24.02.2007 - 09.03.2007 31 °C
After more than a week of shopping and sightseeing in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur we finally arrived on Bali - pretty stressed out and ready for a relaxing holiday at the end of our trip.
It would still take a few days until we could really enjoy our stay on Bali though. Everyone who has ever been to Kuta (the main tourist area of the island) knows what it's like: hundreds of shops and motorbikes, people try to sell anything you can imagine or want to transport you to the other end of the island, when you actually want to go to the beach to relax in the sun or surf. Julia had the impression that it was even worse compared to when she was on Bali 4 years ago. Still it was nice that some locals still recognised her from her last holiday, especially the friendly staff of Mekar Jaya Bungalows and also a masseuse on the beach.
Definitely worse than the last time was the water quality with thousands of dead fish (which supposedly died from some poisonous red alges) and rubbish.
After two days of surfing in the stinky waters we had enough and decided to rent a car to get to some more pleasant places of the island.
The first day, we went to the Bukit peninsula in the south. After spending a few hours at lovely Dreamland Beach we visited Ulu Watu Temple which is situated in a spectacular location on top of some 70m high cliffs facing the sea.
We also stopped at Ulu Watu surf beach and Padang Padang - but as the waves were pretty small, there was not too much going on.
On the way back we went to Jimbaran Bay for a classical and romantic seafood barbecue on the beach (you can choose the fish you'd like to have before they put in on the barbeque).
The second day, we drove to the north to Taman Ayun Temple, followed by the important Tanah Lot Temple on the seaside. This temple is particularly famous for its unique location on a rock, surrounded by water, and its beautiful sunsets. While several Balinese were praying and bringing oblations, other locals were "playing surf" right next to the temple.
For the following days we had planned to just go surfing and did a trip to Turtle Island. The waves were pretty good and winds were offeshore. But while Julia was enjoying the surf, Frank unfortunately hurt his ribs in the same way as he did on the Philippines. After the long paddle, his muscels and tissue were inflamed so badly, he could hardy move and we even had to go to hospital!
As Frank had to keep quiet and the weather and swell forecast didnt look very good, we decided to go to Ubud for a few days, the centre of culture, arts and crafts. From there, we did a roundtrip to the central mountains in the north. We visited the hindu and buddhist temple of Danau Bratan and went to the beautiful Git Git Waterfalls after that.
The next days we were just chilling, having a massage each day, swimming in the pool and enjoying the great food in Ubud (where you can really get everything you want, from Balinese buffets, delicious babi guling (that's spofacki for our Bavarian readers) to homemade pastas and fresh salads).
As Frank loves birds, we also had to go to the Bali Bird Park, which was pretty expensive, but definitely worth the money.
And who ever thought, that only girls are shopping addicts - in our case it is the absolute opposite. After Frank already bought some more shirts in Kuta (cos he still hasn't got enough, he only bought 15 t-shirts, 4 pairs of jeans, 2 suits and 3 shirts in Bangkok and another 3 shirts and a pair of trainers in Kuala Lumpur) he walked up and down the roads of Ubud for masks, watches and a silver bracelet. Well, at least this time he didn't buy anything (just to continue a week later in Kuta again - that time he got another pair of trainers and underwear).
On the last night in Ubud, we went to see the traditional Legong and Barong dance in Ubud Palace, which was a great to watch.