Flying into Bali was a treat, the isles surrounding Bali and the mountains on the island of Bali were beautiful to see from the sky. When we arrived at the airport our driver from the Matahari bed and Breakfast was waiting for us. It was a HOT drive to Ubud, which is over an hour from the airport, in a van with no air conditioning. Once we arrived at the Matahari we were set up in our cottage which was equipped with an awesome outdoor bathroom, which included a large bath surrounded by a lush garden. It was a wonderful experience, minus the presence of peeping toms who would peek over the fence. Anyhoots we spent our first five days in Ubud and would highly recommend the B&B. Everyday we were served a 5 star breakfast on our terrace. Furthermore, every afternoon we were treated to afternoon tea, which obviously consisted of Tea but also included a array of homemade sandwiches and delicious deserts. Between the deserts, jungle surrounding and the amazing service, it was heavenly.
Moving along, Since Bali is a large island with so much to see we were busy almost every day. On our first day we went to the Ubud Monkey sanctuary. The Sanctuary is filled with heaps of wild monkeys that you can feed or simply observe in their natural habitat. However , being the animal lover that I am I opted to get some bananas before entering the sanctuary. Those Bananas did not last very long, I think all 20 or so bananas were gone within 2 minutes. Although wild , these monkeys are quite comfortable with humans and are not shy to tug at your clothes or even climb up your leg until you surrender the bananas. We were warned prior to entering the sanctuary that if we had ANY food in our bags to remove it cause the monkeys would find a way to get it, whether you liked it or not. Unfortunately I forgot I had Mentos in my bag and had 2 monkeys discover this and climbed up on me and began fighting …… ON ME. Not the most pleasant experience. We stayed for over 2 hours and in the end definitely had an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
On our second day, we hired a driver and went up into the mountains. Throughout the day we went to the Ulun Danu temple on Beratan lake, hiked to Gitgit waterfalls, which is the highest waterfall on the island, visited rice fields, and awesome hot spring pool in the jungle, and the twin lakes. The last site was essentially missed as by the time we made it to the lakes there was a torrential downpour and could not see anything. It was a bummer cause we did not return as it was over an hour drive from Ubud. On our third day we took it easy at the Matahari, relaxing in the pool in the jungle , shopping in Ubud and of course eating tons of treats made by our awesome Balinese hosts. Our Fourth day was our 3rd anniversary and to celebrate we started the day with snorkeling in the Indian Ocean, however I did not really enjoy the snorkeling as the water was murky due to strong currents. And the rough waters did not help improve the experience either. Anyhoots, after snorkeling we took a glass bottom boat to Turtle island, which is sort of a mini zoo where you can interact and hold the animals. I LOVED it. We held small and HUGE turtles, snakes, bats, and an iguana. It was totally up my alley! After turtle island we took the glass bottom boat back to the main beach for some Parasailing. For someone who is afraid of heights and open water I had a blast. It was such an incredible experience that perhaps I will Skydive in NZ….one step at a time. We continued the day with a stop an GWK cultural center, where we experimented with Indonesian Cuisine as well as saw the largest Garuda Wisnu Kencann statue in the world. It was so hot and humid we headed to the Dream land beach to cool off, however because the undertow was very strong and waves uber high, we did not go in to far. The ocean is a powerful beast that I am not going to mess around with. Just before sunset we went to Pura Uluwatu temple, which is located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, which had absolutely stunning views. The temple was infested with monkeys and before entering we were required to remove all of our jewelry and glasses for our safety. Apparently monkeys are attracted to shiny objects, and can be quite forceful to attain them. To end our day we had dinner on the beach at sunset, It was a great end to a great day!! If only every anniversary could be so magical. Our last day in Ubud we went to sample some suckling pig, which was highly recommended by the locals- delish . We also explored Ubud and went to the Ubud market, luckily I am constrained by my backpack once again or else I would have gone NUTS. If I was coming straight home from SE Asia I would have bought a suitcase and filled it. To end our wonderful 5 days at the Matahari we both got full body massages, which was a nice way to end a really difficult week.
Our last 2 days in Bali were spent at Legian Beach, which is a stone throw away from Kuta which is Bali’s most popular beach. Our 2 days there were more laid back; visiting beaches, shopping and trying to prepare ourselves for some sense of reality that was fast approaching. It was very hard leaving Bali for Perth, especially having no arrangements whatsoever. On the bright side, at least we were not heading back to Montréal to be abused by the -15 degrees weather