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Indonesia

Welcome to Bali

Ayodya Resort Bali


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Monday we spent the morning in Singapore, but it rained all day before our flight to Bali in the afternoon. The clouds were black, and you couldn't even see across the bay to the rest of the city! We took a few pictures from the top of the Skypark, but the pool was above the clouds so you can't see anything at all.

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We had a flight in the afternoon to Bali, Indonesia where we checked into the Ayodya Resort. By the time we got there it was already past dark, as the flight is about 3 hours long, so we grabbed some dinner and wandered around before crashing for the night.

The lobby of our resort was amazing, but it was so big it was hard to capture in just one picture. It had high ceilings and was all open air on the sides. There were statues all around the grounds, with a huge one in the center of the lobby. There were pillars up to the ceiling with lights on every single one. We walked down to the beach but couldn't see much in the dark.

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Tuesday we spent all day at the Resort, on the beach, and by the pool. The sun was shining all day with no clouds in the sky, and it was wicked hot. We spent a lot of time in the water, which was about 80 or 85 degrees, and the waves were pretty big making it more fun. The beach itself was amazing, it went on forever in both directions. There were ladies selling beach dresses, tshirts, and wraps walking up and down the beach to the different resorts.

We walked along the beach to some of the other resorts and found a water slide at one, and of course I had to go down it! Some of the resorts had shopping areas that we walked through, but were very expensive, and some had multiple pools surrounded by gardens that were beautiful.

This area of resorts was considered protected and safe, as there were guards to get into any of the hotels, but once you ventured out into the rest of the island (or even just too far down the beach) the guards disappeared.

At the end of the beach there is a point of rocks out into the ocean where the waves crashed and then splashed high into the air. We walked down and tried to get some pictures but had to turn back before making it all the way out to the end. The next day my parents both made it out to the point, when the waves were much bigger, and got some pictures of the water shooting up. It was absolutely amazing, and I had never seen anything like it. The cliffs themselves were about 60 feet high, and the water was shooting was above them everytime a wave came in.

Posted by Cassi 00:42 Archived in Indonesia

Ayodya Resort

Pool, Lagoon and Lizards


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At our resort, there was a huge and beautiful swimming pool. It stretched towards the beach, had an end set up for water basketball, and had a restaurant right next to it. When we got tired of the beach we went to the pool because there were more umbrellas and shady spots. The sun was to much to handle all day, so we had to take some breaks from the ocean front view.

Besides the pool, there was also a lagoon at the resort, which you could not swim in. It was beautiful, was surrounded by flowers and had Balinese temple-like restaurant in the middle. It was filled with fish, birds sat on the rocks, and the best part was there were monitor lizards swimming around in it!

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Posted by Cassi 18:50 Archived in Indonesia

Tour of Bali

Volcanoes and Temples


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Thursday we took a tour of Bali, leaving our resort and heading to the northern part of the island. Our Resort was located on the southern peninsula below Denpasar and Kuta, on the east coast. The Island of Bali has many active volcanoes, similar to the rest of Indonesia, which are all located in the north. In the middle of the Island is the town of Ubud, famous for its Art and hand made crafts. This is the town in the book/movie "Eat Pray Love" where she spends her last portion of the trip. To give an idea of the island, here is a map showing many of the places we visited:

We started our morning driving up to Ubud, in central Bali. Here we visited the Monkey Forest, an area filled with wild monkeys and old temples in the jungle. We got to walk through, pet the monkeys and my mom even had two of them jump on her unexpectedly! She had one hanging off her arm when another one flew from the roof of the temple onto the top of her head. I found a tiny one and let it climb all over me, it even tried to pull on my earrings!

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We stopped at a small agriculture farm, where the had amazing coffee and tea flavors from around Bali. They showed us the process of making coffee, including Luwak coffee. We had never heard of Luwak coffee, but apparently is it the most expensive coffee in the world and is made in Indonesia. We stuck to the regular coffee flavors including Ginseng Coffee and Tea, Lemon Tea and Hot Cocoa.

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Next on our tour was the Volcanoes in the North! I have never seen a volcano in person before, so they was really interesting. We ate lunch at a restaurant overlooking the cooled lava flow from the last eruption at Agung Batur volcano. Next to the volcano is a beautiful lake, and in the distance was more volcanoes! We saw several temples, including the biggest temple in Bali called the Basakih Temple. It is located right at the base of the largest Volcano on the island, Agung Volcano (in the Northeast). The temple is for both Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Although Indonesia has the highest population of Muslims in the world, with about 85% of the population practicing, Bali has their own type of Balinese Hinduism that is widely practiced throughout the island. The temples are unlike anything else I've seen in the world, they are truly amazing.

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Posted by Cassi 00:19 Archived in Indonesia

Climbing aboard a Shipwreck

An abandoned ship in the Indian Ocean


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Friday we spent most of the day at the beach, just relaxing and swimming in the ocean. Straight out from our resort was crystal clear water and a coral reef with beautiful fish. After getting goggles we swam out and saw a ton of fish, of all different colors. The currents around Bali are very strong, so we had to start at one end of the reef and drift down to the other before swimming back to shore and starting again.

Down the beach to the left, out in the water about 150m was a huge ship that had gotten stuck on the reef. There was a very low tide around noon, so people from all the resorts were walking out through the water to the ship. When we got out there, there was a rope ladder leading up the ship so we climbed up. From one side, the ship had a beautiful view of our resort and beach, and from the other side there were perfect view out into the ocean. There were some surfers out past the ship that we watched, and the waves were hitting the ship and splashing up onto the deck.

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On the walk from the beach to the ship, there was rocks and coral all around. Within the coral areas there were little sea stars swimming in the water, as well as some type of eel or sea snake thing. Because the tide was so low it was like a tidal pool for the creatures to swim in.

We also played some more ping pong, which I dominated in, and got some lunch by the pool. Everyday we fed the fish in the lagoon, which brought over birds and the monitor lizards, so we spent some time watching them swim around too. Vacations are meant for relaxing, and Friday was definitely a relaxing day. I fell asleep on my beach chair, woke up occasionally to swim in the ocean and flip over to avoid sunburns, but otherwise we really did nothing. It was perfect.

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Posted by Cassi 13:04 Archived in Indonesia

Nights in Bali

Restaurants and Shopping


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We spent most of our nights in Bali shopping and wandering around the tourist areas. There were a million places to grab food, a million little souvenir shops and plenty of other tourists walking around. All of the restaurants and shops overflowed into the streets with music playing, and some even had live bands. Balinese singers doing covers of Lady Gaga was one of the highlights of the trip, as they were both the worst and funniest songs I have ever heard. The same guy sang a cover of Shakira's Waka Waka, which was also terrible yet hilarious.

When walking around all the shops I really wanted to find a painting for my room at home. Bali is famous for its artwork, tapestries and wood crafts so I thought this would be the perfect place to look. However, every shop had beautiful pictures of the Bali landscape so I was torn between a few different paintings! Bali has such a diverse setting, between the beautiful beaches, the rice terraces, then temples and the volcanoes, that I was unable to decide which of those I wanted to have a painting of. So in the end, I just had to get more than one to cover everything Bali had to offer! Also, I got a beautiful carved frame for one of the pictures, which I fell in love with the second I saw it.

Thankfully my parents were able to carry the two pictures home for me, otherwise I would have zero room when moving out for my other souvenirs.

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Posted by Cassi 23:20 Archived in Indonesia

Sunrise and Surfing

Over the waves of Bali


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Our last day in Bali we woke up at 5:45 to watch the sunrise over the ocean. Despite our concerns with the clouds covering the sky when we woke up, they parted just over the horizon giving spectacular colors out over the water.

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After the sunrise, I had an 8am surfing lesson. Although my parents had serious doubts on my surfing ability, I can let you all know that I am in fact amazing. I stood up on just my second wave! Granted my instructor did almost everything for me: told me which wave to take, taught me how to stand up and balance on the board, and even helped me get back out past where the waves were breaking each time, I'm pretty sure you would all be impressed with my ability to surf. I hope to try it again some day, and see how well I can do on my own.

Posted by Cassi 22:24 Archived in Indonesia

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