Monday, August 25, 2014

Bali, Sanur - June 2014.

Annika and I were fortunate enough to be able to go away to Bali ....on our own......with no kids.... for a much needed rest recently!!  I will the first to admit that the rest was more for Annika than myself. I get to rest at work most of you know! My real job is at home...and its much tougher as well! haha

We had 6 nights on the beautiful Indonesian island, this time staying on the East coast in a beach side town called Sanur.
We must have caught the in-between seasons because it wasn't too hot or too busy. Perfect!
I usually struggle in the thick, humid air of Bali but this time with the sea breeze taking the edge off it was great! The locals had nothing to fear this time! haha

Another stroke of luck was the hotel. You never quite know whats its going to be like in the flesh. They always make the places look nice online. This one was pretty new though and the reviews were positive.
It was amazing. For  roughly $100 a night inc. breakfast I would say we would be hard pushed to find better value for money anywhere in the world! A typical Balinese style hotel, friendly and attentive staff, good food,  clean, large rooms. I was blown away!

Our room front door. 

Sudamala Hotel at night

One thing they are masters at in Bali is making you feel relaxed. From the moment you arrive the aromas of smouldering herbs from the numerous religious gestures placed everywhere together with the warm tropical air and the ubiquitous charcoal grills wafting 'satay' flavoured smoke through the air really put you at ease instantly. They also make you very hungry ...and thirsty!

The local food is amazing...if it wasn't for the rude amounts of garlic in many dishes I think it would be higher up on my list of favourite cuisines! But a bit of crafty garlic dodging and I survived....a few close encounters though! The locally caught Tuna is always a winner - my mercury levels must have spiked that week! haha

The booze is ok. The local brew is called Bintang and you can get a long neck for about $3 or $4. You have to be quick though  they don't stay cold for long! haha

Cocktails are everywhere and there is always some 'watering hole' offering 2 for 1 deals. Just have to stay away from the locally made firewater Arak!  There are many 'moonshiners' on the Island so quality control is slack to say the least. There have been a few casualties - mostly from Oz!
Its made from rice and palm flowers - which sounds quite nice...but it can be lethal!

One of our favourite places to Ubud , further inland. Great decor and even better food...and cheap!

The Balinese people are so warm and friendly. They really appreciate the tourists as the industry obviously brings them a lot of business and keep everything ticking along nicely. No one is rude, the service is great everywhere. They are polite, mild mannered folk. As is the way of the world...most people who have very little give a lot .. and that's one of the many charms of the island.

Its a world away from Perth - so so different yet only 3 and a half hours away. Its also cheaper to fly and stay in Bali for a week than go up to a resort in the same state here in WA for just a weekend! haha...nuts!

For the week we were there we did very little... a lot of low key activities....mainly eating and drinking....making our way through a list of restaurants and trying out the local delicacies such as Nasi Goreng , Nasi Campur, Chicken Satay, Seared Tuna and many many more - all usually served with a spicy tangy sambal. So tasty!

A typical snack cart ..

Balinese fishing boat 

Lush green gardens...everywhere!

A Typical Balinese Snack Shack.....this one held up with 3 rocks and some bamboo! 

There are some really cool bars in Bali - chilled , open air type joints.....perfect for a couple of cold ones. One bar,  called The Bamboo Bar had only opened the week before we arrived. An impressive place! I spent a few hours there during the week while Annika was being massaged, rolled and refreshed..... nice.

Bamboo Bar

Traditional Hindu offering...with burning incense and flowers everywhere you go. 

Fishing is a big deal in Bali and even more so in Sanur.....fresh Tuna every day - yum!

We will definitely be going back anyway - we love it there. If the touristy areas are avoided and you choose the right time of year it really is the kind of place that soothes and replenishes. Highly recommended!

I'll leave you with a few photos of Annika and I ...of which there are not too many :)

The top 3 are at our hotel on our last night.

Catch you soon all!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vague news and a few pics of the monkeys!

Hello there possums!
Its been a while...again. Jeez, I am a lazy so and so! feels like yesterday I was updating this blog. It turns out its been months since I even logged on...funny that!

Anyway, enough of all that.

I am just going to upload some recent photos of the kids ...who are all healthy and happy. We have had a decent run through winter ..only a few trips to the Doc and a few colds ...pretty good really.

Actually winter seemed to be pretty short and mild this year and now spring is in the air I really have to try not to take this climate for granted and make the most of it.
With some of the clan scattered around the globe putting up with more temperate climates I should really count myself very lucky indeed....and I do!

We've had a few trips down to the farm the last few months. Its a nice place to be , and in many ways, more-so  in the winter months. The in-laws , Geoff and Gail , have made it a very cozy and welcoming environment and the smell ( and feel) of a burning wood fire is comforting.

The kids absolutely love it down there and are always up to something outdoors , whether it be taking the ride-on mower for a spin, messing about in the gardens or climbing on the tractor ...they are all in their element!

It kind of makes us want to get a piece of land and do the same on a smaller scale.....maybe a few years down the track anyway.

But, it cant be too far from the ocean! I need to be close to her! Must be an Islander thing!

In Scarborough where we are at the moment, we are lucky enough to get the sea breeze roll in pretty much every afternoon during the spring and summer months. More often referred to as 'The Fremantle Doctor'...its been taking the edge off the searing heat ever since these shores were populated.

Anyway, I was going to post some photos!

First, a couple of recent video clips..

This one was with Zoe and her blueberries....a little game of now you see them , now you dont!

And this one of from our recent trip to the farm - Alex had gone down the previous couple of days to 'help' Gramps at the cattle auction. Needless to say , Alex loved it!

OK , some photos!

I took these at a local park in the school Alex will be going to next year - 300m up the road.
I don't use this lens much but its quickly becoming my favourite even though its long at 150mm equivalent!
At least I can keep my distance and snap away :)

And a few from the farm a few weeks ago..

And finally , a nice one of my beautiful Zo zo! :)

Well, until the next time!