A Travellerspoint blog

Bali Blues

Do you know the way to....... Sydney

semi-overcast 33 °C

Only blues as we are leaving tomorrow. A packed day planned for tomorrow so probably no blogging. Visit to Ubud, cultural heart of Bali, in the day and then a nightflight to Oz. Ubud is apparently the centre for music, art, dance and religion (plus probably a few shops!). Interestingly one reason Bali is so culturally rich (and still Hindu) is that the priests and other intelligencia moved here from Java as Islam spread into what is now Indonesia ('bout C16th Ian, I believe). Imagine if all the opera lovers, artists and vicars in England moved to Wales! (Or did that already happen?)
Two dives this morning, and much lounging in the pm.

Posted by ledsmith 02:58 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Eat, cook, walk

just another day in Bali

sunny 30 °C

Another early start today – another amazing breakfast –I won’t go on!
Today was a Balinese cooking course at the hotel with the Hotel’s chef- I had heard from other guests that the hotel is famous for its cooking school, so thought it would be good to do – and was not wrong !
The day started with a visit to the local market to see all the local produce – lots of different local fruit and vegetables many of which I had never seen before - masses of lurid coloured cakes and biscuits and glutinous rice cakes – spices, and loads of different types of smelly dried fish- and the guide encouraged us to try all ( except the dried fish) . Green coconut to drink which was really refreshing - and then back to the hotel for the cooking part. It was all really well organised with everything prepared and set up for each person, with all the ingredients in little bowls and each with our own wok and set of knives and utensils.
It really was an eye opener – I thought that I knew how to make Chicken Satay – but this was something else – much more complex than I had though - probably why it tasted fantastic, and quite different to the satays from the Chinese and Thai at home!
In all he showed us how to make the base paste of most Balinese cooking – then we made Chicken Satay with marinade and satay sauce, stuffed squid with another sauce, tofu and vegetable curry with coconut and Nasi Goreng! We ate the results for lunch and Laurie joined us after going trekking through the hills and rice fields - so will just need to recreate it at home now!
It was really windy again today – still sunny but quite strange weather with the waves crashing against the shore. Had my complimentary massage at the hotel spa – it was meant to be for both of us but Laurie opted out – however no problem since I get another spa treatment instead – think I might try reflexology – as I have never had that before!
Had dinner in Candidasa – sitting overlooking the ocean – brilliant food – ate too much of course!

Posted by ledsmith 05:57 Archived in Indonesia Comments (4)

Dive Bali

Pretty reefs, sharks and turtles

semi-overcast 30 °C

An early start and other amazing breakfast today – a different trio of fruit tasters including Asian Black Rice Pudding – not quite sure if I liked it or not – but definitely different – followed by poached eggs on sautéed aubergine and courgettes on a pancake and with tomatoe salsa on top!
Then off to a nearby village for our first dive trip. Only two of us on the boat – and did two dives on a dive site nearby where there were three small rocky coral islands showing out of the water. Fantastic coral heads – and loads of fish- shoals of small fish – amazing rock formations – and saw a mid-size white tip shark on the first dive and a turtle – the second dive was even better with swim-throughs and saw four small sharks all sheltering under a table coral – Laurie took a very tentative close-up! Also saw two turtles – fantastic to be diving again!
Dive sites: Gilli Mimpang; Gilli Tepekong

Funny weather today – very windy and overcast in the afternoon but still getting sunburnt!!

Complimentary dinner tonight as part of the deal at the hotel – another gourmet experience!

Posted by ledsmith 05:42 Archived in Indonesia Comments (2)

Bali first day

semi-overcast 30 °C

Woke up this morning and went onto the verandah to see beautiful palm trees, immaculate lawns, blue pool and the sea beyond - perfection.
Breakfast was amazing - the waiter apologised for the fact that it was the "set" menu which comes with the room - and this was :-
Mango lassi - yogurt mango drink
Trio of fruits - beatifully presented - pawpaw with yogurt and coconut - bananas cooked in brown sugar with coconut - home made muesli with yogurt and strawberries
Scrambled eggs with basil and pesto on a pancake with pesto drizzled around
Ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon and lemon tea - all made with fresh spices and served with honey
Coffee with Ginger
Sorry Donna did not get the photos!

Then as it was overcast we went to the nearest town Candidasa - lots of restaurants and shops - then back for a swim at the hotel. This was also pure luxury - being served ice cold water when at the pool and cold watermelon as part of the service - and at teatime they also serve tea and cakes as part of the service - with all the speciality teas and coffees as well!
Also discovered that we get a complimentary massage at the spa and complimentary dinner - so now have too many things to do for the days left - however Going diving tomorrow so cant wait for that!

Have now finished two of my three books - and this is only on the fourth day !
Bring it on!

Posted by ledsmith 07:16 Archived in Indonesia Comments (3)

Bucolic Bali

Spa me the details!

semi-overcast 30 °C

It may not be paradise but its pretty damned good. Very chilled and wonderful people. Beautiful place on a quiet stretch of the East coast, a long from the clubs and any mass tourism. Low season, so absolutely no rush. Have been able to suss out a local taxi driver and a local boat guy, virtually at our disposal.

Candidasa just to our north along the coast, a very low key and low rise fishing village and now tourist stop. Somewhat faded in its glories as in the 70's they mined part of the barrier reef for lime, resulting in erosion of the beach. However, still very nice for a beer right by the water and boats out to good snorkelling.
Padangbai to our south. Small (very) ferry port for boats to Lombok and cute bay full of fishing boats with outriggers. Very laid back vibe in a few bars, diveshops, restaurants and guesthouses. That's the extent of exploring so far, but diving on nearby reefs with the promise of sharks tomorrow - Yippee!

Have to mention the food at the hotel. Fine dining for breakfast - its the only way to go! Hotel is also a spa and almost too relaxed and refined - had to buy some local hooch under the counter in the mini-market in Padangbai!

Posted by ledsmith 06:05 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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