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Published: April 28th 2013
We had a nice lie in today, and got up to check out of our hotel at 12 o clock. We didn't exactly have much packing to do after only 1 night. The hotel called us a taxi to take us to our next hotel...well, guest house! The taxi driver refused to use his meter as it was 'too busy' and charged us a whopping 150,000 rupiah for the trip. I think he needed extra money for a new hat, which was literally a peak and just a couple of strips of material left holding it together! The driver didn't know where the guest house was, he had to keep stopping to ask people if they knew of the road and phoned the guest house to ask for directions. We finally arrived at the guest house, probably getting our taxi fare's worth of journey. The Guest house was very small, it just had 5 rooms, which we all little huts around a courtyard. The owner wasn't there when we checked in and the guy that was there didn't speak much English, so he phoned the owner for me to speak to. He just asked me- which
agent did you book with? Ummm expedia?! Yes, correct, I be back later!! Random! We tried to settle in our little hut, which stank to high heaven of bug spray! Our bathroom was a toilet with a shower head over it- no sink! The bed had a cover which didn't even go to the sides of the bed...this was going to be an interesting 2 nights! We decided to go out and try to explore. We locked the door with the padlock and headed out up the dirt track, to a slightly bigger road (it was at least Tarmacced!). We planned to go out to the local area, but as we walked out, there were just dogs everywhere. My worst nightmare. We walked down the road towards the main road that we had come in via, I was doing well ignoring all the dogs, until we came to a house/shack with a few huge dogs outside, which starting growling, barking and showing their teeth. There was no way it was going to let us past without taking a chunk of us with him, so we decided to retreat and walked back towards our guest house. Hmm, this could be a
long 2 days if we can't go anywhere! We walked back past a tiny shop and bought a sprite and and a tiny pack of lays crisps (walkers) and headed back to our hut! When we got back, we asked the guy about any trips they offered, but he didn't understand, so I had to speak to the owner on the phone again! He said he would be back later this evening and would speak to us then. We tried to watch TV but it was useless! Later on, we headed back out to a little bar we had seen earlier called Coca Loca to have some dinner. As we walked out, the sweet, old dog from the guest house walked us out to the end of the track, to the road! As we walked into the bar, 6 dogs came running up and barking. I froze! Chantelle went in and said to the lady that I was scared, and she calmed them down, then they were fine. We had a nice dinner, really cheap too! We headed back to our hut after dinner, in the dark, which was pretty scary! When we got to the track to our guest
house, the dog was still there, where she left us, waiting for us to come back! She walked in front of us all the way back to the guest house and then went and sat in her spot. Sweet! Nice to know someone was looking out for us! Once the owner came back we arranged a trip with him for tomorrow. We had a horrible night's sleep. Not helped by 2 really noisy guys who came back very late- the huts aren't exactly soundproof what with the wicker roof, which doesn't block anything out!!
We got up ready for our trip, which we had no real idea about, but went along with it! We paid the guy 400,000RPH for the day, including petrol, which was about £25 between us. We left at 8.30. We were meant to have breakfast, but the supplies hadn't arrived, so he asked us if we wanted anything. We just asked for some water, so he stopped at a shop to buy us some! Our first stop turned out to be a Barong and Keris dance show. We had to pay 100,000 rupiah for entrance. (About £6.50!) We wouldn't have chosen to come
to this, so it was a little annoying, but we went with it, and saw a traditional Balinese dance about good and evil spirits. It got a little boring,and went on for an hour. Not the best start to our day! We rejoined our driver and headed on. He asked if we would like to go to any jewellery or art shops. We said no thank you, so headed on for Kintamani, which took over an hour. We had to pay 30,000 RPH to get in as it seemed to be some kind of national park or something. We stopped outside a restaurant and were told to enjoy our lunch! Oh- lunch time then!! We went into the restaurant and were shown to a table over looking Mount Batur volcano. It was a stunning view. We had a buffet lunch (for 120,000), overlooking the mountains and lake. We didn't eat much as weren't that hungry. We went back to the car and headed back down, slowing beside some paddy fields for a look- they were quite impressive. He asked if we wanted to stop and walk around, but it was raining so we declined! We then headed to a coffee
plantation, though I didn't think we were going to make it as our driver looked to be falling asleep- eyes were closing for long periods of time. We were talked through the coffee making process, being told that they make a very expensive type of coffee here, called Lawak coffee. They use mongoose to make this coffee. The mongoose pick the best coffee beans to eat, but they don't digest them, so they collect the mongoose poo and get the beans out!! They then clean and roast them. Apparently it's a very popular, expensive coffee, but I was glad I didn't like coffee at this point! We were sat down and made samples of lots of different coffees, teas and chocolates that they make there. They guy that worked there was lovely, he talked us through everything and made sure we tasted everything we wanted. My favourite was the lemon tea, it was delicious. We chatted for a while, with the guy practising his English, which was very good. I decided to buy some of the lemon tea- it was powered and ore mixed with lots of flavours like honey and sugar, plus was very cheap! We went back to
the car and our driver took us to Ubud to go to the monkey forest. We each paid 20,000 to get into the monkey forest and saw lots of monkeys, but didn't want to stay too long as the monkeys were quite vicious- we saw one to fora woman's foot. We made a hasty retreat! The heavens chose this point to open and we got absolutely soaked. We found a sheltered area outside the forest and waited here for the rain to clear. It didn't really stop, so we ran across the road and had a look in a couple of shops before heading back to the car. We were drenched and getting cold from the A/C in the car. We asked our driver if we could stop at McDonalds on the way back so we didn't have to leave the guesthouse again that evening!! Good planning! We spent the evening in our room, and had another bad nights sleep due to heavy rain coming into our room due to the wicker roof, and geckos and worms appearing. Yuck!
We had booked the owner of the guesthouse to drive us to our next hotel at the safari
park. We had our breakfast today which was a strange combination- an omelette sandwich! We left about 9.30 and were pleased to be getting away from the area! We got dropped at the entrance of the safari park, and had to wait for a car to take us up to the hotel. We checked in, though our room wouldn't be ready until 2. With our hotel stay, we got entrance to the safari park each day included, plus discounts and a few extras. This was our special treat for New Years as we wanted to make sure we were staying somewhere nice. We left our luggage at the reception and then headed off around the safari park. We first went to see the white tigers. There was a (rather large) lion cub you could sit with and have a photo taken. Chantelle went and had her photo taken, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do it! After a few minutes I decided I would have one too, and sat with a forced smile on my face for my photo!! We had a look around the few animal enclosures, there wasn't that much to see around the park, as most of the animals are viewed from the safari journey. We were quite hot by now, so wandered into the 'fun zone' and paid to go on the flume ride to cool down! We had a drink and then looked around the aquarium, then headed back to the white tigers for feeding time. It was now past 2, so we went back to reception and into our room. It was brilliant. All decked out with wooden furniture, etc. We had a patio from which we could throw the carrots that had been left for us to the zebras and rhinos that were outside our room. Our bed faced right out so we could sit and watch the animals and also the elephant safari rides that trekked past every half hour or so. We had a shower to cool down, then headed back out to the park and to the orang-utan for a cuddle and photo. We had one taken together as we got a free photo for staying at the lodge. She was very sweet, and sat on our laps and put her arms around our necks. We then watched the elephant show, which was really good and very informative about elephant poaching and protection. In the evening we had a lovely 90 minute massage to treat ourselves, before having dinner in the safari restaurant right next to the lion enclosure, which was brilliant. The food was delicious. We stayed up late so we could say happy new year to everyone at home via Skype. A very good end to the year!!
Happy New Year!! We got up to have our breakfast with the lions! We booked an elephant back safari for the afternoon, then headed back to our room to get ready. We headed straight to the safari journey, as recommended, before it got too busy. It was a good trip- we saw lots of animals including giraffes, tigers, hippos, and lots more. We then saw some elephants having a wash, and fed them some carrots. We then headed up to another area where there was an elephant and fed this one too, as there were less people around so we could get better photos. We took our photos back to our room, and relaxed for a bit, them headed back out to see the orang-utan again! The keeper was busy talking to someone whilst I was with the orang-utan so I got to have an extra long cuddle! 😊 It was now time for our elephant back safari ride. Our elephant was called Lia, which means lonesome. It was a very bumpy ride and quite uncomfortable with the 2 of us bumping around on the back, and it was very hot. Poor Lia! It was good fun though, plus we got free safari hats! After our elephant ride we headed back to our room and decided to go the pool for a swim and cool down. It was lovely and relaxing, and we watched all the animals and the elephant safaris going by. We swam up to the bar and had a cocktail, then headed back to the room for a shower, and to get ready for our night safari at 7pm. By the time our safari came around, it was pouring with rain- typical! We put our coats and trainers on and headed out. We had to get in a cage on the back of a truck. There was about 7 of us on the safari, plus 3 staff all getting soaked in the back! The lions were sleeping so we didn't get to see much of them. We were given carrots and yams to feed the zebras- it was a bit wet and squidgy, so they wouldn't come up to the truck, so we had to throw them out. We then went to the tigers, one jumped on the roof to get the food that was being fed through the bars! It was a little scary to start but cool seeing the tiger right on top of us! We then stopped at the elephants and fed the through the cage, which was fun. It was a really good trip, seeing all the animals in the dark. We had dinner with the lions again and then headed back for bed, exhausted!
We got up and had breakfast before showering and packing up to check out of the hotel. We checked out but had booked a car from the hotel to take us to our next guest house to pick us up at 1, so we went for a final stroll around the park and to feed some more elephants! It was bananas on the menu for today- they loved them! We watched the white tigers again for a bit it it was very busy today- must be holidays. We got a drink at the bar in the restaurant before our car came to pick us up. Our driver (Yoyo) was very friendly and informative, giving us lots of tips and making sure we would stay safe. He told us more about the Bali bombings and what kind of effect it has had on the country. He had phoned our guesthouse so he knew where we were going. We were concerned after our last guesthouse, but when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised. The staff were very friendly and we checked into our nice room, with a decent bathroom- we even had a sink! We sat at the bar by the little pool and had a drink. We had a lot of washing to do, and were going to do some handwashing, but our sink didn't have a plug! We ordered some dinner to have in the room. We spent the evening settling in and unpacking as we are here for 11 days!
Well I finally made it to this year! Only 4 months behind! I've split Bali into 2 so that it isn't too much to read in one go. Hope everyone is well, and see you all in just over one month!
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