Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beach Heaven in Kuta & Padang Bai

Good morning from Gili Meno

Hoping that everyone is safe and dry after the crazy weather that has hit the eastern part of the US.  We've been trying to stay on top of the news from here and are keeping everyone in our thoughts.


Here is what we've been up to....

After one last breakfast at Yoghurt House, we left Sagada behind and backtracked through the Philippines to the airport and on towards Indonesia.  We had a layover in Malaysia’s capital city where I indulged in some of my favorite US guilty pleasures, joyous to have found them in Asia.  

Judge if you must, but celebrity gossip mags and American candy were hard to come by in Korea.  Every time I see them readily available in other Asian countries I ask myself, WHY not Korea?!

One flight later we arrived in Bali.  Tired from a full day of travel we found a decent guesthouse in nearby Kuta and slept like babies.  We didn’t spend long in the city itself, mostly known for its surf and party scene, but handled some business and took our little computer to get repaired.  We dodged the offers for cheap souvenirs, transport and “magic mushrooms” at every corner.  Despite that annoyance, the large Hindu population made for great veggie meals and beautiful daily offerings lining the narrow streets.  
{Vegetarian Nasi Campur and Peanut Satay}

A monument in Kuta’s main square remembered victims of the devastating  terrorist bombing of October 2002.

The next evening we found Jimbaran, a nearby beach with a fresh seafood market.  We selected a red snapper and prawns and had them grilled to order at a small barbecue joint next door.  The sun set over the beautiful ocean as we enjoyed our delicious (and cheap!) meal.

The next morning we took an early bus for Padang Bai, a far quieter beach town on the southeast coast of the islands.   

Our guesthouse was just a block from the ocean.  Its large veranda was the perfect space for daily breakfasts of fruit salad and jaffles or banana pancakes along with strong Bali coffee.

The relaxed manner of locals and almost non-existent salespeople were a welcome change from the bustling Kuta we'd left behind.  We spent the next two days walking the town, snorkeling in the clear blue ocean, getting beachside massages and generally relaxing after being on the go in the Philippines. 
Ryan spent a morning diving in nearby Tulamben where a sunken warship provides an awesome backdrop for large tuna, barracuda, grouper and eels that resemble grass.  
 Women carried the scuba tanks from vans down to the beach.
{Isn't he a handsome diver?}

The weather was amazing, the people were friendly, and the food was great.   
We immediately fell in love with Bali.   

And it kept getting better :)

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