Another day another tour, but no complaints here! Spent another boiling hot yet wonderful day touring all around the East Coast of Bali, all the way from Nusa Dua up past Benoa, Denpasar, Sanur, Kamasan, Klungkung, Goa Lawah, Candidasa,Tengagnen and all the way back!
Day started off with the usual wake up, rushed breakfast then a brief wait in the lobby for our driver, Mr Mang Su (from mybali.com.au), to arrive with our van. Following a quick briefing on the day's activities we set off to firstly find a Commonwealth Bank ATM in Kuta to get some money out (which only gave you about $300 per transaction) and then off to find a phone/internet card to use up in the mountains. Fortunately for mum, her phone now works a treat and has 3G intenet in most places that we go to. Me on the otherhand, well, i'm not as lucky i guess. My phone is apparently still locked by Optus in Australia and so no phone card - not Telcell, not Sampati, not Flexi, not XCell - will actually work for me. So yep, you guessed it, i may be stuck for a week up in Ubud at a yoga retreat without flipping interent or reception...Great, justtttttt great. Oh well, Minimarts here i come!
After setting up mums phone, we began the real tour and headed off to Kertha Gosa Palace in Klungkung which was built in the late 18th Century for the King's family. That place was truly magnificent. The detailing and architecture of the place was amazing (although it, much like the rest of Bali, has been renovated several times) and the view was breathtaking. We firstly, and i was absoloutely heartbroken by this, had to refuse buying sarongs and such from a little old lady who sat outside the palace entry gates because we A) didnt need them B) she tried to sell us more than one C) we only had enough money for the tour alone. After that, we put on a sarong out of respect (as i was wearing ripped short shorts) and began walking around the palace, looking at the King's court area, the ceremony area, the museum, the ponds, the playroom and more.
Next up was a brief trip across to Goa Lawah Bat Cave and temple which was only like a 20 minute trip away. Again, we had to refuse about 10 beggars, say no to another 10 sellers and again we put on a sarong out of respect as it was the Hindu full moon festival at the temple. Upon entering, we paid our entrace fee and totally forgot to check the rules which said something like:
1) You must wear a sarong
2) Guests must not step up onto the steps of the cave
3) Women who are menstruating must not come in (wtf?)
4) You must not stand in front of people who are meditating or praying (oops)
We had a look around at all the buildings, saw the 1000s of bats that were squeeking and flying around inside the cave, saw two Hindu men praying (oops we didnt realise we were standing in front of them), took plenty of photos and produced about 4L of sweat each haha.
After the Bat Cave, we were driven along the coast up to Padang Bai Bloo Lagoon Resort where we had a marvellous lunch which cost absoloute peanuts. Mum had a papaya, cashew and mixed veggie salad (being the vegan that she is) as well as a wheat-grass like juice and then a carrot, pineapple and ginger juice, and i tucked into a bowl of rice, spicy veges, salad, bbqed prawns and bbqed capsicum YUM all topped off with a passionfruit and orange juice - all freshly made upon request. The view from the resort was magnificent, kind of reminds of Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts haha.
After lunch, and my gosh was i full or what, we briefly stopped by Candidasa Beach (which was just a beach i guess) and then made our way to the last stop which was Tirtha Gangga Water Palace between Amed and Candidasa. This place, much like Kertagosa, was for the King and was used as a sort of play-area for him during his time off. The place was full of masssssssive 80cm long carp, stepping stones in a beautiful pond, water lillies, fountains, statues, sculptures, bathing areas, natural irrigation, beautiful flowers, ginormous trees, horrid bathrooms and amazing views. I loved this place, everyone should really go there one day and just enjoy the peace. At Tirtha Gangga, mum and i also sent some postcards home but they should take about 2-3 weeks (if the lady actually sends them...haha she had no stamps and was like it's ok i'll send them tomorrow, you pay and i send...*fingers crossed*) to arrive - oh well.
At the end of the day, we got back into the van absoloutely exhausted, and spent the next 3 hours driving back through the crazy Balinese traffic, enjoying the view from the window. When we got back, we quickly spoke to family at home, and then enjoyed a wonderful japanese dinner at Hamabe restaurant at our resort. I was in absolute heaven having Tempura Prawn and Vegetable Udon noodles, salmon sashimi, S-nobbie cocktail (sake, vodka, tobasco sauce and rum - oh my god), a bottle of honey umeshu, and greentea/strawberry icecream for dessert.
YUMMMMM bed time!
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