After a working day, after a school or university semester, after a nice journey, weekend or a long trip we normally remember all the special things happened. These things were such special that we couldn't forget them. The same happens with people. It's easy to meet people during a day but it isn't common to meet a special person every day.
On the 31st of December 2014, I was very lucky and I met one! After meeting many new people during the last 3 month of traveling through 4 continents it was really impressive how natural was being with this person. It felt like I knew this girl already. We spent New Year's Eve together with a few other friends and ex-colleagues of her. We understand each other very well and met many other times in the new year. One day while I was in China we spontaneous decided to go for 12 days on a trip together. Traveling with a friend, boy- or girlfriend is a good way to see how a person really is. Staying many days with the same person, sitting together for hours, sleeping in the same small room or bed, doing many different things and experience many adventures, good or bad ones, will show up a lot about a person and about yourself. Sometimes the couple starts fighting already after a few days, stopping talking at all and the trip could become a failure. Maybe it started together but it ended separately. Our trip ended separately, but it was planned that in advance: I was going to Perth and she had to go back to Bangkok. That's one reason we chose "Baaali!" (Bali): it's between Thailand and Australia.
After traveling alone or with many new people I've met "on the road", I was happy to travel with a familiar person. We booked some place in advance and decided to leave the last days flexible as a free option. We were really lucky with the first hotel in Legian (Bliss Surfer Hotel). The staff was friendly and the atmosphere very young and clean. We enjoyed walking along Legian and Kuta beach. The waves were ideal for learning surfing or just having fun jumping in the frothy water. There were many small restaurants called "warung" here, we had many fresh squeezed fruit juices and tasted the local food. One day we decided to rent a motorbike to visit Tanah Lot Temple. The traffic was busy in the touristic Legian or along Kuta beach: a taxi or a car with a private driver would be to slow, expensive and probably boring at the same time. I didn't want to scare my co-pilot and navigator telling her that it was my first time riding a motorbike in my life. It wasn't so hard and I get used after a short time but sometimes I forgot to ride on the left! After spending many hours at a small espresso bar we became coffee experts that day. We randomly met some friends from Bangkok too! The other days it was fun discovering different parts of the small town and try many kinds of local food.
The second part of the Bali stay wasn't on the beach but on the land in Ubud. A great promotion on "expedia" made me booking a luxurious villa at a resort (Sapu Lidi Resort and Spa). Again we were very lucky because the huge garden with streams, a lot of plants and rice terraces at the resort were stunning. Many ducks were living, eating and sleeping in the rice fields in front of the villas and keeping us company with their funny sound. During the first day, we visited the monkey forest and Ubud's shopping/walking streets. One night we had some food in a coffee shop and started talking with a man from the staff. We asked about nice places to go and at the end, we had a driver, a hotel, 3 highlights to stop along the way to the volcano location Batur.
The driver was really good and helpful, the journey was pleasant. We stopped at some nice rice terraces and coffee plantations next to Tegallalang, at the Gunung Kawi and at Pura Tirta Empul next to Tampak Siring. Everywhere people is selling "sarongs", clothes, coconuts to drink or souvenirs. Young girls offer bracelets or postcards for a few dollars. At Gunung Kawi we had to rent an umbrella because of the strong tropical rain. Fortunately, it didn't rain at Pura Tirta Empul and we could watch the people having a bath with purification shower doing donations at this magic place. It was nice to see many kinds of trees at the show garden: coffee, cacao, papaya, vanilla, lemongrass, ginger, huge passion fruits, mangosteen, durian and others.
In the evening we reached the 1'300 meter of Batur when it was already dark. The friendly guy from the hotel (Batur Mountain View Hotel) gave us the room with the best view and later he cooked a delicious dinner. Next morning the situation of the sunrise with the volcano, lake and fresh mountain air was really unique. We didn't plan any activities in the morning so we stayed at the small sitting place on a balcony enjoying "the moment" until 11 AM.
We hired the driver for the second day and started in direction Amed on the east coast. First, we went to the hot spring next to the lake: very hot, nice and relaxing. After lunch, by chance, I could watch a c*** fight in a courtyard which ended shortly and deadly. Later we stopped at the biggest temple of Bali: Besakih. Many hundreds of people, most of them wearing white clothes, were walking around or praying and doing donations. It was the 14th of 21 days celebration. Very impressive and nice seeing and being part of all this. It's new for me as well to see all these small and cute offering boxes with flowers and perfumed incense everywhere on the sidewalks of Bali. Amed is a good spot for snorkeling or diving. At this time of the year it's low season, however, the water was warm and the visibility good so we did some snorkeling and we had a short Catamaran ride as well. The second day we found a good local restaurant and had some fish. Through the restaurant guy, we could organize again a new driver to our last stop before leaving.
At 10 AM we left the black lava stone and white coral beach of Amed and drove with the new polite driver back to the south of Bali island. We stopped at the Water Palace Taman Ujung, which was very green and nice like all the nature over there. We ate some fruits like mangosteens which I really like. A few hours after lunch in a typical "sate" restaurant we reached Nusa Dua.
We chose a place not too far from the airport for the last day and I wanted to try a new way of booking/choosing the accommodation: looking only at the best ratings fixing a budget. For 25$ we booked a location which had 100% ratings in Tripadvisor. It was ok but not perfect. The beach here isn't so nice like in Legian or Kuta. Here it's flatter and because of the low tide, it's full of seaweed just 10-15 meter away from the beach. After walking for about 3km along the path on the beach connecting all the 5 stars resorts we went back and found a restaurant for the last dinner: a big fish & seafood plate! We enjoyed the food, the live music and the walk back to the hotel.
In the morning we had breakfast under one of this typical Balinese roofs in the hotel's garden with fountain, like a mini temple, with a low table without chairs because we just sit on the floor, or in this case on our platform. Check out, driver, airport, bye bye and our 12 days trip ended separately, but in a good way. Spending time with good people or special persons is the best thing in life: so see you soon Chompu!