Bali – this time last year!

Bali – has it really been a year since we were there?

Facebook kindly reminded me of what I was doing this time last year – tripping off to Bali.

My eldest son and his partner decided after 11 years, 3 children, a mortgage and emigrating to Australia; it was time to tie the knot. Since they had always wanted to go to Bali themselves and were keen to ensure there ‘big day’ was memorable for everyone – to Bali we all travelled for their wedding.

The chief tester and I travelled from Auckland, our daughter and her husband from Wellington – and the best man flew in from Germany. And the bride & groom from Melbourne. It was going to be a small family wedding and we were all excited to be travelling to a place none of us had been too.

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.

We had expected it to be hot and crowded – and it was! From the moment you leave the confines of the airport you are confronted with a humid 30°c – do yourself a favour and dress in cotton, and as little as is decent 🙂 The city was dry & dusty, crowded and noisey – so alive with activity.

We stayed in Seminyak because it was not too far from the wedding venue. There are absolutely dozens of options for accommodation; and a budget to suit most. The hotel cost us about $300.00 for 7-nights; it was spacious, air-conditioned and clean.

Bali Safari & Marine Park was a great adventure for the whole family. You want to get there in the morning and plan to spend most of the day there – there is lots to see and experience. We were impressed with the educational aspect of the park with a conservation & education show on the elephants; and the Animal Educational Show which is at 11am every day.

The Waterpark was great and the children had a ball splashing about & cooling off!

It is not until you get out into the countryside that you really see the lush green rice fields and this requires you to have transport. We used the same driver for most of the time; he was great with the children & like most of the drivers pretty negotiable! We did use Uber too; and like at home this was an especially cheap option.

Wherever we went in Bali we were impressed with the people; friendly, happy to interact and obliging.

Monkey Forest is a visit worth making – it was a lovely walk through the forest;  out of the heat & under the cover of the forest trees. From here we went to Uluwatu; an amazing temple built on the top of a cliff beside the Indian ocean. The guide ensures you arrive there ahead of sunset which is quite spectacular.

I wish I could show you how beautiful it was; however I was recovering from a very nasty bout of ‘Bali belly’. It was not my finest moment to be taken to the emergency GP severely dehydrated & very nearly missing the main event of this trip; the wedding!

A day in Ubud is a must; it is a craft village and a centre for painting & wood carving as well as jewellery. The rice terrace and neighbouring villages were full of life and loads of tourists!

If you are looking for a romantic evening activity; try Jimbaran for a BBQ Seafood dinner. The chief tester enjoyed choosing his squid from the live fish tank; and having it prepared for him; delivered to a table set on the beach. Still in recovery mode; I nibbled plain white rice 😦 and watched with food envy as he had a delicious meal!

We spent a week in Bali; and if we venture there again would probably do the trip a little differently. We would head to Nusa & stay in a resort rather than in the middle of the city. The city life is great for the younger crowd; but for us a more relaxed holiday is wanted now.

Drink plenty of bottled water, dress in loosely fitting clothing, and take something from home for tummies – just in case! I certainly learnt a valuable lesson on this front.

Oh…and the main event? The reason we all travelled to Bali. It was just beautiful 🙂

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All of us!

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The happy couple!

Happy holidays xx

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