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2 Days in and around Kuta

Days 12 and 13

Monday began like many others. With breakfast and a swim.

There was restaurant we wanted to try in Poppies 2 so we decided to walk down there and left the hotel about 11.00am..

It isn’t a bad walk, we decided to go via the street to avoid the beach sellers. We stopped along the way and the walk went quickly. We went to the Bali Bombing Memorial which we wanted to see. I had no idea how close we were when we went to the sky garden.

As we were looking I stood back to take some photos and heard a man talking to his wife and children who were probably aged between 6 and 10. I couldn’t help but over hear him.

“Were you here when the binning happened?” I asked.

“No” he answered, “I was meant to be”.

He said he had a two week holiday in Bali at the time and had spent many nights at the Sari Club. He and his mates had arranged to go there again that night but late in th afternoon he realised his midnight flight was actually that night and not the following night as he has thought so plans were changed nad he rushed to the hotel to get packed and leave.

When he had left it was later than expected so his friends decided to just go to dinner at restaurant further up the road before deciding what to do.

They were eating when the bomb went off.

They ran to the club and during that night they dragged 12 people out of the rubble and flames. Some of them they ran to the beach to put into the water due to their burns. There was no other help there at that stage and it was the best they could do to relieve their pain.

He had been back to Bali since but never to this spot. He spoke very openly to us but did become emotional and had to leave.

I am so thankful we crossed his path and he was willing to share his story with us. It really makes your us think even more and reflect and it made an event in history more real for the kids listening. The names on the wall too on a deeper meaning. He left before I could thank him but I hope he knows we heard his story, we felt his pain and are thankful for his willingness to share his vulnerability with us.

It was a very moving visit.

May we all continue to enjoy this beautiful destination in peace.

We then continued down Poppies two and had living atKoko I thi k it’s name was. It was a lovely place with quality food, or expensive than many of the places we have been eating but very good value for the quality.

I enjoyed a lovely seafood chowder.

We walked home along Poppies two and did some more shopping. Bags and dresses seemed to be the thing that day. We found a lovely fixed price shop so could look a little more freely. Being allowed to just look without the constant pressure to buy meant we bought about 6 dresses, three skirts and I think a couple of tops between us.

We wondered along the street and down to the beach. We grabbed a drink at Bob’s Bar on th way as by this time it was very hot!!! A quick swim when we got back to th hotel cooled us down quickly enough.

We were being picked up by our drivers at 4.00 for what has so far been one of my highlights of the trip. We did the dinner with the great elephants at Bali zoo.

The drivers were a little late as they got sti k in traffic, I think we l3ft the hotel about 4.15 and it was close to 5.30 when we reached the zoo. I would recommend getting there at 5.00 as you are free to look around the zoo until 6.00.

When we got to the meeting place ready to get on the shuttle to the restaurant there were two beautiful elephants waiting and you could take photos. You could buy a basket of food and fed them for 60,000. Lexi loved this. Then we caught the shuttle to the restaurant. It is a little walk as it drops you opposite the restaurant but from here you can see the elephants bathing and playing in the water.

As you walk around there are some animals you can touch. There was an armadillo which I had never seen before. It came as a huge surprise to us that two orangutans were there for photos!!!!

After spending time with the orangutans we went to a stage area for an animal presentation. It was really quick with a few different animals you could touch and see.

You then return to the restaurant area by which time 6 elephants are there. You get to spend a really good amount of time with them. It was such fun. You can talk to their keepers, feed them, touch them and just be in their presence. This was such a lovely experience with far more interaction than I ever expected.

The food was plentiful, a great variety and good quality. Some in our group thought the butter chicken was the best they have ever had.

I think this was fabulous value. It was 412,250 per adult and 289,000 per child. It was really quiet, there were probably only 60 people there and while this was great for us, giving us more time with the animals I hope it gets busier for them as they really put a lot of effort into the evening.

When we left I thanked the guy who ran the evening and said how much I enjoyed it and he asked me to tell my friends as they need it to get busier.

This is something really worth considering doing, in my opinion.

Tuesday was a day with our drivers. We had 3 cars so we aren’t squished all day. They picked us up at 8.30 and we went straight to Virgin Beach. The only stop was fruit along the side of the road.

Then straight onto Virgin Beah. This beach is beautiful. The water is clean and clean. You can swim or snorkel or lay on the beach or shop or eat. We could have stayed here all day. We swam, some had massages and we had lunch. It is a little walk down to the beach from the car park, meaning it is up to the car park at the end, but so worth it. I would return here in a heart beat!!!!

We then went to the monkey forest in Ubud. I was unsure about this. I head herd so many conflicting stories. Time photos I have seen lately though looked lovely.

We took the rules very seriously. We took no bags in, we walked carefully and didn’t try and interact with them deliberately. We just walked around at a normal pace and observed from a distance. We also went in the afternoon when I heard the monkeys were calmer.

We weren’t in there long when a monkey jumped on one of us. We told him t o stay calm and slowly sit on the concrete ledge around the path. As soon as he did this it jumped off and ran away with its mates.

One monkey did turn to one of us in an aggressive way but I think the person had accidentally almost stood on his tail. We just remained calm. Looked away and slowly backed away. When he did this the monkey calmed and moved away also.

We saw one monkey jump on a ladies back, she was on her own and quite panicked we told her to stay calm and let her know what the monkey was doing as she couldn’t see it. She had a back pack on. Th monkey skilfully opened her back pack and started throwing everything out of it. She kept saying I have nothing in the.

Well she did and the monkey found it. Firstly a bottle of water, he threw that to another monkey who opened it and tipped it out and keep looking in the bag. Then he found what he was after. A packet of chips. He grabbed the packet, jumped off her, ran up a tree and opened the packet. He knew exactly how to open it. He bite into it to release the air first and then gently tore it open and preceded to eat the chips.

They say at the start not to take any bottles, water or food of any type. He knew it was in that bag and knew exactly how to get it.

If you go don’t take anything in. I wouldn’t even carry a bag!!!!

As we were walking around one of the workers asked if we would like to have a monkey sit on us. He explained how he could get the monkey to do it and that we would not be in any danger etc. I did something I swore I wouldn’t do. I let the monkey climb on me but only under his specific instructions and supervision. I did exactly what he said.

I have to say it was fun.

All in all we loved the monkey forest. Such a pretty place and for us it felt safe but as everyone says these are wild animals. Go cautiously and respectfully and please follow the rules, they are there for very good reasons. And yes, monkeys can smell a packet of unopened chips at the bottom of your bag!!!!!!

The day was getting away, it takes so long to get places in Bali, much longer than I recall 7 years ago. You just have to accept this and allow your plans to change. Be flexible is the key!!!!

We stopped at a view of the rice terraces but it wasn’t a great one. Not like I remember seeing last time but this was the one we could fit in.

We got dropped to sanur. We had hoped to arrive with some daylight left to look around but it was well and truly dark. We ate at tootsies on the beach. I remember how much I love sanur.

The feeling is so so much calmer than Kuta. We sat in the beach with the breeze blowing and lights in the trees. So relaxing!!!!!

It was quick to get back to Kuta by the time we left, about 9.30.

Another great day.

My advice for having a great time in Bali. Be flexible, go with the flow and embrace the planned and unplanned, the enjoyable and maybe a little challenging. You’ll be home and back to your normal soon enough don’t let the traffic, or heat, or smell, or punchy salespeople dampen your holiday at all, they are in fact all a part of makes your holiday wonderful, if you let them.

Until tomorrow :)

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