Many people have laughed and given Scott and I grief about taking a pre-holiday holiday. There is however “method in the madness” as they say. Our big adventure (or endless summer – as we’ve nicknamed our five month sojourn around North Africa, Middle East and Europe) is not so much a time out as an opportunity to cram as many of our bucket-list travel experiences as we could into one big trip. And believe me…its crammed alright! I think a little R & R might be called for first – after 20 years of work, study and daily commute to Sydney. Where better than our old faithful – BALI.
In addition, I need the blogging practice before heading out on our “real holiday”. It’s been about 18 months since my last travel blog so I’m a tad rusty on the “keep it interesting” blogging technique. I’m also under strict instructions that there are to be no potentially life threatening situations in which I can take happy snaps of Scott – no King Cobras, Tigers or flesh eating fish (aka SE Asia trip of 2010)… where’s all the fun I ask? I might add that when discussing potentially life threatening situations in relation to our current trip, everyone is reluctant to state the obvious…. the early 2012 riots, kidnappings, sinking cruise ships all a forerunner of our intended route. Plus the big 40 looming somwhere mid-mediterranean…..
But I digress….plenty of time to contemplate the upcoming adventures. The next two weeks are about being in the here and now…and at this precise moment that here and now is Bali.
Again we’ve chosen to split our time between mountains and beach, giving a week to each, Ubud and Sanur respectively. Ubud has always been a favourite. Situated in central Bali the town (in fact it’s 14 small villages clustered together) is something of a paradox. Known as the cultural center of Bali, with its fine arts, dance and music, it has become popular haunt for artists, writers, connoisseurs. They mix on the streets with those in search of a more spiritual path – attracted by the yoga, retreats and “new-age” festivals. Accomodation ranges from luxury five star resorts to simple and basic backpackers and cafes and restaurants are as equally diverse. Perhaps we find it so appealing because we feel the same vibe and energy as we do in the hinterland of the NSW Northern Rivers, another place we love. Yet despite the outside influences in Ubud, it has not been “ruined” and still maintains a sense of the traditional Bali.
Ubud is nestled in the foothills of the Gianyar region, amongst the steep ravines and gorges of the many rivers flowing around it. Hotels are situated on the side of these ravines and the view provides a beautiful and serene back drop for a relaxing escape from the hustle found in most of the other tourist areas of Bali.
This time round we are staying at Beji Ubud Resort. A small hotel about 3km from the central Ubud Market, close enough to walk to town but remote enough to enjoy the surrounding countryside. The hotel seems to be run by young and enthusiastic indonesian staff eager to please. It is a lovely hotel with a blend of modern appointments that still somehow manage to retain a traditional feel. Of big appeal are the five pools scattered around the property, incuding three infinity pools – one of which looks right over the gorge down to the river.
At around $80 a night we would recommend the Beji Ubud to anyone.
…And despite the amusement of friends and family, I’m recommending and sticking by my “Pre-Holiday” holiday philosophy!