Bali is a special place especially for us who come from Western Australia as it is our closest capital city and our number one destination for holidays. The cost of coming to Bali from Perth is half that of flying to any other Australian city and it is in the same time zone – so West Australians tend to know Bali better than their own country! So when we set off for Bali from Lombok we thought we knew what to expect.
We usually go to the south of the Island but on the rally we were all going to Lovina in the north. Lovina is a really beautiful part of Bali – very unspoiled and still retaining the charm that is Bali.
We arrived early in the evening, and Lovina was thumping – it was their local festival and there was also a welcoming ceremony for us. continue reading. Dancing, singing and feasting were on the menu, including many local boats decorated and with their occupants in traditional clothing, running around the bay waving and shouting to all the rally boats. We went ashore and met all the other cruisers who had arrived before us and had a great meal on the beach. The best welcome so far on the rally I reckon.
This is a very laid back town – typical shops selling brightly coloured sarongs and dresses , bars with happy hours and cheap restaurants. Bought Ian four pairs of shorts – he’s pleased he won’t have to go into another shop for six months.
The next day we set off to explore Lovina, had lunch in a very arty restaurant whose profits go to impoverished Balinese – and then headed off to see the local bull racing. In typical Balinese fashion, there was music, dancing and colour everywhere. It was really hot and humid but we were seated under a canopy for most of the time – really appreciated believe me. We danced with the dancers and even had a go racing the bulls – incredibly uncomfortable sitting on a four inch wide bar attached to a harness while two huge bulls run down a paddock – the laughing made up for it…
The Balinese people are very artistic and their houses and restaurants are all highly decorated. We visited a shell hotel which was completely decorated in shells – literally thousands of them. It was an amazing and took over 20 years to complete.
We went on a tour with some friends around the northern part of Bali. We visited the Temple of the Lake Ulan Danu. Set in beautiful grounds, the Temple literally sits on the lake.
We also visited a coffee and tea plantation. I’d see both before but not quite as unusual as this one. We all had a tasting – and were then introduced to Luwak coffee. This is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, as this bean is eaten by an animal similar to a weasel called a civet. It passes through the civet and it then collected, cleaned and roasted. There is an enzyme this animal produces that takes the bitterness out of the bean which then produces a great coffee. They were right, the coffee was gorgeous and strong…
They also grow lots of rice here in Bali – with the terraced paddy fields gracing the hillside. So much work to maintain them.
The following morning, four of us went to a cooking class. Bev from Mersoleil, Karel from Tehani-Li, Lou from Gaulltine III and myself started off at the markets in Singaraja at 7.30am and bought all the ingredients. We hadn’t expected to be cooking everything from scratch but when in Indonesia …. laden with all our produce we headed back to the kitchen where Wayan our cook/hostess/teacher set us up to cook a meal fit for a king. We each had two dishes chosen and spent the next three hours peeling, chopping, grinding and frying. There was a huge variety from spring rolls to soups and curries. Everything was made from scratch including grating the coconuts for the sauces. Karel and I even bought our own mortar & pestle so that we could replicate our dishes on board (!!) All our partners came to join us for lunch – and said it was the best Indonesian meal they had had since they arrived. (They are good these guys….)
We spent the next couple of days doing ‘boaty’ stuff – provisioning for the long journey ahead – 240 NM, collecting our laundry and diesel & petrol deliveries.
At the end of the week, we were fully refreshed from our week in this lovely place. It was so nice to just stop and have some time in one place. Lovina was very good to us.
Next stop Java…………. can’t wait.