Bali again, this time nice and slow…

We are no strangers to Bali, even for the kids. But this time round we wanted to spend more time chilling out, exploring and which is why we gave this trip a good 9 days to do all that. Decided to skip all the usual spots of Nusa Dua and Kuta and headed straight to Ubud in Central Bali right after we arrived.

We stayed at the Komaneka Rasa Sayang at Ubud. http://www.komaneka.com/komaneka-at-rasa-sayang.php The hotel is surrounded by lush vegetation and retained the flavour of traditional Balinese architecture yet complemented with modern amenities. And when we arrived, they were just serving afternoon tea which we were happy to enjoy after a 1 plus hour drive from the airport.

The room was cosy and comfortable! We found to our surprise that the TV in the room is plugged into a cloud of movie titles and song albums which we enjoyed for free during our stay

We took a little stroll out and had ourselves a nice foot massage (children as well) before having dinner at Ibu Rai. I had one of the tastiest beef curry I have ever eaten there! I tried the little girl’s nasi goreng and it was fabulous as well.

Yummy fried rice!

The next morning we set off towards the art market and on the way there, we signed up for a cooking class at Bumibali for the morning on the next day.

And so the shopping starts..

…while men wait outside the shops?

We trooped back to the hotel and after I have sanitised the bathtub twice with boiling water *Grin* I allowed the kids some time in the tub!

Breakfast was really great! We get to order all sorts of fresh juices, pancakes, Indonesian type breakfast. Needless to say, Ms Foodie was very happy!

It’s about a 15 mins stroll to the Ubud Arts Market and more shopping ensues…

Lunch was at Lotus Café which is right next to a huge lotus pond. We went for traditional Balinese fare and was not disappointed!

It was a lovely, quiet spot to spend some time exploring after lunch.

Children taking peeps into the temple.

We took a nice slow stroll back to the hotel, enjoying the little quaint shops along the way and decided to spend some time in the pool.

It’s an infinity pool of sorts as the edge of the pool overlooks a tiny valley amid the lush vegetation.

We chilled out for a bit in the room and headed out to dinner! Didn’t I tell ya! this trip is all about shopping and eating! 🙂 Eating by the candlelight and hearing sounds of insects of the night is another experience altogether!

And before we knew it, its Sunday morning and time for our cooking class! Turns out there were just us in the class!

For the first part of the lesson, we took a walk to the market to see and smell the food and spices on sale. and because it was so hot, the children got their first ride back to the kitchen on a motorbike!

We were then introduced to the spices the Balinese people use in their cooking.

Getting our spices all blended together in preparation for the cooking proper to start!

The first dish was salad/veggie dish of sorts where boiled cabbage/greens/beansprouts were mixed together with Balinese spices to serve as an appetizer. That wasn’t a crowd pleaser to say the least!

Next up, we mixed in spices with minced meat and did “satay”. Children were given the opportunity to mix with their hands (they loved that!) and to grill them subsequently!

We did 2 other dishes after that and got out of the kitchen (which really is part of a restaurant) about 3 hrs later. After that we decided to stroll towards Monkey Forest which is a big tourist attraction in Ubud but our purpose was not to go there

Just next to Monkey forest, there is a little café that overlooks lovely padi fields! We chilled out for a while here before heading back to the hotel to check out and prepare to head northern towards Lovina.

Enroute, we stopped at this lovely spot for lunch overlooking huge padi terraces!

We also visited Lake Bratan which really is a lake formed by a volcanic eruption in the past. Way too crowded for our liking so we took a quick look and quickly left the place.

Despite the rain, somebody wanted a picture with the misty mountains so we obliged him!

And so we went on our merry way towards Lovina, without first stopping several times in Singaraja while attempting to find a doctor for the little boy who had 2 nosebleeds and had a running nose! One doctor we located told us he was washing his car and so, sorry he can’t attend to us!?! We finally found a ENT specialist who looked like he’s 100 years old with a set of equipment almost as old as him as I thought I wanted to really just check the little boy’s nose. Well he said all is ok and gave us a prescription and we had to find a pharmacy to find the medicine. After all the running around, we finally arrived at our hotel in Lovina – The Lovina!

We were given a room with an outdoor toilet area! ermmm…To be very honest, I really didn’t relish having to shower and do my “businesses” like right out there in the open!

There was even a pool in our own backyard which we could have a dip in. I supposed it is for people who loves to skinny-dip? 😛

Anyway we headed out to dinner, to this little local eating place called Warung Apple. Apparently it is one of the best-raved eatery in Lovina on Tripadvisor. Apple actually is the name of the owner of the place which by the way is a man! It’s a nondescript place but served this really amazing grilled fish!

We went home and had an early night because the place was to get up at 5am the next morning, get out on a canoe-thingy and try to go chase wild dolphins. And at midnight, the boy woke up crying and when I touched his forehead, it was burning. I have sort of anticipated this and had already gotten myself some amoxicillin from the local pharmacy the day before. But still it was a sleepless night for me with measurement and sponging to be done. The father and the daughter went off on a wild dolphin chase while the rest of us took a snooze till late morning as the fever broke. The duo came back unsatisfied, claiming that their boat was too slow! and they have went to sign up with the fastest boat to attempt this again the next morning so that the whole family could experience this together.

We spent the rest of the day really just relaxing! The adults took turns to go for a spa while the little girl spent some time at the kid’s club. The little man rested in the room, watching cartoons and napping. And by evening, he was well enough that we decided to walk out along the beach to try and find some food.

Quite a nice stroll we took, listening to the waters and watching the villagers go about their chores.

All these canoes/boats were for dolphin watching!

We had an early night and by 6 am, we were out at sea!

It was a soothing ride out. I have expected to get a bit seasick but I was surprised I wasn’t at all. I think the fact that we were in a bay of sorts made the water very calm. We enjoyed looking at how the colours of the sky changed and how quiet it was!

About 1.5 hrs later, we were told by our boatman that we are close and should start to look out for any dolphin activities! W

When we spotted the first dolphin and subsequently saw the whole school swimming by, the excitement was indescribable! and true to her reputation to being the first boat the day before, “The Blue Pearl” was really one of the fastest boat around and we kept pace with the dolphins!

The little girl wanted a pic with the boat to remember how wonderful the experience it has been!

After that wonderful encounter with the dolphins, we left Lovina and headed south all the way to the beach area of Seminyak! Reached Seminyak almost during the evening and had a traditional Balinese meal somewhere near the villa.

The next morning, after breakfast that was served in the villa, everybody wasted no time to jump into our own private pool!

Seminyak is supposed to be a happening beach with lots of interesting shops and good dining. We shopped (bought quaint lamps, hip accessories, cute tees). Found ourselves a conveyor belt sushi place and had a great Japanese lunch!

Spent time just lazing by the beach!

Ate at many great restaurants but one of the more unforgettable one was the Italian dinner on the last night at Ultimo! Great food, great ambience at really reasonable prices!

We came back rested and fed! 🙂 and Bali will remain as one of our favourite getaway spots!

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