22nd-29th March 2018
This being the penultimate stop on our 6 month world discovery voyage, we’re doing a little less of the sightseeing trips/Bali attractions and lots more of blending into local life and just chilling really. A fairly major reason for that is that we’ve not been the best budgeters and we need to eek out what’s left in the pot!! But not a bad spot to chill in, there’s no complaints – a beautifully peaceful hotel, fabulous local beach, great walks, super-friendly people, endless bars and restaurants to choose from – we have to pinch ourselves sometimes and make sure we appreciate every last minute of this amazing trip.
Some pictures from our boutique hotel and spa – a small complex with nine villas. We are looked after by the most charming staff – they all have that beautiful Bali smile.
And it’s not just chilling at the poolside – every day we fit in some exercise – running, walking, swimming (all to justify the food and wine that is invariably enjoyed later in the day)! I’ve enjoyed the spa treatments – with massage and facial at less than £10 a go, it would be rude not to!! We love walking the local streets and seeing real life – sometimes disturbing to see the poverty – women and children begging, men fishing in ditches and polluted rivers, shopkeepers desperate to make a sell (but they’re not pushy like some other countries) – they practically do the bartering for you!! There are some fabulous shops in Seminyak which is the area we are staying in – high fashion at reasonable prices – stunning shop layouts – in stark contrast to the streets outside. Generally fit in a couple of hours on the beach most days too – always invigorating being by the sea, watching the waves and the surfers, diving into the waves ourselves and lots of people watching.
Sadly, Bali beaches are suffering so much with litter – it’s apparently being washed down the rivers from the villages into the sea, and then it all washes up onto the shore. We were at the beach at 6.00am this morning and you walk along what is a beautiful shoreline only to tread your way through heaps of disposal – light bulbs, medicine bottles, aerosols, varying lengths of bamboo, coconuts and plastic cups and bottles in their thousands. It is incredibly sad. There are amazing workers out there at this time, particularly in front of the hotels, cleaning up the best they can …. but it is an ongoing problem. The Government are doing their best to educate the local people in safe waste disposal and recycling – you just hope this makes some difference before tourism is affected, as this is Bali’s sole industry.
Other than that, the beaches are great – we’ve spent many hours swimming, lounging and walking along the many stretches.
We did dip into our resources and went on a trip on Monday 26th March – we took the Fast Boat to Lembongan … and boy was it fast. It was like being on a speed boat except there were about 200 people on board, in very tightly packed seats. There was no elegant embarking either – we had to wade through the water and clamber up some very dubious steps right next to the outboard motors, and them some further climbing to get to the seating area – I had various crew members yanking me up each step of the way – so ladylike!! On the way out we were completely outnumbered by Chinese tourists, I would say it was 196 – 4. They are truly excitable people, looking and commenting on everything, photographing everything, standing up, sitting down, and screaming as the boat bumpily flew through the waves – a volume button would have been excellent on this occasion.
When we arrived in Lembongan, we had a few offers of trips offering “good price” but nothing too persistent. We took some time at the port area to have a think and a drink (fresh pineapple juice – delicious) then we bartered well with a chappie who drove us to his recommended spot – Dream Beach. As it turned out, very appropriately named – we had a dream day at the beach and, for very little money, got the use of sun loungers and use of the resort’s stunning infinity pool too. With the high tide, the waves got bigger and stronger – fabulous sea to swim in though (and no litter)!!
So tonight is our last night in Bali – we’re heading off soon to have a final drink on the beach and watch the sunset. Then walking on to our favourite restaurant – Mozeralla-by-the- sea …. great food, great staff, great atmosphere. We will be so sad to say goodbye to Bali and we so hope to come back – we’ve also enjoyed being millionaires here too – one million IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) = £50
So it’s goodbye from Bali … and hello to Sri Lanka tomorrow, our very last stop before home xx