Guest Traveller Genevieve Jackson is happily married with two sons, and very happily working in an all-male team but, sometimes, she just needs some girl-time away from the testosterone and four walls, to explore the world. She loves the island of Bali, its creativeness and its feeling of freedom. Her recent, two-week trip was the most amazing holiday she’s ever had there. Her goals: Experience new places; see how the locals live; and experience some lesser-visited sites. Along for part of the journey was one of her oldest school friends who had never before had the pleasure of travelling overseas. Let’s join them on their Balinese adventure…
FUN, FUN, FUN! We took a bike tour through the Kintamani Volcano and Mount Batur, with a stop-off at a coffee plantation at BAS Agrotourism, Bali Coffee Plantation. It was here that we sampled tea and coffee, including Kopi Luwak coffee beans which had been eaten by then pooped out from a Cevik cat! We rode down the hills, through rice fields, villages, and jungle tracks – for a bit more excitement. I had so much fun, bouncing down the hill, dodging the pot holes in the roads, and avoiding the motorists, scooters, dogs and children along the way. We passed many children out flying kites over the rice fields. At the end of the ride, we took a 30-minute drive to the most amazing lunch spot: newly-opened Green Kubu. The food was spectacular and so fresh and yummy.
Next, we were up at 5.30am to be on the beach at 6am for a sunrise dolphin tour. This was reasonably inexpensive and the tour was booked through the resort. Here began the new experiences for us all, with the small wooden boats looking like canoes with stays on the side. I was surprised how stable these boats were. Watching the sunrise over the ocean was a magnificent experience. I would have been happy just skimming across the water in the boat and relaxing, watching the sun come up, with all the beautiful colours of reds and oranges over the coastline. We then got to join in with quite a lot of boats in an area known for the dolphins to pass through, as it is their feeding area. The dolphins seemed to be smaller and darker in colour than the dolphins I have seen in Australia. Overall, it was a pleasant start to the day and, on the way back to the resort, the driver showed us the coral and fish under the boat.
On our journey back to Ubud, we stopped at Git Git waterfall. There are two waterfalls in the one area, with the twin waterfall up higher and a single waterfall down the hill and a lot more stairs down further. These waterfalls were very nice to visit and pretty. I recommend you hire a local guide at the entrance to the waterfalls, as they know the area well and can show you safely to the waterfalls. Wear comfortable footwear as some of the steps are quite slippery. The local villagers actually live in this area as well, and there are a couple of natural springs with beautiful clean water in them. At the bottom of the twin waterfall is an exit where some adventurous tourists were appearing from as though they had been canyoning there.
We also visited an orphanage called the Panti Asuhan Narayan Seva Children’s home. Where we were given a tour of the orphanage and I found it an overwhelming and amazing experience to meet the two ladies who run this home providing a caring environment for 80 children who may not have previously had this support in their lives. The orphanage supports the children through their schooling, and sometimes on to university. I am full of admiration for the job that these ladies do.
- Get a good guide and driver. Pay the extra and be looked after.
- Take heaps of photos.
- Adjust. Try to forget about how things are done at home and adjust to the area you are visiting.
- Swim and get massages. Everyday.
- Enjoy every moment. Be thankful you have the opportunity to visit these places and enrich your own life with new meaning and new appreciation for the non-material things in life.