Aug 232016
 

As I walked each morning my route from the guesthouse to the yoga villa in Bali, I would pass the same people and greet them with a smile and “Good morning.” In a very short time it became a familiar routine that I greatly looked forward to.

I would pass a small family temple and the residents were often outside washing or chatting alongside the small, dirty channel that flowed with water down the street. As I turned onto the main road, I would pass stores setting up their wares or food for the day to be sold or offerings on the ground for those who had passed. Sometimes there were already customers ready to purchase what was on offer, but still the people would stop and smile to say a brief “Hello”. Old men would be sitting on their ‘stoops’ watching the numerous motor bikes and cars speed by taking in the busy street in front of them. Some would simply stare while others would give me a slight smile and head nod to greet me. By the time I would arrive at the villa, I felt as if I had just walked through a family village and I was a part of it.

(offerings)

(Payogan Temple)

(main road)

(neighbor temple grounds/home)

(my route from drop pin to blue dot)

The truth is that the Payogan area is filled with members of one family. My hosts explained that the guesthouse where my yogini-mates were staying was run by cousins on his wife’s side. Others along the road were probably uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and the like. Still, strangers still felt a true sense of warmth in their smiles.

Different to Thailand where tourists often feel as if they are only liked for their wallets, the Balinese, or at least the Ubudians, never gave that sense. While it was easy to pick up on their intent by their friendly line of questioning:  “How long are you staying?” “Where are you from?” “Do you already have a plan for your trip?” “Do you need a driver?” 😛 , it always felt genuine somehow. Funnily enough, everyone was willing to be a taxi for the right price!

These small encounters, though brief, really made me stop to consider all that we have to grateful for. Even not having AC, electricity or hot water for the past month has given me a new appreciation for such luxuries that are so easily and readily taken for granted. My hope is that when such luxuries do return to us, that we will still stop to acknowledge warm smiles, kindness and generosity as well as get out into the ‘fresh’ air away from our first world privileges and enjoy the simpler things in life.

~T 😀

Aug 222016
 

Ten months ago when I decided to embark on my yoga teacher training journey – on a day when I had taken a day off work because I needed a ‘mental health day’ to escape the dread of going to work each day – I had no idea how I was going to make a retreat to Bali work as part of the course. However, I knew that something would work out and went for it.

Nine months later, having quit my job thus freeing me from any other obstacles to heading to our yoga retreat, I was on a plane to a place that goes beyond expectations.

In 2011, (almost five years ago to he day) I spent about 20 days in Bali’s southern area, Kuta, which is tailored towards tourists. The time then was different in terms of why I was there, who I was with and my stage of life. This time, I was in Ubud, which is well-known as being more traditional and a yoga-center.


Although I did not have that much time to be ‘touristy’ on this trip, I have to say it was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I have had. Getting to know my yogi compatriots more was a major highlight along with finding my gem of accommodations at the Manada Guesthouse.


The yoga itself was a common thread for us, but not necessarily the central aspect of the retreat. How can this be, you ask, wasn’t it a yoga retreat after all?


Yes, it was. We did do a lot of yoga, teaching and learning of anatomy. However, each individual person there grew whether it was physically, mentally or emotionally. This growth occurred within the person, but because of the unity of the group. We discovered things we liked about each other, things we didn’t like about each other and overall how to accept each person just as they were despite likes or dislikes.



So, it was indeed a beautiful and excellent time away. It was also a good break away from the summer stresses and a chance to take a bit of a breath from reality. 😛

~T 😀

Aug 232011
 

Well, our last day was spent relaxing with final massages, errands, etc. Overall, we had a really lovely time in Bali and were sad to see the time come to an end. The return journey took us back to Jakarta on our way to Bangkok. I headed back to Abu Dhabi from there.

Here are the last pics from our trip. Back to ‘normal’ posting after this. 🙂

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20-Aug-2011 14:36, Apple iPhone 4, 2.4, 3.85mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125

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20-Aug-2011 14:37, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

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22-Aug-2011 19:55, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000

 

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22-Aug-2011 19:55, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 800

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22-Aug-2011 19:55, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000

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22-Aug-2011 20:33, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 640

 

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22-Aug-2011 20:09, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000

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22-Aug-2011 20:09, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500

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22-Aug-2011 20:10, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000

 

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22-Aug-2011 20:09, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000

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23-Aug-2011 12:36, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80

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23-Aug-2011 12:36, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80

 

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23-Aug-2011 14:00, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80

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23-Aug-2011 17:36, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80

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23-Aug-2011 17:36, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80

 

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23-Aug-2011 17:37, Apple iPhone 4, 2.8, 3.85mm, ISO 80

Interesting Bali souvenir...Interesting Bali souvenir…

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Interesting Bali souvenir…22-Aug-2011 21:42, NIKON COOLPIX S51, 3.3, 6.3mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 400

Funny name...Funny name…

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Funny name…22-Aug-2011 21:44, NIKON COOLPIX S51, 4.1, 17.3mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 400

 
Aug 222011
 

Hardly worth posting for today, but a little something is better than nothing they say in the blogging world… 😀

The best part of the day was getting massages – about USD6 for an hour – at the first place we went to when we arrived. They were the best. After that was dinner at our Chinese food haunt (surprisingly no food photos this time!) and dessert at:

Yummy!

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Yummy!22-Aug-2011 06:12, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.2 sec, ISO 200

 

Don’t ask why this is the only photo I managed to take all day, but…such as it is.

Tomorrow is our last full day…sooooo sad! :*(

Aug 212011
 

A lazy day mostly by the pool –

Poolside pizza for lunch

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Poolside pizza for lunch20-Aug-2011 22:57, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 80

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20-Aug-2011 22:57, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 80

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20-Aug-2011 23:25, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 5.0, 9.39mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 100

 
Weird staff games at the hotel to celebrate their 2-year anniversary....

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Weird staff games at the hotel to celebrate their 2-year anniversary….

Frangipani

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Frangipani20-Aug-2011 23:29, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.4, 15.06mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80

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20-Aug-2011 23:29, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.8, 7.73mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80

 
Isn't he cute?

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Isn't he cute?20-Aug-2011 23:30, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 5.7, 13.09mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 100

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20-Aug-2011 23:30, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

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20-Aug-2011 23:30, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 80

 
Bust-A-Moves ya'll!

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Bust-A-Moves ya'll!20-Aug-2011 23:39, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 80

Saturday afternoon traffic in a back alley - not even the main road!

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Saturday afternoon traffic in a back alley – not even the main road!21-Aug-2011 01:48, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

Fun in the scooter traffic

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Fun in the scooter traffic

 

Later we went out. R got another tattoo done (no pic yet) and I did some shopping. Then, we went for some food and a ride around –

Dinner out in Seminyak area at "Restaurant Mimpi"

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Dinner out in Seminyak area at "Restaurant Mimpi"21-Aug-2011 04:36, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 5.3, 10.73mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 200

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21-Aug-2011 04:39, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

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21-Aug-2011 04:39, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

 

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21-Aug-2011 04:39, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 200

Cap Cay Mimpi - stir fry vegetables

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Cap Cay Mimpi – stir fry vegetables21-Aug-2011 05:01, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

Nasi goreng - Fried rice

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Nasi goreng – Fried rice21-Aug-2011 05:07, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

 
Kari Ayam - Chicken coconut curry and rice

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Kari Ayam – Chicken coconut curry and rice21-Aug-2011 05:12, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.9, 8.8mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 400

Yummy chocolate ice cream!

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Yummy chocolate ice cream!21-Aug-2011 05:32, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 320

Heard some music at a local temple on the way back and wanted to check it out...

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Heard some music at a local temple on the way back and wanted to check it out…

 
Maybe used for ceremonies of sorts...

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Maybe used for ceremonies of sorts…21-Aug-2011 06:19, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

Offerings at the entrance and a cool door (sort of can see it...)

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Offerings at the entrance and a cool door (sort of can see it…)

 

A good day! 😀

Aug 202011
 

Time is going so quickly now. It’s another Friday in Bali and just a few more days left before we leave…. We just relaxed most of the day and then went in for some pampering.

R did some ear candling to take the wax out of his ear. It was weird to see it happening!

Ear candling

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Ear candling20-Aug-2011 02:51, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 200

 

I got my mani-pedi done with a bright color to remind myself I am still on holiday for a bit longer!

new color!

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new color!20-Aug-2011 04:05, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 200

 

Afterward, we headed to our fav Aussie locale, Sheppy’s, for drinks and dinner. Dinner didn’t hold up as much as other items on the menu, but the ciders can’t be beat!

Beef burritos at Sheppy's - not as great as they looked, but tasty enough

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Beef burritos at Sheppy's – not as great as they looked, but tasty enough20-Aug-2011 05:07, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

 
For my friend, Nick who is from Sydney

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For my friend, Nick who is from Sydney20-Aug-2011 05:32, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.4, 15.06mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 320

 

And, another weekend begins!

R taking on the stuffed ... what is it?

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R taking on the stuffed … what is it?20-Aug-2011 05:56, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

 
Aug 192011
 

Today was Marine Water Sports Day! It was a blast!!

We had transport pick us up at 11am and then it was a 40-minute drive to the Nusa Dua area. Originally, we had considered staying at a resort in this area and then getting a scooter to visit the main beaches here in Bali. However, it seemed like it would be too far and boy was that estimate right. Not only is it way too much traffic for a scooter, it is also pretty far. Plus, all the Asian peeps seem to stay in the Nusa Dua area since that is where the nicer resorts are located. There was one main street, which seemed nice, but for the amount of time we spent here, we would have gone stir crazy!

In any case, we had a ton of fun with the water sports.

First up – Banana boat ride:

Banana boat time!

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Banana boat time!18-Aug-2011 21:23, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

Our banana boat guide

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Our banana boat guide18-Aug-2011 21:23, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 80

 
Bust-A-Moves holdin' on!

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Bust-A-Moves holdin' on!18-Aug-2011 21:27, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

 
Post banana boat ride

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Post banana boat ride

 

Next – Jet skiing:

Jet ski!

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Jet ski!18-Aug-2011 22:00, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 13.0, 6.83mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 80

 

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18-Aug-2011 22:00, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 13.0, 6.45mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 80

 

(Sorry no pics or videos of the actual riding…)

Last – Parasailing:

Up up and away!

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Up up and away!

 

Here are some other pics from the day:

Signboard for a dentist...

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Signboard for a dentist…18-Aug-2011 20:18, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80

Water sports day!

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Water sports day!18-Aug-2011 21:18, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

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18-Aug-2011 21:22, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 16.0, 11.43mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 80

 
Waitin' to parasail...

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Waitin' to parasail…18-Aug-2011 22:05, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

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18-Aug-2011 22:06, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 80

 

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18-Aug-2011 22:08, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

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18-Aug-2011 22:16, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80

Crazy statue at another big roundabout on the way home from water sports day!

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Crazy statue at another big roundabout on the way home from water sports day!18-Aug-2011 22:55, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 100

 

After all the fun, we returned to our favorite local food restaurant for more tasty grubbin’ and then took a night ride around.

Back to Kedai Tiga for dinner!

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Back to Kedai Tiga for dinner!19-Aug-2011 05:11, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

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19-Aug-2011 05:11, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 320

 

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19-Aug-2011 05:11, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 320

Even scooters have bad bumper stickers...

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Even scooters have bad bumper stickers…19-Aug-2011 05:56, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 400

 
Part of our route every night when we head home...this is the liveliest section....

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Part of our route every night when we head home…this is the liveliest section….

 

All in all a very nice day!

Ready for some fun!

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Ready for some fun!18-Aug-2011 21:21, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 11.0, 5.0mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 80

 
Aug 182011
 

Another day for the beach! It was pretty toasty out so we didn’t stay too long, but had some fun swimming in the waves. I wasn’t quite as brave as R in diving into the waves since they were pretty big and scary to me. However, it would have been a lot of fun to try surfing or just boogie-boarding. 🙂

Just a few pics for today –

Swimming in the oceanSwimming in the ocean

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Swimming in the ocean17-Aug-2011 23:38, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 18.0, 25.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125

 

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17-Aug-2011 23:38, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 18.0, 25.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125

 

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17-Aug-2011 23:44, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 18.0, 25.0mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125

 
Aug 172011
 

Wow, a full two weeks of being in Bali has already passed. Just another week before it is a return to reality… 🙁 Let’s not think about that!

We wanted to try out rafting in Bali since we had such a fun time in Oregon last summer. When we first arrived, we talked to a guy about two different locations for the rafting. He explained that one was close-by but with class 1 and 2 size rapids and a very small river.  He said we wanted to go to the one that was a bit further away, but a much better rafting experience. We waited to book and decided to book online, but didn’t check which trip we were booked on.

The day started out with grey skies, which should have been a clue as to how things would go…. It was an early rise for us – up at 8.30 and in the lobby by 9….

We took about an hour car-ride into the countryside and ended up at Bakas Elephant Tour company. There was rain when we first got there, but it had stopped by the time we had donned our lifejackets, helmets and paddle ready to go!

You can see from the pics that the river was quite narrow and the rapids were fun, but little. We were in basically a two person raft with two “guides” who were basically amateurs. I think I probably had as much or even more experience in a rafting boat as them…. One guy was a bit too “guidey” in his splashing, ooohing and aaahing, etc. R didn’t like it at all and I just smiled it off knowing that it was part of the experience although annoying.

Despite the cloudy day and lame guides, we had some fun. However, if you want a better experience than ours, confirm to which river you are going!

People getting elephant rides

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People getting elephant rides16-Aug-2011 19:25, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250

We're going rafting!

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We're going rafting!16-Aug-2011 19:26, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250

Behinds...

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Behinds…16-Aug-2011 19:28, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250

 
Peeyuuu - stinky!

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Peeyuuu – stinky!16-Aug-2011 19:28, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.4, 15.06mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 400

A 25-year-old baby

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A 25-year-old baby16-Aug-2011 19:29, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 5.9, 14.0mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 320

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16-Aug-2011 19:30, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.6, 6.83mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 800

 

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16-Aug-2011 19:31, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125

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16-Aug-2011 19:33, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800

On our way!

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On our way!16-Aug-2011 19:33, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800

 

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16-Aug-2011 19:33, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.9, 8.8mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 800

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16-Aug-2011 19:37, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200

The first couple of drops...seem worse than they are...

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The first couple of drops…seem worse than they are…16-Aug-2011 19:38, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.9, 8.25mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 800

 

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16-Aug-2011 19:38, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.9, 8.25mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 640

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16-Aug-2011 19:46, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800

Our weird guides...the guy on the right - not so great with his love of splashing...

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Our weird guides…the guy on the right – not so great with his love of splashing…16-Aug-2011 19:46, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320

 
The river was very narrow...and a short drop

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The river was very narrow…and a short drop

What the drops look like

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What the drops look like16-Aug-2011 19:53, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125

Tons of birds out...

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Tons of birds out…16-Aug-2011 19:58, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.6, 16.1mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80

 

After recovering in the afternoon, we didn’t want to go too far for dinner and decided to try out the pizza joint nearby the hotel. It was tasty!

Making the crust

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Making the crust17-Aug-2011 05:05, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 4.8, 17.22mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

Brick oven pizza! Right next to our hotel...

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Brick oven pizza! Right next to our hotel…17-Aug-2011 05:05, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 200

 
4 Formaggi - YUM!

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4 Formaggi – YUM!17-Aug-2011 05:12, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 200

Beef and mushroom - YUM YUM!

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Beef and mushroom – YUM YUM!17-Aug-2011 05:17, OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. TG-610 , 3.9, 5.0mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 250

 

That’s the adventure for the day! 😀