To say I was looking forward to fresh air, less rubbish, a beach, blue skies and sun that actually gives you a bronze glow, would be the understatement of the century. With my flight being delayed by 5hours in India, I was anxious I wouldn’t be able to make my connecting flight in Singapore. With a bit of fast paced walking and determination I made my flight on time and I was on my way to beautiful Bali! It seemed as if the universe was against me ever making it to the beach as once I arrived in the airport I had to wait a further 4 hours for my pick up to get me to my hostel as the president was in town so the roads were chocka with traffic!
My late night drive through the streets of southern Bali made me think of Thailand. Same road layouts, very narrow, scooters everywhere with medium honking and footpaths seeming non existent. As I looked out my window I saw steak and pork houses everywhere. I was glad I wasn’t staying in this part of the island haha. We cut through a few car parks where an old man would be waiting at the end to collect the toll, which I found amusing, good on him for sourcing money from people cheating the roads! A quick nap made the ride extremely short and I arrived at my hostel in the beautiful beachside town of Canggu at about 11pm. So it was a bit of relaxing, watching a film in the common room before heading to bed.
Canggu has such a surfer, laid back, beachy vibe to it, exactly what I was looking for! So many Australian tourists, I could’ve convinced myself I wasn’t in Bali at all. I started the day off with a very long walk in the humid heat as I took a wrong turn and ended up finding the beach an hour later (should’ve been a short 20min walk to the beach). I ticked off one of my ‘must-go-to’ cafes as I grabbed a smoothie bowl from ‘Nalu bowls’ and ate it on the beach. It was so delish! So good to have fresh fruit and granola! Once I’d found a sun lounger and an umbrella for a small $2 I pulled out my book, began to soak in the sun and the hours flitted by.
My hostel pool:
Resident hostel dog:
I met two lovely ladies who were staying at my hostel (2 Aussies from Brisbane) and managed to drag them along to another one of my must-eats! It was called the Shady Shack and I devoured one of the nicest burgers of my life. It’s amazing to just walk around and see ‘vegan’ advertised everywhere! And open a menu and literally take an hour to decide because you can eat everything on the menu!
The next few days in Canggu consisted of sun bathing, great food, cards, ice cream, locals fishing in drains (heavy rain we had one afternoon must’ve brought some fish in from the sea?), reading and swimming!
A cute side street:
More delish food purchases:
The two girls I befriended at the hostel happened to be going to Ubud the same day as me which was perfect for splitting the taxi fare! Ubud looked so lush, green and tropical as we drove through rice fields and jungles. The hostel I was staying at was so cute, it was run by a Balinese family, called Joker Hostel. It was right in the middle of town which was ideal for exploring. There was a cinema up the road, Paradiso Cinema, and boasted to be the first organic, vegan cinema. I wandered up for an evening screening of Monsters Inc. it was so cute! Once you purchase your ticket, for a cheap $5, you can then use the ticket to put towards $5 worth of food from the vegan cafe in the theatre! It was a perfect evening reclining in a cinema surrounded by lovely food.
Joker hostel hangout area:
The next morning I, along with the same two girls from my previous hostel, woke up at a rather early hour of 1:30am. I was off to do a climb up the active volcano of Mt Batur. It started off a pretty gradual climb along the sand and rocks but then took a nasty turn about halfway. I looked up and could see little lights dotted up this vertical slope and knew that was signaling what was to come. Eventually I arrived at the top, drenched in sweat and shaky legged, at about 5:30. The sun began to emerge from behind another near volcano (Mt Agung) at around 6 and it was magical. It was amazing being up so high, above the clouds (1700m to be exact). I got quite a few photos as the sun began to rise you never know when the best lighting will be.
There were so many cheeky monkeys hovering around the top of the mountain, praying on peoples breakfast’s. they would climb all over you while you’re siting there, having a snack enjoying the sunrise. One walked over my lap when another came and attacked it, so happy I caught the whole thing on film as the monkeys face was pretty priceless, although at the time the whole situation was rather terrifying.
What a view!:
When Monkeys attack (I reccomend watching multiple times to see the expression on his face):
Later in the afternoon, after a brief power nap, we hired a driver to take us to some locations we fancied viewing around the area. We ended up with this lovely, funny, charismatic Balinese man, after bartering on the street for a good 15minetes to settle on a decent price of $40 for the afternoon. First stop was Nung Nung waterfall, about an hour away. It was less touristy then other waterfalls in the area and I think the rain may have also contributed to its less popular status. The rain seems to be like clockwork here, every afternoon it decides to rain, every day. It was another long walk down many stairs to reach the bottom of the valley and see it in all it’s glory. After passing one smaller one, which I thought was it, we turned the corner and there it was! So much water cascading over this cliff it was insane, so much pressure belting down on the river below.
We stopped at a quiet place where there was a lake and a wee temple in the middle, this was a bonus stop for us that the driver threw in.
The elephant cave ( Goa Gajah) was another impressive sight. The name is pretty self explanatory but was built for meditation purposes and worship. Here I also encountered the resident holy man and was blessed by him. Holy water was thrown as he mumbled some words and rice was placed on foreheads. He was everything I thought a holy man would be, old and small with a slight hint of craziness about him.
Pura Tirta Empul was last on the list. It was a place where you could go and bathe in the holy water that steamed from the many fountains into a pool. The complex also had various temples and places of worship as well so many fish! I’d noticed that a lot of their trees have a tartan cloth wrapped around. Apparently it’s believed trees have great spirit so the cloth helps to protect/contain the spirit within the tree.
This was such a long day. Starting from 1:30am, it was definitely the most jam packed day so far!
The next few days in my new found home of Ubud were filled with monkeys, fire dancing, ALOT of gelato, groovy cafes, early morning rises to wander the neon green rice feilds, renting bikes and getting saturated and browsing through the mayhem of the markets. When it came time to leave I really could have stayed longer in this culture rich, jungle, vegan paradise 💕💕💕
The classic Campuan ridge walk:
Glorious rice fields:
A really awesome floating cafe nestled amoungst the fields:
Another cafe I found on a walk through the fields:
The cafe overlooks the fields, with locals farming the rice.