Blissful Bali

Enjoying the view at the Bulgari Hotel, Bali

Enjoying the view at the Bulgari Hotel, Bali

If I were to use one word to summarise our 2.5 week stay in Bali, it would be “bliss.” Pure, utter, serene, “bliss.” The Balinese are friendly, happy and peaceful people; the tropical island landscape is stunning; the accommodations are luxurious; the food is delicious; massages are fantastic and incredible cheap; and then add to this mix, getting to spend time with some of our closest friends, it was clear that our stay was going to be an amazing few weeks.

You’ll recall that we hadn’t originally planned to cut to come back to Asia, however our plans changed after Christine was lured here by a hula hooping retreat (Christine will write about this separately). So we made the 40 hour journey from Rio to Bali, the longest haul either of us had ever done. We arrived into Bali 4-days before the hula hoop retreat and joined our good friends Teeba and Basel at our villa in Seminyak, Bali. I don’t know which was better, getting to see Teeba and Basel, who we hadn’t seen since Tomorrowland last July, or getting introduced to the amazing accommodation they had booked for us with our own private infinity pool, tropical garden and luxurious bedrooms (of course the answer is getting to see Teeba and Basel :)).

Arrival drinks in Bali

Arrival drinks in Bali

Basel and our beautiful villa tree

Basel and our beautiful villa tree

For the next four days, we made full use of the villa, while also taking time to go explore the island. We saw one of the most spectacular sunsets from Uluwatu, where a 11th century temple is perched on the edge of a cliff face looking south over the Pacific ocean. We also got to explore some of the jungles and canyons of the island as we abseiled down waterfalls and jumped into waterholes during our canyoning day trip. And on the final evening when Shilpa and Pato arrived, we partied the night away at one of Bali’s many beach clubs.

Chilling at the Bulgari Hotel, Bali

Chilling at the Bulgari Hotel, Bali

Cliffs at Uluwatu

Cliffs at Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Sunset fire dance at Uluwatu Temple

Sunset fire dance at Uluwatu Temple

Basel and friend at Uluwatu Temple

Basel and friend at Uluwatu Temple

Shilpa chilling at the villa

Shilpa chilling at the villa

Hula hooping at the villa

Hula hooping at the villa

Cuddle puddle

Cuddle puddle

At the end of the four days, the girls made their way to Ubud for their hula hooping retreat while Basel and I headed off to scuba dive at Tulamben for a day and a night. It was my first night dive experience which was pretty cool. It’s kind of eery down below when you can only see along the tunnel of light projected by your torch. And also cool to see plankton glow like stars as you kick your fins.

Suiting up for scuba

Suiting up for scuba

Christian and Basel scuba diving at Tulamben Bay, Bali

Christian and Basel scuba diving at Tulamben Bay, Bali

ahem... how did that photo get in there?...

ahem… how did that photo get in there?…

After diving, Basel had to leave to return back to work, which left me at a loose end. Initially, I thought I would just take it easy and just chill in Ubud by myself. But at the last minute I was inspired to go join the girls in the hula hooping retreat and see what all the fuss was about. As I said, Christine’s going to write a separate update on the retreat so I don’t want to steal her thunder, other than to say that personally for me it was an amazing experience.

After the retreat was over, we decided to hang out in Ubud for 5 more days. Of all the places I’ve visited in Bali, Ubud is by far my favourite. While it isn’t on the beach, it nonetheless has incredible natural beauty mixed with a very peaceful vibe. It also has many great places to eat and grab a coffee, as well as a number of fantastic massage places, so it wasn’t hard to fill in the time here. One of our favourite things to do in Ubud was just roam around the lush green rice paddies.

Rice paddies near Ubud

Rice fields near Ubud

Rice paddy

Rice fields

Ubud

Ubud

On our final day we left Ubud to make our way to Balangan beach and enjoy one of our wedding gifts: surf lesson in Bali (thanks Lara and Greg!). After the lesson was over, we sat by the water, drinking our Bintang beers not wanting to leave. While our upcoming adventures in Japan excited us, it was tough to say goodbye to such incredible bliss…

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