A Travellerspoint blog

Ubud to Nusa Lembongan

Four weeks down - Two to go

Note: We're in Nusa Lembongan and after checking email last night via wi-fi at one of the small cafes, I tried to down download a photo...and it went - easily....so there are a few more photos and I'm going to try and download some from Myanmar and Bali. Enjoy

11 February 2012

Today is Kuningan which is the last day of the Galungan festival. The Balinese people are up very early to make offerings to the temple. A very quiet day in Ubud.

One thing we did work on yesterday was finding a place to stay on the 15th and 16th. Steve came through for us. We’ll be spending the two days in Villa Paul (VP) which is right behind Warung Bubu (about a three minute walk from Kembali). One less thing to think about.

Also…rain, rain and more rain!!!

12 February 2012

Off on a full day car trip around the eastern part of Bali with Nyoman Bawa …aka Blue (www.balibluedriver.com), a recommendation from Barbara and Henry (just in case we needed a driver). He came through for us when I had to go to the hospital last week – a great find. Blue is a great driver with an in depth knowledge of Bali. Having spent his whole life on Bali, he knows the island, its people and their customs, plus his English is very good and he is so funny. We ended up laughing the whole day.

Our first stop was just outside Ubud at some rice fields, nice view but he warned us…the best was yet to come.

As we drove the back roads, Blue stopped to show us how vanilla is grown in the wild and at that stop we also visited a carver’s studio. We saw four to six foot tall, incredible wood carvings of the Vishnu riding Garuda whose wing span was about three feet.

Upon arriving in Bali, Jim had jotted down a “to do” list. The list isn’t long but today we checked off one more item by visiting Gunung Kawi, near the village of Tampaksiring. This 11th century shrine is settled along a beautiful, lush green river valley. The stone shrines (candi) are 8m (25’) tall and are believed to be memorials to members of 11th century royalty. Temple decorum is different in Bali than other countries we’ve traveled. Hindu temples in Bali require a sarong and sash for both men and women but you don’t have to take your shoes off (which is generally the case in most Buddhist temples). Sarongs and sashes can be rented at the entrance to most temples but always up for a little bartering – Jim ended up buying a nice one for about $8. The shop lady reminded him (as they were discussing price) that being so large, it would also make a nice table cloth. Good point!!

Down the road from the temple area is a small town that is known for bone carving. Jim came up with a great idea. Since I’ve decided to try and continue a little carving when I get home (from the class I took in NZ), why not try and buy some bones that are already dry. I will be able to buy, clean and dry bones at home but it will take quite a while before they are dry enough to work with. Blue came through for us once again. We stopped at a shop and picked up two bones (about $10 for both). Explaining to the shop keeper why I wanted just the bones was successful with Blue’s help. The shop owner and his family wished me luck in my work…now I just have to see if they make it through customs.

More rice fields and Blue is good at explaining the different aspects of rice farming. Bali has an island wide commission that controls the water (via a basic aqueduct system). Also, most people own, at least, a small piece of land which supplies rice to their families with any excess being sold. Those that don’t have land may work by the day and other groups use a barter system: i.e., I’ll help you harvest your land if I can have the grass for my animals. It all seems to work well but boy is it hard, back breaking work – all done by hand.

It’s lunch time and we pulled into a little parking lot and my thought was “is this a temple?” Nope!! We walked through the property to the restaurant area which sits perched on the edge of a hill looking out to Mt Agung with terraced rice fields as far as the eye can see. Although we don’t usually hit the “tourist bus route” for dining, this was an exception. The lunch was buffet style and since it was midafternoon – we were sure it will last us for rest of the day. Tasty food and a beautiful view….

For our last stop of the day, Blue dropped us off near some outlying rice terraces. He told us how to get to the next town, which was to walk along a trail adjacent to the aqueduct. We started off, over the river via a basic bamboo bridge. From there, the trail (small and almost none existent at times) followed the narrow waterway. Blue told us he’d meet us at the other end: about a 45 minute walk. What a wonderful walk!! Up the hill and along the cement wall, we were alone most of the time. The only other people we saw were three different groups of children bathing, one man carrying grass (probably back to his cow) and a lady and her little boy. My favorite photo was of one little boy who found joy in using a simple green bucket as a toy.

The aqueduct hugged each bend in the hillside and around each corner the fields rolled down to the river below. Being late afternoon, the light on the rice fields illuminated the different levels. Click, click, click of my camera was all I heard.

Jim and I both agreed: our rice field walk was the highlight of the day and maybe our whole time in Bali.

13 February 2012

Only a few more days before we head to Nusa Lembongan (if the MD gives me the OK) and it’s time to start packing.

Warung Alami for lunch finished a book I was reading and Bayu’s for dinner.

14 February 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

It’s very hot today; we could actually feel it in the air when we woke up.

Off to Ibu Oka (babi guling – roast suckling pig) for lunch. I wanted to eat there one more time before heading home – so bad (diet wise) but sooo good!!!

15 February 2012

Up too early today – Damn chickens (or rather rooster)!!! 0530 he started and didn’t stop. Ughhhh!!

Our last breakfast in Villa Kembali for a while. Jim dropped one bag off to Steve and Upik helped Jim and Wuk (the house staff for Villa Paul) bring our bags over to our casa for the next two days. Villa Paul is a bit bigger: two bedroom, two bathrooms, bigger living room, kitchen and pool. It would be great for two couple or family and it’s very nice but a little big for us or maybe we just had gotten used to Kembali.

We settled in VP, then lunch and a nap before meeting Mr. Blue at 1630hrs for our last (hopefully) trip to the hospital. The trip down was uneventful as was the stitch removal. The MD was very pleased with how the wound looked and I’m good for swimming in the islands and also for a massage…Yes!!!

It felt like a long day and I almost fell asleep on the ride back to Ubud.

Since VP is right in back of Warung Bubu, that was our stop for dinner. Plus, Jim just loves the ladies that work there. He tries to teach them English and they laugh…..

16 February 2012

I had a really good night sleep – no chickens (at least that I could hear)!!!!

Packing……….and not really much else.

Warung Alami for lunch. We’ve found their food to be really good and inexpensive.

I felt like a little pampering so as Jim hung out at VP, I went next door to Eva’s Spa and had a facial and a pedi.
Off to Lembongan tomorrow.

17 February 2012

We’re all packed, so it was just an early breakfast and we were off to meet the bus in front of Bayu. From there the process is pretty simple: the bus takes us to Perama over on Hanoman, another bus takes us to Sanur (about 45 minutes) and then, about an hour later we walked to the beach (maybe three minutes) where our boat was waiting for us and we were off to Nusa Lembongan.

The boat looked much newer in the photos: funny how that happens but it appears sea worthy. Less than half full we all spread out a bit but then one of the workers asked most of us to sit towards the rear of the boat, “engine not so good!” Hmmmm.

As we get underway, the fresh, sweet smell of the sea struck me. It’s a smell I wish I could bottle. There was a variety of people on the boat: one couple, Teio and Gaeli, brother and sister from BC are also stay at Secret Garden).

Lembongan is only an hour away, so as we leave Sanur, the big island of Bali is always present in the background. NL is very small (about 3km long) and seems to melt into Nusa Penida (the island just behind it) until we’re more than half way there.

My first impression of NL was that this is what Bali must have been 50 years ago: though more modern I’m sure, there are small shack type buildings along the waterfront and as we walk from the wharf to SG we pass the bamboo and palm leaf huts where locals live.
Secret Garden is less than a five minute walk from the waterfront. An open area leads to the front entrance and from the very beginning; I knew this would be just what we were looking for. We’re met by Tim (the owner), who tells us about SG and shows us to our room. He also tells us where we can book the boat for our trip to Gili Air on Monday.

There is only one way to get to Gili air from NL without having to go back to Sanur, so we’re off to Scoops to book the boat: 10am on Monday – 600K Rp. It’s a little expensive but it’s a fast boat and we’ll be there by noon.

Lunch a cute island café along the waterfront. Jim had the special of the day: grilled snapper and it was really good.

Hot day …..and it’s back to our room and while Jim read, it was nap time for me.

The sunsets are supposed to be really nice and Scoobydoo’s on the beach has a great view. As we walked up, Teio and Gaeli invite us to sit with them. A little mai tai type cocktail, nice breeze, beautiful sunset and great conversation – what more could we ask for. The four of us talked and talked and for dinner headed to a place that had been recommended. I really hadn’t expected a lot but the quality of the food here has been really good.

Posted by pjburke 17:00 Archived in Indonesia

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Just loved your photos along with the journal! The one of Jim in his sarong is priceless! Stay well! Love and hugs!

by Rosie H

Good to see pictures of both of you, Patty,I love the Batik. Jim, I know what you'll be wearing around the Brooke!
Can't wait to see you, have a safe trip home.
Shar & Lar

by Sharon

Great pictures! So glad your surgery healed well.
Don't want to miss those trips to the spa for
a massage!!! Have a safe trip home. See you soon.
Arlene and Don

by Arlene

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