A Travellerspoint blog

Off to Bali

sunny 30 °C
View Bali and Lombok on Latin Pata's travel map.

Well we've had a great trip in WA. Margaret River was fantastic - brilliant wineries and wonderful beaches. Campbell family Christmas was great fun . . . food, games and a large amount of home grown red wine!!

Off to Bali today and will update the blog when we can.

Into Seminyak for the first few days and KUDETA for a New Years Eve party - can't wait.

Hope all is well and good.

Happy New Year!!!

Posted by Latin Pata 19:02 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Lovin' Lovina Loca

NYE, Seminyak, West Coast, Lovina

sunny 32 °C
View Bali and Lombok on Latin Pata's travel map.

Well we are in a sleepy little group of towns called Lovina on the north coast of Bali. It’s a stunning location to relax, swim, eat, read, bathe in the hot springs and chill out with the locals.

We arrived on the 30th into Legian and stayed in a great place by the beach. The 31st was spent cruising around on a scooter (the only way you can get around here) and arranging some accommodation. The latter was a bit hairy as everything was booked out. We happened upon a group of private villas by chance down a back alley. The photos speak for themselves. NYE was the best ever - we had pre-booked tickets at KUDETA (check their website). 1200 people, mainly Aussies partied by the beach to a studio 54, 70's disco theme. Midnight literally went off with a bang with fireworks under the blue moon. Amazing night capped off with Pato giving the Indonesian military the big high fives on the way out.

The first day of 2010 was dominated by swimming in our private pool, being cooked meals in the villa, siesta and a 2 hour full body treatment!!

From Seminyak, we hired a jeep and got into the country down the west coast. Driving Bali is more action packed than bungee and sky diving combined - after many wrong turns, whizzing scooters, winding roads and close calls with large trucks, I was starting to get the hang of it. The trick? No rules! A stunning temple, frantic local food market and sunset over rice fields take us to Pulukan. We stayed with a family who have a few rooms overlooking rice fields and the sea. Dinner at a Muslim 'warung' and a few beers closed out a big day.

A morning swim was the best way to re-energise before the epic drive to the North West of the Island. A few temples later and we're in Lovina. We had a fascinating chat to 'Bobby', one of the locals here who got us up to speed with all things Bali. Culture, religion, family, ceremony, the economy, the aftermath of the Bali bombings and of course, a large dose of karma.

Today was a do nothing, read, backgammon and seafood feast as the tropical rains took over. Tonight we're off to have dinner with a local family (the wife who gave Lee a pedi-cure) and tomorrow we head to Ubud.

Overall, everything we expected x 2!

Hope everything at home is well and we'll write again soon.

Love and best,
CP and Lee

Our Seminyak villa

Our Seminyak villa

NYE at KUDETA

NYE at KUDETA

NYE entertainment at KUDETA

NYE entertainment at KUDETA

One great big snake

One great big snake

Bali 2010 064

Bali 2010 064

Fresh coconut refreshment at Tanah Lot

Fresh coconut refreshment at Tanah Lot

Late lunch at a fishing village

Late lunch at a fishing village

Sunset at Lovina

Sunset at Lovina

A early morning hot bath

A early morning hot bath

Diving into a hot natural volcanic spring

Diving into a hot natural volcanic spring

Dinner at our friend's house in Lovina

Dinner at our friend's house in Lovina

Posted by Latin Pata 03:33 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Over the Mountain and Far Away

Ubud

all seasons in one day 33 °C
View Bali and Lombok on Latin Pata's travel map.

After the sleepy north coast we headed inland and over the volcanic mountain range that straddles the middle of the island. On this particular day, the heavens decided to open on a biblical proportion, making the tiny winding roads and sheer drop offs on either side a challenge. By the time we climbed to 2000m, we were truly in the clouds, visibility at about 10m and motorbikes racing out of the fog.

The weather cleared on the other side, giving us an opportunity to visit an elephant safari park, see the show and catch a trek on the back of Puspa, a 25yr old Sumatran male. Ubud awaited us in the afternoon where we checked into the Royal Palace - yes that's right. The Royal family still live there and for a very reasonable price, part of their grounds has been opened up for visitors to stay. An eventful day closed out with an Indonesian tapas menu accompanied by a thunder and lightning show.

Over breakfast, we had a good chat to the guy servicing our room who had worked with the royal family for 65yrs. Great stories about old Ubud and Bali. We hired a motorbike and did what you do in Ubud . . . shop. In the afternoon, we got on the bike and went for a cruise up into the hills and away from the hussle, finding the picturesque, terraced rice patties around tiny rural villages.

At sunset however, we had a big problem. Just as we were setting back and about 20kms away from anywhere, our rear tire punctured. We soon realised that limping back down the mountain wouldn't work as the back of the bike started sliding out everywhere. Then, just as it was getting dark and worry was about to set in, Bali showed us that Karma thing that Bobby was talking about. By absolute fluke, ten thousand to one, there was a motorbike repair shop 100m away!! The mechanic was able to replace the inner tube and get us back on the road with 10 minutes and $5. All the more random as we didn't see any such shop anywhere in the area during our travels. What was he doing up there???

We got back just in time to see a traditional Balinese music and dance show, catch a late bite on a lily pond and retire to "our Palace". We rose early the following morning for a 1/2 day Indonesian cooking course, starting at the bustling food market at 7am. After learning all about the produce, we were in the kitchen making and grazing on our own 6 courses. Wonderful aromas and tastes that I'll no doubt spring at the next few dinner parties.

We shared the class with two great guys from Perth who were staying in a luxury villa down the road with friends. After the class, rain intervened to keep us pinned down there for 4 bottles of wine which turned into a dinner invitation. A quick drive to an amazing villa by the river and a few cocktails later, we were ready for the ensuing feast. The 12 staff looking after this villa had spent the day suckling a whole pig which was duly presented at the table. Amazing food and wine, great company, shooters and a late night swim made for a classic night.

Elephants on show

Elephants on show

Baby elephant getting a bit cheeky

Baby elephant getting a bit cheeky

Puspa taking a quick dip after our trek

Puspa taking a quick dip after our trek

Our royal quarters

Our royal quarters

Our royal mate - 65yrs at the palace

Our royal mate - 65yrs at the palace

Time out to catch up on the diary

Time out to catch up on the diary

Friendly locals

Friendly locals

Blanco rooftop

Blanco rooftop

Rice patties in north Ubud

Rice patties in north Ubud

Traditional Balinese dancing

Traditional Balinese dancing

Discovering the local produce at the Ubud market

Discovering the local produce at the Ubud market

Posted by Latin Pata 21:12 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Diving the Deep Blue

Padingbai and the Gili Islands, Lombok

sunny 33 °C
View Bali and Lombok on Latin Pata's travel map.

With sore heads we drove down the mountain to a gold and silversmith town to check out the local quality for Lee's business, before driving up the east coast to the port town of Padingbai. This gave us enough time to relax and recharge before catching the fast boat to the Gili Islands, Lombok first thing in the morning.

On arrival, we instantly realised what kind of place we were in. Cars and motorbikes are replaced with horse drawn carts (there are no motorised vehicles on the islands), white beaches, turquoise water and bars that spill onto the ocean. This place is made for scuba diving and relaxing. With dreadlocks, beads and an active weed scene, you could mistake this for the Caribbean.

The horse cart takes us to our cabin on the north side if the island away from the throng (keeping this in perspective - there are 500 people on this island 1km in diameter so it's not exactly Times Square!!). Our eco cabin is decked in wood with an outside bathroom - salt water not fresh. Beach views from the bed and the sound of the ocean complete the feeling of a remote island getaway. Not much to do here but relax, swim, eat and drink . . . perfect. The following day we went for a dive off Shark Point, but alas no sharks. A dozen big turtles, puffer fish, clown fish, tuna and a multitude of other vibrant marine life made for a magical hour underwater.

Exhausted, a few beers and a light meal in an open sided beach pavilion was the ideal remedy. Entertainment provided by a little backgammon and an offshore lightning spectacular.

Our last day in Bali / Lombok was spent making our way back to Padingbai, driving down the coast to Seminyak, a last lunch, recap on our adventure and time enough the drop the car back.

A very special place that we were blessed to see a fair bit of. The culture and people stand out and when set in a backdrop of such a beautiful landscape, exotic food and rich tradition, Bali is definitely the kind of place you go back to.

Arriving on Gili T and catching a horse cart to the cabin

Arriving on Gili T and catching a horse cart to the cabin

Hammock session

Hammock session

Gili T chillin

Gili T chillin

Beach pavillion on Gili T

Beach pavillion on Gili T

Horse carts are the only way to go on Gili T

Horse carts are the only way to go on Gili T

Escaping the storm in the Gili Islands

Escaping the storm in the Gili Islands

Our cabin on Gili T

Our cabin on Gili T

Heading home on the horse cart

Heading home on the horse cart

Posted by Latin Pata 21:13 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]