A TWO & A HALF WEEK BALI RECAP
Bali was a distant dreamland I had been hoping to explore “one day” for year’s now. Then, in the course of 2 months I met Jules ( of Om & the city) and we discovered our shared wanderlust for Bali and booked our tickets! It all happened so fast and now here I am at home reminiscing on the whirlwind of the past month. I want to take a step back, and dedicate a post to recapping the beautiful adventure that Jules and I embarked on! A full Bali travel guide with tips, tricks, and recommendations is coming soon!
Let’s start from the very beginning! If you’re dreading that long flight half way around the globe, let me tell you it’s worth it… but to ease the pain, find my 6 Tips to Enjoy a Long Flight here!
DAY 1 & 2 : SEMINYAK
Stop number one, Seminyak! Full of fun shops and restaurants it was an exciting and surreal place to start our adventure. We began here because the Airbnb we wanted in Canggu wasn’t available until day 3. That’s what you get when you plan a few weeks in advance haha. Jules and I used our two days here learning the basics, like trying (and failing) to drive motorbikes, and taking in the pure joy of how far a dollar can go ($8 breakfast buffets and $7 massages!) Dreamy!
DAY 3-6: CANGGU
Of our entire trip, this was my absolute favorite stop! Not because of the breathtaking views or activities, but the people, food and overall happiness of this pleasant little surf town. Over each meal Jules and I would somehow end on the topic of how great it would be to live here. We may have even strolled over to a real-estate window or two haha, wishful thinking! We spent a lot of our time at a restaurant called Milk and Madu for breakfast and an unbelievable acoustic artist that blew us away one evening over dessert. Jules and I found ourselves sipping on Happy Kombucha from an in-house Secret Lab (story below) and riding our bicycles (not motorbikes…) to a few beautiful beach lounges and then back to another spectacular restaurant. I’m not exaggerating when I say we ate our way through Bali.
MY FAVORITE STOPS!
This is where we kicked off an unexpected trend of trusting strangers…and getting on their scooters. Not usually my style, at all, but as my husband always says, “Don’t be afraid to be great!” (I doubt this is what he had in mind…)
Our first “bad decisions” led to the surprisingly amazing experience! After being invited to a Happy Kombucha tasting, Jules and I were asked to ride to the Secret Lab via the back of a man’s scooter we met a whole 30 seconds ago. (Lots of red flags, I still can’t believe we went for it). Lucky for us… it turned into a LOVELY day! We learned so much about Kombucha and Bali, then spent the afternoon meeting wonderful new friends while sipping Happy Kombucha by the pool. Success! We actually changed our trips itinerary after their recommendations and hitched a ride to the beach for some street corn! Please note, I am not encouraging anyone to get on the back of a strangers’ scooter, but I will say… we’re glad we did!
DAY 7-10 : UBUD
This was a turning point in our trip because, try, try again…we learned to ride motorbikes! Which by the way is essential to getting around in Bali. Thanks to a more detailed lesson from a helpful hostel employee by the name of Cokey, Jules and I were finally free to explore!
The roads at first glance are a free-for-all and you quickly stand out if you don’t say a little prayer and commit to the chaos (I truly prayed for us before we left!) So, Cokey took us on the open road to make sure we weren’t going to put ourselves or anyone else in danger, and gave us the green light! Navigating, or lack there of, on our own wasn’t easy haha. On top of not having Google Maps, there really aren’t any road signs and some turns look like alley ways, but we made our way to amazing restaurants, a yoga class or two, some shopping at Kewengen and a handful of breathtaking views (getting lost a lot and separated at night once…oops!)
We also used Ubud as a central point to venture with a driver to a surrounding rice terraces, waterfalls and temples. A very adventurous stop in our trip!
MY FAVORITE STOPS!
I was reluctant to tell this story, especially with all the great things that happened…but, it is pretty fun (now!) Jules and I were overly excited to get on The Bali Swing, which is truly breathtaking! In my excitement to swing through the tree’s and have my dress flow in the wind, I caught a breeze and poof… my dress was over my head while about 7 Balinese men stared at my behind. Yup, that happened…
Later that afternoon, Jules and I were frolicking through the rice terrace in pure joy when a seemingly innocent Balinese man walked up to us. He was looking at my camera and standing rather close, I thought he was just curious until… pinch! Yup, one pinch of my tush and he was off, but not before Jules yelled at him haha what a friend! While the Balinese people are so kind, you never know, so be careful out there!
BARC 4 BALI DOGS
My least favorite part of Bali was witnessing the horrific amount of suffering that street dogs and even pets face. We payed a visit to BARC Adoption and Rehabilitation Center while in Ubud to play with some of the rescued puppies and learn of their struggles within the community there. BARC is a non profit that works solely off of donations, taking in 100% of the dogs that are dropped off, has a no kill policy and is working to open Bali’s 1st animal sanctuary! They fight against the cruel conditions that dogs face in Bali with starvation, religious sacrifices, the meat industry, skin conditions, viruses, abuse and neglect.
I saw countless dogs trotting the streets of Bali, many injured or pregnant and some dragging chains. BARC is already doing so much to make the lives of all animals in Bali better but they could do more with our support. If you’re interested in learning more, click below to see how you could help!
DAY 11-13: NUSA LEMBOGAN & CENINGAN
Island time! A quick 30 min boat ride from Bali and you’re on the beautiful island of Nusa Lembogan. We spent three days here chasing the sun, lagoons and infinity pools. Perfect timing for a little mid trip R & R. It’s so to easy to get caught up in the go, go , go of exploring, so we took this time to really take in the views (because they’re spectacular), sip on some coconuts and cappuccino’s, do a lille reading, and relax in some pools and hammocks!
Thank goodness we learned how to ride motorbikes before getting there because that’s basically the only way to get around other than hitch hiking safari styled taxis from the boating companies. The roads here, if you can call them that, really tested our new skills as we practically off-roaded our way around the two islands (only getting lost once this time!) Though unnamed and unpaved, they led us to the most beautiful blue waters, cliffs, and pools.
MY FAVORITE STOPS!
After dinner, we tried to navigate our way home at night (usually a bad idea, especially with our villa being at the top of the island via unmarked roads.) Needless to say, we never found it. Our attempt was actually a pretty frightening experience… We ended up driving back into town and paying some locals to lead the way. One more risky decision that ended up working out, thank goodness!
DAY 14 & 15: ULUWATU
Time flies, before we knew it, it was back on the boat for a final two days on the beaches and cliffs of Uluwatu! This town is comparable to Canggu for the surfer vibes, but the beaches are much prettier with white sand and crystal blue waters. To start, we walked into our Villa mesmerized; it was spectacular! I highly recommend staying at Boho Binging if you’re stopping by Uluwatu!
We met the lovely owners of a few shops and cafes, enjoyed a cappuccino or two over a good book, and learned about the communities fight for sustainability. On a perfectly hot day, we ventured down a side road to Padang Padang Beach and enjoyed the amazingly blue waters under an umbrella with a fresh coconut. We almost took surf lessons from a somewhat questionable character, but thats one “bed decision” we didn’t make! Then, Jules and I topped off our adventure soaking up our final sunset at Single Fin; watching the surfers paddle in while sipping on a watermelon martini!
Until next time Bali!
MY FAVORITE STOPS!