Its a continuation from Part 1 of my trip to Bali, as promised. Still on day 2 of our visit, it was a packed day :). We visited one of the many water sports centres for an underwater adventure. Bikini clad, we jumped onto a speed boat which jetted through the water to a stationed post, behold our under water sea walk. I am not much of an adrenaline junkie so my nerves were already shell shocked from the speed on the boat. We were escorted off the the boat, onto a temporary platform floating on the water, where we were given appropriate gear (shoes and an oxygen helmet) and a safety talk. Once the formalities were out of the way, we descended into the water with our guide. Walking on the sea bed (imagine that Pirates of the Caribbean scene, but less, dead), touching the corals, admiring and feeding the fish, all whilst breathing perfectly in our head gear was extraordinary. I don’t recall how long we were under the water (it was that captivating), maybe 15 minutes. This is the perfect alternative for any non swimmer or anyone not keen on scuba diving. And…hair stays dry…this was a plus for my braided hair.
On the third day, we headed to Ubud for a day at the market. Whatever you do (at least if you’re from my parts of the world), haggle, yes haggle. Do not accept the first price you hear, because you can get it for less. From accessories, traditional fabric to household items, there was plenty to browse. Also, take your time at the market, you may find the same items at different stalls and at different prices.
After buying a couple of goodies to take back home, we made our way to the rice fields. The rice terraces in Tegallalang are quite the sight for a visitor. The wonder is in the exquisite engineering of the terraces and the irrigation system that feeds them. We snapped a couple of pics and savoured ice cream to cool down. Fitness is right up there at the top of my life goals (he he), no I did not hike in the fields, also it was at least 31 degrees Celsius, in the shade.
This day was also our first night officially on the town (this was clearly not high on the agenda, and I pushed for it). We had dinner and a fun night at La Favela, a retro Brazilian favela inspired restaurant and club in Seminyak. From the deconstructed cheese cake, we had for dessert to rubbing shoulders with other travelers on the dance floor, to the drunk American man telling me about the slave trade in Liberia, it was definitely a night to remember. My western hip hop influenced ears would have liked some Jay Z, maybe some Kendrick, but I suppose I can live with Bruno Mars.
On our last day, we turned things up a notch and headed to the upper east side of Bali. My oh my, turns out that there is a level of opulence synonymous with the wealthy on that side of town. Jimbaran is where I imagine , the rich come to play when in Bali. Seminyak, well that’s for those of us exploring the world on a tight developing country budget. The aim was to watch the sun set from the Rock Bar at the Ayana resort which opens at 16h00, and we arrived early. Whilst waiting we headed over to Unique Roof Top Bar and Restaurant which has more regular operating hours, located on the same resort. There are shuttle carts moving between the different hotels in this large estate, no need to break a sweat. At the entrance of the bar, we were greeted by an attractive hostess in a figure hugging black ensemble, complete with a bond girl type girdle around her waist and a walkie talkie- she took prompt communication to another level here. After ordering our drinks, we lounged on the sun deck, soaking up the rays whilst admiring the view of land and sea. We also took a dip in the infinity pool and further awed at the beauty of it all, surely I’ll remember that view forever.
Closer to sunset we made our way to the Rock Bar to witness what truly was a magical display. This open top bar is carved on top of rocks lining the coast. The simple design and wooden rustic finish ensures that you focus on the natural beauty of the surrounding. Even before the sun sets, the view is breathtaking. We watched the sky change colour whilst sipping on refreshing drinks, listening to the sound of waves and the inhaling the sea breeze.
Finally, we headed back to Seminyak for our last supper, at La Plancha, a beach side bar and restaurant, colourfully interspersed by umbrellas and bean bags on the sand , for some sea food and wine (my favourites).
Bali was more than I had hoped for. We could have eaten more local food, nonetheless we ate some. We found God in many places and prayed some. Sure, there wasn’t a dashing Brazilian waiting to samba his way into my heart but few bonds are stronger than the love of the sisterhood, so we loved plenty.