Last day in Bali

This amazing vacation has unfortunately come to an end. We are back home, all unpacked, the cats are home and the thick fall jackets already feel normal compared to shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops. It’s sad how fast Bali and Gili became memories as soon as we landed in Copenhagen and drove home to Gothenburg.

28 hours of flight travel (including all the waiting and two layovers) and 3,5 hours in the car wasn’t so bad this time. I don’t know if it is the cold that I currently got or if I was just exhausted after these two weeks, but I slept through most of it. I stayed awake enough to manage two movies on the last flight, but other than that, I think I slept all the time. Which was great, because driving home wasn’t so bad.

We went to mom’s place directly to pick up the cats. We were not greeted the way we were hoping to be. They ran away from us and didn’t recognize us at all. Getting them in the cages was hard and they even hissed at us. We felt bad, because they probably felt abandoned and had started to accept living with mom and her 3-year old Stella. And then two strangers who smelled weird came and put them in cages. But as soon as we came home and let them out, they were back to their normal selves. Phew! But I’m so glad that they enjoyed staying with mom. We have both loved the updates and Mikael kept asking everyday if there were news since last. Cute.

Our last day on Bali lasted until 3pm when we were picked up from the hotel. We didn’t do more than sleep a little longer than usual, eat breakfast, pack, check out, and hang out by the pool. But it was still more than just leaving for the airport right after breakfast. It was a beautiful day, clear blue sky with a breeze so it wasn’t too hot. A really nice last half day.

To quickly sum this whole trip up: best vacation ever and the first with Mikael. if our first trip together was this amazing, how will the rest be?

I am very satisfied with Flamingo Tours with which we booked the whole thing. They were very helpful before we left and it was a great trip planned. I would say that 14 days (including travel time) was not enough though. And I would dare say that I could have skipped Sanur and Swiss Belresort and added a day or two extra in Ubud and/or maybe on another Gili island than Trawangan? Although, I really loved Gili T and Blue Marlin Dive Resort. I also wish that we both would have had Advanced Open Water instead of just Open Water. The deep dives would have been amazing! I have to say that I was surprised to find out that we had an agent that would help us throughout the entire trip. Maybe i didn’t quite understand what it meant in the description on their website, but I thought we would have a driver, not a full on agent to help us plan everything we wanted help with. She arranged for us to stay on Gili T for 2 extra days instead of Sanur within half a day. With no extra charge.

What an incredible trip! I so look forward to many more in the future ❤️.

Sanur day 1: Uluwatu

A new episode of Rings of Power was released today, so post will be uploaded tomorrow morning by the pool instead :).

2022-10-11, 11:00 by the pool

Since we weren’t too impressed with Sanur, we texted a tour guide we got to know in Ubud that we really liked and asked at breakfast if he was available. He was in fact by Sanur Harbor dropping off another guest so we got lucky! He picked us up at 9:30 and we drove down to Uluwatu by the floating highway which was cool.

The first stop was at a very local beach called Pantai Pandawa. Only Indonesian tourist were there and it was a very clean beach. Only debris from the ocean was there. Local shops along the boardwalk and no English. The weather hadn’t quite matured yet so it was a bit cloudy still when we were there but still warm as always here. Before we reached the beach, Putta, our guide warned us that we would be stared at and even asked to take pictures. Not two minutes later, two young boys came up to us and asked to take pictures with Mikael and I. Hahaha! Western tourist are very uncommon there and being so tall and pale males us exotic. Haha! I think we were asked to take pictures with strangers four times and I’m sure there was at least the same amount who tools sneak pictures of us. So funny!

We also got a lesson in Hindu about one god who got 5 children and they all had a different weapon and we’re portrayed in many movies. I can’t remember the details now unfortunately, but Outta knew his things and explained everything. While standing there by the statues, the sun came out and it got real sweaty.

Our next stop for the day was at a really beautiful beach called Pantai Melasti. Pantai means beach and Melasti means purification. It was such a beautiful beach, the sand was fine, the water blue and the waves were big. These beaches are down south in Bali, surfers’ paradise. We went in the water, we needed it. But it was tiresome with the waves and current so we didn’t stay in for too long.

The third stop was lunch at a very local restaurant that you barely saw from the outside. Iiga Warung it was called and they had amazing ribs. Lots of tourists there, so I guess that’s a local place which cooperates with tour guides. Lots of Japanese and Chinese tourists.

Fourth stop was GWK where we stayed for almost two hours. It is a cultural park designated to the world’s third largest statue of Vishnu riding Garuk and is 121m tall. There we learned about the big ceremony in March where they build several massive demons and burn. They day after is the day of silence and nothing is open that day. Not even the airport. If you are visiting as a tourist, you are not allowed to leave the hotel room that day. The day after that is Melasti day (purification) and it is for healing. I think that was the way it was. We also saw a Barong dance at the small amphitheatre inside.

To the left: The good king. The middle: his wife. To the right: the king’s brother.

To the right: The demon king. The middle: His younger and evil brother. The left: the youngest brother who was good.

Squirrel. They are rare apparently.

The Ogoh-ogoh.

At 4pm, we headed for Uluwatu Temple to watch the Kecek and Fire Dance at sunset. We got there on time, got our tickets and walked around on the temple grounds for almost an hour. Uluwatu means “On the edge of the rock” which is where the temple is located, right on the side of the rock. Uluwatu was really beautiful with its 90 degrees cliffs. And finally, after almost 2 weeks on Bali (okay, 7 days on Gili T which don’t even have monkeys), we saw the monkeys! There were a few by the parking space and then we saw some running around on the walls surrounding the temple grounds, but not too many. But we were careful and held all of our possessions inside the backpack. So sparsely with photos from when walking around there.

The view was incredible. I was hoping to see whales breaching in the distance like I could in California, but there aren’t any whales here. And the surfers were unlucky with bad waves so we didn’t really see any of them riding a wave.

In the big amphitheatre facing the sunset, we got amazing seats at the top! We sat there for almost 30 minutes but it filled up so fast. The sunset was very far away for some reason but it still gave a colorful background picture to the dance which was about the good king and the bad king fighting over the good king’s wife who was kidnapped by the bad demon king. To his help, the good king vad Hanoman, the white monkey king who fought by his side. The dresses and costumes were so intricate and colorful and the music was not music but the choir of 70 men singing or making beats. It must have been exhausting making that noise for so long! During the performance, we saw a monkey climbing the rail on the other side of the theatre and stealing something from a tourist, glasses or something. Then we had one, right behind us but it didn’t get anything. I thought the monkey went to bed at 6pm, when the sun det, but I guess they knew that there would be a ton of people leaving the theatre one hour later because oh my so many monkeys were out!! They were climbing the cables, lurking in the trees and tried to get over to the stadium. They were everywhere! But nothing happened to us, nothing was stolen, no one was bitten.

Also, a while ago, Putra didn’t say when, they found a white monkey, not an albino, but a white monkey. And apparently when they brought him to the temple, all the monkeys in the forest cheered and roared when the king arrived. There was a huge ceremony and the prime minister was there as well. They put him in a cage for his own safety since he will most likely be hunted which I definitely understand. So putting him in a cage was hopefully the lesser evil.

The very last stop of the day was seafood dinner by the ocean but the restaurants were closed because of the ceremony today so we got dinner at a restaurant close by the temple. Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng for the last time this trip. It was really good. Up until that point, my stomach had been perfectly fine. But I had to leave Mikael alone for a bit to try out yet another restroom. Much improvement though! Or maybe it’s just the Immodium pills, I don’t know. It did hurt a bit in the evening again while we were watching episode 7 of Rings of Power. But the night was fine.

Since I’m writing this by the poolside, the sun is annoying and I can’t really see which pictures are good or not, I will upload pictures when we are at the airport later and have some time to kill.

Hello Sanur, Bali

Today was the day when we unfortunately had to leave paradise. But we made the most of it, set the alarm at 5:30 and observed an incredible sunrise over Mount Rinjani (active volcano) on Lombok.

We enjoyed our last breakfast on the beach, packed up, checked out and walked to the harbor and had a chance of waving Rahman and the Blue Marlin Dive Resort goodbye on our way past.

The boat ride today was bumpy and Mikael got really seasick. I was tired and managed to read 3 pages and then I fell asleep. Didn’t sleep for too long. But a couple of times anyway.

In Padangbai, we were greeted by our driver, we stopped to buy snacks (chips and cola), which was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I think we have eaten way too little salt this trip. Even if we’ve been careful with drinking Resorb.

At 2pm, after an hour in the craziest car ride I’ve ever been in, we checked in at our last stay on this vacation: Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar in Sanur. Unfortunately, the Deluxe room that we had booked was full so we got upgraded to Grand Deluxe room with our own private jacuzzi.

You can tell that this is an old hotel and not much has been done lately and I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed. The pictures look much nicer. Of course. The pool area is really nice though. We’ve already checked it out.

The jacuzzi is not an option since there’s no hot water out there. What’s the point of having a jacuzzi if you can’t have hot water in it? Too bad. But on the other hand, we had unlimited hot water in the indoor shower! Neither the shower in Ubud nor Gili T had hot shower water, haha! Gili T had for maybe 3 minutes.

We didn’t stay long in the hotel, repacked a bag and headed for the beach which isn’t more than 10 minutes of walking from here. We also had late lunch at “Cafe Smörgås”. A Swedish cafe on Bali? We were really hungry and it looked like a really nice place, so we decided to try it. Mikael had meatballs with mashed potatoes and gravy and lingonberries and pickled cucumber. And I have to admit, that it was a great one! The owner is Swedish and started this cafe 14 years ago. I had something asian though, probably the best vegetarian spring rolls I’ve ever had. And popcorn chicken.

After lunch, we wanted to hang out by the beach for a little while but we’re disgusted when we came to the beach. So much garbage and plastic! It was also low tide. I wonder if it will be different tomorrow morning during high tide and if someone will pick up those plastic piles?

We were sad, and extremely sweaty! So we walked back to the hotel complex to lie by the pool for a bit. We did that for maybe half an hour and then the sun disappeared behind the hotel. Since then, we’ve been chilling at the room. We skipped dinner tonight which feels nice actually, then we watched two episodes of the latest season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Now, Mikael is sound asleep and I’m writing this and half watching the spectacle that’s going on outside: the massive storm! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a storm this intense before. Lightning lighting up the whole sky at least every other second! It’s cozy! And safe to be on the inside.