Thank you Steve!

Monday, 22 May 2017

The next part of our Bali shenanigans involved meeting up with two of my pals from home, Jaz and Alice. As I mentioned in my post 'Crazy Kuta' we spent a few days with them in Kuta town before heading to visit Jaz's uncle Steve and his beautiful family in the rural setting of Tabanan (north of Canguu).

I will start by staying a HUGE thank you to Steve and Anna; for sharing your wonderful home, feeding us delicious Balinese food, driving us around everywhere and letting us see a different, less touristy side to Bali.

The first day, Steve and his daughter Shafira came and picked us up, tackling the Kuta traffic with us and all our luggage piled into his very trendy (if not a little camp) Hello Kitty car! He took us to an amazing beach restaurant in Canguu, half way through the journey, called Old Mans - serving amazing cocktails and yummy food in a cool, beachy, surf setting. It quickly became a favourite with us (we returned at least 3 times!) After our little stop off it was back in the car and off to Steve's where we were introduced to his wife Anna and his youngest daughter, gorgeous little Shaqueela; not to mention their two cats and 4 tiny kittens! (One of them we unfortunately named Fetty Wap due to one of his eyes still being closed).

That afternoon we all bundled back into the car and Steve took us on our first adventure, driving us to Jatiluwah rice terraces, where there were some incredible look out points at the foot of a mountain. On the way to the look out points we crossed a very suspicious looking wooden bridge. With all of us screaming, Steve carefully crossed the bridge (thankfully without any breakages) - however Jaz then informed us a week later that the bridge has actually collapsed a few days after we crossed it! Putting the terrifying bridge saga aside the views points were stunning and I loved seeing a more authentic side to Bali.

They then took us to a night market that evening. It was clear that the locals don't often get visits from foreigners, as we were clearly the talk of the town wandering about trying all the different food. One guy took a particular liking to Alice chasing her down the road with a Barong (traditional Balinese puppet used in ceremonies and dance) - it was a very traumatising experience.

After being introduced to loads of Balinese culture we headed home, where Anna had prepared an amazing Balinese dinner for us! We finished the evening playing games including dominos, where the loser gets coffee smeared onto their face and bop it, where we found out Alice's secret talent isn't just her awesome dance moves.

The second day Steve took us to a natural, tropical hot springs and swimming pool near his house. We had loads of fun swimming about in the jungle setting - a great refreshing way to start the day.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Shaqueela, Shafira and the adorable kitties, before setting out on our next adventure.

I have to say we were very sad to leave Steve and his family, but will be sure to return if we ever visit Bali again.

Steve kindly dropped us at our next destination, Ubud. Although we were planning on visiting Ubud with the entire Bali gang, we felt like it would be a good place to chill for a few days before everyone arrived as there's loads to see and do plus it's a very relaxing area in Bali. We stayed in a traditional Balinese style villa, on the outskirts of Ubud that we found on air bnb. The villa was owned by a lovely Spanish guy, who was so accommodating and knowledgeable about the local area - suggesting loads of yummy places to eat. The pool area was one of my favourite things about this villa (due to the giant inflatable unicorn which we named Dorris). I have to say we spent most of our time in the pool, floating about on Dorris or at the local Warungs stuffing our faces! Some of our favourites in the area included...

Cafe Vespa: cute traditional setting, great location right next to the villa, slow service but yummy reasonable priced food. My favourite was the pumpkin dosa (a gf crepe made with lentils served with spinach, pumpkin and hummus) so filling and healthy.
Juno's: really beautiful interior, great selection of breakfast smoothie bowls and romantic evening meal setting, yummy food, slightly more expensive. Whilst we were there, there was a crazy American gal hosting an open mic night - very entertaining.

We were saving a lot of the big touristy trips to do with everyone as we obviously didn't want to spend money doing things twice. However we did take a trip into Ubud town to visit the palace - unfortunately we probably picked the rainiest day we had in Bali to do this so spent most of our time undercover in Starbucks.

Our short but relaxing stay in Ubud soon ended and we headed off to Seminyak to start a less relaxing, eventful, beer-guzzling two weeks with The Dunks (all will be explained).

Elly x

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