Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Final Day in Bali

Date: Tuesday August 4
Travel: Taxi;
Lodging: Conrad Bali
Photos: 20090804 Bali Kechak Jimbaran

As the final day of the Bali trip was ending, we had to make an effort at least to see the sunrise from Nusa Dua. I don't know why we thought this would be a good idea, since we never really woke up early. It was worth the wake up though, as we had our own cabana, and got to enjoy a breakfast at during sunrise. The staff did tell us that it had rained earlier, so the sunrise would not be so spectacular, but it's not many times I get to see the sunrise, so to me it is as good as any.
Having a late flight, we didn't want to just waste our day around the hotel. We went back to Uluwatu, and got to see the Kecak dance, a traditional dance in Bali. The performance occurs around sunset, to create a dramatic experience. After the performance, we stopped by Jimbaran for dinner by the sea. There are more then a couple dozen restaurants, with tables on the sandy beach, where you can stroll out a bit to get your feet wet. Lucky for us, we also came in time for some free performance. One of the things you will notice is that there are also a lot of Japanese tourist, as well as Australians. Some of the entertainers can fluently speak 3 languages, Indonesian, English and Japanese. This is probably why this island is comparable to Hawaii, from the surfs of North Shore and Uluwatu, to the friendly smiles of the locals. Although it cost more to fly to Bali, then Hawaii, there is a lot of value here if you take advantage of it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Soaking in Lembongan

Date: Monday August 3
Travel: Taxi;
Lodging: Conrad Bali
Photos: 20090803 LembonganIsland

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It was time to go out and play in the water. We didn't get to do the seawalker like we wanted to, but we did go on a play cruise to Lembongan island. Taking the Bali Hai package, we take a ship for a 1 hour ride over the sea. It was a bit windy and cloudy, and the water was a bit rough. However, the staff members must be really used to the conditions, as they were able to operate normally, be it if they were playing music in the band, making drinks, or waiting and serving people. One waiter did a very good job balancing the drink while walking up the steps to the upper deck and walking across the ship. This was a brilliant feat as the boat was just rocking up and down, not something for people who get motion sick. Nevertheless, as soon as the waiter successfully carried a glass full of margarita without spilling anything, the consumer couldn't immediately handle it and spilled it all over himself.
The ship at the end of the journey would dock with a pontoon, where all the fun water activities began. We started out by taking an underwater viewing boat, then did a little snorkeling. What was nice is that the pontoon had a ton of coral growing on it, and it was close to the surface, so we can see all the vibrant colors. It was a nice opportunity to test out the new underwater case for the SD900. There was a chance to scuba dive, but you needed some time to do a little training. There was a giant slide off the pontoon lodging you into the water, and that provided plenty of amusement. We also got a chance to take a boat to the island of Lebongan and take an island tour. Besides some photo opportunities, I probably could have done without this and just stayed on the slide or jump off the pontoon. Nevertheless it was a great experience.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dreamland (thats what it's really called) & Conrad Bali

Date: Saturday & Sunday, August 1-2
Travel: Taxi;
Lodging:Conrad Bali
Photos: 20090801 Dreamland , 20090802 Conrad Bali
This day would have no agenda but rest and relaxation. Besides sleeping in, taking a long dip in the infinite edge pool, and getting a massage, we make it down to Dreamland beach. Apparantly there were changes occurring to the area, and it was still under development. That didn't stop us from bargaining for umbrellas, chairs, massages, and boogie boards; consequently enjoying the beach. After soaking in the sun all day, Kim and Dan make their way home to the states, while Linda and I make our way to the other side of the island, at the Conrad in Nusa Dua. Again, I had used my Hilton points, like I had for Tokyo, to cover for the Conrad. It was a nice use of points. We did not do much but relax. Each morning, we got a choice of multiple breakfast locations and buffets. One was in front of the pool, another on a balcony overlooking a cabana with a yoga session. In the evenings, there were cocktailsand snacks, all thanks to my status with Hilton.

We visited another beach area in Kuta, did some shopping, wined, dined, and relaxed. I ended up getting a great deal on T-shirts due to some nice bargaining skills from Linda. We would walk away from one vendor, get the deal at another vendor, and get a better deal at the original vendor. The area around kuta was a little more crowded, and is a bit more happening then the more couple/family friendly area of Nusa Dua.