“once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote. And I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life” Michael Palin
The love I have for traveling gets stronger every day and the ongoing yearn I feel the moment I return from a trip is incredibly strong. I have such a crush on the world and cannot imagine life without my yearly trips.
It has been less then a month since my return from Bali and I am already craving the Balinese sun.
A place for Australians to get drunk and party. Well (My original opinion based off stories) As it turns out however, Bali is one of the most fun, care free, beautiful places I have traveled. It is full of adventure and relaxation. Full of hard working Balinese and like-minded tourists. Full of culture and beautiful scenery. (and yes, perhaps a pinch of alcohol and partying)
The trip started in Ubud which is surrounded by rice paddies and steep ravines in the middle of the hills. Our hotel was called De Munut Resort and Spa – a quiet resort which is full of tranquility. Close enough to the markets and excitement but far enough away to enjoy your own quiet time.
The day after we arrived we hiked Mount Batur – this is an active volcano and is 1717m (5,633ft) high. There is no marked path to the summit and starting the hike at 3am makes it quite intense, with that being said the best views do come after the hardest climb – in our case
welcoming the sun for the very first time over in this incredible country.
Our guide was a 65 year old Balinese man who was fitter than me and my friend combined, and as you can see, oh so willing to stop and pose for a quick photo. He showed us the way and smiled the entire hike. He checked on our stamina and at the top made us hot chocolate and breakfast (Still unsure about the warm banana on bread thing though)
Funnily enough – My favourite part of the entire hike was walking back down the mountain. The sun was now shining over the valley and onto the lake ahead. It is incredibly mesmerizing and fulfilling seeing what you’ve just conquered. What a way to start a trip – we were literally on top of the world.
If you ever have the opportunity to hike Mount Batur – do yourself a favor and visit the Batur natural hot spring afterwards. Not only will it feel incredibly refreshing after the hike but this is the ONLY “healing spa” in Bali.
If you fill your life with adventures another must do is white water rafting. We tackled the Telaga Waja river. This particular rafting route is approximately 16km and willtake
about 2.5 hours to complete. This is a grade 3/4 and it is known as the fasted river for white water rafting in Bali. This river is definitely more adventure and thrill then the other popular Agung River.
I believe a nations culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people and being in Bali made me realize how religious their culture is. I am not exactly religious but I do appreciate some of the incredible temples you can find in Bali. Out of the 4 temples we visited I was blown away by a particular two.
Tannah Lot is the the most photographed in Bali – it is perched on a little rocky islet that is inaccessible during high tides. With the sun setting and the waves crashing around this temple I guarantee this is a sight you will remember for years to come.
The other favourite is The Taman Ayun – the Royal Temple of Mengwi. This temple is considered Bali’s most sacred and considering it was built in 1634 you can totally understand why. This temple is surrounded by a wide moat and creates a vision you won’t forget.
Now – I am sure that 99% of the people reading this cannot live without their daily coffee, and although I am that strange 1% I can definitely appreciate a good coffee when I have one. We stumbled across a coffee plantation and upon entering we tried 7 different types. without a doubt, the coconut coffee wins. my least favourite would definitely be the cat shit coffee (yes, you read that correctly)
How about I make this a bit more enticing… I tried Kopi Luwak coffee – the most expensive coffee in the world. It is produced from coffee beans which has been digested by a certain cat-like animal called civet cat.
Seminyak was our second and final stop and boasts some of the most glorious beaches in Bali. There are legendary sunsets, the weather is unbeatable and after 5 hectic days in Ubud we were so excited to relax. Our hotel was called Puri Saron – a beachfront resort with the perfect location close to markets.
Although we had been excited to relax, our first night in Seminyak was more then likely your typical “bogan Aussie trip.” We went to to an official pool party, danced on tables, survived Arak vodka, watched midget fighting and made it home safe from Kuta via motorbike taxi.
Hands down, one of the most unique experiences I have EVER done is visiting the hang over lounge. and yes – it does actually work. through an IV drip they will give you 1500ml of hydration, vitamin B complex (B1, B6, B12) Vitamin C, stomach protector medicine, glauthione (anti-oxidant & liver cleanser), intravenous electrolytes, anti nausea medicine and pain killers. although I wasn’t too overly hung over this particular day it was much needed after 2 weeks in the sun with most of my liquid consumption being alcohol.
There was one must do when we arrived into Seminyak – and this was to visit the Bali bombing site in Kuta. The devastating attack killed 202 people including 88 Australians back in 2002. To this day the site remains empty and even the memorial is across the road. The Balinese believe it is bad luck to build on such land. I’m unsure words can describe the feeling you get walking by this location and I believe this is the reason security is so incredibly high now. I lost count of how many machine guns, sniffer dogs and bomb checks I saw while traveling through Kuta & Seminyak.
My favourite way to end this trip was yet again another first – get a tattoo while overseas. This tattoo speaks more to me then any others and I love the fact I got it whilst in Bali. Buddha means wisdom, an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection. in fact the term Buddha literally means enlightened one, a knower.
and hey, Buddha have some pretty amazing quotes too
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. otherwise you will miss most of your life.”