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 ❤️.

Ubud day 2

Three hours of sleep and a day full of events has taken its toll. We are so exhausted now. But wow, we’ve seen some things!

  • Mount Batur sunrise hike
  • Batur Natural Hot Springs
  • Tegallalang Rice Fields
  • Tegenungan Waterfall
  • Pool
  • Teba Rasi Resto

The day started at 1:30am when our alarm went off. Our driver would come pick us up at 2am at the hotel, to go to Mount Batur, hike the 1,7km tall volcano and watch the sunrise from the top. The weather gods were on our side today, no rain, a good amount of clouds and no wind. It couldn’t have been better.

There were tons of hikers and guides, each group of around 6 people had two guides, one in the front and one in the back. It was Mikael and I, two girls from northern England and a couple from Canada. Two hours to the top and one and a half on the way down. Up was not too bad. Except that it was pitch-dark and you had to have a flashlight and if you looked away from the path, you stumbled. It was a great hike and not too bad for me. One in our company had troubles with her cardio though and we didn’t quite reach the top top to watch the sunset, but we watched it while hiking the last way. Which definitely wasn’t too bad either. But a time-lapse video from the top of that incredible sunrise would have been awesome!

We were told there would be stealing monkey’s on the top and that we had to be careful with our food and things. My brother told me that he lost his breakfast egg up there to a monkey when he did it a few years ago. BUT. We didn’t see a single monkey. I was disappointed. I know they are annoying and might have rabies and we told ourselves beforehand to stay away from them. But I would still very much like to see them. They can be both annoying and cute at the same time.

Up there, we had steamed banana sandwhiches which was surprisingly good. We watched the sun rise next to the other two mountains on Bali. Can’t remember their names.

We took an easy way down, not so steep, and not so rocky. Which was awful for my knees. My left one is kaputt now and I really hope it isn’t anything worse than just after this hike down.

Right after the hike, our driver took us to Batur Natural Hot Springs. At first we thought it was weird to go to hot springs on Bali, but we withdrew those thoughts immediately. It was like a spa facility, with many pools and very warm water outlets. The water was warm, but those were really warm and great to ease the shoulder muscles. We only stayed for an hour and a half, and I probably would have wanted to stay longer. It was incredible. At the bottom of the big crater, right next to the lake. So worth it after that hike.

We switched driver after the hot springs and also got our local guide with us for the rest of the afternoon. We had decided that we wanted to see rice fields, waterfalls, and Monkey Forest and she came along for all of them.

First, we went to Tegallalang Rice Fields, which I thought would be just beautiful rice fields, but instead we ended up at a day pool club. And that place was all about Instagram and getting the perfect picture from swings to infinity pools and photo places. It was cool, sure. But I would have been happy just seeing the fields. We had lunch there at the restaurant with the great view. We had Satay which is a spicy course here on Bali, compared to back home when Satay is more sweet and peanut-y. We saw two Luwaks, the civit animals who are picky coffee bean eaters, who later poop out fermented beans that are then ground down to coffee. We tried a cup there and then and it was not as sour as the coffee we drink back home. Not too bad!

We had lunch with the guide and she told us that we were her first travelers since 2019 since she had a stroke then and was in a coma, wheel-chair and walked with a cane up until a month ago. It was sweet of her to share. When we were leaving, the rain began to fall.

Our next stop was the  Tegenungan Waterfall. It also had a day pool club with party music and soooo many shopping stands with souvenirs and stuff. I can only imagine how tough it must have been for so many people on this island when it shut down for 2,5 years. Our guide told us about this as well.

Our last stop of the day was supposed to be Monkey Forest. But the rain had gotten so heavy that we decided to head back to the hotel instead. The guide told us that we did not want to go there and see angry monkeys, they’re bad as they are, haha! SInce we’re leaving Ubud tomorrow, we might as her to set up something else for us when we get back to Sanur on four days. Going all the way up to Monkey Forest when we are staying in the south might be too much of a hassle. But I also don’t want to be here for 2 weeks and not see a single monkey!

Back at the hotel, we were so tried that we fell asleep for an hour before we took a dip in the pool in the still drizzling rain. And then we decided that it would be worth going out for a real dinner our last night here in Ubud. So we called a taxi which took us to Teba Sari Resto, which was a restaurant in Ubud close to a Koi pond. It was a bamboo construction and the pond had huts with tables in them. We didn’t get a pond table, but we still had a nice view. We tried fried duck and friend banana for dessert. Their drinks, Mango Berry and Cosmo Colada, were really good as well.

It was a long day, but such a fun one. We are both really excited to go to Gili Trawangan tomorrow and start our diving adventure together!!

Ubud day 1

The first day of our vacation is over and it was great!

It started with the sun shining and a dip in the pool. In the light of day, we saw how lush and cosy the hotel is.

The view from our window.

We had Indonesian breakfast: fried noodles/rice with vegetables, egg and chicken at the restaurant in connection with the hotel. Weird to eat hot food at breakfast, but it was delicious.

The rest of the day was all about walking around in the center of Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. It was touristy but still much enjoyable. And since it is the wet season right now, apparently there aren’t too many tourist. That’s good. But that also means that there is rain. But not as much as we dreaded before coming. The morning was amazing and the rain didn’t come until 1pm, which was the perfect time to sit down and have lunch anyway. So we took the first we found, Miro’s Garden and had Pancake Raja, a potato pancake. It was so nice sitting there under the roof, while it was raining quite a lot and the thunder roared. The freshly pressed banana and pineapple juices added to the experience positively as well.

The last stop, before heading home to the hotel, was at the Saraswati Temple in the middle of Ubud. We didn’t enter the temple but walked around outside. It was beautiful. Ponds full of lilypads and extremely intricate statues. Apparently, you are not allowed to enter the temple while on your period. I wonder why.

Our driver recommended a nice restaurant not too far away from here. But since we are getting picked up at 2am tomorrow, and it was already 5:30pm, we decided to have dinner at the hotel again. Not super fun perhaps, but we will make up for it on Gili and in Sanur later on.

We also took an evening swim in the pool and had something flying very close to our heads above the water. It took us a while, but eventually we realized we had a bat that was chasing us, haha!

So, tomorrow is a day full of adventures, starting at 2am. I hope the adrenaline and thrill of the agenda will keep us awake :D.

Hello Bali

31 hours, door to door, but now we are finally here: Bali, Indonesia!

This is a very special trip in many ways. First of all, it’s mine and Mikael’s first trip outside of Sweden together. We started dating in January 2020 and have lived in this pandemic during our whole relationship. It is also the first trip abroad since the pandemic (I know it has been possible to travel, but it just hasn’t felt right). It is the furthest away both of us have ever been away from home (for me Oahu is 400km closer than Bali and it’s almost 5000km further than Goa, India for Mikael). It is also the first time either of us are below the equator.

It’s been a really long day. Or two. Landvetter Airport is tiny and we saved a bunch of money on taking a flight from Copenhagen instead of Gothenburg. So our day started very early Thursday driving down to Copenhagen. First time driving over Öresundsbron which was pretty cool.

We had four hours to kill at the airport after Emirates recommendations. And the problem we had with our pre-purchased seats magically solved itself somehow. So the twin seats we paid extra for three weeks ago, were no longer available when I tried checking in two nights before. We’ve been on the phone with Emirates about this issue with extra legroom three times and they couldn’t fix it. And without us even having to say anyting to the woman at the check-in counter about this, we got twin seats anyway. What a relief. Even if the first flight to Dubai was only six hours, it wouldn’t have been fun to not even have seats next to each other but 12 rows apart.

Six hours was over pretty smoothly but when we landed in Dubai around midnight, it hit us that that was the short flight today. Dubai to Bali was another nine hours. We hoped we would be tired enough to fall asleep quickly, but no. I ended up watching two movies and slept fitfully for maybe 30 min. Mikael managed to get at least 2 hours. Lucky him.

At the airport, it took us almost three hours to finish everything. Queues to everything. First covid-19 vaccination checkpoint, then Visa on Arrival, then passport control, then custom declaration, currency exchange and simcard with extra data. I feel bad for our drive who had to wait for two hours at the airport for us.

He drove us to Ubud, more inland on the island, where we will spend the next couple of days. The road there was very special. I had imagined a smaller road going through landscape and nature, but the WHOLE way had structures and buildings and stores and garden statues lined up and small and super simple restaurants. It was kinda weird. I wonder how it will look in the daylight. Also, they drive on the left and there are scooters everywhere. I’ve never experienced this kind of trafic before and it was cool! Everyone flowed together and I’m impressed that they all seemed to know exactly where everyone was.

Tomorrow after breakfast, we will have a travel guide tell us how to make the most out of these days. It seems like there are a lot of things to do in Ubud.

Now, at 11pm local time, staying awake 35 hours, I’m ready to go to bed. It’s been a long day or week or whenever it was that we left Gothenburg to drive to Copenhagen, haha!

It was dark when we arrived, but it looks really nice, this place. We are staying at Taman Harum Cottages.

The hotel pool.

We have a suite on the upper level.

The windows in the bathroom are open into the wild. Let’s hope those disgusting mosquitoes stays away!

Up in the ceiling outside of our room were three lizarads situated. A fourth on the opposite side. Really cool