BALI. One month ago we left for a place I once thought I’d only see in Eat, Pray, Love. It’s been on the top of our list since we found out we were moving to HK. The excitement of going once we booked was only quadrupled by the fact that we were going with our HK BFFFFFF’s Jane and Rowan. We all waited in anticipation of this ten day trip for a long time. Was it worth the wait?
Let me start out by saying that we landed in Denpasar around midnight, drove straight to a hotel near the airport, slept for a few hours and headed right OUT of Bali early the next morning. Crazy? I think not – considering we wound up here by noon:
Gili Trawangan, a tiny island just a bumpy two-hour speedboat ride from Bali. No cars are allowed on the island. Good thing – the place is busy enough between what seemed like hundreds of these horse drawn carts and a ‘main drag’ lined with bars, beer gardens and magic mushroom stands. Mornings however, were more peaceful. That little guy on the right.. Probably catching dinner. (Or dare I say…. maybe even our dinner? Although we noticed he didn’t have any bait on his hook so … good luck?)
Ah, yes – our hotel! LOVE THIS!
Everything on that sign is totally true. Amazing villas, great pool and bar, such good food, friendliest staff in town. I will only refrain from commenting on the ‘solar hot water’ bit. In my book ‘solar’ could just as well be replaced with ‘scalding’ and be accurate.
Here we are! On our way to Scallywags’ beach on nearby Gili Air.
I’d say it was worth the 10 minute ride over.
To all our friends who banked on us loving diving – sorry to disappoint. We went, we saw, we did not conquer. We stunk to be honest. I am happy to report that we did last 22 minutes (although I can’t tack ‘underwater’ onto that since we came up to the surface 3 times), went down a whopping 7m, and can now add Discover Scuba to the list of things that yes, I am so happy we did, but no, will not be trying again in the next six months. Pretty confident in our ability to sun worship so maybe we’ll continue to focus our efforts there.
But, THIS – this we could handle. Beautiful!
I wish we could have captured more of what we saw since this was the best snorkeling I have done. Okay, okay, judging from the diving experience and the fact that we’re from the Midwest, it’s probably pretty evident that we haven’t done much snorkeling. Regardless, you KNOW it’s a successful experience when you see five turtles and tons of Nemo’s!
Seafood… YUM! Kidding. I don’t know why I chose to take a picture of a bunch of fish heads rather than the delectable goodness we really ate….
Even more confusing – why do these exist? Ah, yes, obviously as a complement to the magic mushroom shakes. Well I’ve always wanted to go to the moon. But something about calling 911 and me feeling like I would need to ‘alert the authorities!’ left me not enthused to try these magic shakes.
Our waiter (yes, we did go in) on the other hand must’ve been eating mushrooms by the fist full. After delivering our beers (a miracle in itself) he proceeded to hover over us, carefully peel off each label from each bottle and affix them on the post above Rowan’s head. The concentration required for such a task was obviously too much for him, as he then felt the need to take a little nap in the corner.
Will someone get this guy a can of Seaweed Pringles? The bar may need its only waiter during prime operating hours…
En route to the opposite side of the island to see the sunset:
Well-deserved wine time once we arrived. We did bike there after all. The guys opted for something more manly. Good grief. (Actually, I will give them credit. These were pretty darn good.)
Getting excited for the sunset…
Because it was incredible. And a fitting close to an incredible stay on Gili. Back to Bali!
We knew that Bali was going to be a much different experience than that of Gili T. It was time to put away the bikinis and put on some skirts instead. It didn’t take us long to go from beach bums to full fledged tourists.
We only had one full day in Bali and with a huge list of things we wanted to see, we decided to hire a driver and do as much as humanly possible in one day. Judging by the number of pictures to follow, I think we did pretty well… The first stop was one of the many temples. So back to those skirts. Someone was enjoying his time in the garment. Feeling inspired, even.
I’m supposed to say here that I made Jake take this photo. (I’ve now held up my end of the bargain and can post this.) I think he was channeling a little catalogue we’ve perused in the past…
Onward we went. Rice paddies (I’ll spare you pics that look a field straight out of Elgin) followed by a this lovely waterfall. It was beautiful but it was the next stop that had me excited…
Monkey ‘Forest’ is really more of a park where you can take a leisurely ‘stroll’ and enjoy the monkeys from a distance. Yea, no. They are aggressive, greedy little misfits who will go to any lengths to maliciously rip the bananas from the innocent visitors’ hands. A pack of them chased me down and within 15 seconds flat I had forfeited my entire bunch.
Luckily this sweet guy still wanted to hang out with me, despite my lack of bananas.
Oh, wait, scratch that. Now I remember. He set his sights higher. Smart guy. Who needs bananas when you can have a diamond necklace.
Last two monkey pictures I promise. I dedicate the first to my lovely sister, who is as big a fan of these guys as I am, if not more…. And the second to National Geographic, who will surely be picking this up as their next cover shot.
Okay on to our next stop, Ubud, for another temple (no skirts, sorry guys) and SHOPPING!
Bargain shopping + devouring ice cream.
Who needs to be good at diving when we have these life skills?
We tore ourselves away from the town because we had better things to do. Namely go to an amazing hotel to watch the sunset…
Take some honeymoon-esque photos (thanks Photog Jane)… and head to one last dinner.
Not sure where this came from but Jake’s newest obsession (other than buying fake jerseys from China) is smoking cigars. His interest in the activity grows almost as quickly as the number of grays on his head. Makes sense I suppose. Anyway, Rowan humored him and the two of them decided to get a couple post-dinner…
You can tell Jake is a real natural.
Our dads would be proud. Funny, that reminded me a bit of the monkeys again.
Oops I broke my promise. I will dedicate that pic to the monkeys’ #1 fan, this lovely lady!
Cheers to an absolutely PERFECT VACATION!!!!!