When we returned to Bali from Nusa Lembongan, it was the days leading up to Galungan Festival Holiday. The streets were all decorated with lovely bamboo poles, ceremonies going on, pigs being slaughtered by the side of the road (true story….) and general excitement for the locals. A lovely drive up to Ubud.
We were thrilled again with our Hotel, D’Omah in Penastanan. What a gorgeous place. We got a very warm welcome and felt immediately at home. The gardens are just beautiful, with a huge pool in the main area. We had one of the Verandah Suites, and had another pool just outside our room. Actually we ended up having it to ourselves for the first 2 days as the rooms adjacent were unoccupied. A real treat. Room was very nice, and we had a lovely verandah with table and chairs, kitchenette, and a huge day bed at the front. Inside the room was very spacious, with a big comfy bed and lovely semi-outdoor bathroom. We booked this place through Bali Friendly and got a great rate ( I think it was US$70 per night, but don’t quote me!) with breakfast included. I have used them for several bookings over the years and they have great savings, especially on Spa Packages in the upmarket spas, but they also offer some great deals on accommodation.
First night we just wandered outside the Hotel grounds to The Round Bar, which is part of D’Omah. Happy hour cocktails (just 1 mojito for me….) and great pizza. Quite a funky place, and obviously a fave of the hip expat crowd. Kids were tired so we went back to the room, watched a movie and had an early night in preparation of a big day at the Elephant Safari Park.
Next morning we were up early and had a quick swim before breakfast. Let me just say that this Hotel has my favourite all time brekkie in Bali……oh my goodness. Looking at the menu, it looked pretty average, choice of Nasi/Mie Goreng, Pancakes, Eggs etc….but when they came out, they were to die for! Best Mie Goreng ever, fantastic strawberry pancakes, fresh home baked bread with home made local jams, freshly baked pastries. We devoured what was included then ordered more (very cheap) and just thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the lovely restaurant overlooking the beautiful gardens. Even the kids were taken with the ambience of the place.
Our transfers arrived to take us to the Elephant Park. We had a wonderful day with these amazing creatures. So impressed with the whole operation, I guess I was expecting to have a ride on an elephant, maybe pat one or two, and that would be it. Did not expect to have so many elephants around to look at, feed, pat and just be around. Our Mahoot was so personable, having jokes and chatting all the way on our ride, telling us all about our elephant and the Park. I was very surprised that we had full access to the baby elephant, and got some amazing photos. So worth the money, I think from memory we paid about AUD$180 but will definitely go again. The elephants are rescued from the Timber industry and all seemed to be in good condition and happy. The lunch was very nice also, a buffet with lots of choices. We spent about 4 hours at the Park.
For the next couple of days we wandered around Ubud. On Galungan Day we went to the local Temple and watched some of the Ceremony, which was interesting. It was just nice to walk around and see all the locals dressed in their Sunday Best, enjoying time with their families. I would love to have some child free time shopping in Ubud, but will leave that for next trip! Did a gorgeous walk through the rice fields to Pomegranate Restaurant, which was another highlight. I could just wander along those paths all day (kids did not agree), so picturesque and peaceful. Great food at Pomegranate. It would be a lovely spot for sunset (but take a torch for the trip back).
We all loved our time in Ubud. We tend to stick to the Coastal areas, but will definitely visit again next trip. Lots of restaurants I would love to try, and so many things to do that we didn’t have the time or energy for.
Next we had a quick 2 nights back in Sanur before going home. Stayed at Raven’s Nest, the Villa of our friend BloodyRon, who is the Unofficial Cultural Attache to Sanur. Ron came to meet us at the Villa and we had a quick catch up and promises of a cold beverage the following day. We just spent our time doing a bit of last minute shopping, swimming, having laundry done (so I can smell Bali when we get home) and just relaxing. Getting very good at this relaxing caper by now. Got our lovely Nanny, Lena to come and look after the kids while I went for a last afternoon out in Bali. Massage, Mie Goreng at Warung Coconut Tree, and finally met up with Ron and his entourage for a couple of drinks. Then it was out to dinner with the kids and Lena, and a quick nap and packing for our ridiculous 1am flight home. Another great trip over. Now I am back at work, dreaming of Nannies and Pembantus who miraculously appear with clean washing. Until next time Beautiful Bali…..