Friday, 20 May 2011

Eat & Love

**Pre-Warning** This is possibly the longest post EVER

I ate.  And I loved.

Bali, that is.

I think this photo is going to be the background of my phone for the next few weeks months. It's the view from my room at our hotel - The Jayakarta in Legian.

As soon as the plane landed back in Australia, I felt like crying. I love the escapism of travelling so instead of getting depressed about reality, allow me to over-share with photos from my week in Bali.

First some background for you..

My week in Bali involved me hijacking my mum's 2 week holiday that she had planned several months ago.

Full disclosure - I have never had any desire to go to Bali whatsoever. Honestly, I prefer extreme cold to extreme heat. But following recent events, several people suggested I should go on a holiday and get some well deserved rest, so I went to Bali with the intent to lie by the pool and read a stack of books.

Silly me.

You cannot go to another country and stay confined to the hotel. OK... Yyou probably can, but you shouldn't.

So during my 6 days in Bali, I squeezed in 3 day trips to other areas of the island, 2 shopping days and yes, 1 day by the pool. (Sidenote - I was so exhausted on the final day I fell asleep by the pool and have come home with ridiculous sun burn on my belly).

This was the view from my pool lounge.. Pure bliss.

I managed to come home with just under 400 photos - taken both with my iphone and dodgy canon 'point and shoot' digital camera.

Here's the edited version of my holiday album - - -

The hotel grounds were beautiful. Just out of sight in this photo is one of the pools and beyond that - the beach.


In the mornings, we had breakfast at one of the hotel's restaurants overlooking the beach.

On the Tuesday, we took a field trip to Tanjung Benoa and went out in a glass bottom boat.
The beach where this took place was very commercialised with tourists able to participate in parasailing, jet skiing, fly fishing or windsurfing.

The view back to the beach from the boat was amazing. How the drivers of different vessels don't collide remains a mystery to me. Balinese drivers (on land and water) are maniacs!

The Captain of our glass-bottom boat was a friendly man who noticed that staring at the bottom of a rocking boat was making me green, so he let me steer instead.

After the boating adventure, we made our way to Sanur for lunch and decided that next time we holiday in Bali (mum is convinced we will go back in October!) we will stay in Sanur rather than Legian, as it's quieter and the beach is calmer (Legian is a surf beach).

 I don't think I would complain if I had to return here...

Just like paradise.

On the advice of our trusty driver Froggy, we took a day trip to Seribatu Village.
The villagers here grow coffee, chocolate, cloves, vanilla, jackfruit, snake skinned fruit, durian, and pineapple, among other items.

Stopping along the way to admire the rice fields.

Froggy was a great guide - showing us the pod in which cocoa for chocolate is found.

There were samples of all of the produce - including roasting coffee beans.

We were invited to sit and enjoy the view.

Which was breathtaking.

And we were given free samples - which included lemon tea, ginseng tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
(10 points if you can guess what I bought back in my suitcase?!)

That leads me to the shopping...

In Bali, even though everything is cheap, it is still very easy to spend a lot of money...

The Balinese like to sell things in multiples and sometimes in a shopping frenzy it is easy to convince yourself that you do need 5 watches or 4 pairs of sunnies!

I didn't take many photos of the shopping, but we did spend some time at the markets in Ubud. It was multi-story and very easy to get lost!

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant with another breathtaking view.

Seriously, this country is amazing.

And later that night, I turned into a true tourist and got a henna tattoo on my foot.

Later in the week, I succumbed and had my nails done too...

For $3 AU how could I say no ??

OK... So eat Pray Love was a boxoffice hit. I must confess that I never finished the book. It's on my list of things to do because I think I will associate better with the story now than when I first started reading it.

I did enjoy the movie though.

So while in Bali, what better way to spend the day than to seek out Ketut ?  The medicine man who tells Liz she will have 2 marriages - 1 short and 1 long.
The man who predicts that she will lose all of her money right before she leaves her marriage and loses everything in her divorce.

Our driver Froggy tells us he knows where we can find Ketut, so we set off to Ubud in search of our own prophesies.

By this time, we have started to learn some Balinese language and have discovered that within a family the firstborn is "Wokalayan" (or Yan, for short), second is "Made," third is "Nyoman" or Komang (Man or Mang for short), and fourth is "Ketut" (often shortened to Tut).

Froggy himself advised that his name is Made, but he was given the nickname 'Froggy' by an Australian friend because Made was too common.

With this in mind, I am skeptical that we are even being taken to the correct place...

But eventually, we arrive.

And it's just like in the movie (I think they must have filmed there).

The property is beautiful.

Ketut has become so popular that we had to take a number and wait for him. Luckily we arrived first thing in the morning so there were only 2 others before us.

We sat nervously waiting for our turn.

And then we were invited to meet him.

Ketut looked at my face and my ears and then took my hand and read my palm. He was difficult to understand, but during the reading he told me he had a son who was a Doctor and that if he didn't already have a wife, I could have married him and lived in Bali. I wondered if he told that to all young single women.

In hindsight, I left feeling a little disappointed with my encounter with this great man. I wanted him to tell me something amazing.
I would have liked him to tell me I would travel. Or change careers. Or do something extraordinary.
Something no one else could know or predict, but everything he said was very non-descript and could have applied to anyone.

He did tell me I would be married again. Apparently, I have 2 marriage lines on my hand.
Only time will tell.

Now for some photos snapped with one Miss Pip in mind 
(If you've read this far, you're almost at the end I promise!) 

'Pips' - Pampurring in Paradise

This was a billboard I saw everywhere we went. And every time I saw it, I thought about how we should print it out and stick it up at work.
(I think it's advertising a brand of cigarette...)

ClasMILD - Talk Less. Do More.

It's like a No Talking post-it note.

And finally...

A man who makes cheeseburgers in the middle of the super market. At 5,500 rupiah each, that works out to about .60 cents AU.

Truely amazing.

So now I am home. Back to reality.

And the cold Adelaide weather.

Luckily there's someone waiting to keep me warm.



  1. Andie, your trip sounds amazing! I am so excited to see the photos because I have always also felt like I could take or leave Bali. Only after living in East Timor did I discover I actually quite like being hot all the time!
    And I am amazed that you met Ketut. I honestly loved the book and think you should give finishing it a go. It is such an inspiring and beautiful story.
    Happy days bella xx

  2. Thank you Miss Emma !
    Definately glad i gave Bali a chance. I would never have gone if it weren't for my mum. Would love to go back again (one day), perhaps with a group of people to experience it from a different perspective.
    I'll have to dig out my copy of the book and let you know what I think. Who knows.. It could inspire me to do the Italian or Indian holiday next !

  3. Wow Andie, It looks like you had such an Ah-Mazing time!!! I agree with Miss Emma - finish the book, you will be glad to you did :) I giggled that you got into the whole 'Bali experience' re the henna tattoo & nails lolol :P Can't wait to catch up and hear more stories

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