Saturday, November 12, 2011
This is our third trip to Bali so in a bid to avoid the hoards of loud, drunk Aussies in the usual tourist traps of Kuta and Legian, we head straight for the serenity of Ubud. While it’s certainly a tourist hub there are still pockets of calm tranquility that you can escape to.
Our stay at the Alam Indah was just the ticket and the two-story bungalow we stay in is visually sumptuous. The surrounding gardens really make the place look like paradise and it doesn’t take long for us to relax and unwind. We hire a scooter for the four days we are here and enjoy the freedom of being able to zip around unencumbered.
Given we are only here for four days, we indulge in a festival of gastronomic delights at all our usual haunts for our must-have foods – crispy fried duck at the Dirty Duck Diner, mouth-watering banana pancakes with fresh coconut and warm palm sugar at Wayan’s Cafe, oh so good roast pork at Babi Guling, fresh organic juices at Bali Buddha, Nasi campur at Murni’s Warung and the best anchovy, garlic chilli pasta and pizzas at Pizza Bagus.
No trip to Bali is complete without several massages and spa time to really get you in the holiday frame of mind. And with that we I put my best-pedicured foot forward and boarded the plane for a quick 2 day trip to Yogyakarta (Yogya as it’s affectionately known) in Central Java to see the beautiful stupas of Borobudur which I’ve posted about separately.
On the last leg of our trip, we headed to Lombok to see the famed Gilis islands which are made up of Gili Meno, Trawangan, and Air. We stay on Meno and spend our days lazing on the beach or sitting up in the pavilions facing the sea with a good book. One’s stomach is well catered for with restaurants servicing the pavilions directly behind us so we had a steady stream of food and drinks throughout the day without having to leave the beach except to take a dip into the water. The islands are ringed with coral and the beaches were filled with dead coral which made walking on the beach or swimming not particularly pleasant unless you went much further out to sea. The Gilis were full of Eastern Europeans sunbathing themselves to a crisp. As nice as it was being out near the ocean after the smog and heat of Yogya we were glad to head back to Oz.