We have dream’t all our lives of going to Bali. As I write this we have been here for a month. We’ve had mixed emotions when we first arrived. Of course Bali has changed over the years and it’s seen a lot of tourist traffic. It’s congested, has a lot of motorbike traffic, parts of it are very commercialized and the streets are extremely narrow. We still haven’t gone to the most touristed areas like Kuta beach. But we love it anyways, some parts not as much as other parts.
We started in Sanur (they call it Snore – because it’s mainly older tourists). The beach was a disappointment. We knew before we got here the beach wouldn’t be much. There is a walkway that runs along the sea for 5K. It is a nice walk and you can drop into a restaurant or a cafe that’s shaded by palms and other trees. There are beautiful flowering and shade trees all along the walkway. There are shopping areas and roads or lanes that run up into the town. It’s easier to walk along the walkway then the shoreline because you sink into the sand, making it a bit tricky walking along the surf.
We got over our disappointment of the beach because we had booked hotels with pools. They call them plunge pools, they’re small and you just plunge into them and cool off. Most of the mid to high priced hotels have them in Bali, love that. The 2 hotels we stayed at had tropical gardens and incredible Balinese art and sculptures surrounding their pools, plus the gardens and sculptures continued throughout the property. Both places had friendly and helpful staff. The other tourists we met were extremely helpful and nice. We met some interesting people to talk with and trade travel and life stories with.
The village of Sanur is quite lovely. There are good restaurants both along the beach and in the town. The hawkers didn’t seem as bad as what we had run across in parts of Vietnam. We did have a incident and my camera was taken on the beach walkway. That happened on the second day. I guess I got too complacent and didn’t do my purse zipper up. A mistake I regret and hope not to repeat.
While we were in Sanur we took a tour around some of the southern beaches that Bali is famous for. We went to Nusa Dua (a very exclusive area in southern Bali with pristine white sand beaches – beautiful area), Dreamland Beach (white sand beach surrounded by cliffs – one of the liveliest surfing beaches), Pura Luhur Uluwatu (since the 10th century it’s been referred as Bali’s most important temple – set up in the cliffs with magnificent views) and Padang Padang (famous surfing spot, white sand beach, accessible down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance)
We moved from Sanur to Ubud, the capital of Balinese culture. The book Eat, Pray, Love has turned this sweet little paradise into a going concern. Everywhere you look there is art work, sculptures, flowers, flowering trees, temples, old and new fashion, music, spa’s, yoga, great food, traditional ceremonies, dance productions, friendly Balinese, interesting and friendly tourists from all over the world and just an all round tropical paradise. Bali has stolen our hearts. There are a ton of single 30ish women hanging out in Ubud. There’s spa’s, spa’s and more spa’s. We have the mother load of shopping but what beautiful dresses, purses, art work etc….. There’s yoga for all you yogis. Come get your dance on….the dance performances are breathtaking. The dances, costumes, headdresses, face masks and music is just plain magical.
We did several hikes in the rice paddies. We were lucky to see them harvesting the rice. They do most of this by hand. It’s hot, humid and back breaking work. It was magical walking through the rice paddies and jungle. There was still a lot of art work in small temples, wood carving, and statues galore in the fields and jungle.
We have moved on to a small resort just outside of Candidasa, Bali. The resort is lovely, the town of Canadidasa has seen better days. Candidasa is in the black sand area of Bali. Three years ago their beach disappeared. They took the coral out of the ocean to use it for building walls, buildings, decoration etc…. So the waves, without the reef to slow them down and keep them back moved further inland taking away the beach. They have since built a wall out in the ocean where the reef was and walls along the shoreline. There are stairs going down to the ocean here and there so you can go swimming. David snorkels out in front of the resort and says there’s lots of colourful fish. The coral (what’s left of it) is bleached and mainly dead but the fish are pretty.
We love the place we are staying. We’re up on the 3rd floor and the views outside the windows are incredible. It’s a peaceful place to stay. We’ll be here for 9 days and then we will be moving to Gili Meno (June 20th). Lombok is the larger island east of Bali and it has 3 famous islands called the Gili’s. We are going to stay on 2 of them. The 3rd one is a play island and is well known for it’s drugs. We have read they grow magic mushrooms on the paths of the island….so parents watch your kids. We’ve heard a lot of stories about Gili Trawangan (nicknamed Gili T). That one we will be skipping….too old for that. It’s for young kids who like to get their party on.