Thursday, 30 June 2016

Our Last Day In Bali

We were blessed with sunny blue skies for our last full day in Bali. We made the most of it enjoying our villa facilities. We capped off the day and our stay with dinner at Kudeta, the popular beach side "lifestyle" bar and restaurant. It was almost too trendy for us. As usual, the food was superb. Pricey by Bali standards, it was still decent value by Sydney standards. What does that say about Sydney!! This time we did manage to catch the sunset.

Last but not least, our last meal at the villa was with a farewell babi guling (suckling pig). Goodbye Bali, it has been a blast!

How can one NOT jump into that pool!

The monkeys from the cliffside came by for a visit. A baby one

The famous Kudeta

Live DJ

Choosing our meals

Our farewell suckling pig

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Ubud and Kintamani

We headed for the mountains of Bali today, driving north towards Kintamani. On the way we stopped by Ubud, reknowned to be the center for traditional crafts and dance as well as the terraced rice paddies. We stopped by a silver shop where we were able to view the silversmiths at work with traditional designs. And yes of course purchases were made...

We could almost make a cheesy Asian style video clip...

The local craftsmen at work

Lara scores! A pair of Balinese crafted silver earrings
Next was the obligatory stop for Kopi Luwak or civet coffee. The civet apparently chooses the best coffee beans to eat. The partly digested beans are said to improve the coffee. The beans gets pooped out and then collected, cleaned, roasted and brewed. We were showed the beans at the various process steps before sitting down at the tasting tables to try the various coffees offered.

The civet

Being showed how the kopi luwak is made

Not a bad view for coffee tasting

The tasting platter

Even Jonah enjoyed the tasting
The cool mountain air was a welcome change to the heat and humidity. We decided to forgo any hiking in view of the weather and opted for a leisurely scenic lunch instead. From there we continued back down as the children wanted to stop at the terraced padi fields. Our last stop was Bebek Bengil where we had Balinese style fried duck. Yummo!

Lake Batur

The closest we're going to get to a decent family photo

The terraced rice paddies of Ubud

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tanah Lot

Our day trip for the day was to Tanah Lot, one of Bali's most visited and photographed Hindu Shrine. It was a very hot day and we didn't last long! The temple is reached by crossing a passage of crashing waves which vary depending on the tides. This brought some cool relief and fun for the children.

The family split up for the rest of the day with half playing golf at Bali National and the remainder lounging at the villa. I'll give you one guess as to where I was. The children enjoyed having their own caddie. However, after a while, their clapping of their golf shots got a little awkward...

Tanah Lot

The Nirwana Golf course just on the other side...

Crossing the water to get there

If the tide were any higher the children wouldn't have made it across

Golf time


The smart ones!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Kuta & Jimbaran Bay

Happy Birthday Fieke! As we got such cheap flights and the accomodation price didn't change with an additional guest, we invited our au pair, Fieke, to Bali with us as part of her birthday present.

We went for a canoe down at the beach in the morning. Once again, the canoes and life vests were prepared with the villa staff, with a staff member with us at the beach at all times to ensure all went smoothly. The water, still within the shallow reefs, was clear and warm. The cloud cover was a blessing in disguise as it meant that it didn't get too hot.

Happy Birthday Fieke!

The beach area of the villa at the bottom of the cliff

You can just see the canoe in the water!

Afternoon affairs included a lunch of delicious ribs and shopping at Beachwalk at Kuta. We also wanted to watch Finding Dory which had just been released. The ticket price was a bargain $5! Alas the Premier ticket (at only $10) was not available for our session. The cinema was modern, clean and the seats super comfortable. We were tempted to watch another movie just to escape the humidity...

Fieke's birthday meal came in the form of a seafood dinner by the beach at Jimbaran Bay, The villa had organised a table for us and it was a relaxing evening of food and fun by the beach. We timed our meal for a sunset but the cloouds had other ideas and it was not to be.

Guess what we're watching!

Our restaurant. One of many along the beach

Table no 1!!

The restaurant staff setting up our table and umbrella

Studying the menu as per usual

The roast corn cart


Sunday, 26 June 2016


Good morning Bali. Our view from the bedroom balconies

We woke up to stormy clouds, apparently unseasonable. Little did we know that this pattern would continue. The upside was that it kept temperatures cool with lovely sea breezes. I've included some more photos of the villa taken at various points of our stay.

As we lazily got dressed, our complimentary continental breakfast was prepared freshly for us by the villa staff with a great assortment of pastries, jams and tropical fruit. I loved not having to get up to make myself a cup of tea. Breakfast was a relatively short affair for the children. We couldn't hold kids back any longer from the enticing pool and they jumped in for a post breakfast swim.

The garden entry of the villa

The living and dining area

The media room

One of the 4 King bedrooms

The outdoor bath (there was an indoor shower)

The inclinator to take us down to the Cabana and beach access

The Cabana has an extra ocean facing bedroom

Also houses an air-conditioned gym which can double up as a massage room

Complimentary continental breakfast with selection of tropical fruits

Breakfast is ready!

Jonah loved the binoculars to look out to the ocean

Elliot has found his favourite reading spot

This view from the living area did not deter the children...

In they went!

With their swim out of they system, we were introduced to Made, our driver and our minivan. This service (for 8 hours per day) was also complimentary as part of our stay. We did have to pay for petrol which was cheap by Sydney standards.The first order of the day was a haircut for the 2 boys.
Made brought us to a hairdresser who took his job very seriously. He carefully cut each boys hair with scissors rather than clippers and so the cuts took much longer than expected!

A visit to the money changer gave us the cash needed for our trip to Potato Head Beach Club. As we arrived the heavens opened up and it poured. The beach unfortunately hadn't recovered from the recent King Tides. Much of the sand had been washed away and the beach was not a pretty sight! The food, mostly Western with a slight Asian twist, was still highly enjoyable and the ambient relaxing despite the rain. Mocktails were only AUD$3-5 and desserts that would cost around $10-15 in Sydney only came in at around $6 each! We let loose and ATE.

With a break in the weather, we took the opportunity and shopped around Seminyak before making our way back to the villa to relax. We also had a few important things sorted:

  • Vital supplies - 40 cents for unfridged 330ml can of Coke!
  • Game of thrones confirmed to be on cable in the villa. We didn't want to miss the season finale...

We're set...

We dined as a family at the villa before Mal and children went fishing with a local fisherman organised by the villa stuff. In the meantime, I had a 1.5 hour in-villa massage for a total of $45. Life couldn't be better. If I really wanted to save I could have travelled to the spa with the driver and it would have only cost $30...

Very pleased with his new haircut!

The distinctive and colourful shutters of Potato Head Beach Club, our lunch venue

With drinks so cheap. Drink up! 

Soft shell crab sliders


One of the tastiest salt and pepper squid ever!

Sugar cane margarita

A study of coconut

Dragonfruit sorbet

Churros ice cream sandwich!