The day began with another sunrise. Not quiet as spectacular as the previous two but still lovely.
We enjoyed a swim and lay around the pool before breakfast. Breakfast isn’t until 8.30 at the villa. This is late for us, especially for me as I am up very early but it gives us the opportunity for an early walk or swim, by the time it is ready we are certainly ready for it!!!
Lexi woke feeling unwell again so I put her back to bed with Panadol and a hope that she would wake brighter. See slept until breakfast and I asked if she could have just toast. I had brought a jar of vegemite with us as this is often what my kids feel like if they are unwell. So vegemite on toast for Lexi. After 1/2 a piece she was feeling a little better and soon ate the pancakes they cooked for her just in case 😉
Not sure what is going on with her and we will see how she wakes this morning.
We planned a day trip today so after breakfast we got ready for that. Our driver, Norman the brother of the villas cook arrived at 9.25 and we set off very soon after that.
First stop was a local Bondalem temple. This was Norman’s temple and he was very proud to show it to us and talk about the major ceremony’s that are held in the temple. It was lovely to see the temple through his eyes.
These next photos won’t seem to up load in order so I do apologise for that. We arrived at the temple and were given our sarongs and sashes then we were all blessed before entering the temple. When we left we gave our donation. I hate this bit, “how much do you give?” Is always our dilemma
Our driver suggested 50,000 so that is what we gave.
Lillee after receiving her blessing.
The entrance to the temple.
Madi being blessed.
We thought the temples security guard was offering to take a photo of all of us together when he approached us but no, he wanted a photo with the kids. I took one on my phone and then he handed me his phone, I took one photo and he asked me to take another just in case. In case of what I am not sure!!!
Bondelum is not a bustling tourist area so we are a bit of a navelty in some places.
Lexi receiving her blessing.
From here we went to Art Zoo. It is an art studio in the Tejakula area but I am not sure which town you would say.
Art is a very personal thing, I certainly accept that, I don’t know what I was expecting. There are a couple of paintings from this artist in our villa so I had those in mind I guess.
When we pulled up I thought “ok, this is a little odd but it might be interesting.”
Interesting is certainly an understatement.
We wondered around unsure of where to look or what to do. To be honest we wanted to turn and walk out but also didn’t want to be rude. It certainly gave us some laughs and a lot to talk about for days and maybe years to come!!!
I’ll be honest I hated the feel of the place so that may have shaded my vision of the paintings but I was shocked at how bad many of them were, again I know, art is very personal and I sure others love them, but this place is just .......well......weird. I hate saying that about what is obviously someone’s else’s vision, passion, dream, but it is very, very strange. You can’t talk about it without talking about the abundance of sculpted and painted penises.
Big ones, small ones and anything in between. They are in the garden, on the walls, protruding from other prices of ‘art’.
The owner, an American man, was there laying on a hammock in the middle of the ‘studio’ instructing (I could say ordering) some young local men on where to hang some pieces and what to do. One beckoned us into a room which was a room you can rent and stay over night. I am sorry but I couldn’t think of anything worse. It felt creepy!!!!! The whole time we were there we were trying to work out how to leave without offending anyone. At one stage we went to leave and they directed us to a whole other section.
Different and unique where the most polite words we could find when the owner asked what we thought of it.
I’m not sure why this place is recommended to stop at, I am still a little baffled. The view is amazing though.
As I said though it will give us something to talk about for a long time. Certainly a unique experience that is almost impossible to describe!!!
Our next stop was Aling Aling Waterfall. It was probably an hours drive and so worth it!,
I had planned to go to Sambangan Waterfall but the driver said the walk was less at Aling Aling and with Lexi still feeling unwell we didn’t want to push her too much.
I was shocked by the entry price, 125,000 each, because I hadn’t researched it at all and I was unsure if we had to take guides or not. I felt a bit annoyed at myself as I am normally better prepared. So we paid 750,000 which seemed ridiculous to me and we set off with our 3 guides. They were three local men all named Ketut and we immediately warmed to them. They were lovely and so friendly with fairly good English. They were willing to help in any way they could and were very attentive and aware of each of us. We chatted, laughed and joked as we walked along.
I guess the walk in was about 10 or 15 minutes. It isn’t difficult although some of the steps are quite big and you do have to be careful of the uneven ground. My husband wore reef shoes and these were ideal.
It isn’t long before you hear the sound of the falls and start to get an impression of their power.
There were people at the falls but it wasn’t crowded at all.
The falls are beautiful.
Madi, Mitch and James did the larger natural after slide. I think it is about 12 metres and very very fast and powerful. It is amazing to watch. I couldn’t help but wonder who first tried this! Looking at it you would not consider it possible!!!
You literally slide down the waterfall.
I was a little nervous waiting for them to bob back up!!!!!
There is another shorter and easier slide which is about 2 metres. There are then a variety of jumps from about 2 metres to I think 15. I tried the 2 metre, James and the big kids did the 5, no one was game enough to do the others.
You then walk about 10 minutes further to another waterfall. You can feel the power just in the spray that hits you. It is a really magically place.
Some people seemed to be there without guides but if you want to do the slides or jumps I wouldn’t recommend that. Our guides were very specific in their instructions and helped to climb to the various places etc. When you jumped or slid they were watching you and making sure you were safe. We observed one boy probably around 13 who was getting in a bit of trouble but had no guide watching him. One of our guides noticed and helped him. I think he could have been in trouble if Ketut didn’t notice him. There was a large group of European tourists, young adults, who didn’t seem to have guides and they were jumping in directions our guides had told us not to. I think this could be really dangerous if you got overly confident.
This is a beautiful place and one truly worth visiting. The cost soon left our minds and we are happy to support the local community while enjoying this special place. James gave each of our Ketuts 50,000. I have no idea if this was expected or if it was a reasonable amount but he felt happy giving them that.
The walk out isn’t hard or long but the uneven steps, some of which are quite big it is tiring for the unfit, like me 😉
We needed to change some money so went into Lovina. I am not sure if it is because it was Sunday or if it would be the same anyday but finding money exchanges up north isn’t that easy. If coming I think you are better changing money down south and I think you would get a better rate. This is something I didn’t really think about enough.
Lovina is completely different to Bondelum, you realise how untouched and undeveloped Bondelum is. Lovina has footpaths, traffic lights, western food and even coffee shops, none of this is in Bondelum. I personally love how undeveloepd Bondelum is, it adds to the experience but I can see it wouldn’t suit some people.
We stopped at Tanjung Alum for lunch. It was a lovely spot with a beautiful breeze but that is all. The owner wanted us to do a set seafood menu for 125,000 each, three of our family don’t eat seafood. I should have been more insistent at that point and gone somewhere else. She reluctantly agreed to do fried noodles for us all, vegetarian for me and chicken for everyone else. We all had a juice and Mitch and James had two beers each. The plates were small and very basic without much flavour. They weren’t bad just nothing special. We also got two fruit salads. Incuding the drivers meal which they charged 50,000 for, it came to 700,000.
I think that is expensive but I could be wrong. It was not a meal worth that even by Australian standards. Again I should have been more organised, which I usually am but I left it up to the driver. Silly me!!!! And when we weren’t happy I should have insisted we go somewhere else. But if that is the worst thing I have to complain about life is pretty good!!!!!!!
The girls really wanting to go shopping so we stopped at a market in Singaraja. We didn’t stay long. It was a lot of the same thing and not what they were after. I did buy a Nike cap for 30,000 which I needed as I fogot my hat but that was it.
We found a bakery on the street opposite the markets, I think it was called VB Bakery. They had a lovely range os cakes and things, we grabbed a couple of donuts and muffin looking things that I think the girls said were called boys. It was so cheap. 50,000 for an iced donut. Apparently they were really good!!!
The plan was to then go to the hot springs but I am afraid The Mahalani has touched my families heart and they just wanted to get ‘home’. Driving up to the gate felt like that too, like arriving home, Putu greeted us with her gorgeous smile and within moments everyone was in the pool. Well everyone but me.
We arrived home to a local ceremony walking past the villa, on their way to their family temple maybe 20 metres from our villa. It was magical to watch.
Something that really strikes me about Bali is the contrasts. It struck me last time and again this time. The primitive and almost dirty or rundown nature (I am sure they are clean inside) of the homes and shops and the pristine white of their ceremonial clothes for example. This is apparent in so many of our bali experiences. Such stark contrasts.
As we sat by the pool there was another ceremony on the other side of us. Such a privilege to observe and to hear, the sounds of the ceremonies really touches your heart, and all from the beautiful grounds of our villa.
So we missed the hot springs, something I really wanted to see, but once we return to the villa I didn’t mind. Enjoying any moment in this gorgeous villa is a privilege.
The late afternoon was spent enjoying the ceremonies, laying by the pool and swimming.
Not long after dinner we were all ready for bed again. We are going to bed so early here!!!! That allows me to wake early and enjoy the morning while writing these blogs.
I didn’t sleep well last night. The only negative about this villa is the beds, they are hard and I don’t sleep well on them. This morning I woke wanting more sleep and a little stiff. My mood could have gone either way. Then I looked up and saw the incredible sunrise and I thought “I have a choice. I can focus on the bed, the broken sleep and the aches or I can focus on the beautiful sunrise, the gorgeous villa I am in and the amazing experiences ahead.”
The choice is mine.
And in that moment I chose my focus. The bed and aches forgotten and I look ahead with excitement and enjoy this moment for all it is.
What are you choosing to focus on?
We all have that choice.
Until tomorrow 💕💕