The name Bali had always been connected in my brain to paradise, the same that happens with Hawaii or Fiji. From now on, it will be connected to rip off, a verb you will learn for sure if you visit that island. I collected enough experiences to write a whole post which will be here in the next days. But let’s be positive and focus on the good things now. Meow.
I started my trip in Kuta, as many others do, because it’s very close to the airport.
The beach was big, people say it has good waves if you like surfing, the sunsets are nice… but honestly, as it happened to me with the coastline of Australia, I didn’t find it much better than many of the beaches we have in Spain. Well, I must admit that we definitely don’t have these gates of Hindu influence at the entrance of any beach:
In case you don’t know, although most of the population of Indonesia is Muslim, the main religion in the island of Bali is Hinduism. Wikipedia can tell you why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Indonesia
On one of my nights in Kuta, I went with my hostel roommates to have dinner at Jimbaran beach. It was the first time that I ate in a restaurant literally on the beach:
I’ll write a big post about vegan food in Bali in the next days 🙂
From Kuta, I did a one-day trip to Ubud:
That picture is from the Museum Puri Lukisan. Even if you don’t enjoy art exhibitions very much, the buildings and gardens of the museum are worth seeing.
The small baskets you see in the forefront are daily offerings of the Balinese to their Gods. You can find them not just in this museum, but every few metres in every street of Bali.
Just behind the museum there is a vast extension of rice fields:
Once again, my smartphone camera couldn’t capture this place as it really is. For me, it was a haven of peace: no tourists, no motorbikes, just some Balinese farmers, a cow here, some ducks there. And that all just a few minutes away from one of the busiest streets of Ubud.
Being me, the animal-hugger, I also had to go to the Monkey Forest, where many macaques live.
I had fun watching them but they are not as cute as it seems. They especially enjoy jumping on people’s backs and stealing anything they can put their hands on, so you have to be careful with your wallet, camera or whatever they can grab.
I loved the babies. The idea of touching them didn’t even come to my mind: I bet their mums are perfectly capable of biting you in the face if you dare to approach them.
There were also some… hmm… disturbing sculptures in the forest like this one:
And I found this one quite funny. It looks like a monkey and a turtle going together on some drug trip, don’t you think?
Some of the souvenirs were funny as well:
And the day after Ubud, I went on a roadtrip with my roommates E. and N. all the way up to Lovina. We did some stops on the way, first in Candidasa:
Then in Amed:
After that we visited the water palace of Tirtagangga:
But what impressed me the most of the whole roadtrip was seeing Mount Agung at sunset:
It’s Bali’s highest peak and it has a perfect vulcano shape that reminded me of Mount Fuji. Incredibly beautiful, at least for weird people like me who like symmetries.
Lovina, in the north of Bali, was our last stop:
The sand is dark due to vulcanic ashes. There are also some dolphins that gather every morning near the beach, and every accommodation offers boat rides to see them. I was so happy when I found out about it! Dolphins are one of my favourite animals but sadly, most of the times, if you want to get close to them, it has to be in some dolphin park where they are treated like clowns. Not my thing.
But then my stomach decided it was time to have some seasickness a couple of hours before my boat ride (weird stomach, I know), so I had to cancel my dolphin trip and spend the following days eating water and rice, rice and water. Maybe I didn’t miss that much. I’ll try to believe that The Simpsons were right and dolphins are evil creatures.
So Bali was not exactly what I had expected. But then I went to the island of Gili Trawangan and that was indeed paradise. I’ll write about it on my next post!