Indonesia · 38 Days · 49 Moments · April 2017

BALI TRIP '17


16 May 2017

After an amazing morning in kindergarten, my four Portuguese and one Argentinian friend convinced me to join them to visit the Tegenungan Waterfall. I'm really happy that they did!! Although this is pretty touristy and not the most beautiful waterfall I've seen, it was still really fun! The waterfall is very big and powerful! I went into the water and you can get really close to the waterfall, which is really fun! Afterwards we enjoyed a Bintang Radler on a little wall in the sun. A really nice and relaxing little trip. The entrance is 10K IDR (€0,68/$0,75) so I'll say definitely check this out if you get the chance!

15 May 2017

Hidden Canyons of Beji Guwang This place is crazy! After kindergarten today I joined six girls on the trip to these 'Hidden Canyons', a 40 minute drive from Ubud. The entrance is 15K IDR (€1,03/$1,13). Then a guide came with us and was the most helpful thing ever. If you don't want to swim at least, this guy will help everybody to stay dry and safe. Especially in the beginning, it can sometimes be quite a challenge! Hold on to the edge and climb up the sides of the beautifully carved out rocks. As you stand in the midst of these organic shapes of rocks, knowing that years and years ago it was all filled with rushing water, you feel so at peace. For a second, nothing matters. All thoughts disappear, and you feel like you're part of all of it. That moment there is so unique, you'll just have to go yourself to experience it. Thank you to my friend Agustina, who took pictures with her GoPro! And thanks to Ana, who accidentally took a picture of me that turned out very cool!!

10 May 2017

Today was ceremony day at kindergarten. They particular ritual happens every full moon, new moon and on scare day. This means that around every 15 days they perform the ritual. It's amazing to see all the kids dressed up in their beautiful sarong holy outfits and behave so well during the entire time of the offering and blessing. Me and my fellow volunteers joined in on the blessing with our amazing coordinator Yuni. The older kids helped out with the blessing and gave us the water, which we had to drink and poor over our heads, and the rice, which we had to put on our chest, forehead, hair and eat a little. It was such great experience and just another plus of doing this volunteer work. Who would have thought that I would be so close to the culture and religion whilst teaching at a kindergarten?

7 May 2017

CANGGU WEEKEND 9 OF 9 Last one! The final page of Canggu Goodbye Weekend of Dreams. After lunch at La Bottega Italiana we went to Echo Beach, another beach in Canggu. There are lots of little BBQ places up on the rocks above the beach, but we walked on the beach a little first and then sat down on our sarongs and chilled in the sand. I even took a quick nap and it was marvellous! Afterwards we sat down at one of the little places and had our final drink before saying goodbye. Echo beach has a really nice, relaxed atmosphere and I think that it gets really fun at night, when everybody goes there for a barbecue. We left at around 18.00 h (6 PM) because we still needed to drive back to Ubud. It was a sad moment when we said goodbye to Isabelle, but I will definitely see here again because Germany is not so far away from home!! All in all it was an amazing weekend and I'm so happy that I got to share it with her and Michelle.
CANGGU WEEKEND 8 OF 9 Another day, another place to eat. And what kind of place! We didn't know about this place but we stumbled upon it. We wanted to get only drinks here but after a short look at the menu we all agreed unanimously: we need to have lunch here. La Bottega Italiana is a small, cute restaurant with a really cool interior design! I enjoyed a rosella iced tea and an amazing Tagliotini Pesto Della Casa. It is a really good Italian place. I haven't had any experience with real Italian food, but I really liked it. For sure one of the best western dishes I've had here!! Also greatly recommended for gluten free! My friend Michelle had the gluten free pasta and it was really good! I had a taste and could've ordered it myself! The price is also fine, I really can't say anything bad about this place!
CANGGU WEEKEND 7 OF 9 Some more random pictures I took from inside restaurants, street tiles and bathrooms. Sometimes you find a little hidden staircase or a little bathroom which is decorated so pretty, you just have to take a picture. I think it's a combination from both my parents hobbies and qualities why I love taking these pictures so much. My dad's passion for photography bubbles within me as well as the eye for details makes me want to take a picture of everything I see during my walks. My mom's love for anything decorative and industrial or bohemian looking interior runs through my veins and makes me so incredibly exited about all there is to see here. Can you notice that I kind of start to miss my parents a little? Anyway, there's some kind of magic in creativity, which flows everywhere through Canggu. I think that's why I love it there so much.

6 May 2017

CANGGU WEEKEND 6 OF 9 Saturday evening we went to dinner at Cloud 9. Another cool restaurant with a hipster vibe. Not recommended if you have gluten allergies, my friend had to spit out her dinner because she taught it was gluten free but it wasn't (they have not gluten free meals on the menu, so we had to take a guess and unfortunately was not good). I however, had an amazing vegetarian meal! They have the option of picking 2 burgers from the menu, where you get two halves for the price of one! There were two types of veggie burgers so that's what I did and wow, they were delicious! I liked both better then the one at Nüde, which was also good! The mini burgers came with a side of baked potato fries with rosemary on top and a some sort of coconut mayonnaise! My friend Isabelle had a super vegetarian curry, so we were both super satisfied!! Would definitely recommend this, unless you're gluten of course. Price is also super fine and the view is great! Especially with a sunset!!
CANGGU WEEKEND 5 OF 9 On Saturday we drove to Old Man's bar, where we parked our scooter and went to the beach. From there we walked along the beach to Finn's Beach Bar. This is a new, big, modern place where it's not hard to relax, even though it is very popular and busy. You can sit at the bar for free (what we did) or you can get a pair of sunbeds. Instead of paying 350 IDR (€24/$26) you just have to spend that amount of money on food or drink, and you can take as long as you want for doing that. Not a bad deal! We just relaxed with a Coke Zero and watched the surfers and the families playing the pool. It was such a nice time and we were there for a good two hours. After we walked back we met some beach sellers and I went wild. I bought myself some nice bracelets and an anklet, and the girls and I also got a matching bracelet(girl squad goals right??!). You can bargain really easily, especially if you're with multiple people! Recommend it!!
CANGGU WEEKEND 4 OF 9 Street art part two. I saw so much and still think I saw nothing of what Canggu had to offer street art-wise. For the street art alone it's worth just going to Canggu. I bet that I'll discover even more beauties when I go back.
CANGGU WEEKEND 3 OF 9 Street Art. Something that's very dear to my heart. Never done it myself, but I greatly admire it (huge Banksy fan). And in Canggu there's lots!!! I could just drive around all day and stop every 30 seconds to take another picture of another great piece of street art. Some are random, some are made for a certain restaurant or place, but they're all so beautiful. This is post one of two filled with street art - sorry not sorry!!!
CANGGU WEEKEND 2 OF 9 Nüde café, you stole my heart. We had breakfast here every morning and also had dinner there on our first night. This food is to die for!! Prices are great, not as cheap as Ubud but still really good (I spent around 150 IDR (€10,30/$11,30) per time)! For breakdast they serve pancakes, bircher muesli (loved it!!), toast with lots of topping choices (I had avo smash once, which is avocado with poached eggs and feta and more delicious stuff), amazing smoothies with an option of almond or soy milk too! Also great gluten free stuff and lots of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes! Also the lunch and dinner options are amazing! I could go on forever about this place. The interior is super nice, and you have the option to sit in an air-conditioned room as well! The staff is so friendly and they will recognise you if you come often (like every day for us haha). I'm going back to Canggu in a few weeks and will definitely come back here!! (Pap ik neem je mee 😉)

5 May 2017

CANGGU WEEKEND 1 OF 9 Canggu weekend is going to be a lot of different things, and will not be told chronologically (as I usually do) but per 'item'. For this weekend that's easier, trust me. I'm kicking it off with the hostel we - my friends Isabelle, Michelle and I - stayed at on Friday. It's called Elements BnB, a truly beautiful hostel. We booked it through Hostelworld, which is a great app but something went wrong, because I booked for 3 people but our room was a 2 persons room. It was nice though because it was a private villa and we added a mattress on the ground. This way we had a little more privacy and since we stayed in a two-persons priced villa with 3, it was the same price as the normal shared hostel rooms. We didn't use the pool but it looked gorgeous and the atmosphere was so relaxing and chill! We unfortunately couldn't stay all weekend because it was fully booked but it was a pleasant one night stay for sure! Also the location is nice!
Friday, of course more Snapchat! Today a few boys even joined in! It was a hot day, so neither I or most of the kids had the energy to go crazy. However, a few were having the best time playing with bubble blowing! One guy would blow the bubbles and then all the others would run after the bubbles to try and pop them! It was so cute!! Some others though just said in the shade and enjoyed their noodles, saving up energy during the hot hours.

4 May 2017

Once we discovered Snapchat, we couldn't get enough! Almost all break time we were fooling around with all the filters and had just so much fun!! I love to see the kids crack up from all the filters and how quickly they learn to use the phone! When something is really interesting they learn so fast, it's incredible!

3 May 2017

On Wednesday I got my arm exercise in during break time, when the boys asked me to push them on the swing. After I got tired I went inside to do some calming princess puzzles with the ladies. Whilst I was taking pictures the girls took interest in my phone and we discovered Snapchat. It's the cutest thing ever. After break they had some freehanded drawing time, where they had to draw some ceremonial decoration, and some of the kids are so talented! Isi and I made our fruits and vegetables poster that afternoon. It took a while with also having to prepare new exercises for class next day, but it was so worth it! We're really happy with how it turned out and the class was so exited when we gave it the next day!

2 May 2017

This week in kindergarten my good friend Isabelle joined me in my class and we were the teachers for the week. It was very nice to be teaching with her and we were a really good team. On Tuesday and Wednesday we covered vegetables and decided to make a poster of the fruits and vegetables we had taught them in these and previous days. I think the kids loved having just girls for once, they went all crazy during break time and wouldn't stop playing with us! In a rare moment of free time I took these pictures of the outside walls of the classrooms, which make me happy every time I see them.

30 April 2017

SUNDAY PART 2 On our way back we passed some amazing trees who just stand right beside the road. I'm still amazed by the beauty of the greenery here. I was listening to my favourite tunes and enjoying the trip back, which went almost flawlessly, with barely any traffic. When we almost arrived at Ubud and we were driving through the rice fields, the sun started to set. With 'Bohemian Rapsody' playing I got shivers from the gorgeous sunset over the rice fields. What an amazing ending of our trip!!! It was sad that we had to say goodbye to our friends, but what an amazing weekend did we all have together!
SUNDAY PART 1 After the simple toast with peanut butter and chocolate paste breakfast we decided to leave Kuta and go back to Seminyak, to spend the afternoon at The Potato Head Beach Club. We stayed here all day, and it was lovely. It's a really cool, new, huge place right at the beach. We just hung out and enjoyed the pool. Michelle and I started of sharing a plate of delicious nachos, and after that shared another one (oops). They were just too good!! I met my friend from back in Holland, Willem, at the bar. He just happened to be in Bali that week with his parents in their vacation home! I hadn't seen him in ages so it was so funny and nice to catch up! It was very nice to spend the entire afternoon at that place, since we were all pretty tired and had to chill before we were ready to head back to Ubud.

29 April 2017

SATURDAY PART 4 After our magical lunch we had enough energy again to continue our journey and go to the last stop: Kuta. We arrived at 2 PM in our hostel, named H Ostel. It looked very nice, was very clean and we were lucky enough to be all in the same room! Every bed looked like a little cabin and had a privacy curtain, which was great! The breakfast they served was fine, and the toilets and showers were pretty clean! All in all very pleasant first hostel experience! At 7 PM we headed to Sky Garden, apparently one of the biggest clubs in Southeast Asia (don't quote me on that). For 115K IDR we had our entrance ticket, including a buffet and free drinks until 9 PM. Food was great, free drinks were greater! We had an amazing time in all the 5 levels (!) of the club. At 3 AM we went home, but of course had a pit stop at McDonalds haha. It was a great and memorable night! Especially for that really low price!!! Thanks Isi for the bathroom selfie with Marja and me ;)
SATURDAY PART 3 The food was so good!!! My friend Jean-Luc and I shared the acaï bowl and the caramelised pumpkin salad. This was my first acaï bowl and it was so. fucking. delicious. Excuse my French. There was fresh strawberry, banana and blueberry. There was coconut flakes and nuts and there was granola. It was exactly what I'd hoped it would be and more. Then came the salad, which was incredible tasty! The pumpkin was so flavourful and the salad was super fresh. There was some kind of feta cheese I believe and some pumpkin seeds as well. It was just perfection. With that I had a still water that came in such a gorgeous bottle that I took it with me! The place looked incredible and gave me lots of inspiration for interior design!! It was a little more expensive than we'd had so far in Ubud etc, but it was still under €10 so still VERY decent price for lunch! I would highly recommend it, because it was just perfect!!!
SATURDAY PART 2 After Tanah Lot temple we continued our journey and arrived in Seminyak. My friend Marja was supposed to have a consultation about getting a new tattoo at 'artfulinkbali', a famous tattoo shop in Seminyak. However, she had forgotten to confirm the appointment at 12.30 PM, so the shop had moved her to 4.30 PM. (She was gonna come back by herself later) We were very tired from our journey at this point, and we didn't want to go to Kuta immediately. So we drank something at a place called "Second Street", which was fine but nothing special and their lunch menu wasn't great. Instead of staying there for lunch we decided to walk around Seminyak to find a restaurant for lunch. We found a gem: Strawberry Fields. From the outside it looks like an overgrown building, but when you enter you feel at once the chilled out/industrial/bohemian/New York-ish style (that's at least what I got from the place). I took quite a few pictures so you'll see more in part 3.
SATURDAY PART 1 Weekend time, with this weekend's title: Kuta Leaving Fiesta! We're saying goodbye to the biggest part of our group on Sunday, so we decided to end it with a road trip! We went on a scooter road trip with 8 people and 4 scooters. And it was incredible! First stop: Tanah Lot temple! Well actually first stop was repairing Michelle's flat tire (I was her scooter buddy). Luckily we survived this and no one had any other scooter problem, which was great! Tanah Lot temple is beautiful, really really beautiful. It's on his own little island, and you can only get there when the tide is low - which somehow isn't often there for whatever reason I cannot remember. So it's really isolated, but still close to shore. The weather was great and so the view was gorgeous and though we couldn't reach the temple, we didn't care at all. It was such a great start of the road trip!

28 April 2017

After the waterfall we were too late to grab lunch at the canteen, so Isabelle and I went to café Vespa, just on the corner of our street, right when you enter Penestanan Kaja. This place is amazing. I had the pumpkin dosa and it might've been one of the best things I've ever had in my life. You get a huge dosa (an Indian wrap kind off thing) with aside a bowl of homemade hummus, some pumpkin-purée with spinach and pumpkin seeds, and coconut rasp! I threw everything on and oh my, I will certainly remember this recipe and attempt to remake it once I get home. I doubt that I will succeed, but I have to try! For now, I'll just go back several times for sure! They have lots of good looking stuff, and I'm definitely going to try more food from them! Also the price is fine. Not super cheap, but certainly not expensive!
Friday was waterfall time again!!! Three German girls and I went to the Kanto Lampo waterfall! It was a thirty minute drive from Penestanan Kaja, and we paid 50K IDR per person for transport. If I remember correctly the entrance fee for the waterfall was 20K IDR. The waterfall is drop-dead gorgeous and the lovely guide made lots and lots of cool pictures from us! He deserved a tip for helping us get safely to both waterfalls and for keeping the phone save from the water haha! This waterfall is one of the coolest and prettiest one I've seen thus far in my life! A must see when you're in Bali!!!

27 April 2017

Today's lesson was so fun! We did fruits! We learned them 6 types of fruit that are popular in Indonesia. Too bad that papaya in Bahasa is actually papaya, so it ended up being five new words haha. We gave them a drawing and a 'combine the word with the picture' exercise. After they'd finished we had a nice colouring picture of a fruit basket. They love these exercises where their 'reward' is colouring. These kids are so creative!

26 April 2017

Going into a shady-looking alleyway to find a hidden gem is one of my favourite things in the world. My friend Marja had found a "top-ten" list of Indian restaurants in Ubud, and we randomly picked Dapur Malabar. This is a tiny restaurant with an even tinier kitchen. The cook was an Indian guy and the staff was super friendly. Since we were with such a big group, it took a while before the food arrived. But it was so worth the wait. Marja, Jéan-Luc and I got all three different vegetarian dishes and shared them all together, with a side of rice and chapati. Everything was so incredibly delicious. I ate every last bit and was so full, but I couldn't stop eating. Also the non-vegetarian food was amazing, according to my other friends. For the rice, chapati, vegetarian dish and the water bottle I paid 48 IDR ($3,60/€3,31)! Definitely check this place out if you like Indian food!
Today was my first official day of teaching at the kindergarten. I'd been to the kindergarten the previous day, but because of a long ceremony we didn't get the chance to teach ourselves. However, today we gave them a mathematics assignment and also a writing assignment. The kids in my class are so lovely. I can barely communicate with them through English, since they're only about four years old. That doesn't really matter though. You don't need much verbal communication to understand them. We helped them with the assignments and once they'd finished them, they could colour in the drawings from the assignment. Even though the class can be chaotic and they don't ever sit still, I feel like they are really well-behaved and so incredibly friendly. During break time we walked around outside a bit, but ended up making puzzles with a few kids in the classroom. I feel so blessed to be here and to be able to help these children with their education.

23 April 2017

Sunday was the last day. We were all very tired and sad to go home. Our boat left at 3 PM, so before that, Isabelle and I decided to look for a place to get lunch. We found this place called Le Petit Gili, a super cool 24/7 café with a nice bohemian vibe. I had a delicious vegetarian hot dog and a dragon fruit juice with the coolest organic straw. Once again, not expensive at all!! First time I ate 'western food' here that was actually really really tasty! They have some Indonesian dishes as well, but if you're craving something western than this is a great place to go!!

22 April 2017

On Saturday, my friends Olivia and Isabelle and I rented bikes and went all around the island. We stumbled upon a great little coffee shop, where we enjoyed the view and a nice ice cold drink for a while. We saw some beautiful hotels and really pretty beaches, as well as a little village just behind the beach. We had a nice lunch and had a great morning and early afternoon together. The bike for the day was 50K IDR. They were very new and we had no problems with them whatsoever. I strongly suggest renting a bike here and going on a spontaneous trip around the island!! Thank you Olivia for taking a selfie midway through the bike ride :)

21 April 2017

GILI FRIDAY PART 2 Gili T has so much to offer. It's most famous for it's parties, whereas for example Gili Meno is famous for it's relaxing, calm atmosphere and better known as the Gili island you go to on your honeymoon. I have found however that relaxing is not hard at all on Gili T. There are tons of luxurious hotels with gorgeous pools and sunbeds on the beach. There are no cars or scooters here. The only transportation available is by bike or by donkey! It was so funny and nice to see these carts with donkeys everywhere instead of speeding scooters and honking cars. The parties are not to be forgotten though. On Friday night we went to Rudy's. An awesome club, where they were playing live music and everybody was dancing. We had so much fun! It was super hot and everybody was sweating like crazy, but no one cared! The music was so nice and it was so busy! One of the best parties I ever went to for sure!
GILI FRIDAY PART 1 We walked around the island a little, exploring the beach and the main road. It is just so beautiful here. Everything is so colourful and bright, it makes you instantly happy. Everywhere you look you see little shops, restaurants, cafés and of course lots of fellow travellers! Every night at 6 PM, the night market opens. It might be the best thing on the island (better than the parties even). The smell alone is incredible. There are tons of little food stalls, where you can order meat- and fish-kebabs for 20K IDR a piece, and also a plate of food for 20K IDR, where you can choose 5 different things. They have noodles, rice, tofu, tempe, vegetables, coconut salads, egg rolls, etc etc! Since I'm a vegetarian, I only ate the 20K IDR plate, but that was more than enough for me. You get a huge plate and it's soooo good! There are also a few dessert stalls where they have Indonesian and western desserts, which are also so tasty and so cheap!
I just want to take a moment to appreciate the villa we stayed in. Villa Rumah Manis was incredible. We had super nice rooms with AC, a gorgeous pool, a super large common area with bar and staff!! They even made us breakfast (which was amazing, especially when you're ambit hungover from the previous night). The staff was super friendly and they cleaned everything up so nice. Every night we left a big mess in the common area, and next morning it had all been magically cleaned up! For all that you get it really is not expensive at all! If you're however looking for a cheaper alternative, there are some great hostels at Gili T too! However for us, this villa made our stay in Gili T a real paradise mini-vacation!

20 April 2017

With no sleep after the Batur hike, I went home, took a shower and packed my stuff. It was time for Gili Trawangan: Birthday Bash Weekend Edition! I met up with my two friends, Théo and Miquel, who were also travelling on Thursday from Ubud. The shuttle bus to Padang Bai was not pleasant at all, but once we arrived on the boat all was forgotten. We were able to go on top of the boat, were music was playing and we could enjoy cold Bintangs and Radlers! Wannen Bali was the company we booked our boat trip at, and our boat was called the Meranti Express! It was an amazing start of an amazing weekend! Five of our friends had spent the past week in Nusa Penida, and they came directly from there to Gili T on Thursday. Some of our other friends came on Friday, because they still had to volunteer.
My alarm clock woke me up at 2 AM. YES, in the middle of the night. I managed to put my clothes on and walk to the meeting point. I met my tired group there and we silently got in the car. After almost an hour, we arrived at the bottom of mount Batur, the second largest volcano in Bali. It took us about two hours to get to the top. The first hour was fine. Hard, but manageable. The second hour was killing! Almost after every 15 mins we had to take a break. But it was so worth it. When we arrived at the first viewing point, we sat down and put warm clothes on. It was freezing! Our sweat turned icy cold and a cold breeze blew in our face. It was still dark, but slowly we could see an orange glow appear on the horizon. The sun was coming up. Our guides made us breakfast whilst we were sitting silently, in awe of what we were seeing. We got chills, not from the cold, but from the extraordinary view. This was truthfully, literally and figuratively speaking, the highlight of the week.

18 April 2017

Tuesday was a relaxing day and not the most adventurous. However it was still very pleasant. We first went to a turtle conservation spot, where they kept eggs, wounded and saved turtles. It was really interesting to see how they worked and what went on in the turtle world. After that we went to the beach! We had lunch in the sand and afterwards got our own sun beds and relaxed all afternoon. It was so extremely hot however, that I joined three other girls to go back home earlier! On Wednesday we went river rafting! With the Payung rafting company and our guides Komodo and Wayan we spent 2,5 hours in the water! It was at times so fun and exciting, but also it was breathtakingly beautiful! We were in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by gorgeous greens and even some waterfalls! I didn't get to take any pictures - my phone isn't water resistant - but it's definitely something you should check out if you ever go to Bali!!

17 April 2017

Kopi Desa is a really nice café, where you can enjoy drinks and also food! The atmosphere is super relaxed. It has a great bohemian style, with lots of pretty vintage elements. There's wifi, so I like to just hang out there and chill on my phone, write some blogposts and chat with friends & family. I love their iced mocha and they serve amazing banana bread. And for a very reasonable price! I can just sit there by myself for hours and write in my travel journal, chill on my phone and such or hang out with friends and play card games! On Mondays and Wednesdays they have movie nights too! You can come in for free and enjoy whatever movie is playing that day! Such a nice thing, since there is no cinema anywhere near Ubud! When you're there don't forget to go to the bathroom! The room itself isn't special or anything, but on the way to the bathroom you pass some kind of secret place, where there are tons of paintings and other artsy things just stacked up against the houses!
Today I started the first day of the Adventure Week with Green Lion Bali. The program started with another coffee tasting, which I had done the day before :) But it was someplace else and again very nice! The first picture is from the amazing view we had there. Next up was cycling. We started up north, close to Mount Batur. At our starting point we had the most beautiful view of the mountain. We only cycled downhill (luckily) and it was so great! I plugged my earphones in my phone and looked around me whilst listening to my favourite music. We stopped a few times to look at a temple and a home, but it wasn't spectacular because we weren't allowed to go into the temple and also had I seen a Balinese home before. But it didn't matter because cycling was so cool! Our last stop on the cycling tour was in the rice fields, which were once again gorgeous! A very nice first day of the Adventure Week for sure!

16 April 2017

SUNDAY TOUR PART 4 Last stop, but certainly not least. After lunch we drove to the Gitgit waterfalls. After walking for 15 mins we found the most amazing waterfalls! We tried to find the 3rd one, but it had closed for public for the day. Then we went back to the first one and swam in the water! We jumped of the rocks into the waterfall and had so much fun! (The last picture is the waterfall in which we swam) Really great experience all in all. On the way back we got stuck in traffic for over three hours, but we were able to sleep a bit and played games in the car. The group is so great and I'm so happy to be here, already surrounded by new friends.
SUNDAY TOUR PART 3 FOOD! After the temple we went to get lunch. The first place the drivers took us was some random buffet just across from the temple, where we had to pay 100 IDR (which is quite a lot for food here) and it didn't look so fantastic. After a short discussion with the drivers they agreed on continuing our trip and stop somewhere on the way. And oh how glad I am we did this. We stopped at a very simple-looking local restaurant. It didn't look like much, except for these funny looking huts where we could have our lunch. When we got closer we realised what an amazing view we had from there, and stayed. The food was so good and the smoothies were so gorgeous and delicious!! I think I paid 50K IDR for mie goreng vegetarian and a pineapple juice! Can you imagine that we almost missed out on this place?! Thanks Eric for taking this cool group shot of our dining place with Claire's handy GoPro!
SUNDAY TOUR PART 2 Part two of the trip: the Ulu Dany Beratan Temple and Lake! At first when you arrive it just looks like a nice park almost, but when you reach the water you'll be in awe of the small temple and the insane view of the lake and the mountains behind it. The entrance ticket was 50K IDR (£3,80/€3,50) and definitely worth spending only that amount of money on! Always fun to be a very pale blonde here! My friend Isabelle and I were asked to be in the picture with some random Indonesian couple! We felt famous for a second there!
SUNDAY TOUR PART 1 On Sunday we decided to do a tour with a group of 13. We had booked two cars with drivers for the entire day, what only cost us around 85K IDR! The first stop was at Coffee Garden & Spice in Perean. This was a place were they grew different types of spices for teas and coffees, and were they also produced the famous Luwak coffee or 'catpoocino', made from the Luwak's feces. They showed us around the place and told us about the process of the Luwak coffee. We saw how a woman was roasting the beans and the stages of cleaning, peeling and drying the bean before it is ready to be consumed. After that we got to try all the types of tea and coffee they make for free, except te Luwak coffee (one cup was 50K IDR). I fell in love with the ginger tea and the Balinese coffee! Most of the other ones were really good as well, some were too sweet for me however. A great thing to do and it's free!

15 April 2017

Saturday was a relaxing day. We were all very tired and so we decided to go to the pool at The Mansion Hotel, which is very close to us. For 50.000 IDR we could go in and it is so worth paying £3,76 haha. The pool and the hotel were so incredibly beautiful and calming. We wanted to watch a big ceremony that was happening that day, but we missed the part at the main temple (oops). We all looked very pretty and colourful in our sarongs though, therefore we couldn't resist taking some pictures! When we returned home to our little village, some other part of the ceremony was happening so we watched for a while. However, it was rather late, so we didn't stay the entire time. It is really interesting to see the culture and ceremony's like this, and I find it so special to be here and to be surrounded by that culture. Thanks to Ocean who took lots of pictures of me and friends in our vibrant outfits!

14 April 2017

On Friday we went to the Holy Water Temple. We had made flower offerings earlier this week, and after walking around a bit, we did the offering and blessed our bodies in the holy water. The temple was beautiful and quite large. The blessing was very special. There were 14 fountains in total which means we blessed our bodies 14 times. Every time it was the same process: first, you make a wish whilst holding you hands flat against each other and against your forehead. Second, you washed your face with the stream three times. Following that was washing your head three times and lastly you washed your entire body. During and after the blessing I felt so aware. It felt so good to just be silent for a moment and think about the world, your closest friends and family, and also yourself. It is rare today to just take a step back and think about what you really wish for. But it is so satisfying and really interesting. Going there was a very pleasant experience for me.

13 April 2017

On Thursday we had cooking class and made a famous Indonesian dish: Gado Gado, sweet tempeh and fried banana. It was so much fun and sooooo good. All the food here is so delicious!! Later that day we had language class. We learnt some Bahasa words and short sentences. T Terimakasih dan sampai jumpa!!!

11 April 2017

After the art village, we had a break at Alam de Ubud. This is a beautiful pool with the most gorgeous view and they have great food. It was the nicest thing after the long walk! After the relaxing break, we continued our walk back home. The walk was so perfect, the scenery was breath-taking. In the late afternoon we made batik paintings. It was so cool and everybody made his own unique painting. Can't wait to see the end result! Special thanks to Henri who took the sixth picture of me in the hat and red dress
We kicked of day two of orientation week with a walk through the rice fields. It was amazing! We were so lucky with the weather, the sun was out and there were hardly any clouds! When we left the rice fields we walked through a little village to get to an art village not to far away. At one point we had to stop for ice-cream though, because we were all so hot and sweaty. It took us about an hour and a half to arrive at the art village, were there was a man sitting outside his shop painting eggs! The detailing on the eggs was insane so I couldn't resist but buying one! They had beautiful art there and the owners were so friendly.

10 April 2017

Today was the first day of orientation week. Our group is really nice and even though it's only the first day, we get along pretty well! We walked through Ubud centre, passing the main temple over a bridge. We went to the Ubud palace, where the leader of Ubud used to live. The royal family still lives there, but now that there's an Indonesian president, the family has no more power over Ubud. The next stop was the Ubud tourist market, which is really cool. We only stayed for 30 mins so we didn't get the chance to buy anything, but I'll certainly return a few times :) The last stop on the walk was The Sacred Monkey Forest. I had heard a lot of aggressive-biting-monkey stories, so I was very careful not to get near them. The forest itself was beautiful, with ruines, small rivers and incredible, massive trees. It was a hot and tiring walk, but it was so wonderful that it didn't really matter :)

9 April 2017

I spend my first night at Bali Hotel & Spa in Denpasar. Not the best night of my life (there was music and loud noises until 3 AM, I was jet lagged and missed my family). I have never been away alone so everything is a new experience for me. However the surroundings were very pretty, the food was okay and the pool was great. I went back to the airport to meet up with the taxi who was took me to Ubud, where I will be staying for the next 7 weeks. The ride was really nice. The driver was really nice and there even was wifi in the car ! My accomodation is great. I stay in a room with 3 other girls, and there are lots of other rooms around us with more volunteers. Turbulent first day, but I'm happy to be here and excited for the upcoming weeks!

8 April 2017

Arrived at Denpasar. Let the journey begin!