Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving in Bali

After 4 days, 2 phone calls, 1 tech at our house and 4 hours to upload 30+ photos…. hope you enjoy a glimpse of our trip to the island of Bali in Indonesia.

We spent the first 4 days at a resort in Medewi Beach, a town in the far southwest of the island, about 3 hours from Kuta/Denpasar. The drive out was slow, due to all the mopeds and big trucks on winding mountain roads. It was a relaxed drive, as horns in Bali are used to say "hi, I'm passing you" instead of Dhaka's lay on the horn "get the hell out of my way, traffic is stopped but I'm going to honk at you anyway" mentality.

The place we stayed was about 2/3 mile from a beautiful, black sand beach. It was secluded, honestly all ours except for the random cow or occasional far off fisherman. The water temperature was perfect and visibility very clear. Medewi Beach is known for its left breaking surf, so we didn't venture out too far. We enjoyed hours of tupperware, sand and waves before deciding our (Chris and my) white bodies should probably seek shade from the sun for a while. 

The beach, pretty pool and scenic grounds are unfortunately about the only nice things we can say about the resort. An ant colony lived in our bungalow. Every morning the bathtub looked like an ant apocalypse and every night it felt like a thousand ants leapt from the thatched bungalow roof onto our bodies while we laid in bed. Not pleasant… very annoying. The a/c struggled to maintain even 85 degrees. So picture us barely sheet covered, sweating in bed with ants falling from the ceiling for 4 nights … not pleasant. That in conjuction with the terrible food, charging for drinking water, having no tv but charging for dvd player, charging for anything they could think of, and charging us to "check in 2 days early" even though we paid for 7 nights and their rooms were not full… sorry, I digress. So anyway, we left after 4 days to head back to town.
above (l to r) - Ceiba pondering life, 1st Catholic church in Bali, terraced rice fields
below (l to r) - near Medewi Beach, bromeliads, us on Legian Beach
above (l to r) - sardine vessels out west, statue in Legian, Balinese dancers with Ceiba
below - Ceiba's favorite part of the trip - Balinese dancers at dinner
above (l to r) - Medewi Beach Retreat, deity, secluded Medewi Beach
below (l to r) - happy Ceiba, Menjangan Island Hindu temple, bat cave
Happily though, we did go to Menjangan Island, a national park on the northwest corner of the island, across the straight from Java, before we left. We rented a driver and headed about 2 hours out to a dive shop. They took us out to the island and reefs for a day of snorkeling. The boat was fun and relaxing, with lunch prepared for us. Ceiba had a terrific time in the water, swimming all day with no complaints. She wore a life jacket and goggles and chased fishes around for hours. Chris and I took turns chasing either the dive guide to see the reef or chasing after the kiddo. By the end of the day, she was jumping off the boat into 80+ feet of water, snorkeling around and then climbing out on the ladder. Crazy parenting? We like to call it personality building and confidence reinforcement…. or just good family fun :) 
above & below- Menjangan Island area and dive shop
+ a very tuckered out little one on the boat trip back to shore
So we meandered back to town, finding a McDonald's on the way, hoorah! We checked into the Ramada and commenced to spend another 4 RELAXING days in a freezing ant-free room with a great in-house restaurant or 100 down the street. The pool was terrific and cool. There was a really interesting traditional Balinese blessing of the building going on during our stay. The beach touched our resort, and shopping was just a step away. 

We were glad to have experienced both sides of the vacation, but were happy to relax and enjoy good food for a few days before returning to Dhaka. Due to the flight times, we also spent 2 quick nights in Bangkok by the airport. We flew Thai Air, whom we heart, and they upgraded us to business class on the 2 longer Bali flights, which was super nice too.

Am sure we'll be trying to head back to Bali during our time at post here in Bangladesh!
above (l & r) - Papa, Mama, Ceiba at Medewi Pool, shrine at Legian hotel
below - Medewi Beach, temples along the road west
 A little sad to miss turkey and pumpkin pie, but have plenty in the pantry and freezer, so we'll save it for Christmas dinner! Hope everyone had a nice holiday!


  1. We've been looking forward to hearing about your trip. Thanks for all the info and pics. Looks like some beautiful plants to enjoy. Ceiba is so cute and really growing up fast. Miss you guys!

  2. I love the pictures! Glad to hear you survived the 4 nights with raining ants and glad your trip after that was successful. Ceiba is turning into a little fish! I bet she loved snorkling all around!