A Travellerspoint blog


Gili Islands and North Bali

So much for taking it easy!

storm 29 °C

On Tuesday we decided to take a jaunt to Gili Trawangan the biggest island of three small islands off the coast of Lombok. This was the easiest one for us to get to for such a short stay, and we were a little bit concerned when we were heard that it had a reputation for a party island. Needless to say, we shouldn’t have worried! Although the main street was lined with bars, there were only a few- and the street was effectively a dirt track! There are no cars or motorised transportation on the island, the way to get around is by bike or by horse and cart- really the lazy place we had been looking for.

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Mike was luckily able to do a dive from the island and said that underwater was just like a garden- it’s a shame he didn’t see any turtles, the area is well known for them.

We only stayed for one night but were able to take it easy. We were stopped by doing too much unfortunately because of the tropical storms that hit the island on a regular basis- but it was a nice excuse to stay indoors!

On our last day on Bali we visited Pura Tanah Lot which is a water temple a few hundred metres from the shore which protects the island from the sea. It was really beautiful to see- and the stormy seas made it look quite crazy! Then we went to the north of the island to some hot springs- they were pools heated to a toasty 38 degrees by sulphur, which you didn’t notice until you emerged from your bathe covered in orange- we looked like we were using some very bad fake tan! There were three pools in total, each with showers running from one to another from a main temple- and the showers had different strength so you could get a good massage while you were at it!


We then went back to Ubud for a wander around the lazy town, and to see the Sacred Monkey Forest which is full of ancient Indiana Jones style carvings (including the ones of demons devouring children!) and lots and lots of monkeys who like to steal your bag to see if you have any food hiding inside!


I can’t believe we’re leaving already, but so glad that we had the chance to come and see this amazing place!

Posted by lesleymw 13:44 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

We’re in Bali!

A mixture of relaxation and adventure

storm 26 °C

We’ve been in Bali of about half a week now, and it really is mind blowing! This part of our trip is mainly for relaxing and catching up on some rest, the past month has been quite hectic! Yeah, now would be the time to feel sorry for us.

We’re staying in Tuban which is a small beach about 5 minutes walk from Kuta beach- the main “strip” on the island which is full of beers, drunken Aussies (though, we should probably get used to that!), restaurants that open onto the street, and about a million tattoo parlours. It seems we’ve stumbled across the Australian’s answer to Costa del Sol.

But Kuta is still brilliant, you can try some local food- or go to the fantastically named Bubba Gump’s Shrimp House- for the price of a coffee in the UK, go for a fish spa (where the fish nibble off your dead skin- the tickliest, strangest thing you’ll ever feel- but the best pedicure ever), buy a Bintang vest (the local beer- literally every family we see has at least 2 wearers), or fly some kites- we are in the surfer’s paradise, so we have perfect kite flying weather for those of us who would end up on the sea bed with a mouth full of sea water.


Yesterday we decided to go a bit further afield and went towards the north of the island to Mount Batur which is an active volcano. We started climbing up an old trail of lava up the steep side of the volcano at about 4am- made even more pleasant by the fact that it was pitch black. We made it up through the rain and very steep mounds of soft black sand and sharp rocks in time to watch the sun rise over the surrounding volcanoes- gorgeous! And another recommendation for your bucket list! At the top (we’d climbed 1000m) we were able to have a nosey around the craters (each one for each eruption- there’s been about 10) which was quite daunting- especially when you feel the toasty hot steam coming up through the gaps!


After climbing back down we then took a bike ride down to Ubud through lots of paddy fields and temples. Here, each family-meaning extended family- lives in their own temple- it’s really breathtaking to see so many shrines and beautiful buildings lining the roads with fields and trees everywhere else. We cycled about 29km and every village we went through there were kids as young as 2 running out of their temples, shouting “hello!” and putting their hands out for high fives! This is definitely the real Bali- and I can completely understand why people love it, and why Charlie Chaplin was a regular visitor!


Of course, today we are paying for our adventure- when going out for some breakfast (and strong coffee- still catching up on some sleep) we got quite a few strange looks for groaning and having to take our time when it came to stairs and sitting down! We’d have lost any race against some oaps! We may be able to venture out tonight- maybe after a massage on the beach and a tube of deep heat!

Oh! Before I forget- I have to share this! We went to a place where they make the most expensive coffee in the world, that is only made here. But wait till you hear how they make it! They get a cat like animal called a luwak with feet like a human to eat the berries from the coffee plant, wait for it to pass them (yup) and then get the undigested fermented beans out of the droppings, clean them, and grind them for coffee! They only make 500kgs a year, which I guess that’s why it’s so expensive. My only question is- how did they decide to find beans from there?? And yes, it actually tastes quite good- beware those who come round in the future for a cup of coffee! Mwah ha ha!


Posted by lesleymw 16:04 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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