio Rocks and by giving very small electric shocks the reef actually grows faster back. They’re growing it in all kinds of weird shapes now. We’ve seen reef bicycle-shaped reef, treasure chests,… . We saw a lot of Nemo’s in anemanenmones, Gills, rainbowfish, baracuda’s,… I can talk for hours how beautiful it was, but it’s much nicer to see for yourself.
Unfortunately it was not all beauty that we saw down there. We also experienced how bad it’s going with Mother Nature and how bad it is everyone just keeps ignoring it. Tons of plastic bags, plastic cups, some already dissolved in the water and loads of other rubbish became also a part of the ocean.
With days turning into weeks turning into months I’m quietly starting to hope for the invention of a reallife pause-button. Just to press one time. And maybe a second time. And maybe another time. Just to make everything last a little longer. xoxo
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