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Published: April 19th 2016
Over a few Pinot Gris' one Friday night in October 2014, the FND girls decided that we were well overdue for a little sojourn without the boys to a warm, tropical destination where we can shop, eat, drink and be merry for cheap. A few places were mooted and debated; Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Noosa, Bali??? Hmmmm, Bali sounded promising!!? We all agreed Bali would meet all the requirements and when an AMAZING deal came up for a week at the 5* Pullman Hotel in Legian, we were in! The deal was so good that there were a few non regular FND's very keen to make the journey with us too. As the saying goes, "the more the merrier" and with even numbers to make room sharing easy, twelve of us were off to Bali sans husbands and kids for 8 nights on the 2nd of May 2015. Yippee.
The flight over on Virgin Australia was pretty uneventful. Being a daytime flight, it was amazing to watch the big red country of Australia pass underneath - it never ceases to amaze me how huge it is. We arrived late afternoon and were quickly transferred to the hotel in a couple
The Pullman pool
Yoga? Nah I'll just sit here thanks...
of buses. A few of the girl's had never been to Asia before and they experience a little bit of a culture shock. Steve and I last visited in 2000 and man it had changed! The traffic congestion was absolutely horrendous for one thing, and the little road from Kuta Square up thru Tuban was unrecognisable due to the huge mall developments that have taken place.
The Pullman Hotel was amazing - quite new and right across from the beach at Legian. I had previously emailed the hotel and asked that we are all put in rooms near each other and boy did they deliver! We walked out of our rooms onto a lovely lawn just beside the rooftop pool. A great place for afternoon drinkies and gatherings. Everyone was suitably impressed with the hotel (Thank God), especially when we received complimentary buffet breakfasts each day due to an unscheduled power outage in our rooms. It always pays to enquire and remain pleasant when there are problems!
I had organised a couple of day trips during the week for the group. Firstly, a mountain bike tour from Mt Kintamani down thru Ubud - which was amazing! All downhill
on quiet country roads thru the rice paddies and villages. A long day, but it was probably one of the best things I've ever done in Bali!
The second trip was a boat trip across to Nusa Lembongan to do some snorkelling and lazing on a beautiful beach. The snorkelling was a bit mixed unfortunatley. The sea was a bit choppy in places (Sue & I fed the fish a couple of times) and the visibility wasn't great. My biggest gripe was the huge amount of rubbish in the water. It was gross! We didn't get to see the Manta Rays as hoped, but we did see some Giant (and I mean GIANT) Trevalley hanging around a tour boat waiting to be fed. That was pretty amazing (except when the guy threw the food right beside us causing a fish frenzy!).
For the third trip I hired minibus and we were driven up to Ubud where we went into the monkey forest, did a quick shop, had lunch then headed out to Tanah Lot for sunset. Funnily enough, some of the girls who had visited Bali before couldn't remember being there for some reason? It transpired that the
area had changed so much that what they were looking at wasn't even Tanah Lot! Raewyn and I crashed a few wedding photos just for the fun of it and were blessed by some Holy guy with the sacred water of the temple. Again, the traffic was just terrible and were were back well into the evening.
All in all the week went really well. Lots of Bintangs and Pina Coladas, suitcases filled with goodies and no major dramas. It seems that everybody enjoyed Bali, we had A LOT of laughs, but the size of the group made it difficult for our little group to connect as much as I would have liked (missing out on a couple of fun nights because we got separated still stings!).
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