Golden Week Holiday April 28- May 8, 2016.
It’s 2:30 am, in a 200 person line, at the Bali airport. “This is chaos!” Jeremy and I said in agreement. We were half asleep and just wanted to get to a bed before our first full day in Indonesia that was to begin at 7 am the next morning. As we were trying to stay positive, Jeremy took out his phone to take a picture to document this chaos. Next thing you know, we have a Balinese security guard running over to us demanding that Jeremy deletes the picture (and delete the “deleted folder”) and then he must inspect his photos. He left us alone once the picture was gone.
We finally made it through the massive line, and were greeted by our driver for the week, on the other side of security. Wi, our driver, was just the laid-back-welcome that we needed at that hour!
Day 1: Off we went with Wi: beginning with traditional Balinese dancing, a temple visit, Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud, waterfall visit, Indonesian woodcarving, painting, and the world famous Luwak Coffee, or “poo coffee” (google “world’s most expensive coffee”). We sustained our energy with a breath-taking lunch overlooking a volcano and all you can eat Indonesian buffet! We hesitantly arrived to our $16/night accommodations for the night in Ubud. This was our first “homestay.” We arrived just as the sun was setting and the wall lizards were starting to come out. A few of these little lizards snuck into our 2nd floor bedroom, and 10 of them said goodbye to us on the ceiling outside of our room as we left for dinner. If you didn’t already know, I’m not the most “outdoorsy” kind of girl. So the whole dinner I spent googling more information about these creatures, that I could perhaps be sharing a bed with that night. Turns out they weren’t going to eat me, and were actually doing good by eating other insects around them. So I decided to nickname them “wall wizards” so they became less intimidating.
Day 2: THE best pineapple pancakes and juicy fresh fruit breakfast overlooking Monkey rainforest~ to say we got a steal for $16 that night would be an understatement! We explored the small, culture packed, bustling streets of Ubud. Jeremy was braver than I was, and got a fish foot treatment when the tiny fish eat the dead skin off of your feet! Wi picked us up and took us to our next hotel in Sanur. We enjoyed delicious food at the Sanur night market, and met up with two friends and their 2-year-old son.
Day 3: The day started off with a minor motorbike spill. We survived, are all healed up now, and can laugh about it today. Actually we had to learn to laugh about it that day or it would’ve ruined the trip. If you’d like to hear the full version of the story, just ask. Later that morning, Wi picked us up and we headed to a small turtle island by glass bottom boat, then a famous surfing beach, Uluwatu Temple, and an amazing resort to stop for a light snack and a drink.
Day 4: Ferry to Nusa Lembongan, our first island! This island was SO relaxing and CHILL. The place we stayed was called “Rama Garden Retreat” (Thanks for the rec, Avery’s!) and it was just that: a retreat… ahhh! They had organic/vegan food, which attracted a lot of the islanders who weren’t even staying there. They had a delicious smoothie and juice menu that we couldn’t get enough of! We took bicycles (no more motor bikes for me!) and set up a giant hill to catch the sunset. We were some of the few who didn’t have motor bikes, so it took us almost 3 hours to get to the top of the secluded beach that we were seeking for the sunset. It was totally worth the long and humid trek, and the ride down was a total breeze!
Day 5: Island beach bums, who soon got TOASTED from over-enjoyment of the sun and sand. We finished the night with dinner at our garden retreat, and met a unique and interesting European couple at our open air retreat restaurant who we enjoyed Bintang’s with and closed the place down.
Day 6: Off to the next island, “Gili T,” to kick-back with our friends for a few days! This island is supposedly the “party island” so I almost didn’t want to visit there. It wasn’t as crazy as I expected. Yeah there were no cops, lots of people on drugs, and signs advertising crazy shrooms, but it was easy to avoid all of that craziness. The place we stayed was our “splurge” for the trip- meaning it cost more than $60/night, and better in person than the pictures… loved the prices in this country!
Day 7: I’m still dreaming about the breakfast we had at our villa!! We had a relaxing day bike riding around the whole island with our friends, watched another island sunset, and enjoyed some delicious food. Life. Is. Good.
Day 8: Back to mainland, Kuta. Totally different feel than the islands. Very crowded streets, and the only time we felt like we had to be aware of our surroundings on the trip. Lots of touristy shops, and beach goods. The beaches are famous for surfing, so maybe next time! We had some amazing Mexican food for dinner, 3rd time for Mexican that trip. I guess we were missing that and any Western food we could find!