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Changgu is the Stereotype of Bali

With six nights booked on a surf camp in Canggu and equally many days of renting a scooter I thought I would have enough time to explore all the places close by like Seminyak, Kuta, Legian etc. The truth is that I didnt get to do much while I was there as I got into this lifestyle of surfing during the days and hanging out in the beach club restaurants in the evenings.

Places like Finns, La Favela, the Lawn, Potato Head etc all had a super relaced athmosphere but I am almost a bit ashamed of having spent so much time there as meals and drinks cost several times more than at local places and they were all filled with Australian and European beach holiday tourists. After three weeks of backpacking, I had gotten too comfortable and was caught in a stereotypical Bali beach holiday.

I cannot complain, as life there was super good, but what I mean is that it did not give me much in terms of unique experiences, much like a package holiday to Spain would have done, with beach, yoga, surfing and party repeated every day.

What I did do though was to head over to Deus Ex, where they have an event called taco tattuesday on every Tuesday night. Then the 16 of the people who bought a taco costing about 6EUR would get a free tattoo which was an interesting concept.

Although surf was good and the place was super relaxing, Canggu was a place that I felt just gave me a break from the real backpacking. Now I just look forward to the adventures that await in Timor Leste and Australias Northern Territory.

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Diving on the Gili Islands

From Kuta to. Uluwatu, Pedang Pedang, Canggu, Tanah Lot, Jatiluwih, Danu Bratan, Git Git Waterfalls, Lovina, Tigawasa, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Mount Batur, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and then to Gili Trawagan- again. Why- you probably ask? It might not sound like the most logical route..

I had booked my trip to meet friends along the way and since they had all planned their trip independently I would have to travel a lot back and fourth to meet them all. In Gili Trawangan and Gili Air there were friends waiting for me and I had booked some nights of diving courses for my stays there.

At Gili T I did my rescue diver course and Nitrox speciality course, which was both fun and rewarding. Every day we learned new skills and then went out for a couple of dives to practise those skills.

Photographing a lightshowperformer with long shuttertime

At Gili Air I just went fundiving for a couple of days. All the dive sites were the same as the ones I had already been diving for a week at Gili T, due to how close the two islands are.

My favorite spots were by far shark point and thr Meno Wall where we saw lots of sharks, turtles and stingrays. Going out at night was also quite rewarding as there were other animals such as octopuses and eels that came out to hunt then.

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Venturing Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan was the Theo island where I knew least what to expect as it is often surpassed by backpackers going between Bali, Lombok and the Gilis. All I knew was that it was famous for its Manta Rays, which I happily can say that I saw lots of.

I had two dives with Big Fish; one at Manta Bay, the second at Chrystal Bay. Two completely different dive sites.

At Manta Bay, as its name insinuits, was full of mantas. We saw maybe fifteen of them, circling over us at the surface and ducking down and swimming beside us, nearly for half of our 50 minute dive.

Other than that there was not much to see, but at Chrystal Bay there was a healthy coral reef with turtles, sea snakes, bamboo sharks, eels and lots of fish. The diving in Lembongan is something I would never want to be without.

On land I had a scooter rented for my three days there and drove around with a french girl I had met on the ferry. We visited an outdoor cinema, stopped at Devils Tear to see cliffs that shot out water every time a wave hit them, visited the beautiful dream beach and drove back and forth over a yellow bridge blinking with disco lights at night.

At secret garden where I lived there was also a pool, slackline, juggling equipment, some great yoga sessions and a bamboo shack cinema that kept me entertained and relaxed for my days here. The perfect break before heading back to Gili Trawangan.

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Ubud; The Mountain Paradise of Indonesia

Bali is not an over-touristed hellhole like I was afraid of before coming here. Sure, Kuta and Gili T can be an exeption but our stops at Bingin, Canggu, Lovina, Gili Air have been great, and Ubud has just simply been fantastic!
Being in the center of the Island, in the middle of the mountain forests, the island does not attract the same kind of tourists and local hustlers that beach towns do. Everything is a lot cheaper than elsewhere and people leave you alone to wander around a cozy city center with lots of alternative shops selling handicrafts and restaurants with local, mostly vegan food.

One of my favorite spots in the city was the World’s only vegan, organic cinema called Paradiso. Here you could watch movies for free while relaxing in one of the many comfy couches while drinking a beer and having a meal. Also the yoga barn was a great place for a yoga session and a healthy meal after a night out.

In addition, one of the highlights in Bali was found by driving around an hour outside of Ubud. We woke up at 1am to hike up the active volcano Mt.Batur to eat breakfast on the top while watching the sun rise over Balis’s tallest mountain Mt. Agung.

In total our trip lasted around 9 hours, walking past the crater rim to see and feel the hot smoke coming out of the volcano and watch the dogs, monkeys and squirrels living there. If there was one place in Bali where I would consider living it would be Ubud, the people and the nature around here are amazing and it is a place you should never miss if you decide to go to Bali.