First impressions of Bali were good. As we made our way out of the beautiful airport past the intense security checks we were greeted by a friendly man who would take us to our pre-booked guesthouse in Ubud, central Bali. Ubud had been recommended to us by a few people and it’s where we chose to base ourselves for the first part of our Indonesian adventure. We had a lovely guesthouse to stay in with our own terrace where we were served breakfast each morning.
Chris was eager to rent a motorbike so off we set on two wheels for our first day. Everything is so beautiful, there are temples we have never seen before, rice paddies, quaint little shops and tree lined streets. We hopped off the bike to explore the colourful market and to have a walk through fields and rice paddies dotted with palm trees. Our first taste of Indonesian food was presented in tapas form which allowed us to try a few different dishes we haven’t had before. All of which we loved, we’re going to have very full and happy tums over the next month. Back on the bike and we had a drive through the villages north of town which took us through more beautiful scenery leading us out on a street dedicated to handicrafts in all forms, from driftwood animals to clothes shops. Back in town there was a local football match in full swing which Chris insisted we had to watch, I preoccupied myself with the street food vendors and observing the locals.
That night we headed out to a traditional Balinese dance performance set in an outdoor courtyard. It was very unusual and reminded me of the dance show we witnessed months earlier in Kerala, India. Lots of emphasis on hand and eye movements with extravagant outfits. The instruments and the music played was as important as the dancing. After the performance we had a late meal to sample some more local dishes and sample our first taste of Indonesian beer. A very busy first day but so enjoyable.
We chose to start Indonesia In Bali as this was the cheapest place to fly to, although geographically this made no sense as it is in the middle of the country. Because of this we decided to work our way East from Bali to end up on the island of Sulawesi and to fly from there back to Bali-again cheapest flight- then work our way West. In order to get a cheap flight we booked the return flight to Bali in advance, this therefore gave us a time limit for the first half of the country. So our time in Ubud was only short for this reason. On our second day we traveled to the port of Padangbai where we would catch a ferry to neighbouring island Lombok. The town was a very small place but we found a traditional styled hut with a curved roof to stay in for the night, the architecture has been very interesting so far. That day was spent at the blue lagoon and planning our trek up Mt Rinjani on Lombok where we head tomorrow via speed boat!