Ubud, Gili and Kuta.

Trip Start Oct 16, 2008
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Trip End Oct 15, 2009


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forgive me father it has been weeks since my last travel blog. Hope no one has been worried but our adventures have been continuing apace. The combination of semi high net rates and slow unreliable connections have conspired to ensure an absence of updates.

Or last comunique left off in Ubud in Bali so we'll pick up the story there. We battled the unseasonably humid weather to visit the Monkey Forest with its roaming bands of hairy boys and several splendiferous temples.






That evening saw us in a Silversmith class in central ubud where Ketut helped us fashion  our own original design pieces.




Mercury pendant for me and a silver ring with inset turamaline stone for Torie.
Very interesting experience designing crafting the metal. Torie says Siobhan Browne could be right about a possible career in jewellery making.


Next day we were on the road to Gili Trawangan in search of beaches and a cool ocean breeze. Had the scooter taxi ride of our lives down the Monkey Forest road to the Perama bus station at half 6 in the morning. Perama bus to Padangbai in eastern Bali where we chilled for a while before catching our boat to Gili T. Relaxing 4 hour journey, joined by dolphins for a short while. Hit Gili T. just as the sun was setting.  Spectacular skies and shimmering waters, like liquid silver.
Dismissed a 3 quid cidomo (horse cart) offer and started a hike in the darkness towards our intended accomodation in the quieter southern part of the island. First place was full but we found a bed in Sunset Bungalows and a shower to wash our hobbit like feet.



Three lazy days in this secluded and relaxing beach hut we were ready for something a little closer to the action so we found a very nice, small family run bungalow in the village behind the main strip. This became our home for over two weeks.
Our time there was filled with utimate relaxation and fine dining, which was only interrupted by the diving course which we completed late in the second week. The dive course was hardcore. Wasn't prepared for just how much work it would be. Hugely rewarding though experiencing the reefs and sealife off the Gilis. Definite highlight was seeing a massive turtle down there. Got to visit four reefs altogether as part of the course. Once we got up to speed the feeling of weightlessness, while exploring and breathing under water was amazing. We're looking forward to doing some fun dives in Thailand where there will be no pressure to demonstrate skills.

Great little island. Very easy to get drawn into the place and feel right at home. Got to know a good few of the people and got on really well with the locals. Cool wee outdoor cinema in one of the bars showed two films a night, just order a drink or some food and have a seat. Arak and Rum were our local spirits of choice. Was actually a bit odd leaving the place as we began to feel really at home but we had a plane to catch in Bali. Our Perama booking to get back to Bali didn't work due to some boat problem so we splashed a bit more cash to get the fast boat direct from Gili T. to southern Bali. This slashed our travel time from nine hours to three. Bumpy but exhilarating experience and it was definitely a wise decision considering our flight was at 6am the next morning as this gave us some recuperation time in Kuta before heading to the airport.

Kuta beach is a bit of a hawker and tout hell. Surfing mecca though and the beach is impressive. Kuala Lumpur next...
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