17.01.2012 35 °C
So what do you do when you cut a month out of a six month adventure? We've decided to go flat out and make every second count. Our last week also coincides with both of our birthday so we are pulling out all the stops. We did a little research and found a nice resort just off the beach in Sanur area, the south part of the island in a moderately touristy area. It was about a half hour ride from the airport through five o'clock traffic, the roads here seem pretty new, but the questionable driving skills and crazy scooters made it a chaotic ride. On top of that, rainy season is in full effect and the skies were falling! Between the day of travel and the the rainy evening we were taking it easy on Sunday night so we found a restaurant just down the street with some fresh fish and Indonesian sambal.
We woke up Monday morning and both decided we needed to tear all of the sheets off of the bed...to find a label so we can get one delivered to wherever we end up living!! Natalie just continues to describe it as a dream, we are sleeping on a cloud. It makes for a great start every day, Nat was actually hoping it would still be raining so she could stay in bed all day. But the sun was up and we were going to explore the neighbourhood. I think we managed at least 100 photos of local architecture, the design and craftsmanship is extraordinary. Then we found the beach and their little boardwalk and wandered for almost five kilometers along the ocean. Beach cafes, hotels, shops and watersports shacks line the beaches, we grabbed a coffee found a kitesurfing place in case the wind comes up. As we wandered down the beach we happened to bump into some friends we had met in Nepal and Vietnam, it's funny how things work out. We had a good hike before the rain filled in and sent us into a restaurant for a late lunch, this isn't just any kind of rain, you are soaked almost instantly!
For Tuesday, we found a rental car and a map it was time for a tour. My drivers license expired today which I was a little concerned about, but the rental company here required neither a drivers license or a credit card. Interesting. We headed north and then east, winding our way along the coast for the most of it, but sometimes ended up a little off track and found ourselves exploring some little villages. We have been here a few days now and I can honestly say that these might be the warmest, most welcoming people we have met so far. From the cabbie's and the hotel staff to the people in the little villages, well off the beaten track, everyone is all smiles and "hello's" wherever we go. It is amazing. We got to the north coast and started to realize how big this island really is, our plan of driving around the island in one day is out of the question. We found a restaurant at a little dive resort on the top of the island and had an amazing lunch before continuing the drive. About half way around, we headed south again and up into the hills and the clouds. The temperature dropped 10 degrees C as the clouds closed in and the roadsides somehow became even greener. We drove past countless temples and towns full of people and smiles and warm "hello's", it was a great day. As we came down out of the clouds we came upon a lake and a volcano by the same name, Batur. We also realized the sun was starting to come down and we we're still miles from home so we pointed the car south, drove through the rice fields of Ubud and got back to the hotel around seven. We had dinner reservations at a restaurant called Sardine, owned by my friend Camilla's parents, Camilla used to work at Topper's by the Sea for all our friends from St.Maarten. It was a great meal, an amazing setting and always good to see old friends and meet new ones.
Today we aren't driving too far. We found a kite school that Nat is managing to get a lesson in at as they have wake boarding boat that is substituting for their lack of wind. Later we will probably go for a short drive and inspect some of the wood carving workshops they have here, I've never seen anything like it. No telling what we will come home with now!!