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 ❀️.

Gili T day 5: Paradise (incl. Bali belly…)

Tonight, I am once again in too much pain to be able to go through pictures and write a blog post. But it will be uploaded tomorrow πŸ™‚

2022-10-09, 19:00

Yesterday was a perfect day in paradise, and that of course includes Bali belly. It is manageable, but in the evening and nights it gets really bad. But during the day, if I don’t move or dive, it’s fine. The day started with amazing weather and since Mikael’s sinuses were a bit off since the dive the previous afternoon, we skipped the first fin dive and decided to do the afternoon one to Meno Wall, since we hadn’t done it before. So the morning was spent doing nothing, lying on the beach, eating bruschettas, cooling down in the ocean. It was the perfect morning. I finally got some time to read! And I finally got a little tan, haha.


At breakfast it was a bit cloudy, but that cleared up as soon as we left the hotel for the beach again.

The dive at 2:30pm was to Meno Wall, a new dive site to us. The dive itself was great, but it was depressing how much dead coral it was there. We saw tons of turtles again, a tiny tiny pink nudibranch and an almost as small black seaslug. It was a great last dive, these walls of coral is pretty awesome. We also saw three big puffer fish, one yellow which was pretty cool.

We paid for all of our 14 dives and it totaled to 380 SEK per dive. That’s pretty good for boat dives, everything included.

Our last day on Gili T ended at Scallywags restaurant where we decided to go all in. We both had grilled lobster for dinner (first time ever for me). And with drinks (which I couldn’t finish, even if it was a mango daquiry, my stomach just said no) and deserts the check ended up at 1 800 000 Rupiah. But that’s still only 600 SEK per person, haha! But it’s impressive to manage such a check on Gili. Normally our dinners end up at 300-400, maybe 600 if it’s been a nicer dish like mahi mahi.

It was good, but more meat-y than crawfish that we are used to eating. The moon was one day away from being full, it was warm as usual, good food (several nice toilets visits) and good company made it a very nice last evening πŸ™‚

Gili T day 4: More diving

Bali Belly is apparently a common thing and it’s still ongoing for me. But much better today. Now it’s basically just cramps, which is pretty bad in itself, but it could be a lot worse I guess.

This morning was the best so far. The view from our breakfast was incredible, the sky was almost clear and it was really warm at 7 already.

I decided that my stomach was well enough for a dive and we tried the 9am fun dive with Blue Marlin today to Sharkpoint. We had the same divemaster Rahman but got another couple joining us, a 30-year old pair from Australia. We saw the same baby sharks as the other day under the rock but today there were countless other divers (last time it was just the three of us), so it took away some of the amazement. But it was cute that three of the sharks were sleeping all lined up next to each other.

We also saw a couple of morays, one of which were swimming. A blue-spotted stingray. A tiny tiny nudibranch and of course a ton of tropical fishes and corals. I saw no turtles on this dive, first dive here I didn’t see any.

On the way back, my stomach was acting up a bit, but after lunch, we relaxed by the pool for a bit and then went to the second dive today at 14. On Friday’s there’s only two dives instead of three because of the longer prayer from the Mosque.

The second dive today was Bounty Wreck and we were ready for revansch after last time when we had technical issues with my BCD being too big and the current. I don’t think we can call it a rematch yet. This was a stressful dive in other ways but I think everything worked out fine.

So for this dive we had an elder Dutch couple (50 maybe?) Joining us and Rahman. They said they had around 50-60 dives, which would make them fairly experienced. We descended and started the dive as usual but after around half, just when I’m about to swim up to three big turtles lying next to each other on the ground, I see Rahman shoot back and I turn around and see Mikael swimming towards me and behind him, halfway up to the surface is a bubbly mess of one of our diving buddies. Her husband was further down, trying to get Rahman to help him help his wife who kept ascending. For those of you who don’t dive, that’s bad! You can’t get up that quickly from 18m depth without doing a safety stop of 3 minutes on 5m depth. The risk of decompression sickness is much higher if you don’t make the stop. Mikael and I ascended a bit but stayed at least at 10m and let Rahman handle the situation. Eventually she came back down and the dive continued. She signaled she was fine. So we descended again and continued.

We were at the wreck itself for only a few minutes, much air was lost and we needed to end the dive.

Later, she seemed fine and told us that she couldn’t deflate her BCD when trying to maintain her boyancy under water. I hope she didn’t get decompression sickness. Because that’s bad!

When we all surfaced, I panicked a little when I saw Mikael’s face. He had blood all over his cheek. And when he removed his mask, his face was so bloody!! His sinuses had burst while descending after the woman came down from her “accident”. He could feel it then, something warm filling his mask, but he thought is was mucus. So he did half of the dive with a mask full of blood. I’m glad that he had a mask with UV protected glass. I would have freaked out underwater if I saw his bloody face. We would have had to ended the dive. Apparently it’s not too uncommon for this to happen. But it looked gruesome!

After the dive, we went to the hotel, relaxed for a short bit and got ready for dinner. We met up with the Australians and had dinner at Pearl. It was a very nice evening. And in the background, over Lombok, there was an ongoing massive thunderstorm the whole evening so we had lightning lighting up the sky all the time. It was beautiful.

Gili T day 3: Bali belly

So today was not fun… When I woke up my stomach was cramping more than I’ve ever experienced. I spent the morning sleeping and sitting on the toilet. We missed breakfast because we didn’t leave the room until 10:30. The cramps and dizziness has come and gone throughout the day and my appetite has been zero but I’ve forced food down and eaten light and easy things.

We had breakfast, pancakes, at Blue Marlin Dive right as they were leaving for the day’s second dive. We then exchanged money and went more south to sleep on the beach for a bit. It was completely cloudy today which was nice. We stayed for about 2 hours before the rain came and that’s when we went to Pearl Beach Lounge for some late lunch. Back at the hotel, we watched the latest episode of Rings of Power and then had dinner at Scallywags restaurant by the ocean.

Not the most exciting day. But I’m hoping more than anything that my stomach will be fine tomorrow so we can go diving again!

Gili T day 2: Diving, snorkeling, bicycling

Since I think that I got something with my stomach and sun stroke, I am too tired to do this tonight. I will post twice tomorrow instead πŸ™‚

But until then, WordPress started working again and I could upload the last pictures from yesterday. Link to the post is here.

2022-10-06, 15:00

So the stomach bug is pretty bad. Dizzy, nauseated, stomach cramps, faint, and weak. And still we prepared for this with vaccinations. Maybe it would have been worse. The sunstroke was really bad last night, I was freezing like I’ve never frozen before. I got a fever and in combination with the stomach cramps, I was not feeling very strong. It’s getting better though. The fever has gone down, but my stomach is still pretty bad. Mikael lucked out on the sun stroke, but also got stomach issues, not as bad as me though.

Yesterday morning stated with a dive with Blue Marlin Dive at Bounty Wreck. The worst one so far because of the gear not fitting. My BCD was too big, the straps of my mask kept sliding down onto my ears, my regulator didn’t really seemed to stay in my mouth, the visibility was only around 10m, and the current was annoying. We had to swim against it at several times and it was tough. It was a pretty cool dive still though. We saw two octopi, several turtles, nudibranches and the wreck itself, a sunken pier full of corals, was really pretty!

We decided we would skip on the second dive to Halik since we did that one already and wanted to relax for a bit. So we rented bikes and rode up north to Turtle Beach where we had lunch at Laguna Beach Resort. Mikael had the tuna sandwich and I had the Mie Goreng (fried noodles with vegetables and egg) and as soon as we finished we both got super dizzy and nauseated. It was so weird. We took a couple of sunbeds and lied down. Went snorkling for a bit and saw three turtles. We were feeling a bit better and decided to bike around the island to watch the sunset on the other side. It took us an hour in total to ride around the whole island, and we were not going fast. Up north, there were only sandy paths and so many sketchy places that sold sketchy things.

The west side of the island was unexploited, much land for sale, very empty, many hotels under renovations. Our agency told us that side was quieter than the east where we are staying and yes it is quieter but I didn’t want to stay there. Also, the beaches were rocky and you couldn’t be in the water because of the rocks.

The sunset was was unfortunately not visible behind clouds. I imagine them being quite amazing here! We were planning to get up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise this day, but decided to take that another time. Those I know can be amazing!

We jumped in the pool before going to our room, I was freezing and used the little hot water we had. Mikael brewed me a cup of tea and I lay in the bed for a long time before managing to get up and get dressed so we could have dinner on the beach. My stomach was really upset but I managed to get a nacho plate down which did me great!

Back in the room, I fell asleep instantly so the episode of Rings of Power that we started will have to wait.

Gili T day 1: Diving

Today was all about diving, we managed to get in 3 dives and that’s basically all we did today. No, wait, I did manage to get a bit of a sunburn on my nose as well. Even if we stayed under water all day, haha!

Breakfast today was served on the beach. Bacon and pancakes and pineapple juice. Great start of the day. Then we packed our bag and walked four minutes to Blue Marlin Dive. Like I said yesterday, we had signed up for all three fun dives today and wow, we were definitely in for a treat without even being able to imagine beforehand.

I’ll give you a spoiler before reading on, these were the three dive sites:
* Halik Reef
* Turtle Haven
* Sharkpoint

I can say that it only got better and better with each dive. And I’ll let you know why. All of the dives were from a boat and we were several small groups going. One group consisted of up to 5-6 divers and a dive master. Our first dive at Halik, we were three divers and one master. Mikael and I had the same dive master on all three dives and on the first one we had a guy, Alex, from Switzerland.

Well, Halik was a really cool dive, but I guess I have to say that it also was a great experience in my still young diving career. It was a current dive, which neither of us has even done before. And today, the current was really strong! What that means, is that you just lie there, letting the current take you along. It was scary, but afterward, we heard we did great. Alex, the Swiss guy with over 80 dives, said it was the toughest dive he’s ever done. So I guess it was for us as well as it was our number 11 and 7, haha. The first thing I saw when we descended from the surface, was a turtle grazing the bottom! That’s when I knew it was gonna be a great day! I saw another turtle on the reef side while drifting by. Mikael unfortunately didn’t see any of them. We also saw a puffer fish, sea cucumbers and lots and lots of tropical fish.

Our second dive was to Turtle Haven. Mikael and I got the same dive master, but three new companions, three girls from Brazil I think. No current on this dive which was great! But there were however about 10 turtles, a few of them really massive!! Our dive master said they might have been as old as 80 because of their size. It was hard using the GoPro with these three girls with us as they were chasing the turtles. Not okay behaviour according to me. Why not just look at them from a distance that’s not disturbing their peace? On this dive, we also saw two nudibranches.

The third dive, it was just Mikael and I with the same dive master. This was an incredible dive as well. Because this was the first time I dove with sharks! But that was not all. We saw 3 octupi, one was a really big one! We saw a blue-spotted stingray, a rare leaf scorpionfish, a moray eel, many turtles, and a sleeping trigger fish which was cute. In total we saw 6 white tipped reef sharks. All babies. Four of them were sleeping under a rock, one was swimming next to them (these were maybe 1m big each) and the last one was swimming out in the open when we left the sleeping babies. It was a little bit bigger, maybe 1,2m. It was soo cool! And we were calm and everything was just peaceful. Now, I wanna see the big ones!

On the way up to the boat on the last dive, Mikael got stung by something. Probably just manta ray food (can’t remember the name), or a jellyfish. Either way, not dangerous, but it burned quite a bit.

The water temperature at the surface was 30C and at the bottom, at 18-20m was 29C. Not bad at all! ❀ I had my own 3mm full wet suit, but the dive club only had shorties to rent, that’s why I didn’t get stung by anything, but Mikael did.

I somehow got burned in my face today. I don’t understand why. But apparently I did. We have been diving all day, and been on a boat with a roof. Oh well.

We had mahi mahi for dinner with a fruity drink on the beach right outside our hotel. It was windy today, but clear sky so we could see the moon. Tiny cats, not more than 2kg each were running around begging for food. We miss our 5,5kg ones at home. And we’re so happy that mom sends us updates all the time <3.

As I have my job computer with me, and not any good tools for screenshots from the videos today, I won’t be uploading too many photos today. So stay tuned for the rest (or at least much better photos) when we’re back in Sweden! πŸ™‚

The camera took photos every 5 seconds during filming, here are the best ones:

Halik Reef


Puffer fish.

Large sea cucumber.

Turtle Haven


Black nudibranch with white spots on the right side of the white coral.

Black nudibranch with white large spots/spikes just below the round coral in the upper middle part of the picture.

Photo bomb.

Shark Point

The rest of the pictures will come tomorrow. It doesn’t seem like WordPress wants to cooperate anymore….


Sleeping trigger fish.

Baby sharks under the rock!

Another baby shark.

The black in the bottom middle is an octopus.

The shark is exavtly in the middle of the picture.

The shark is in the far right middle.

The shark is in the exact middle of the photo.

Low middle.

Down right corner.

Clownfish.

Blue spotted stingray.

Black clownfish.

Hello Gili Trawangan

Wow! That’s all I got to say.

No, just kidding. But seriously. What a great first impression this island gave us. Well, not the first first, because it was raining when we arrived. But what a nice rain!

Okay, let me start from the top. This morning we had to check out from Taman Harum Cottages in Ubud. It was rather cloudy and we were so ready to go and see another place. Ubud was cool, much to see, but the diving on Gili T has lured us. And also, the weather is slightly less wet on Gili than Bali, so that was something to look forward to as well.

We got a really nice driver to take us to Padangbai Harbor from where we took the speed ferry out to the islands. We stopped on the way at his favorite local restaurant so we could try local Balinese food, suckling pig. He was even so kind as to talk to the waitress to not make it so spicy. We took takeaway and ate while waiting for the ferry. It was good, but I do understand why the Balinese like to add spices. Not sure that I liked the crunchy skin pieces which he said was his favorite. But it was great to try some real local food.

The ferry (which was just like an airplane on water with seatings) was not too bad. Not too bumpy and was over pretty fast. Gili T was the last stop and it took exactly three hours. It would have been more fun to have been able to be on the ferry that left at 9am instead of 1pm. But oh well.

What was not so much fun, was that after our second to last drop off at Gili Air, it started to pour. The AC was maxed in the boat and looking out at the grey wet was not nice. But honestly. When we got off the boat, it was the best rain I’ve ever experienced. It was still 28C something and the rain was really warm. I loved it!! So walking to the hotel was not too bad at all. And definitely not when the horse-drawn carriages ran past. So what’s pretty cool about this island, is that they don’t have any vehicles except bicylces, the occasional electric moped and several horse-drawn carriages. They all wore bells and it sounds lika Santa’s reindeer sleigh is coming when they are near. So cute!

We checked in at Scullywags Resort south of the harbor, pretty much in the middle of it all. We have definitely understood that this part of the island is the party island. I think we’ve gotten 5 proposals of buying organic party enhancers (=mushrooms) in the short amount of time when we took a walk. Our room is incredible! We have a front yard, the room itself and the bathroom which is mostly completely out in the open. I thought it was cool that our last hotel had an open slit in the bathroom, but this is fully open over the shower. It’s like taking a shower in the jungle.

The very first thing we did, was walking a few minutes to the most popular diving club, Blue Marlin Dive and booked not one, not two, but three dives for tomorrow! We are so excited! We then went on a walk to the south side of the island, we walked a little bit in the water and we both fell in love right there I think. This place might be the best place I’ve ever been! The water was almost 30C according to a website. That’s insane! I look forward to spending a lot of time under the surface tomorrow.

We walked back, tried the outdoor shower and then walked to Pearl Beach Lounge to have dinner. That salmon was incredible. So was the pina colada and steamed brownie. Wow! And the mouse falling from the ceiling, passing out until the waiter shoveled him up and went downstairs and he darted away, was crazy! The evening was pretty much as warm as the day and nothing else than a thin-striped dress was needed while eating outdoor. What a place! We’re in love. And I think I can speak for Mikael as well. I already feel that 4 nights and 3 days here won’t be enough…

rpt