Our trip to Bali

Oh man, we had a GREAT trip to Bali!!

It didn’t start so hot – we had a late afternoon flight, and then a three hour delay (two hours were KLM’s fault, one hour was due to heavy rains in Singapore), which meant that we only arrived at our gorgeous Motama Inn suite in Bali’s Ubud town close to midnight! But, in view of the other KLM horror stories I’ve heard since, I think we got off lucky. Zen and I took our guitars, and I was traveling with the cowboy boots and cowboy hat, so it was full style. Nice.

Our first morning, Sunday, was spent chilling out in our gorgeous Motama suite, with the cool breakfast that they served, and then Naoko and I went to wander the town, while Zen enjoyed the cable TV. We found the football field, and a nice little art shop that sold some paintings we fancied (we went back the next day and bought three small ones), as well as the village itself. The interesting thing about Motama is that, although Ubud is a thoroughly touristic town, Motama is the only tourist accommodation in the whole vicinity, so we got to observe plenty of Balinese village life, including a temple festival, a “tomb-sweeping” ceremony, and all sorts of other groovy stuff. Wow!!

In the afternoon we went to Ubud proper and wandered around, partly looking for the old guest house we stayed at in 1996 when Naoko and I visited Bali as backpackers, partly looking for new accommodation for December 2nd to 5th, when we were without a secured place to stay. We wandered all over Ubud, eventually discovering two nice places that we’d want to stay at – the luscious Second Honeymoon with its gorgeous gardens (for the evening of December 2nd and 3rd), and the quaint backpacker spot the Ganesha Inn (December 4th). In the evening we went back to Motama to have dinner served in our suite, and chill out.

Monday morning was spent chilling out some more, and also wandering around the rice field, and buying our paintings. We checked out, and went to Second Honeymoon. We wandered around and for lunch we ate babi guleng, which is traditional Bali pork dishes. Yummy, and great garden shop!! We found lots of shops and cafe and went back to our accommodation, Naoko went to a spa, Zen and I played chess and guitar on the front porch, and in the evening we ate pizza (yummy!) and saw a local parade. Cool!

On Tuesday we had our breakfast, and played chess and chilled out and went to visit Monkey Forest, and also booked our river rafting tour (Zen’s choice). We also ate lunch at an eatery overlooking rice fields. Great view… but the food was terrible!!! Oh well. In the evening we went for the same pizza place!

Wednesday was fun day – we went river rafting! A 10 kilometer course, that took two hours to complete. The driver picked us up, we drove 20 minutes uphill, got to an “arrival station”, got into our swimming gear and our life jackets, then we trekked into the river valley, where rafts were waiting for us. We got a quick course in how to follow our guide’s instructions, and off we went – four Japanese, a Canadian, and American, and a Bali dude. We went along the river, and very quickly hit our first rough patch, which we went down like a short roller coaster. It was fun. We went past many rocky sections, never with any problems except for getting stuck on rocks (that was the guide’s problem to solve). We often met other rafters along the way, and got to recognize a few of them again and again (they often splashed us with their paddles, just for fun). At one point we stopped at a place that had carvings inspired by the Hindu Ramayana epic. We stopped once at a little shack in the middle of the journey that served food and drinks for those that wanted to buy them, and rocks to dive off of for those who wanted to do that. I did it a bunch of times, and Zen even did it once! We also drifted along a beautiful waterfall, with the guide making sure we soaked in it. We also saw several great resorts in the river valley above us, probably something to look into staying at next time we go to Bali (which, we hope, will be soon). There were two points where we could jump into the river and float along next to the raft. Yay! At the end we got to a cool restaurant that looked out onto rice fields, there we chilled out again and had a nice brunch, while admiring the scenery. Lovely! Even better, it was only a 10 minute ride back to Second Honeymoon!!

In the afternoon we went to the Ganesha Inn to check into our room, and chilled out all day. In the evening we went to the amazing Warung Cafe – a beautiful Ubud cafe with amazing food. Loved it!!

Thursday we hung around Ganesha Inn a lot, then headed off for lunch down the lanes and discovered local eateries selling amazing satay! Nice chili sauce too!! Then we jumped into a cab and went off to the Hotel Grand Nikko in Nusa Dua, at the coast, and enjoyed our room, and the local Japanese restaurant (you normally don’t go to Bali to eat Japanese food, but this was a Japanese hotel, and the food was excellent). Nice!!

Friday we went to the beach, went to brunch, went back to the beach and pool (water slide!!), and then off to dinner in town at a local grill – Ulam, across the street from the Melia Benoa. Nice stuff!!

One funny thing I noticed about Bali is that there are a lot of convenience stores and small grocery shops, called “marts”. There was Alpha Mart, Cancer Mart, Dharma Mart, and Johnny Mart. Nice!

Saturday, our last day in Bali, we went for a stroll on the beach, had our brunch, then hung out in the room, had a late check out at 2:00 PM, hung out at the pool and beach all afternoon, had another amazing dinner at the restaurant, and then off we went to the airport. The flight was on time, and we got to Singapore with no problems. Great!

Sunday we got up early to meet Margaret and Larry and the girls for a nice breakfast… but that’s another story.

Guitar, boots, hat, son… check!

Guitar, boots, hat, son… check!

Natural beauty at night

Natural beauty at night

Love our private pool!!

Love our private pool!!

Love our breakfast!!

Love our breakfast!!

Love our breakfast!!

Love our breakfast!!

Nagisa ni te - on the love beach!

Nagisa ni te - on the love beach!

Love pool!

Love pool!

Love our private pool!!

Love our private pool!!

Love pool!

Love pool!

Rice paddy of love!

Rice paddy of love!

Motama sunrise!

Motama sunrise!

Motama bed

Motama bed

Motama shadows

Motama shadows

Motama gal

Motama gal

Motama gal

Motama gal

Football field in Ubud

Football field in Ubud

Ubud villager

Ubud villager

Ubud village gate god

Ubud village gate god

Rice paddy of love!

Rice paddy of love!

Rice paddy view!

Rice paddy view!

Sofa girl!

Sofa girl!

Contemplation…

Contemplation…

Bye bye Motama!!

Bye bye Motama!!

Oh Lord, yeah!!

Oh Lord, yeah!!

Relax!

Relax!

Lotus lake!

Lotus lake!

Babi guleng!!

Babi guleng!!

Garuda!!

Garuda!!

Mini-bird warrior.

Mini-bird warrior.

Love monkey number 9!

Love monkey number 9!

Zen porcelain. Oooohhh…!!!

Zen porcelain. Oooohhh…!!!

Zen guitar again!

Zen guitar again!

Love fountain

Love fountain

Love shadows

Love shadows

Love pizza

Love pizza

Chess at Second Honeymoon!!

Chess at Second Honeymoon!!

Monkey forest monkeys!!

Monkey forest monkeys!!

Peter loves Naoko, and vice versa

Peter loves Naoko, and vice versa

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating our flesh!!

Fish are eating my flesh!!

Fish are eating my flesh!!

Frog went a-courtin'...

Frog went a-courtin'...

River rafting gang!!

River rafting gang!!

River rafting gang!!

River rafting gang!!

River rafting gang!!

River rafting gang!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

After-rafting

After-rafting

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

River rafting!!

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

After-rafting

Moustache man!!

Moustache man!!

Monkey forest Naoko!!

Monkey forest Naoko!!

The Laughing Mynah - konnichiwa!!

The Laughing Mynah - konnichiwa!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Chess kids at Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn view!!!!

Ganesha Inn view!!!!

Chillin' at Ganesha Inn!!

Chillin' at Ganesha Inn!!

Dinner at the wonderful Ibu Oka shop for babi guleng!

Dinner at the wonderful Cafe Warung!

Chillin' at chess at Ganesha Inn!!

Chillin' at chess at Ganesha Inn!!

Zen guitar at Ganesha Inn!!

Zen guitar at Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn Ganesha

Ganesha Inn Ganesha

Zen guitar at Ganesha Inn

Zen guitar at Ganesha Inn

Grocery mart, with satay

Grocery mart, with satay

Yummy satay!!

Yummy satay!!

Yummy satay!!

Yummy satay!!

Yummy nasi goreng!

Yummy nasi goreng!

Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn!!

Ganesha Inn!!

Hotel Grand Nikko… TV

Hotel Grand Nikko… TV

Hotel Grand Nikko's view

Hotel Grand Nikko's view

Cafe Ulam grilled fish - yummy!!

Cafe Ulam grilled fish - yummy!!

Cafe Ulam grilled fish - yummy!!

Cafe Ulam grilled fish - yummy!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Ulam food!!!

Hotel Grand Nikko morning

Hotel Grand Nikko morning

Beach baby

Beach baby

Beach baby

Beach baby

Nikko beach

Nikko beach

Beach baby

Beach baby

Nikko pool

Nikko pool

Naoko on the Beach

Naoko on the Beach

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Nikko beach big sky!!

Nikko beach big sky!!

Naoko on the Nikko love beach!!

Naoko on the Nikko love beach!!

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Naoko on the love beach!!

Naoko on the love beach!!

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Nikko fishermen, oh YEAH!!

Nikko!!

Nikko!!

Nikko helipad!

Nikko helipad!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Lovin' our last hour at Nikko, with Japanese food!!

Guitar guys!!

Guitar guys!!

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