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The Trans-Siberian

Bali, Indonesia

INDONESIA | Friday, 21 December 2012 | Views [284]

Ah, Bali! After a long flight from Borneo to Kuala Lumpur then to Denpasar, I finally arrived in Bali. We took a 2 hour taxi ride to Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. Our guesthouse was amazing with various gardens and buildings to explore. The wood door to the room was intricately carved with flowers amd dancers. And the verandah! It was perfect for hanging out and listening to the myriad of bird calls. First order of business was to see a traditional Balinese dance at the palace. I have never seen a dance quite like this before! The next day we rode bikes to the Sacred Monkey Forest and watched dozens of macaques frolic and play while we wondered around and took pictures. On our 3rd day we rented a scooter and rode around the countryside and checked out the Elephant Cave temple. During the drive, the skies opened up and it poured on us! We were soaked to the bone. Well, it IS the rainy season and there was nothing else to do but continue on. It got chilly riding in the rain! After 3 wonderful days in Ubud, we headed to the Gili islands, and hour boat ride from Padang Bai. The Gilis are quite small and don't allow cars or motorbikes. The modes of transportation consist of bicycle, walking or pony-drawn cart. It takes an hour and a half to circumnavigate the island. So we rented bikes to ride around. Big mistake! The paths are all sand and the wheels would get stuck in the softer areas. After a quarter of the way around, we had to stop for bintangs. Quite refreshing. After all that hard work, I needed a massage and found a place offering traditional Thai massage. I love Thai massages! The next day we went snorkeling. The reefs harbor a plethora of fishes all colors of the rainbow. I saw angelfish, wrasses, tangs, damsels, butterfly fish, triggerfish and even a baby eel! The sealife around the Gilis is amazing! The sunsets on the Gilis are legendary. They are best enjoyed at a seaside restaurant, sipping a watermelon shake in your own cabana. You couldn't ask for a better way to top off your day. For our last day we headed to Kuta. After checking in at an overpriced hovel, we headed to the beach for the afternoon and had to walk the gauntlet of hawkers and purveyors of junk. The beach was full of trash and crowds of surfers. Even here we weren't safe from the sellers offering mats, sarongs and 'masagee'. No thank you. We lasted 20 minutes before we couldn't take it any longer and left. Kuta could be skipped, really, if it wasn't so close to the airport. But the rest of Bali is out of this world! One week is not enough to explore all that Bali has to offer.

 

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