Indonesia instantly became an incredibly special place to me. I met my best friend in Bali who had flown from Canada to join me for the second half of my trip. We were both so excited for this adventure and to discover all that Bali had to offer. From the airport we headed to Uluwatu, our first stop on the island. We arrived at SR Hostel exhausted and eager to start exploring the next morning.
The hostel was cheap and great! It had all of the basics, a small swimming pool, amazing staff and included free supper. As the allergy queen that I am, I was thrilled that they offered to cook me a special dinner every night free from gluten and dairy. While my friend Carlena sampled Balinese cuisine, I usually had some chicken, veggies and rice and I could not have been more grateful. Food had proved to be quite difficult in Hong Kong but I was grateful to find a few more options in Bali. Plus, the hostel has events most evenings even when the hostel is quite empty. One night we went to a beach club in Uluwatu and another night we played a beer pong tourney at the hostel (which we won!). Despite it being the off season while we were there, we still met lots of cool people during the communal free supper every night.
Both Carlena and I were pumped to catch some Balinese waves. Our first mission was to rent some boards and hit the swells. We booked a surfing lesson through our hostel and the company provided transportation to and from the beach for us. We surfed at Dreamland beach and our instructor joined us in the water. I was so proud that I caught some waves in both Bali and Australia. The water was so hot in Bali, you’d be out there working up a sweat so much that it wasn’t even refreshing, but that didn’t stop us. I got stuck in the break zone more than I’d care to admit, and definitely got pummelled by some big waves but I lived to tell the tale. I was grateful to be out there with our instructor and my best friend who also happens to be a lifeguard. We both had a blast and definitely slept well that night!
While in Uluwatu we used an app called GOJEK which is similar to Uber. Our driver picked us up at our hostel and offered to drive us around for the whole day for one sole price. We really lucked out – he drove us wherever we wanted to go and waited for us in each place. He was so friendly that we even asked him to drive us to Ubud the next day. Like clockwork he was there at 9am to take us to our new accommodation. If you’re nervous about driving the scooters, this is totally the way to go!
We visited the Uluwatu Temple which is a Balinese Hindu temple located right on the coastline. The views from the temple were breathtaking and left us both in awe. There are monkeys everywhere and while they’re very cute – they will steal from you. Make sure all of your belongings are safely stowed in your bag and keep a firm hand on your camera. Take a walk along the coastline and enjoy the scenery.
After visiting the temple we headed to The Cashew Tree for lunch and I kid you not it was one of the best meals of my entire life. The restaurant is tucked away in a cute little courtyard and the food is exquisite. There’s also a ton of options for vegetarians, celiacs and those allergic to dairy. We had a delicious chicken bowl, spring rolls and smoothies. It was seriously delicious. I would fly back to Bali just to eat this meal again. AMAZING.
We spent the afternoon exploring Padang Padang beach. It was a cute little area but was much smaller and busier than Dreamland beach. The street near Padang Padang beach is lined with surf shops like Roxy, Billabong and Rip Curl. We did a little window shopping and dreamed of getting customized surfboards but decided those will have to wait until next time (haha).
I loved Uluwatu and would love to go back to explore even more. The people are so friendly and kind-hearted. The landscape is unbelievable and it’s definitely going to be a place I visit once again.
Check out the next leg of the adventure: Mount Batur