A story from my first trip to Bali

Cocktails at the swim up bar - deluxe

Ah back in the day when I thought flouro pink was an acceptable colour to wear on your head (in the early 1990s) Groover and I went to Bali.

White water rafting

We went white water rafting in Ubud and banana boating off Nusa Dua.

Monkey forest

We went to the Holy Monkey Forest and suffered Bali Belly – at the same time.

Yes that was a fun trip.

We bought fringed leather jackets that we never wore.

We bargained for copy watches that we didn’t want to see who was the better haggler (I was).

Groover dived into the swimming pool, banged his head and had a huge egg on his head for days.

It was my first ever overseas holiday with a boy.

Lycra and lots of food

The last two days in Ubud have been “activity” days.

Yesterday we did the Paon Bali Cooking class and today the Bali Baik downhill cycle.

We're ready to cook

The cooking class started with a visit to Ubud markets, then a stop at the padi fields before we were invited into our hosts home.

Wayan gave us a tour of his home – explaining each of the buildings – and how it all fits into their Hindu religion and then we went to the big outdoor kitchen and were fitted out with aprons.

Rory learns to bbq Bali style
A Balinese Magimix
All hands on deck to make the steamed tuna in banana leaf

It was a fabulous experience and the food.

Well lets just say I’ll be on a strict regime on my return.

Luckily the next day we went cycling.

Our cycling crew

Well I say cycling but in reality it was sitting on a bike rolling down hill.

Rolling through picturesque villages, and padi fields, dodging the scooters, ducks and dogs.

Seeing as the brochure says – the real Bali.

Afterwards our tour guides laid on a lovely Balinese meal and undid all our good work.


coffee ex cat

Oh and we got to drink coffee excreted from a cat.

Now you can’t get more real than that!

[As I type this I am watching the 7pm news from Brisbane on the Australia Network. Extraordinary footage from the floods. My heart goes out to all the families affected.]

A high class problem

Breakfast at Scene
The last two mornings we’ve had a picnic breakfast delivered to our villa.

The butlers come with the baskets and set up the table in the gazebo with fresh fruit, plunger coffee, bakery items, cheese and cold cuts.

But here’s the thing.

Eggs taste best eaten within seconds from being taken off the stove.

And plunger coffee?


So despite the convenience and luxeness of having our breakfast delivered, this morning we wandered up to the restaurant.

Espresso coffee.

Freshly scrambled eggs.

A view of the valley, the early morning mist lingering in the sunlight.

Sure, you can’t just wander up in your jim jams.

And yes I don’t look my best in the morning.

But ahhh, it is worth it.

For the coffee alone – worth it.


Markets, Massage and Mozaic

How good is Bali?

It’s just so relaxed and friendly.

Breakfast in the gazebo

Okay I am staying in a luxury villa with hot and cold running butlers – which incidentally costs less per night than a dodgy motel in Karratha – but even so.

This morning we were woken by our butler carrying our picnic breakfast which he set up in our private gazebo.

We wandered out in our kimonos and chilled out with our tropical fruit juices reading the little “compilation” newspaper.

Then we went to central Ubud to the markets where it took a little while to get into the bargaining thing.

Ubud markets

The exchange rate is terrific right now and I needed reminding that really I was talking the difference between 5 and 6 dollars for a dress.

We then went for suckling pig everyone tells you to try if you go to Ubud… opposite the Palace, don’t miss it, you sit on grass mats, and the crackling is the best I’ve ever tasted…

Well I wouldn’t go that far – I can make mean crackling – but the pork is delicious and the Bintang cool and refreshing on a warm day after an hours frantic bargaining.

We got back to the villa in time for a little swim in our private pool and relax before calling for the electric buggy to take us down to the spa.

Traditional Balinese massages for two please and go hard.

overlooking the Ayung River

The massage room overlooks the Ayung River and the little black undies they give you are hilarious… more hilarious on Groover it must be said.

The massage was lovely.

Afterwards we grabbed umbrellas to shield us from the afternoon downpour and strolled among the frogs to the restaurant for afternoon tea – or in this case double shot espressos.

Then the buggy again to take us back to our villa.

Tonight we went to dinner at Mozaic – apparently the most famous restaurant in Ubud (probably after that suckling pig place the name of which I can’t remember).

We had the discovery degustation menu and the premium wine selection which was gorgeous.

It is heaven here.

And you know what?

Some people live like this all the time.


Imagine that.