We love to travel and prefer to travel to areas where there is still something to explore. We have so much travel plans in our head that its not easy to make a choice. Therefore we decide to visit "the holiday fair for special travel" in Amsterdam this year for extra inspiration. Wise?
Well, as you would expect, the choice after our visit there became only more difficult. What are there still a lot of nice trips left to make for us!
Ingrid comes from a family with a history in Indonesia. Her grandfather was eye doctor there and her father, and later her sister and brother are born there. At home she heard many stories from and about the Indonesia-time, her family speaks Dutch peppered with Malay words and sayings and there were often high-grade spicy Indonesian meals served. Nevertheless, we have never been to Indonesia ourselves.
We have a busy year behind us and Indonesia is ideal for a trip of relaxation by the Sea combined with adventure and culture sniffing in the backwoods. Up to Indonesia therefore.
We start, like so many trips to Indonesia , with a few days on Bali quickly followed by pulling to the non tourist and much less known wonderful islands of Sumba and Floris. We travel again with only us two. For the Organization we fall back on Namasté travel. In the past we had good experiences with this organization. A trusted address, so will prove this trip again.
If you click a picture it will be enlarged. The pictures can then be viewed in succession as a SLIDESHOW. If you see a link, for example: Namasté; click on the link and it will be opened. When referring to a map, the map can be accessed by clicking on the link : map of Bali. The clips (images with an arrow) that are included are HD recordings. The clips can be viewed in a separate window that automatically opens when you click on the image with the arrow.
English is not our native language, so we apologize in advance for translation- spelling- and grammar errors.
All the preparations have been set. Our vaccinations are still valid. We need therefore only (expensive) anti-malaria pills to purchase. Often discussion about whether or not you should swallow malaria pills out of precaution. We decide to take them again because we never have had any bad experiences in the past with the use of the pills. Why take unnecessary risks then now.
During our trip in Indonesia we will make several domestic flights. Baggage requirements for domestic flights are very cramped (sometimes only 10 kg per person). That is why we have bought lightweight bags and have limited our luggage to the minimum. Fortunately, we may assume that the weather will be nice and warm in Indonesia; so we can we save weight on clothes.
Nice weather in Netherlands too on the day of our departure. We have lunch at restaurant Wonders In Schagen. At 05.10 pm, we leave with the train to Schiphol Airport Amsterdam. At the airport everything runs smoothly. Always nice to wonder around at the airport. It brings you in the right "holidaymood".
We fly Emerates and will have a transfer in Dubai. The plane leaves on time at 09:30 pm. The service on board is fine. It is abig aircraft. The seats are 3-4-3. We have seats in the middle corridor. The flight is comfortable and before we know it we land after a 6 hours flight in Dubai.
At Dubai airpot the transition time for the plane to Denpasar is two hours. Then it is about 9 hours to fly to Denpasar on Bali. The plane is on time. Ingrid can't sleep during the flight; she sleeps best if the plane shakes violently by turbulence, but that doesn't happen The plane finds smoothly its way in the sky. ... Jan-Arend sleeps fine. Nothing to complain about during this flight, but ... we find the service of Singapore Airlines still better. Singapore Airlines is definitely our favorite carrier.
Around 9:30 pm local time we land on Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar (map of Bali). The airport is large and spacious. The handling of luggage and passengers takes place quickly and efficiently. A big difference to our previous experiences at airports in Asia! The visa requirement for Indonesia has been abolished for Europeans. It saves us 50 dollars per person!
When we leave the arrivals hall, we are welcomed by dozens of nervous men with signs seeking their pick up. A comic sight. But laughing is hiding us if we still have not seen anyone after two rounds with our own names on a sign. Finally we call the local agent of Khiri Travel (also the travel agency that had arranged our trip in Burma/Myanmar). The agent tells us that they haven't forgotten us and that the driver will come soon. Fine. We leave the arrivals hall and go out. There we find our driver. He stood outside waiting for us far away from his fellow drivers. Clumsy, but end good, all good. We leave the airport for the hotel and try to get a first impression of the area in the dark. All very modern, but that is usually the case near a large airport.
Around 11:30 pm we are at our hotel in Sanur (map of Bali). Sukun Bali Cottage is a small hotel in a small dark street with a beautiful green garden and a fine swimming pool. The beach is approximately 400 metres away from the hotel. The man at the desk is very friendly.
We walk to our room; that looks good! All rooms are like little houses on the ground floor. Simple but with good and complete facilities.
After a good night sleep we awake round 8 am. Always exciting; arriving in the night and then the first morning waking up in a country where you are for the first time. The sun welcomes us as we open de room door. The hotel's garden is full of beautiful exotic plants. Trees with stinky fruits.
Our room/cottage has a nice terrace with seating corridor at the outer door. We walk over the grounds to the breakfast area. Very simple breakfast, but tasty. A 2nd Cup of coffee is not included. The breakfast area is an open building asside a beautiful pond full of huge impressive cage carps. The cage carps have all kinds of different colors. If we take a table close to the balustrade the entire school carps in the water moves to a place next to our table. Funny face! After breakfast we walk to the beach. The beach is only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Perfect.
Lovely sunshine! All along the way we see small sacrificial shrines with fruit, incense and flowers. We walk over a narrow boulevard along the beach. Everywhere small eateries and beach pavilions with Sun beds. A few large Resorts as well. Very touristy of course but not annoying. A good place for us to relax at the beginning of the holiday.
Coffee time! We drink a delicious cappuccino at the beach. The people here are very friendly. We have views on the sea and the beach. After the coffee we walk a little further. At one point we come at a place where a lot of people gather together. We are curious . What is the reason for such a large crowd of people? On the wide beach turns out to be a major "international" kite contest in progress. At the edges of the field the teams assemble. Every team has it own outfit, flag and kite.
There are many different kites. Some kites have dragon heads at the front for decoration. Impressive sculptures. The art is of course to keep your kite as a team as long and high as possible in the air. And - perhaps even more important - having your opposants kite drop down in a kite fight . A lot of yelling when a kite dies. It is a big happening with many teams from different area's and countries. Serious business and a great spectacle to see.
In the afternoon we have delicious nasi at the beach for lunch. It may be too hot in the full sun, but in the shade it is partly due to the wind just fine.
We rent beach chairs and beach towels at a hotel on the beach for the rest of the day and have a lazy afternoon.
Lying down on a thick cushion under a tree at the seaside. Reading, watching people, drinking a bintang and swimming of course.
The water temperature is just fine; not cold but refreshing. What a perfect way to start our holiday.
At the end of the afternoon we go back to our hotel where we drink a glass of wine on our own terrace. Breaking news from Holland; granddaughter Fenna has her first tooth! Wow! in the evening we visit Sanur. Near the hotel we eat a delicious pizza at an Italian restaurant!
Ingrid did not sleep well. She was awakened by the mosquitoes who stabbed her. Later it turns out that this place is the one and only place this holiday that we suffer from mosquitoes. The inconvenience is not that big and a little lack of sleep is easily compensated by laying on the beach.
That works fine in Sanur! But first we have breakfast In a small restaurant with terrace on the beach. On a nice shaded spot we have a fine view at the jet skis racing on the water! Delicious breakfast, with cappuccino
After breakfast we rent again some beach chairs and towels. We are ready for a lazy day at the beach. The sea is pretty shallow here. You have to walk far before you can no longer stand. We have not gone so far. The beach is quite narrow in the morning. In the afternoon, with low tide, the beach is huge. In the distance you can see fishermen to their knees in water. They are busy with their casting nets. Often they wear a Asian conical hat. Good sun protection! We ourselves are well-acclimatized now.
Wonderful to be here for the first days of our holiday. At midday we have lunch with tasty fried rice, beer and a rosé! Wine here costs about the same as in Netherlands; beer is less expensive. Because the food itself is so cheap the alcohol seems more expensive! With the pricing we have to familiarize ourselves; all those zeros! 100,000 rupiah ... is about 6 euro 70. So it doesn't take much to be a real millionaire here! We must be careful with what we pay; a mistake is easily made.
At the end of the afternoon we walk back to the hotel. Halfway between the beach and our hotel the street is temporarily closed. A stage is built in the middle of the road. A gamelan Orchestra of very young children makes music. They look very seriously. Tonight there will be a dance performance of the local dance school. Children from all age groups will then show traditional dances for family, acquaintances ... and of course us. We will be back
After spending some time in our room we go out for diner. First we we stroll into the main street where there are a lot of shops.
A lot of public, Mainly Balinese people. On the stage young girls performing their dance at the music of a Gamelan Orchestra. The dancers look stunning in their traditional outfits and they are exuberant. So nice to see how seriously and with how much pride they performe the complicated gestures of the traditional dances. Beautiful facial expressions as well.
We have diner on the terrace of a restaurant with sight on the podium so we can still witness the rest of the dance presentations. At 10.00 p.m. we go back to our room. We pack and charge our equipmet. Tomorrow at 06.50 a.m. we will be picked up for the airport to get our flight to Sumba.