Daily offerings given to family shrines each morning in Bali.
Picture it: Warm air, good surf, romantic thatched-roofed bungalows and lush, green rice fields that go on forever. Let’s be honest: isn’t it every girl’s dream to one day go to Bali?
So here is my account of a dream-come-true. Due to work constraints, we only had three days to travel around the island, but I was determined to use every minute of each day. With nothing more than Morgan’s need to leave and re-enter Thailand in order to get another 30-day visa stamp and a borrowed Lonely Planet guide in my backpack, we hopped on a flight to Bali.
We rented a motorbike, got a map of Ubud and embarked on a self-guided tour.
Cruising around the farming communities in Ubud.
As you do everywhere in Asia, we checked out the local market. This was the first outdoor market I'd been to that was two stories tall!
Bali is famous for is its traditional dancing, so Morgan and I went to see a Kecak dance group. Through their dance, they performed the famous Hindu story of Rama and Sita.
Up bright and early on the second day to see farmers working in their rice fields. Probably one of the ultimate treats as a tourist in Bali.
The grand entrance to one of Bali's royal temples.
Next on our day's agenda? Trying Balinese coffee! We went to a coffee plantation and sampled Balinese black coffee, ginseng coffee, pure cacao and the world-famous kopi luwak. Morgan is holding a clump of post-digestion coffee beans.
Temple on the lake.
Fed monkeys in the mountain region of Munduk.
We finished off the day with a visit to hot springs just outside the coastal town of Lovina. Rejuvenation!
Our last full day in Bali started at 2:30 am when we woke to trek up Mount Batur, one of several volcanoes in Bali. Morgan and our tour guide were all smiles as they trekked over the bits of volcanic rock that constituted the path upward.
Taken at about 5:30 am from the top of Mt. Batur.
THE CRATER. It was an adrenalin rush, but also freezing!
The final few meters of our trek.
And what day in Bali would be complete without a coffee break? Tasting the organic, locally grown vanilla in the vanilla coffee redefined 'vanilla' for me.