Ubud

Ubud was an interesting experience. I went in thinking it was almost going to be this like “spiritual experience”. Let me tell you, it was not.

We had taken a shuttle from the port where the boat stops on Bali (from Lombok) to a grocery store parking lot in the heart of Ubud. My first impression of my new home in Ubud for the next few days? It was very artsy, definitely busier, tons of shopping, and yoga and tasty food places everywhere. So, I was excited to get settled in and explore.

I have not booked accommodation anywhere since being in Bali, I like the idea of having freedom and getting to the area and booking something once there, so that is what we did here as well. Once off our shuttle we were approached by a few different people offering accommodation so we went with what seemed to be the best option. Our first selection of a place to stay was where this Ubud trip started going downhill. We were staying a night at a place called “Ubud Pantai” -not to self or anything reading this..don’t stay there. Dirty sheets, ants everywhere, disgusting walls covered in mold, and to top it off the pool which seemed to be the only positive thing about this place had so many chemicals in it I thought my skin and eyes were going to burn off. We made do for the night at “Ubud Pantai” because it was our only option and had a group decision that we would find something new the next morning.

Woke up the next morning at our awful hotel and I wanted to check out the “Yoga Barn” – I had wanting to go to a class at this place for so long and was to excited to be in Ubud to finally go to one. So, I woke up early, rented a scooter to get the class in before we had to check out. Turns out, this Pantai place doesn’t put a drop of gas in their scooters either. I ran out of gas on the busy Ubud streets about 39 seconds into my drive. Cool, thanks Ubud Pantai, ya jerks. Oh well, figured that situation out and made it to the Yoga Barn for on of the best Yoga classes of my life. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I will say the class was much needed and it was amazing to spend an hour and a half stretching in an amazing open room, surrounded by wildlife.

Yoga Barn Studio

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One of the views.

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Tastiest breakfasts after class

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After the yoga class which left me feeling so relaxed and happy it was back to our disgusting hotel to pack up and find a new one. Once we were ready to go the three of us split ways on the street each going to go check a new hotel out. We went with Emma’s find which seemed amazing. It was $300,000rp ($30.00USD so, $10.00 a night each) it had a pool and was a traditional Balinese style. We set up camp thinking we would be there for a couple days and were stoked we had a place. Once we settled in we thought we would go rent scooters and check out some rice terraces and a holy water temple. This is were Ubud strikes again and things take a turn for the worst. We were on the open road with out scooters and like I mentioned earlier Ubud is quite busy. I was driving my scooter and Caylene was on the back, Emma was behind us on her own scooter. Things were going good and my scooter driving has gotten pretty good and I have been feeling very confident with it until… Scooter crash nĂºmero uno for me. The scooter crash was probably one of the scariest things that’s happened to me and I hope I never get in one again, it doesn’t look bad from the photos but it was the experience that really shocked me. I’m not going to explain it on here it’s a story you’ll need to hear in person once I am home. Let’s just say though, it could have been a lot worse and we are all so lucky.

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After being in the scooter crash I was in no shape or form to continue on so it was back to our place for a mellow day. I was starting to think this whole Ubud thing wasn’t meant to be. The day had past and we were getting ready to settled into our new little Balinese room at “Ubud Terrace” when we started noticing something on our bed. Bed bugs. Seriously. We had to switch rooms which led to the worst sleep ever and we were all pretty grumpy and ready to pack our bags and get back to the beach and out of Ubud.

Anyways, we ended up switching to a really cool hostel the next day and finally got to check out the rice terraces (which were amazing) and the holy water temple. I thought Ubud was going to go differently but it’s all part of the adventure and I’m happy that I did get to do some exploring and got to check out a class at Yoga Barn.

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I was ready to move on and hit the beaches for my last few days of my trip! Back to Uluwatu which I have come to realize is my favorite place in Bali!

xx

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Ubud

Lombok

Hello!

Well, we wrapped up our time on Gili T by “biking” around the island, wasn’t much of a bike ride though. You can probably bike around half of the island and the other half you have to push your bike through sand, was cool to see what the other side of the island had to offer, I definitely preferred the side we were staying on (beaches were better, had everything we needed). By the fourth day on Gili T we were ready to leave and had seen all that we needed to see.

Oh, I forgot to mention we went to a “Dark Moon” party, since Gili T was known for their party we thought we should check it out. Let’s just say we stayed up til 5am biking around, and the next day was a bit rough. Thanks for the good times Gili!

Off to Lombok we go!

Lombok was amazing. Very different than Bali. Even though we were all so tired and pretty hungover on our drive into Lombok we were still in complete awe of the island’s beauty. We were surrounded by luscious green rain forests, there were monkeys running all over the place, and the mountains.. Oh the mountains. Was such a beautiful drive.

We were heading to our destination which was Kuta, Lombok – about a two hour drive from the port into town. We didn’t have any accommodation booked so we were just going to trust our driver to show us some places when we got into town. Once we were in Kuta we stopped at the first stop our driver suggested but we weren’t too stoked on it so it was onto the next. It was the second place that sold us. From the outside it looked like the biggest dump, but then you walk through the construction and holy moly you’re in for a real treat. First thing you see is a lovely pool and it’s filled with a bunch of surfer babes, sign us up please. Our home in Lombok was called Kuta Mara, was a lovely place minus our bathroom which smelled like nothing I ever want to smell again.

Our time in Lombok was filled with exploring. We rented scooters and rode to a beach called Gerupuk where Emma and I tried surfing. Surfing in Lombok was so much fun, was probably the most fun I’ve ever had surfing (not that I do it too much) but you know what I mean. To get out to the wave that we were going to surf we had to catch this little wooden boat, you arrive at the wave, throw your board in and start paddling.. Was pretty cool. Emma and I had a real hoot out there though, however we were pretty big kooks. At one point I was up on a wave and looked to my left only to see topless Emma laying on her board riding the white wash yelling my name and waving to say “hello!” Oh man, so funny needless to say, so happy to went on that adventure.

Another day in Lombok, Caylene, Emma, and I rented scooters and explored the area around us. We went to a few beaches and did a bit of off roading. A dirtbike would have been a bit better for this adventure but we made do with our scooters.

Lombok was a hoot but Bali was calling our name again and off to Ubud we went!

Up next, Ubud!
xx

PS, for some reason my photos won’t upload on here. Sorry!

Lombok

Balangan and Gili T

Balangan Beach

After our hike and spending a night in Seminyak Caylene, Emma, and I decided to get a driver to Uluwatu/Balangan to go hang with the boys (Jesmond, Dre, and Andrew) and hit up the Single Fin party. It was a bit of a mission the find where the boys were staying in Balangan, they were staying at the Balangan Garden Bungalows which was pretty much in the middle of no where. The boys referred to it as “The Garden”, I referred to it as “The Baron Wasteland” – so dry and dessert like. We attempted to go to the Single Fin party that night but it was insanely busy and was just so hot and crammed with people. Don’t worry though, we had a back up plan. Pool party at the ol’ Garden. Was actually a really fun night, played in the pool for ages then cruised to Dreamland beach for some night time swimming. Still concurring my fear of big waves here in Bali, and I’m getting there guys.

“You don’t even say that”

The next morning we were all feeling a bit rough and Caylene, Emma, and I were en route to Gili T island just off the coast of Bali. We all hopped on “The Struggle Bus” and began our long journey. Our journey began in Jimbaran where we were picked up by our driver and eventually our bus stopped at Padangbai where we hopped on our boat. Let me tell you, the bus ride to Padangbai was fun at first, we were all jamming out to Bob Marley and such but after what felt like five hours we were pretty over it. So hot on that stupid “Struggle Bus”, so hot.

Getting off the boat and arriving to Gili T was perfect, such a lovely little island. Even though it’s know as the party island out of the three (there’s also Gili Air and Gili Meno) it was just what I needed. When you first get off the boat you are swarmed by people offering accommodation, we played it cool and tried walking through but we didn’t have accommodation for the night so we decided to see what some of the people had to offer. After humming and hawing over a few we followed a man and he showed us a couple of places and we totally lucked out. We ended up staying at one of my favorite places I’ve stayed at this whole trip, it’s called Kupu Kupu (which means butterfly) and it’s pretty amazing. Kupu Kupu is very cozy, but also bright and fun, and it was a steal of a deal (300,000 per night) ($30.00USD) so only $10.00 per night for each of us. Has A/C, breakfast included, and is super clean! We love Kupu Kupu!

Gili T is like nothing I’ve ever seen. There are no vehicles here so to get around you either ride a bike or get a horse and carriage. I’ve noticed that the people here are super friendly and everyone seems to be in a good mood. We have mostly just spent time venturing around the island and discovering what it has to offer (amazing beaches, diving, snorkeling, the tastiest gelato, and lovely people).

Today we planned a snorkeling trip which was so great. Our boat picked us up here on Gili T at 10:30. We started our first snorkel just off Gili T where we swam with sea turtles (I almost touched it) and it was amazing. Second stop was off the island of Gili Air which was a coral reef snorkel, third stop was near Gili Meno where we got to feed a bunch of different fish , and the fourth stop was an old ship wreak. My favorite was the sea turtles by far, the ship wreak would have been cool but the water was so dark and the boat was really deep so you couldn’t see it very well.

Oh and, while we had a lunch break on Gili Air Emma and I had a nice little chat with a guy from Lombok, we was the best. His name was Mowgli and he helped me transform into a Balinese girl by putting flowers in my hair and rice on my forehead!

Gili Trawangan is an awesome little island, I really like it here, and today was a great day! So much sun and snorkeling though, I am ready for bed!

I also haven’t been feeling very well for the last few days and I definitely find myself missing home when I don’t feel well. My bed, tea, and my roots sweatpants would be a real treat right now.

xx

Balangan and Gili T

Mt. Batur

Long time no blog post. A lot has happened since my last post so I will be catching up over the next few days.

Let’s start with Mt. Batur. One of the coolest things I have ever done. Had an awesome crew (Caylene, Emma, Andrew, Jesmond, Rich, Dre, and I).

Mount Batur (Gunung Batur) is an active volcano located at the center of two concentric calderas north west of Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia. It is 1,717 meters above sea level and it’s pretty much the coolest.

Most people do this hike to see the sunrise, im sure you could just do it as a day time hike but we all wanted to see the sun come up. To see the sun come up we all had to wake up at 1:30am to be ready for our driver who was picking us up at 2:00am. The whole day leading up to this hike was slightly confusing as we knew we had to be up at 1:30am so we didn’t want to do too much. Our early morning drive consisted of napping and lots of laughs. The boys we were with are honestly some of the funniest dudes I have ever met. Non stop laughs, I love it!

Once the driver gets you to the bottom of the mountain everyone gets handed a flash light and changes into warmer clothes. It was so cold up there and I loved it. So refreshing to breath in fresh mountain air again, I miss my clean island air (so thankful for it).

The hike begins quite slow and mellow and the trail is really easy which is nice because you only have a flashlight to see where you are going. Gradually the hike starts getting a bit harder and the loose volcanic rock ground is pretty slippery. We took a few breaks along the way to drink some water, catch our breath, and check out the views, it was still dark but you can see a tiny trail of people hiking up with their flashlights which looked pretty cool. About 3/4 up you stop at a little look out and you can see the sky is starting to brighten a bit and some colours are starting to show through. One last haul and we would be at the top. Arriving to the top of Mt. Batur was amazing, I don’t really have words for it. You just feel so strong and happy that you just hiked a huge active volcano and as you’re feeling all proud the most amazing sun rise starts to happen. You can see Lombok, Mt. Agung, the lush bali forest, ah it was amazing, I had some serious goosebumps from happiness and excitement up there. The boys also thought it would be fitting to throw on the lion king soundtrack as the sun was coming up which made the moment that much more epic. Bali is so beautiful!

We decided to take the “long way” down which consisted of us hiking along a small path over steaming volcanic rock. The views along this side of the mountain were just as amazing. It was also crazy to feel volcanic steam, it was SO hot! The long hike down was interesting though, we were all pretty beat. The boys were dancing and I was falling (classic Courtney, I think I’m part baby deer). There was one part that we had to run down and it was just a trail covered in loose dirt, it was hilarious, the boys had music blaring and go pros out, was pretty sketchy but I was too tired and laughing too much too care.

Once we all got to the bottom the exhaustion had sunk in. We had been up since 1:30am, started hiking a massive volcano at 3:00, and were down and finished by 10:00 am. What a way to start your morning, we all just wanted water, a shower, and breakfast in our mouths.

I would highly recommend Mt. Batur to anyone though, was incredible.

More on future trips, Balangan, and Gili T to come! xx

Start of our dark hike up.

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Sunrise

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Sunrise.

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Mt. Batur

Canggu and Ulu.

I am in love with Bali, I don’t ever want to leave. I am starting to get more comfortable here and have definitely been putting myself in situations that I would not have done back home. Such a good learning experience.

So, I arrived to Canggu the other day and met up with my friend jesmond. I must say, I’m not a huge fan of Canggu. It is much busier, the beaches aren’t as nice, and it just doesn’t have the same atmosphere that I was used to seeing the past week.

Met a really cool girl from Vancouver through Jesmond and she had run into her cousin here as well so there is now a little crew of Canadian girls. All 3 of us sort of have the same plans so we are going to share accommodation and venture around together. A couple days ago about 8 of us mobbed up to Uluwatu on scooters and it was awesome. I drove and doubled a girl on the back, which was a bit hectic but also kind of fun. We went to Padang Padang, Ulu’s, and then watched the sunset and had dinner at Balangan beach which was so nice (I will post photos below). After our beach adventures we had to mission back home in the dark which was kind of sketchy especially the long dirt road out of Balangan that has cows and so many dogs roaming around. We all made it back a-okay with a few close calls. Such a good day though.

The next day Jesmond and I headed back to Uluwatu, this time I drove myself and just followed him the way there. I just wanted to get one last run in at the beaches since I might not be back to Uluwatu until the end of my trip if I even do. We made it there so fast and it was super fun bombing around by myself on the scoot. I had a nice visit with a guy I met near the beginning of my trip from England, watched the sunset from my favorite spot, ate some tasty food, and watched the first storm that Bali has seen in awhile. I had to get back to Seminyak all on my own after visiting with Joe which I was super nervous about but he helped me figure it out and I only got lost a few times. Scootering back on my own was probably one of the scariest things I’ve done. Was totally out of my element, the streets were pretty busy, and I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going. But I’m so glad I did it and kind of proud of myself for putting myself in that situation. It was a good learning experience for my directionally challenged self. Was sad to say bye to Joe, he showed me around big time and we had a lot of fun exploring Ulu, super happy to have met him! We shall see how our bet turns out.

I am back in Seminyak and am so exhausted. There’s a big group of us travelling to Ubud tonight around midnight to hike up Mt. Batur for sunrise. Super excited but I definitely need a good nap before we head off. The hike will cost us 400,000Rp ($40.00) which includes the round trip drive, breakfast, and two tour guides. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Anyways, I am happy to have met some really cool people and am feeling stoked on life! I’m off for a nap before our sunrise hike.

xx

Joe and I. Bukit sunsets are my fave.
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Bukit sunsets with Joe.

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New friends.

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The crew on our scooter day.

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Balangan sunset.

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Canggu and Ulu.

Uluwatu

I’ve been in Uluwatu since I arrived in Bali. I love it. Every beach here is just amazing, white sand, blue water, white cliffs. Ah I love it. I think my favorite beach I’ve been to here is Uluwatu beach. It is the first one I went to when I got here and it was sort of love at first sight.

While I’ve been in Ulu I’ve mostly been exploring the beaches which is a-okay with me. I’ve stayed at two homestays here. The Gong which was 200,00rp ($20.00USD) and Jepun Bali Homestay for 150,000rp ($15.00USD). I like the price of Jepun Bali and the fact that it’s a little closer to the beaches but I think I preferred The Gong. The Gong was a bit more welcoming, it had a pool, and their food was really good. I also met Julie and her boyfriend there and they were awesome and totally took me under their wing. Uluwatu is pretty spread out and I haven’t found it super easy to meet people here but the people I have met have been amazing and have opened me up to a bunch of opportunities that I might not have had if they didn’t come along.

One thing that’s been on my mind like crazy is riding a scooter. I’ve been so nervous and I don’t know why. I’ve done it before but for some reason it’s been hard to do it here. The girl at my homestay tried to show me and I didn’t do it, a guy I met tried to get me to ride his twice and I didn’t do that either. But… Today was the day! I did it! I actually road a scooter and it was so, so fun! I road it to Padang Padang beach then scooted around town afterwards. I just want to scoot all day everyday.

Scooter rides to Bukit peninsula view points, amazing sunsets, fun ocean swims, new friends, bintangs, and awesome people. Uluwatu you’ve been swell.

Ps, my craving for pizza is killing me. I want a slice of pizza from the Joint so bad. I’d pay top dollar to have one shipped to me.

Bukit sunset

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Bukit sunset

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Ulu’s

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Today’s sick ride

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Padang Padang

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Uluwatu