First of all, we would like to apologise for the lack of blog posts throughout our time in Bali. We were just having WAAAYYY too much fun hehe!
Anna especially enjoyed breakfast this morning as gluten free toast accompanied her gluten free pancakes, it was a great start to the day. We decided that we would rent scooters for the day. Sonya was determined to ride one all by herself as she hasn't done it before. There were only three bikes available to rent and so Ben and Anna shared, Ben drove and Anna played human sat nav on the back. This gave Sonya the chance to ride! For those of you who don't know my mother, she can be rather ditsy and we do often worry about her. For example, the last time she got on a bike with a motor.. She ended up in a hedge! Surprisingly Sonya did really well and we arrived at Nusa Dua in one piece only a little later than expected. We parked our bikes up, bought some refreshing drinks and headed down the walkway to the beach. The reason we wanted to go to Nusa Dua was because its suppose to be one of the best snorkelling spots in Bali. When we got to the beach we found out we would have to get a boat ride over to the reef where the snorkelling is. We debated this but when we realised it was only £5 each we strutted down the sand to the collection point (after Ben haggled an amazing price ofcourse like the cheeky London chappy he is). The boat pulled up and we realised that it was another walk in the ocean to get on boat. Here is another prime example of where I get my occasional ditsy from... Sonya started to take off her trousers so they didn't get wet in the sea, then instantly horrified pulled them right back up as she remembered she didn't have her bikini on and was infact showing the whole of Bali her lovely knickers! She decided to roll her up her trousers instead and we were soon all safely on board. The boat was just for us four and was also glass bottom. We set off and it didn't take long at all to reach the reef. Ben and Sonya were straight in the sea with masks on where as Nigel and Anna sat on board spotting fish through the glass. Anna had really hurt her neck from surfing and so didn't risk drowning by snorkelling. Nigel was just being a grumpy old man. Ben soon was doing some tricks under the glass bottom boat for our entertainment as the snorkelling wasn't as good as it could of been due to the poor visibility.
After an hour we got the boat back to the beach where we found a nice spot to sunbathe and read. Nigel decided to sit away from us in the shade. A few minutes later we looked over at him to see that he was infact having his photo taken by three young Asian girls! It was more of a photoshoot actually. We all found this rather amusing. After a dip in the sea we got peckish and lazy, so what better to do than order some takeout onto the beach! It was perfect and tasty.
Whist we were eating, Sonya realised she had infact lost her motorbike key. After combing the beach and emptying out bags, Nigel returned to the bike to find the key still in the ignition! Thank god no one realised this and drove off with the thing.. Naughty Sonya! We then headed back towards the hotel. As we reached the road to the hotel we decided to take a little diversion to the beach to watch the sunset. I think this photo says it all....
Back at the hotel we handed in the keys to the bikes and paid for them. Ten minutes later, the hotel staff are running after us saying we had forgot to return one key. We were confused as we had given back three keys for three bikes. The hotel worker told us that two keys were for the same bike as one was for the ignition and one to open the seat for the petrol. Yet again it was Sonya who had lost the key but luckily it didn't take Ben long to find it. This situation was where we met Wayan. Wayan is the loveliest hotel manager any of us have ever met. We already knew about him before getting to Bali as the hotel reviews are full of praise for him. He infact exceeded our expectations. After all the excitement of the bike key, we found ourselves exhausted and so decided to order gf pizza and watch a film in bed. A healthy days eating I know..
We spent the morning eating our breakfast, swimming in the pool and heading to the beach to watch Ben surf. Anna didn't partake as she still had an injured neck. Ben is getting back to his usual surfing standards. He was surprised to find how out of practice he was. Every time he goes out he gets better and so every morning he is up and out and ready to hit the waves!
We all spent the day at the beach until a big storm cloud came over and threatened to rain on us. We soon headed back to the hotel where we had discovered that whilst we were gone, Wayan had moved all of our things to a bungalow... Not just any bungalow... The best one in the place! As you know we were disappointed to be staying in a standard room and so we were over the moon with this discovery. It has a bathroom downstairs with a huge bath, and upstairs a massive room with a balcony. Wayan being the sweetheart that he is even tried to put things back exactly where he got them from in the previous room.
The storm soon passed by without a spec of rain and so we had another dip in the pool. It's that humid that we basically just spent the whole time in the pool. We were feeling unhealthy from all the take out and Ben was feeling motivated to get his fitness levels up for surfing, there's two feelings resulted in is jogging down the lane and back to collect our laundry. It wasn't far but it we tough due to the sweltering heat.
After some much needed showers we decided to go to the restaurant across the road for our dinner. We didn't stay too long as we forgot to put our mozzy spray on... Potential for disaster!
So it turns out it's rather noisy in the bungalows. We were woken by screaming kids, bird calls and the construction site next door. It seems to be getting hotter and hotter, so hot that we had to eat breakfast up on the terrace just to get a bit of a breeze. We spoke to Wayan about the days trip we had planned and we asked if he knew anyone who would be able to take us to all the sights. He said he had a friend who would be more than happy to help us out. Moments later Ke Tut appeared in his nice big people carrier taxi. This was a relief to the Ashbarry travellers as they wouldn't have to be squished up in the back! Turns out we wouldn't have been squished anyway as Nigel decided to take the day off and spend it lazing around the pool. Ben, Sonya and Anna soon set off for the hours journey to the lake. There's 3 lakes in Bali and each lake represents a different thing as they are spiritual and a place of worship. We drove up very steep and windy roads to get to the lake and as we were so high up we even entered a rain cloud. We were not dressed for this weather! As we were walking round taking pictures, the weather took a turn for the worse and so we decided to go and get a buffet lunch, and it's a good job we did as in no time, buckets of rain came pouring down!
After lunch we headed to the hot springs. The advantage of having a local taxi driver instead of an organised tour is that you get access to the local secrets. Ke Tut took us to local hot springs where there wasn't a single tourist in sight. Anna and Ben were the first in as Sonya played photographer. Ke Tut soon came down to the pool laughing and informed us we were actually in the baby pool. We did wonder why it was so shallow! We all got into the adults Spring where it was much deeper and even hotter. It was a sureal experience as we were in the middle of the jungle right by a waterfall. Anna didn't enjoy it as much as the other two as she was a bit grossed out by all the algae.
After drying off and discovering that our swimsuits might potentially be stained orange due to the sulphur/algae, we headed to the rice terrace. This is literally a lay by on the side of the road where you can see all of the rice fields and mountains. The view was stunning.. I will let the photo speak for itself...
After the rice terrace we headed to a local temple where the timing couldn't of been better. A ceremony was about to take place and we were about to whiteness it. We got very excited and got our cameras ready. Floods of people arrived with offerings all dressed in white and live Indonesian music was being played. After standing around for a while we were soon all horrified to see how they started the ceremony... Chopping the head off a tiny, cute and little innocent duck. Anna couldn't bare the sight or thought of it and thankfully it was over quickly. What was more upsetting was that they just cast its body to the side of the road and left it twitching. I guess they leave it for the gods but it can also be seen as a waste of a life. We got back in the car and headed to temple number two. By the time we arrived here it was dark. The temple was actually in the sea. As the tide was out we walked across the sand in the pitch black towards it. The temple wasn't lit up much so we couldn't see it in its full glory. There were lots of Indonesian men stood around and so we joined them. Anna and Ben soon ended up giving a small donation to wash in holy water. In return we got rice stuck on our head and a flower behind our ear. We were then practically chucked out as it was closing. We were kind of glad as the bats and mosquitos were getting to us! We headed back to the car where we looked around some shops. Ke Tut joined us as during the day he invited us to his temples ceremony and said we needed to buy sarongs. We quickly picked some out before closing and headed back to the hotel where we dropped Sonya off. Ben and Anna then proceeded to the Italian restaurant. Getting there was a story in its self as Ke Tut didn't really know where it was and he didn't follow our directions at all well and so we ended up embarking on the longest route! Finally we got there and enjoyed our meal! After receiving the bill we were shocked to find we couldn't pay by card. We didn't really know what to do apart from one of us walking to an ATM. The waiter then offered to take Ben on the back of his motorbike instead. This beat walking and so we wet able to pay in no time. Ke Tut got us back to the hotel in a faster time than the journey there. When we got back to the hotel we ended up giving Wayan a motivational chat as it turns out he doesn't really enjoy his job because of his boss. We explained to him that that issue was one of the reasons we went travelling! It turns out it's common in every country. We headed to our room where we almost had to break up a dog fight... Luckily no one was hurt!