Indonesia · 15 Days · 12 Moments · September 2016

Caitlin Sammons

Caitlin's Trip to Bali

13 October 2016

(Part 4) I did not take a communal bath but it was interesting to watch! The place I'm staying is super amazing. It's called Green Field, and it overlooks rice fields. The food is so good and all the staff is super friendly. The yoga moved to the bottom of my list of priorities here. The retreat group got a little too weird for me, calling each other soul sisters and chanting and crying in circles. It was much more than just yoga, so I've been doing my own thing for the most part! Bali is so beautiful and I'm glad the yoga retreat got me here, and I'm even happier that everything is so dirt cheap and I can explore it! I moved my flight up a week, as I need to get back to working if I'm not going to be full-blown retreating, and I'll be back in California by the 17th. I am definitely going to take advantage of my last few days here! There's a rice field walk I want to check out and this really cool hotel called the Hanging Gardens of Ubud that's supposed to be like a huge treehouse :)
The locals near the volcano charge a fee to anyone that comes near the volcano. I guess they don't get a lot of tourists that stay for more than an hour so they've figured out that charging a fee for just being there and taking a picture is their best way to make money. I also got to visit Gunung Kawi which is the oldest ancient site on Bali. It was in a ravine, but they've built stairs for the tourists. It was super cool to see and was basically these huge stone statues and temples that are from thousands of years BC. I liked that a lot! The main attractions here are jungle/forest with the monkeys, waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches and ancient temples. I visited a few more temples because there's literally hundreds of them here. The last two I visited were water temples, which were super interesting. Fresh spring water comes out of these holes in the wall into big pools. Everyone has to wear a sarong and then people take turns getting in the pool and taking baths with the holy water.
But I've learned the special trick of going into town in the morning before everyone and their mother is passing through and it's a much better experience than later in the day. The food here is super delicious. It's all fresh veggies and fruits and lots of rice. I did try the meat at one point, mainly because I was craving it, but I learned my lesson on that with a minor case of Bali belly. So I've gone straight vegetarian for the rest of the trip. I've taken some cool day trips. I went to see Mount Batur, one of three volcanoes on Bali. It was very beautiful and it's right next to a crater lake called Kintamani. The town is across the lake, because they obviously didn't want to build it at the base of the volcano. It last erupted in 2000 but I didn't see any smoke coming out of the top of it. I've always wanted to see a volcano though so that was cool. The people in the town basically run a mob ring for anyone that come to see the volcano.
Hi from Bali!! Week 3 has been awesome. I'm definitely fully acclimated to the Bali lifestyle and am loving it here so much. This week I got to explore the town of Ubud, where I'm staying, a bit more. It's right in the center of Bali so it's been perfect for going on day trips. There are mainly rice fields and jungles in the surrounding area so it's super green and lush with lots of butterflies and flowers and lizards. It feels like I'm staying in Fern Gully. The town itself could best be described as a total shit show. There's tons of cute stores and restaurants. As you walk down the street, there's about 200 scooters passing by and I don't think they do emissions testing here. The sidewalks all have huge grates in them which are mostly broken so you have to be super careful not to break an ankle. There's lots of old temples mixed in with the stores and it's definitely an experience to walk through town! There are tons of tourists here and this is the slow season!

7 October 2016

They put the offerings pretty much everywhere (on cars, outside doors, in random spots, at temples) because this is there way to ask for safety and to say thank you to their gods. The people here are also so laid back and kind. The Bali families all live on compounds with one hut in the North part for the elderly, the west hut is for babies and kids, the east for everyone else and the South for showers/toilets. In the middle is the family temple because everything pretty much centers around religion. It's a very interesting set up! All in all, I'm loving Bali life and will definitely be coming back here again! :)
there's a Monkey Forest about 5 min away, but I'm going to take a pass on that. I've heard that you basically walk through while monkeys jump all over you and you feed them bananas the whole time. If you run out, they get aggressive and sometimes even bite. So that's a hard pass for me. I did go see one of Bali's many waterfalls a few days ago and it was totally awesome. It was about a football field tall and I've never seen anything like it. It was also a very healthy workout climbing to the bottom and back up again :) I'm planning on visiting Mt. Batur, one of the volcanoes next week. And I also can't wait to get to the beach and see the ocean! I've visited a ton of temples here already which are cool to see. The Bali people are super religious and they practice Hinduism but it's a little different from the Indian version. Every morning there's an offering outside my door with incense. The offering is like a little box with flowers and rice in it. They put the offerings...
Things are wonderful here in Bali!! I've spent the past week exploring lots of cool things and soaking up some quality time at the pool. It's honestly been like a little slice of heaven. The heat and sun here are pretty intense since it's so close to the equator. It's usually about 90 degrees but feels like 100+ with the humidity. My sweat glands are definitely getting a work out but it feels good! There's so many cool things to see here and everything is dirt cheap. A gourmet meal can be under $5, a massage is $8, and to hire a driver for a full day of site seeing is about $40. Bali is to Australians what Florida is to us and I can totally see why. It's like a tropical paradise and you can have a 5 star experience on a 2 star budget. Needless to say, the flight and travel time is totally worth it and I definitely hope to come back again!! The town of Ubud where I'm staying is in the middle of the island between rice fields and jungle. There's lots of wildlife and...

30 September 2016

(Part 2) an old temple and am currently drinking a smoothie in a restaurant that's over a pond of lotuses. The yoga retreat starts tomorrow. I found out there is a vow of silence every day from 5am through 9am, and everyday is filled with yoga, meditation and eating. There are a few free days and some excursions planned in as well. There's an option to hike up a volcano and visit elephants. I'll update as much as I can throughout this zen-filled experience, but I'm very happy to be in Bali, it's definitely worth the 26+ hour days of travel and it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been! 😊
Hi friends and family! I am technologically challenged when it comes to uploading pictures, but I can use this to write updates :) I've been in Bali for two days now and it is very beautiful. My hotel is overlooking a rice field, and everything is so cheap here! A very good massage at a nice spa costs around $10, so I will be indulging. The time change has been a bit of a challenge. It's currently 9am on Friday, and it's almost 8pm on Thursday in Chicago. Yesterday I went on a tourist attraction to see a Balinese healer in an old temple. I saw this in Eat Pray Love so I wanted to try it. Everyone goes to the temple, puts on a sarong, and then waits their turn to see the old man. You go up one by one and he checks your pressure points to see if you need any healing. This is an ancient practice and it was a really cool experience. I was healthy, only a little stress which he said every person has :) So that was great news. Today I did a hike up the Campuhan Ridge, which is a trail...

29 September 2016

Also having issues trying to post pictures. Will figure it out 👌🏻😉

28 September 2016

I made it safely to Bali after a stop in Hong Kong and Singapore. Looking forward to some R&R after all the plane rides, but very happy to be here!