We woke on Sunday to the sun streaming in through the balcony door, wind rustling the bed canopy above us.
Excited to start the day but eager, also, to stay in bed and look out at the ocean, we compromised – stopping first for breakfast across the grass at De Sapphire and then curling up in our gazebo to take in the view.
The hotel provided a scooter to us for the day so we spent a bit of the morning getting situated on that before heading off.
Everyone in Bali rides scooters/mopeds/motorcycles. Locals and foreigners alike fill the streets weaving in and out of traffic as they make their way from one side of the island to the next. It is the easiest way to get around and it’s extremely convenient that you can just park them anywhere. Before going to Bali, we had read that it is technically illegal to ride the scooters if you do not have an international driving license but were told that everyone rides them anyways and to just avoid asking policemen for directions as they could stop and ask for your credentials. We were on the fence about renting bikes but when we saw that the hotel just had them for any guests to take out willy nilly, we figured it had to be ok!
We opted for sharing a bike with TT as the driver instead of trusting both of us with our own vehicles. Despite a few minor mishaps, TT did an amazing job ferrying us around during our stay. Having never been on a motorcycle before, I was considerably uncomfortable at the beginning with quite a tight grip around TT’s waist. By the end of the 5 days, I was relaxed, looking up directions with one hand while holding a bit of TT’s shirt in the other – a true backseat Bali babe! #amirite
Also known for its healthful yoga-esque, fresh fruit juice outlook on life, Bali offers a slew of restaurants to get your healthy fix. We rode the bike to Nalu Bowls for our first acai bowls of the trip.
The Uluwatu bowl – smooth dragon fruit blend topped with strawberries, mango, coconut flakes, and honey and the Maverick’s bowl – acai berry blend, granola, bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes, and honey.
Nalu Bowls was the cutest little al fresco cafe. People lounged on porch swings or tucked in on white Moroccan poufs. It was bright, it was sunny, and it looked absolutely Pinterest perfect. The bowls were fantastic also – fresh, filling, and refreshing!
We decided to take advantage of our day on the motorbike and venture off to find an abandoned airplane. The airplane was really hidden and we ended up off-roading a bit, which was equal parts exciting and alarming, before coming upon it on the side of the road.
Apparently, they had hoped to turn this airplane into a restaurant before plans were scrapped and it ended up just sitting here, collecting dust and Instagram tags.
I’d say the journey was worth it!
On our way back we stopped at Padang Padang beach for a bit of sun and to watch a pretty intense surfing competition. The beach was crowded but pretty. The water was warm but very rocky and we stumbled around finding sandy parts and trying not to get knocked over by the waves.
With a full morning of scooter practice, TT was basically a pro and led us next to Uluwatu Temple. Sitting high on the cliff face overlooking the ocean, Pura Uluwatu (Pura is the Balinese word for tempe) was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as Rudra.
The temple draws huge numbers of tourists for three reasons.
The temple structure itself is magnificent, built almost into the rock face with a vertical drop into the churning ocean below.
The Kecak dance, a traditional form of Balinese dance and music drama that depicts scenes from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, is performed every night at 6pm against an incredible sunset.
The entire temple area is infested with monkeys who are notorious for stealing belongings. You are warned upon entering to keep your sunglasses and purses close. We watched a monkey jump down and pluck a man’s sunglasses right off of his head! The man got pretty annoyed and was trying to get them back while still being wary of the aggressive monkey. Eventually a worker threw a banana at the monkey to bribe it to drop the sunglasses. It worked!
We joined the waves of tourists in exploring the temple grounds and avoiding the monkeys who were extremely aggressive and kind of scary! One jumped onto my back and ripped my dress and sarong!
The Kecak dance was interesting although also very crowded. The dancers are masters of their craft and leapt through fire, chanting the entire time. I found it a bit hard to follow along as there were no obvious breaks in the narrative for us to find our places on the summary sheet – but still cool!
After dropping off our scooter with the hotel, we walked next door to check out Ulu Cliffhouse which was absolutely gorgeous but completely dead. We headed instead to Single Fin Bar which was BUMPIN’. Apparently, Single Fin is a big surfer hangout and everyone from the competition seemed to be there dancing and drinking and mingling. It was packed and a super fun night’s end to an incredibly packed day.
We fell into our canopied bed exhausted and fell asleep to the sound of the wind in the trees and unidentifiable animal noises from the Balinese critters outside.