We traveled from Thailand to Bali via Singapore. We posted about our time in Singapore here. While we were in Bali, we stayed in 3 different places. We posted earlier with the walk-thrus of each place but this post tells a bit more of each location. The first was with Fernando (Nando) at the hostel he manages. He was lots of fun! He was silly with the kids, helpful to the enth degree and so hospitable we instantly felt completely at home with him. If you ask the kids what they miss most about Bali they will probably mention Nando. *As I was editing this post, Thys just walked past, saw this picture and said, "I just want to start the trip all over so we can be with Nando again. That was so great!" *
We flew the kite at a local surfing beach and played in the waves while Nando showed off his mad surfing skills...seriously, he did a headstand on his board! Nando took the kids to the outdoor surfer's shower to rinse off all the sand (there was A LOT to rinse off) before we headed back home.
The kids had a ton of fun in the waves but they were exhausted. Paul grabbed this shot of Zander completely koncked out in the Ergo backpack right in the middle of traffic on a motor scooter! This kid can sleep ANYWHERE!
These penjor decorations were everywhere and they were gorgeous! Made completely out of natural materials, they were erected for the Galungan celebrations which was happening while we were there!
It was a beautiful time for the island of Bali with men dressed all in pure white from head to toe and women in many different vibrant colors. The women have parades where they carry to the temples large towers of fruit balanced on their heads. The children lead small processions down the streets with Chinese dragon-type costumes and musical instruments.
This is one of the two lizards that we shared the house with. Despite being really quiet they were exceptionally good a startling us time and time again! We also shared our villa (think square house with open air courtyard in the middle) with birds, butterflies, mosquitoes, beetles, geckos (all sizes), ants (by the million) and 4 little critters I feed everyday! Some of these caused more trouble than others!
Wayan, housekeeper (Left) and Mal, owner (Middle) came the morning we left to see us off. These two ladies were wonderful! Mal even gave us tips for places to go with our kids and put us in contact with her friend in Bulgaria for later in our trip.
Upon arriving at our new villa in Ubud, Bali two hours later, we ordered in for lunch while the kids swam in the pool. The local Alchemy Cafe delivered our salads and smoothies that took 'all natural' to a new level. Our salad bowls and lids were made out of palm leaves. The menu is vegan and raw. You simply choose the items you want on your salad...there are about 50 items to choose from. Everyone's favorite was the curry cashews. Yum!
With names like 'PB & J', Rabbit Juice, and Kiss Kiss the kids were super excited about their drinks. With natural, raw ingredients (even essential oils) in every sip the parent's mouths and hearts were happy as well! The straws were papaya stems! How cool is that?!?!
This is the pillow castle the kids made one day in a window seat. We had cushions from the couches, cushions from the indoor chairs and the outdoor chairs, the poolside lounge chairs and the the benches of the dining table. They had lots of cushions/pillows to work with!
This is a video to give you an idea of what it looked like behind our villa. This was a walk we went on one afternoon out in the rice paddies. The paths we were walking on were used for both foot traffic and motor scooters (often at the same time).
Here's a video Paul took at a local market one day when out on an adventure with Thys. The 'offerings' he refers to near the end of the video are small woven basket-like boxes with colorful decorations or fresh cut flowers. They also hold rice, spices or food. They are typically left anywhere the person wants to bless something or pray for protection or success. We saw them on shrines all over the island and also stepped over many of them on sidewalks as they had placed outside of businesses.
Every evening shrieks could be heard in the courtyard of our villa...shrieks of delight that is. This little guy showed his face during the daytime so we got a pic of him but his family members come out at night in larger numbers. The kids had SO MUCH fun catching the toads every evening by the light of the pool. Typically they would find between 8-10 per night.
The celebrations held while we were in Bali meant lots of kites being flown everywhere. At any point in time you could look around and see 2-8 kites in the air wherever you happened to be...some simple and some very impressive. The kids found these fun kites at a street stall one day and we flew kites on paths between rice fields behind our villa. We weren't really celebrating any holidays...just having fun!
Sunit (Left) and Kaduk (middle) made us right at home and saying goodbye was difficult. Sunit was happy to spend her time playing with Zander and the kids took to calling the elder "Grandma Kaduk". This picture is a testament to their close relationships after such a short time as Alia had let Sunit put her hair up (she rarely lets me do anything with it). This was the first time that the kids cried when leaving a location. I even got teary since the kids were so sad.
I hope you are enjoying my Throwback Thursday posts. More Bali adventures to come! So have you ever had a monkey stick his fingers up your nose? No, seriously...it happened! Stay tuned for the story (and pictures)! Next week we will revisit our trip to The Sacred Monkey Forest. I can't wait for you to join me!
So, any questions about Bali? What questions can I answer for you?