Arriving in Denpasar Bali the first thing we noticed was the humidity. It might not be much warmer than Australia but it sure felt like it. We were picked up in the airport by Nicktours and driven to our hotel to spend the first day in Sanur and then on to Ubud for another 3 days.
On the way to Ubud we were supposed to visit 2 temples, rice-terraces and a coffee plantation. We started out driving 1,5 hours to the temple by the water. A beautiful place but also very touristy and you could hardly move 5 meters without bumping into someone else. But pretty nevertheless…
Second stop was the rice-terraces another 1,5 drive away. It was interesting to see them up-close but to be honest we also felt a bit stupid having driven for so long to see something that is right next to pretty much every road in Bali.
The roads in Bali are pretty narrow and winding and you rarely go more than 40 kilometers per hour. After more than 3 hours of driving and two tired boys we decided we wanted to go directly from the rice-terraces to Ubud and skip the temple and coffee-plantation.
Arriving at our hotel just outside Ubud was a strange experience. First we drove onto a VERY bumpy side-road and then suddenly we came to a very posh and brand new hotel (spending so much money on the hotel you would expect them to find the last hundred dollars to fill the bumps in a gravel road).
Anyway the hotel (Radha Phala Resort and Spa ) was very nice and almost too luxurious for hour taste. House cleaning twice a day really is not necessary and about 3 times more staff than needed seemed a bit too much.
The next day we went to the center of Ubud to visit the Monkey Forrest, the old market and to book a tour for the next day. The Monkey Forrest was beautiful but the Monkeys we a bit too curious as they would constantly jump on your backpack and try to open the zippers and anyone with a banana (you could buy them inside to feed the monkeys) was sure to be “attacked”.
After an ice-cream we found the old Market where the boys each bought a kite (Kites are huge in Bali and grown men will spend hours building and flying them). We also booked rafting and a tour to the Holy Spring Temple the next day.
Rafting and Holy Spring Temple
It was not easy to convince them to let Vitus go rafting (he is 4 and usually they don’t let anyone under 6 go) but since he is a tall boy they finally agreed. Rafting on the Ayung river turned out to be one of the best tours we have ever done with just the right amount of action, beautiful rainforrests and an experienced guide he took us safely down the river.
Walking down to the river was a beautiful:
Though it did require getting down around 300 steep steps
The rafting was just right for a family tour with kids.
Beautiful Rock carvings were right next to the river:
Lunch was included and after a warm shower we went to the Holy Spring Temple. You have to wear a Sarong to get in and you can bathe in the water to cleanse yourself. You cannot use the Sarongs you get at the entrance to bathe and since a Sarong is also mandatory to get in the water you need to bring you own if you want to do that. We opted out as we also felt that using a ritual as a tourist attraction would be disrespecting the Hindus that travel there to perform the ceremony.
Food poisoning put us out for a few days and postponed our trip to Gili Islands
We had dinner in Ubud and that turned out to be a bad idea. Line and Jesper started throwing up late in the evening and Vitus followed the next day. Vitus got so dehydrated that he needed to visit the hospital and Noah followed 2 days after (though he could do with a short visit to the doctor to get some antibiotics).
We were supposed to meet up with Jesper’s dad Niels (who is visiting us for 12 days in Bali) on the ferry to Gili Islands on the morning of the 26th. But as the doctor would not let us travel to a small Island with few medical facilities he came to Ubud instead.
The boys were ecstatic to see their granddad and naturally had to argue constantly about who’s turn it was to hold his hand when walking, sit next to him at the table and so on.
At that point we thought we would leave for Gili on the 28th but when Noah also got sick we ended up leaving on the 29th instead.
It was not the most exiting days but before Noah got sick he managed to go rafting with his Granddad and they had a great trip together. We also visited a wood carving factory, another temple and a waterfall close by.
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