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  • Writer's pictureAnja

1. holiday outside China

Since the beginning of the year, the Chinese borders are finally unconditionally open and we can explore this part of the world quarantine-free.

Our first destination was Bali.

Bali is indescribable. It's green, it's turquoise, it's golden, it's white and it's black and really everyone speaks at least a little bit of English. How wonderful, we can understand all the people and talk to them.

After our arrival at the airport, we were picked up by a hotel taxi. Although I had prepared all the documents that went online in advance, we both didn't expect this:

In Bali, drivers sit and drive on the wrong side of the road.

There is left-hand traffic. After mentally driving not just once on the wrong side after a turn or roundabout, we decided together that we would just let ourselves be driven and not rent a scooter ourselves. The danger of getting into the wrong lane is simply too great!

We used the first two days to arrive and rest. Our first hotel was perfect for this. We had our own private pool villa with a garden. If you would like to spend a holiday like this, you are welcome to take a look at the website here Website It is worth it.

We really enjoyed our days at Villa Hotel. Showers in the moonlight, fangipani blossoms, jumping naked into the pool, waking up to birdsong, delicious breakfast with juice shots for the day and filled minibar.

Our first trip was to the beach in Kuta. This is the party and surf scene. Small clean waves attract surf beginners into the water. I don't think I've ever seen waves so well sorted.

After two days we moved further inland.

From Denpasar to Ubud. Ubud is more of an artist or backpacker town/village. Exactly two roads lead through it and they are actually congested at all times of the day and night. Nevertheless, the drive there was very exciting. You don't know where to look first. There is something to look at everywhere. Jungle, markets, street vendors, temples, ...

When we arrived at our second hotel, we had a look at the local cocktail menu. Arak, a palm brandy, is quite delicious and goes great with fruit juices. However, you have to stop after the second glass at the latest, otherwise you might get blind....

In the afternoon we walked to the SIM card shop. So far, we had scurried through without internet, but with internet it is better. For example, to order a taxi. Our walk through the village turns into survival training. There is no real pedestrian path, the mopeds whiz past you at breakneck speed and you also have to be careful not to fall into a hole. So always walk slowly along the edge.

A stretch of about one hour turned into a 2.5 hour walk and on the way back we got hungry, of course. But there are soooo many restaurants in Ubud that we were completely overwhelmed by the choice and ended up at a Greek restaurant 20 metres from our hotel. But it was still quite good.

After dinner, we ended the evening at the pool on the roof of the hotel. But not for so long, we had to get up early the next day. We booked our first tourist excursion with a guide.

The tour starts directly at our hotel, our guide picks us up by car and takes us to all kinds of sightseeing points. A couple greets us in the car. Carina and Niklas from Germany. The four of us visited the monkey forest, a waterfall, temples and rice terraces, tasted coffee and tea in a coffee plantation with Luwak cats, a short stop in a wood workshop (such beautiful things, but all too heavy for hand luggage...) and arranged to spend our last days on the island together.

In the evening, we went to eat at a Balinese warung this time. On the way to the warung, Denny bought a chicken curry wrapped in a banana leaf as a starter. It was soooo spicy that he broke out in a sweat. Street kitchens in Bali are only for the really tough. Denny had an excellent tuna steak in the warung. My choice, beef in coconut sauce, was unfortunately too spicy for me.

The last night before we moved on again, there was a thunderstorm. It banged so loudly that we thought the lightning had struck the hotel. And it rained so much that the roof terrace was filled to the brim with water. The drainage system couldn't drain off all the water fast enough.

From the roof terrace we could already take a look at our next destination. Kintamani.

But before that, we treated ourselves to a Balinese massage.

Our taxi driver from Ubud to Kintamani was a big Robbie Williams fan and so we drove north towards the volcano at full volume and with the windows open.

Arriving at our next hotel, we were not greeted quite as friendly this time as we usually were. So far, we have only encountered cheerful friendly people.

However, this hotel lady asked us straight away if we had already booked a tour to the volcano. Quasi before the hello (yes, we had already booked a tour).

Even though the welcome was not quite as warm this time, we were satisfied with our room. However, we had to share our place with an insane number of flies. Since our bungalow didn't have a fly screen, we made one out of curtains, brooms, pillows and suitcases to let air into the room but the flies out. As there was only one sliding door, which was a door and window in one, this was the only way to ventilate. There was no air conditioning. But you didn't need it either.

The climate has changed with every stop we have made on the island so far. From hot at the beginning, but with beach wind, to humid and hazy in Ubud, to almost Mediterranean in the volcano with cool nights, we had it all.

For the evening we went in search of a restaurant. Consulting Google Maps reviews, we went through the village, up the mountain. When we arrived, we couldn't find a restaurant, but the sign was still there. There was a young man sitting in the courtyard who informed us that the restaurant was closed, no longer existed, but he could take us to a warung down in the village, we should just wait on the road, he would be right there with his car.

He came a short time later. With a fat, blue, big, loud jeep.

Good, so we were able to sit in a rehearsal for the next day. Because we booked the "private sunrise jeep tour on the volcano".

The next day we get up at 3.30 am, pick-up is at 4 am. Into a rocking jeep and up the mountain. But only for a short distance, then the jeep was broken, we had lost a tyre. The tyre was off the rim...

But apparently there are several jeep drivers in the small village - one phone call later, and we exchanged the yellow jeep for a red one. Should that have given us something to think about? Anyway, we were still pretty relaxed and let ourselves wobble up the mountain.

Then, about halfway up the mountain, our jeep stopped. In the middle of a jeep festival. At first we didn't want to believe what we had gotten ourselves into, since we had booked the "private" tour. Private, by the way, referred to "a jeep for us" and not to "private sunrise". Nevertheless, we found a nice spot and were able to enjoy this unique moment.

After the pack had left, we also told our driver that we wanted to move on. Our "private day" was not over yet. Next stop: lava field.

The volcano is an active volcano, with 2000 being the last ash eruption. The lava field, which was a highlight of our tour, was formed in 1905, 1926 and 1963 and buried large parts of the former village. Since 2010, however, it has been quiet there again.

At the end of the day and also the last point on our tour was a visit to a hot spring. I would define hot differently. I would say lukewarm. Nevertheless, it was a relaxing end.

We ended the day again at the warung by the lake with fresh fish dishes for Denny and fries for me. Most of the other things on the menu were just too spicy for my taste.

After the two nights, we headed back south. Keeping our appointment with Carina and Niklas. We had booked the hotel a few days earlier and also activated our Robbie Williams taxi driver.

Arriving in Sanur in the afternoon, Denny has his first opportunity to pump up the kite. The local RipCurl school had a suitable board and Denny was on the water for at least 3 hours. Why wasn't I on the water too? My knee is not yet fit enough for me to go kiting. That's why the focus of our Bali trip is more on sightseeing and later on sailing. After the water games, we are hungry and go out to enjoy the cocktail happy hour and eat.

At the table, Denny's head sinks lower and lower and he becomes quiet. Well, I think to myself, he must be tired from kiting. So on the way back to the hotel, I quickly buy some water at the supermarket and go to bed. What at first looked like "exhausted after kiting" has developed into a full-grown Bali Belly overnight. And it wasn't just Denny, we both must have eaten something wrong and were now struggling with tummy aches and more. Denny got it worse and stayed in bed for the time being, I ran to the pharmacy in the morning. Carina, as a real nurse, also had a fully stocked first-aid kit with her and supplied us with her supplies.

In the afternoon, Denny finally pulled himself together and we drove almost to Bali's southernmost tip. The Padang Padang beach can only be reached via a rather steep staircase. But it's worth the scramble, the sunset is fantastic.

Down on the beach, a few stalls are set up to rent sunbeds and offer chilled drinks. After work, monkeys take over the roofs, romp around and make quite a fuss. We didn't want to climb the steps in the dark, so we quickly went back up. Here we looked for a warung and ordered our dinner. We had to wait quite a long time for our taxi. Our Robbie fan had to come again. On the last tour, we left Denny's favourite cap in the taxi.

If you are wondering why we changed our hotel every two nights and only ever organised the excursions from one base, here is a short explanation:

Yes, it is a bit exhausting. Unpack, pack, unpack, pack, unpack....

But. Bali has so many beautiful corners, it would be a shame not to have seen as many of them as possible. And I had already said that the streets were overflowing with mopeds, trucks, cars, TukTuks, people, motorbikes and bicycles. So we saved some time and on the way to a new hotel we could have some nice corners shown to us, talk to our taxi drivers, listen to an audio book or read. Everything else was so exciting and thrilling that we almost didn't have time for anything else.

In the next post, I'll tell you about our adventure sailing trip with Seewolf Gangerl.

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