It took a long time before I started to write this story. We were travelling a lot and I didn’t have much time, I was also a bit afraid that it would be too much for me and I couldn’t put it into words anymore. Later I thought that maybe I don’t remember anything and I don’t want to do it. The help came from Kevin – every time when he saw me in front of the computer he kept asking “ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT BALI???”, so I knew I would have to finally do it.
On 4th December the ‘Us on the way’ became ‘Three of us on the way’. Maarten, our friend from Holland, came to Bali for his own journey and together we had a really great time. We did so many things and visited so many places that it’s almost impossible to put it all together in one simple post, but I will give it a try.
Maarten flew to Denpasar and Kev picked him up. They came together to our hotel and we started our East Bali Trip. Well, first we stayed in Kuta for 2 more days to have some rest (okay, to have some parties), which was nice but a little bit too much after all.
Our first destination was Candi Dasa. It’s a small and not really touristic place on the east coast. We stayed in a beautiful bungalow right at the beach. Before Maarten came (he took a taxi, we went on the motorbike, Easy Riders haha) we went on a small trip around the place to check it out a bit. There was a white sand beach nearby so this was our destination. There we met our companion and the boys stayed together to enjoy the rain and the sea and I, the nerd, went home to read a bit. It was pouring with rain all afternoon so I had a really beautiful time – my favourite healthy drink (they don’t have it in Europe, it’s some kind of water with guava flavour, yum!), a nice book, and the sound of the rain outside. Mrr. In the evening we got some beer and played cards in the café, we smuggled peanut snacks along with us – it was just like we were back in Holland going out to Goes every weekend.
For the next day we planned to go to Tirta Gangga and visit a few places on the way. First stop – Turtle Bay. Sweet name, nice weather, we thought it would be magical. It turned out to be one squared meter of sand, that’s it. No turtles of course. After this great adventure (hehe) we rushed to Ujung. It’s a beautifuuuuuuuul water temple in between Candi Dasa and Tirta Gangga.
We walked a bit around, but later the hunger won the battle so we rushed to hunt for some food. After a small snack (chicken sate, mmm) we went to Tirta Gangga – another water temple. Our hotel was right next to it, so when we ordered a coffee in the café we could see the whole temple without going in (good option for a budget travel :D).
What came later was just amazing. We went for a small walk, but oh, such a beautiful one! We were walking on the main road, but the view right next to us was astonishing. I think I enjoy nature muuuch more than monuments and architecture. It was just perfect – huge rice fields, half in the sun, half hidden in the shadow, chickens running around, and small houses every now and there. I felt like in a movie, I couldn’t believe that it’s real.
Another day, another place to go to. Before breakfast, at 6 o’clock, Kev went to see Tirta Gangga from the inside (it was for free, because the ticket guy didn’t arrive yet haha), but I only saw the photos that he took.
After that we headed to Amed. I heard about this place before, I expected to arrive to a big city with a traffic jam and dirty streets. But there is only one street actually, right on the coast. It’s not crowded or touristic at all (oke, a bit). We went on a ride to see the town all around. There was a beautiful little place on the way – a high cliff with the view on the village and the sea. There we had our dinner, it was so nice to sit on the rocks and watch the sunset with the boys. We went together to a reggae café to enjoy the evening. For Kevin and me it was something different, after all the time with just the two of us we had a new companion. Kevin had a man-friend to talk to (how long you can stay only with a girl and have make-up or gossip talks..) and I always liked to hang out with Maarten so we were both happy. Oke, I still have a few more days to describe!
After Amed we went to the mountains. Gunung (mountain) Batur is a mountain close to Bangli (remember Bangli? Check it here ), with a lake next to it. We left our hotel quite late, which was a bad decision. But this we found out later. We drove, and drove, and drove. The day was nice, sun was shining, we had a great time. But we drove, and drove, and drove. My butt started to hurt and the bag became more and more heavy. Kev had to focus all the time on the road. Somewhere on the way we saw a sign to the waterfall, so we had a stop.
After we left the motorbikes we had to walk a bit in the forest to get to the water. We were tired and hot, the bags were heavy, and there was still a long trip before us. But when we got to the waterfall all those feelings were gone for a moment. We had a greeeaaat cold bath in the small river down there. It was so refreshing and it brought us back to life. I tried not to think about the next hours that I would have to spend on the motorbike. It was time to go, so we drove, and drove, and drove. I started to think that maybe this road will never end and we will drive like that forever. I think I was already getting a bit crazy. After a few hours we needed another break. We stopped by some supermarket and got water and bakso (meatball soup). A small lunch turned into an hour (or more), the three of us were exhausted. It was getting late and we were still far from Danau Batur. Yeah, what to do, we drove on. The road was going up, we were entering the mountain area. It got colder also. We needed our raincoats because soon we were driving in the clouds. Right inside of them! Then again I forgot about my aching back and butt, it was so magical. Misty forest, wet trees around us, and the view on the villages below. I was fascinated. When we arrived to Danau Batur (hurray!) it was already dark, so we didn’t even see the lake. Boys went out to the village to look for some food, but I fell asleep immediately. The trip took all my energy and I didn’t even hear Maarten and Kevin coming back. I was like in a coma.
Like I said, when we arrived it was totally dark. Imagine our surprise in the morning when we saw that the lake was only a few meters in front of us! Well, maybe a little bit further, but still it was crazy that we didn’t see it. Our prize for the previous day was a visit to the hot springs. The road leading there was… scary. The place looked like an abandoned village. Half-destroyed houses were all around us. The landscape looked like after the war. When we were by the hot springs it was raining again (oh, this rainy season..) so we jumped in the pools immediately. 3 pools filled with hot water, it was perfect! Just sitting and soaking in the water.
Our muscles could rest for a moment, we were so stiff after all those hours on the motorbikes. After a while we went on, this time to Padang Bai. This is a small fishermen village with the main Bali harbour. We relaxed there a bit and planned to spend the rest of our days together in Ubud.
My sweet, little Ubud! Although many people think bad of this place I love it with all my heart. I heard that it has become too much touristy and it’s ‘fake’ now, but I don’t see it. I haven’t spent there so much time, but enough to be in love with this place. Our plan was to relax and enjoy the last few days. And yes, we did! There was no rush, we didn’t hurry anywhere, barely used the motorbikes. I was watching TV series (hihi, finally!), boys were hanging out together.
On one of those peaceful days Kevin and I went to visit a few temples. There are many of them around Ubud and we wanted to see some new places.
In one of the temples that we chose to go to there was a small pool with holy water in it. We were lucky to be there on a special ceremonial day, when all the Hindu people come to take a bath to clean their body and soul. I was too shy to join, but Kev put on his sarong and jumped in. Together with all the people he had a saint bath.
One day Kevin went for a walk together with Maarten and I stayed home alone. I did some workout (eh, it was still in the times when I tried to do some sport..), watched a movie, and went to a café for a juice. It was so nice to be with myself for a moment, a special girl-day.
We only had 4 days in Ubud before Maarten’s departure, so we wanted to have as much fun as possible. Swimming every day, great dinners, and visits in our favourite pubs – perfect! I was so happy to be there with the boys. The last evening together we spend in a shisha bar with some nice Dutch snacks (vlammetjes and bitterballen!). After that we were hanging out on our balcony, laughing and talking about the last 12 days. It was a great time and we all loved it. The next day Maarten had to go to catch his plane to Papua, so we went back to being just two of “Us on the way” and we can’t wait to meet our friend on the way again!