Nusa Penida – 24th August 2022

This morning we were up super early to get ready for our day trip to Nusa Penida!
Nathan had to quickly go and get our clothes from the laundry place as we had run out of clean clothes the day before but they had shut before we could collect them again.
Our driver who picked us up was a guy called Agung who arrived around 7:00am (a little later than scheduled as he was confused as to where our hotel was)
Luckily he was a quick driver and we got to the harbor in Sanur a little after 8:00am.

Sanur is a little seaside town on the southeast of Bali. This is where all the boats will depart from if you’re doing any trips out to the islands.
When we got to the harbor, Agung took us to the one of the boat companies to collect our pre-booked tickets and then showed us what boat to take. There were so many people at the harbor! There’s so many different companies that do day-trips so there’s definitely a lot of commotion as people are trying to find their boats or lining up for tickets.

Once our boat was ready for everyone to board, we waddled through the water (just below knee height) and were helped onto the boat by the people working on board.
I have to say though, there was a lot of pushing and cutting in line!! Like we’re all literally going to the same place I wish people would just chill a bit. Not to mention Sanur Harbor hasn’t been developed properly where you can just step onto the boat. You literally have to walk in the water to get on and off so when people are pushing in front just to get on it’s super annoying.

The boat ride to Nusa Penida took about an hour. I read online it’s only meant to take about 42 minutes so maybe it just felt a lot longer as I had assumed it’d be a quick 20 minute ride.
If you get seasick, definitely take some tablets beforehand as there were a few people (mainly children) who were not well on the way over.

Once we got to Nusa Penida, we met our driver who was waiting for us with our name on a sign. We told him in the car where we wanted to go and he recommended we start at Broken Beach as there would be less tourists there at that time of day.

Broken Beach is a scenic coastal formation on the southwestern edge of Nusa Penida. It’s one of the more popular hangout spots for the manta rays however we didn’t see any from where we were.

Next stop was Angels Billabong which is just down from Broken Beach. If you like you can swim in the natural infinity pool which is framed by rock cliffs and hangs out over the ocean overlooking Manta Point Beach.

When we got back to the car, I had a look at the photos our guide had taken and they definitely weren’t as good as what our guide took of us in Ubud! Hahahaha. To get the scenery in the background, he kept adjusting the settings so it had this weird kind of warped or stretched out affect. In other words, I looked massive in all the pictures! I tried to edit them the best I could but if you see my legs look really weird or my ass the size of a watermelon in any of these pictures than now you know why 😀 😀 😀

When we hopped back in the car, our driver took us to Kelingking Beach which is one of the most popular and iconic views in Bali and has the famous ‘T-Rex’ shaped rock sticking out over the ocean. The view was absolutely beautiful! The water was clear and blue and the beach looked absolutely amazing. There’s a 120m high path to go down to the beach but the hike takes about 2 hours to get down and back up and it didn’t look easy! Everyone was sweating when they were returning so we decided to give it a miss. Especially as we had more to see.

I did read online that there’s another spot located very close to Kelingking Beach with its own amazing scenery, called Paluang Cliff. It’s just a 5 minute drive from Kelingking and it gives you views of the Kelingking T-rex from the other side, without the crowds if you didn’t want to wait in line for a photo like I did 😀

I make it seem like these places were super quick and easy to see but it actually takes ages to get around the island. Many of the roads in Nusa Penida are still very rough and narrow so you go slower on some roads due to them being so rocky!
I personally wouldn’t hire a scooter or motorbike, although lots of people seem to do it with no issues, just because it gets so hot and dusty on the roads I’d rather be in an air-conditioned car haha.

Lunch was included as part of our tour package so we stopped off at a local Warung (restaurant) and chose something from a Set menu. I ordered some rice dish and Nathan got Chicken skewers with satay sauce. The portions were small but it was enough to keep us going for the day.

Next stop, Diamond Beach.
The cliff lookout over Diamond Beach has always been popular at Nusa Penida. However, a few years back, local developers carved a stairway straight into the cliff-face, opening up the beach to everyone.
It takes about 15 minutes to reach the bottom and it is pretty steep so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that doesn’t have a good level of fitness. When you get to the end of the staircase, you actually have to hold onto a rope to get you onto the beach as the stairs don’t take you all the way to the ground. Again – don’t be bringing your 87 year old grandma down here.

While we were waiting for our turn to get down to the beach, we spoke to some people who were climbing back up and they told us to be careful while swimming in the ocean as someone had nearly been swept out there. Apparently it is not really recommended to go into the water at Diamond Beach. If you do, you shouldn’t go out too far as the riptides are very strong and there are some very rocky sections in the water too. Not to mention no one can really help you if you do get swept out as there are no lifeguard’s or anything around. If you are planning on going, just stick to the rock pools or the shallow waters for your instagram snap!

Kind of like I did…

Unfortunately we didn’t get the sun at Diamond Beach as it was shaded by the cliff. Nathan kept saying we should have walked down to Kelingking Beach and enjoyed the sun there but we weren’t to know that Diamond beach would be so shady! If we could do it again, we probably would have made the effort to treck the 120m’s down to Kelingking Beach and stayed there for the day as it really was stunning!

After spending a couple of hours at Diamond Beach, we woke up our driver who was having a little nap in the sand and we headed back up to the car.

By this stage, it was around around 3:30-4:00pm so we made the hour’s drive back to the harbour to get our boat back to Sanur.

There was definitely more places to see on Nusa Penida but as we were limited on time we mainly checked out the main spots that you see on everyone’s Instagram posts.
The boat ride back to Sanur felt a little faster than the way over. The poor guy who was sitting in front of us threw up the whole way back. Thank god Nathan and I don’t really get that seasick!

When we got off the boat, our driver was meant to meet us but my phone died and I was the only one who had his WhatsApp number. There were far too many people to be able to find him (plus I’d kinda forgotten what he looked like) so after walking around for ages we walked back to the place he parked his car when he dropped us off and thankfully he was there waiting for us! He couldn’t get in contact with us either so he walked back too – lucky!

After Agung dropped us off at our accommodation, Nathan and I freshened up a bit and then headed off to Jimbaran Beach to grab some dinner. There were so many restaurants at Jimbaran Beach we were gutted we didn’t find all these places the night before when we were trying to find somewhere to eat!

We ordered Nachos, Pizza and a couple of drinks from this restaurant called Beekini Bowl and sat on the beach to watch the planes lands as you could see the airport in the distance.
Was a nice relaxing way way to end a busy day!

Top Tips for visiting Nusa Penida

  • Bring water in an insulated drink bottle. It gets so hot and you’ll be walking lots so you’ll want your water to be cold when you’re sweating
  • There’s a lot of stairs and walking in the sun, lather on the sunscreen!
  • If you’re doing a day trip, book a driver for the day. Unless you’re a Bali pro, it’s more comfortable to hire a driver and get them to take you around the island. They’ll take you to where you want to go and everything is on your own time so there’s heaps of flexibility!
  • Don’t be on Diamond Beach or Kelingking Beach when the sun goes down as it will be dark when you hike back up
  • If you’re driving yourself around the island, take it slow as the roads have little maintanice and get very narrow
  • All the famous spots will be filled with tourists taking a picture. Get there early to avoid the lines. Luckily, most people just want a photo and will move on so the wait isn’t crazy long.
  • 3 Days is the recommended amount of time to see the WHOLE island however you can tick off the main sites in a day if you’re tight on time
  • There’s a hidden beach called Suwehan Beach which isn’t included in many of the day tours. It’s a 30 minute hike down to the beach but you’ll be greeted with gorgeous white sand and turquoise water. Go before lunchtime so you get the sun.

Seminyak Shopping & Massages in Ubud – 20th August 2022

Today was the day we had a photoshoot organised. We’re not usually a couple to do professional photos however I wanted to display something on our wedding day that wasn’t just a selfie of us at some beach somewhere. I found a guy online and Whatsapp’d messaged him a few weeks prior about doing some early morning photos near a waterfall or in the rice fields of Ubud. Unfortunately though, the dress I ordered for the photos didn’t arrive until THE DAY we left Perth for Bali. I was out with Nathan at the gym when the courier came so they didn’t drop it off and It wasn’t yet at the post office as the courier hadn’t finished her shift so I couldn’t go and collect it. In the end, I literally had nothing nice to wear so I ended up cancelling the photo shoot. 😦 Luckily the guy who was doing the photo’s hadn’t 100% confirmed the booking so he didn’t seem too bothered.
Also meant we got to have a slight sleep in and had a free day to do what we wanted.

First thing on my ‘List’ of things to do in Bali was to go and have Breakfast at a cafe’ called Nude. They do a lot of healthy food, as well as your usual smoothies, coffee’s and vegan milkshakes. Yum!

We each took a Gojek Scooter to Nude which was only a 7 min ride away.
I ordered a Strawberry & Kiwi Smoothie while Nathan got a Bali Berry one.

For our breakfast, I ordered a Halloumi & Avocado Bun with Chilli Relish and Nathan had a Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, bacon, avo and beans. As soon as I saw Nathan’s meal I regretted ordering mine. There was nothing wrong with my meal exactly, I just picked the boringest thing on the menu. They literally had smoothie bowls, sweetcorn fritters, omlettes and pancakes and I had a brioche bun with Avo and Halloumi haha!! I think I just really like halloumi so I ordered the first thing I saw that had halloumi in it. Next time I go, I’ll go for lunch as they have some yummy looking salads and a vegan burger I want to try. (I’m not vegan, however I don’t eat a lot of meat and much prefer vegetarian food)

After we’d finished eating, we paid and then took another Gojek back to our accommodation. I had organised with one of the Gojek drivers that drove us around the day before to take us shopping that Saturday. Her name was Izzi and she was so lovely! I grabbed her Whatsapp number and messaged her asking if she could drive us around Seminyak for the day (and look after our luggage in her car) before driving us 1.5 hours away to Ubud to check into our new accommodation. She happily said yes and we agreed on a price of AUD$50 (IDR500,000) for the day.

We had some time to spare before Izzi came and collected us at 9:30am so Nathan and I took a walk down the road from our hotel so I could find some cat food. I wasn’t quite full from my meal at Nude so I felt like something else to nibble on (haha just kidding). There was this cat at Canggu Suites that was looking a bit scrawny and crying for food. There was a cat bowl in the kitchen so I thought maybe the hotel didn’t have any food. I went to the nearest servo and tried to find something edible for a cat, after nearly buying spicy tuna (lol) I bought a couple of cans of corned beef for the kitty and took it back to the hotel. He seemed very grateful after being fed and proceeded to lay down licking his paws afterwards. I gave the second can of corned beef to one of the workers and said it was for the cat so I hope he didn’t take it home to eat haha.

It was nearing 9:30am so we checked-out of Canggu Suites (6/10 stay for me – the cat being the extra point) and met Izzi outside with our luggage.
First stop was Royalman Tailor in Seminyak to see if they could custom make a suit for Nathan. The experience here was much better than the first place we went to. They measured Nathan and got him to try on a few different suit colours. We did a bit of bartering on the price at the end and ended up getting 20% off the original price we were quoted which was good. We also ordered suit pants for the groomsmen – they’re just going to get measured and made when the Groomsmen get to Bali in October as we didn’t have their measurements at the time.
Nathan and I were talking about it last night and he was saying even with the 20% discount, we still paid more than what he thinks the suit was worth. As in, even though it was custom-made the price was still high for Bali and we should have bartered a bit more. Oh well! Learning experience I suppose.

After the tailor place, Izzi dropped us off at the Beachwalk Shopping Centre in Kuta. We went here last time we were in Bali and not a crazy amount had changed. Still nice shops but with western prices (as you are shopping at places like H&M, Kate Spade etc…) Also a thing to note, you have to wear a mask in the shopping centre. You also need to download an app before you go to Bali called the PEDULILINDUNGI App. It’s like your ‘check-in’ app they have in New Zealand and Australia where you scan a QR code to enter a premises. The Beachwalk Shopping Centre was the only place on our trip that required it so you won’t be needing it all the time – just good to have. (I also think they require it at the airport)

After briefly browsing the shops (we didn’t really find anything we wanted to buy) we went for a walk past the beach and around Kuta to all the classic Balinese haggling markets we’re used to.

Again, not a lot has changed since we last went in 2014. People are still haggling you to buy things but the vibe is slightly different. As in, it’s definitely a lot less busy and you don’t feel as good to haggle as low as you could go like you used to. Covid-19 hit Bali really hard. They rely heavily on tourism for job opportunities and to keep their economy going. With the boarders being closed, so many shops and restaurants shut down with most Balinese people moving back to their homes and villages, planting vegetables to survive and just sleeping or not eating all day. You can tell they are so grateful to have tourists back and it’s definitely picking up again. If you’re looking at going, try not to be an absolute dick when you buy things from the markets by offering them $5 (IDR50,000) for a pair of shoes. They’re all still trying to make a living (but also don’t spend like $60 on a handbag haha)

After buying all the classic Bingtang singlets and knock-off Nike shoes last time, we weren’t overly keen to load up our suitcases with that kind of stuff again so we didn’t buy much! I bought a couple of small handbags (IDR150,000 – IDR200,000 is a good price) but that’s really it!
I think Nathan may have bought a basketball singlet too.
Oh wait, I nearly forgot my FAVOURITE PURCHASE!! My big white wide brimmed hat. I got it for IDR150,000 (About AUD$15) and I absolutely love it and wore it pretty much the whole trip. Nathan kept saying it made me look like a Gucci wearing socialite on holiday in the Hamptons and that’s exactly the look I was going for. I can’t wait to take it back with me in October HAHA!!

Izzi took us to a few more stores including the Surf Brand outlet store – but again. Nothing tickled my fancy.
It was around 3pm and we’d already gone over the 5 hours I had hired Izzi for so I asked if she could take us to our new accommodation in Ubud. The drive was around 1.5 hours so I gave my Mum a quick facetime call on the way to pass the time.

When we arrived at Udaya Resort & Spa, I was in a bit of a rush as I had pre-booked Nathan and I a couples massage for 4:30pm at the Kaveri Spa (The spa at the resort) and we arrived at 4:15pm so we were cutting it a little fine.
After paying Izzi ($70 in the end as we had gone over our time) we tried checking-in to Udaya Resort. Unfortunately the Credit Card I was using wasn’t the same card as the one I had previously paid with so they had to re-charge me for the room and said they would refund me my previous payment. I’m still waiting on the refund and it’s been a week so fingers crossed I receive it!! Good thing to note, make sure the card you used to pay is the one you bring the Bali. Unfortunately my old one was scammed so I had to get a new one.

After being shown to our room – thankfully right next to the spa, we made it to our appointment just in time. We were booked in for a couple’s 90 minute deep tissue massage. We got to choose our oil before the treatment (Orange, Lemongrass or Lavender) then were taken to a room for a foot soak and scrub before the treatment – very relaxing!

Unfortunately, I didn’t rate the massage. Luckily I wasn’t stressed because if I was it would have stressed me out more. The massage definitely wasn’t a deep tissue massage, the pressure was far too weak and the whole massage routine was boring. I know that’s such a weird thing to say, but after being a Beauty Therapist and actually DOING massages, I’m a little bit of a critic when I receive one. This one didn’t flow very well and was quite repetitive. I did say at one point “You can go harder if you like” which is the nice Kiwi way of saying “Can you please go harder” but I actually don’t know if she could because I could feel her arms shaking when she tried going deeper. Disappointing!! Nathan said his one was good though so I really think it’s down to who you get. I really just think she was new and hadn’t been working there for very long.

After our massages, we went to our room and got ready for dinner. Our room was lovely! Albeit a bit dark (I think the resorts try and do a relaxation vibe with less lights but it makes it very hard to do make up)
I had booked us a Pool Suite which was a 100sqm room with private pool next to the tropical jungle which was nice and relaxing.

Similar to these pictures I stole off the website

Again, I had already chosen where to go for dinner before we even got to Bali! (I had a whole list of places to try I’d written down in my phone) and I’m so glad I did because we ate at some really great places.
This particular night, we went to Ely’s Kitchen in Ubud. I saw on their website they do High Tea and Romantic Private Dinners but we just went for a standard sit-down dinner for two 🙂 We didn’t book ahead of time but I probably would if you had a large party of people as I think a few people had reservations. We were seated outside upstairs and thankfully they gave me some mosquito repellent otherwise I would have been one large insect bite by the end of the night.
Nathan ordered the Iga Baba which was Caramelized Pork Ribs with BBQ Sauce, vegetables and rice. I got a Balinese Chicken Curry (to share with Nathan) and Flower Jack Salad which was Spiced Cauliflower, crispy jackfruit, potato and onion.

Terrible picture I know but I didn’t take any others – woops!

All of the food was really good! The service was great too and the whole ambience of the place was lovely. They had an acoustic singer singing some songs and Nathan and I commented a few times on how nice his voice sounded. When we left, we ended up asking the staff for his name so we could add him on Instagram to see if he could play at our wedding 😀 haha!! He did actually respond to my request and said he would so that worked out well 🙂 I thought it would be a nice touch at the wedding for when guests arrive and we’re having dinner etc.

After getting a Gojek back to Udaya Resort, it was off to bed!

Next Post: Tour of Ubud – we finally got some nice photos!

Cancun – Tuesday 23rd July 2019

Tuesday

Believe it or not I actually woke up to my alarm this morning and got out of bed. I had the most wonderful sleep last night! Whenever I sleep at hotels I fall in love with the pillows 😍 I wish I could take them home with me!! Or at least know where to buy them from for my own bed at home 💛

It was a quick shower & dress before Nathan and I headed downstairs at Panama Jack Cancun for the buffet breakfast. We were heading to the gym afterwards so I stuck with some light fruit and yogurt (I know – who even am I) while Nathan of course had eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, sausages etc..

The gym at the resort was pretty good. It had the usual treadmills, weights, machines etc – way better than some hotels I’ve been to, however it was so hot! It was definitely cooler than outside as it was like 30° outside, but way too warm for a gym. I had to keep using the paper towels to wipe my face as I was sweating so much. Nathan and I lasted about 40 minutes before we quickly went back to our room so we could shower.

Check-out wasn’t until 12pm but we packed up our bags around 10am so we could check-out and head to Hyatt Ziva for the rest of our stay in Cancun.

The hotel kindly organized us a taxi to take us for the 5 minute drive down the road however we were completely ripped off. When it came to pay, we asked the driver how much we owe and he said “10”. I was like “Pesos?” And he saw we had USD as Nathan had opened up his wallet and was like “oh, no dollars”

Before I could even say anything Nathan gave him USD$10 🤦‍♀️. Oh well 🙄

Our check-in with Hyatt Ziva was smooth and breezy. We were treated with champagne on arrival and taken to the Adults Only tower for a private check-in. Our room wasn’t quite ready as we were there pretty early so we headed downstairs to the buffet for (you guessed it) our second breakfast of the day. I ate an omlette and some toast but I didn’t go overboard as i didn’t feel like sinking in the pool today 😂

As we had walked around the whole resort before breakfast, we were super hot and sweaty so I smashed back our food pretty fast. Luckily I was already dressed in my togs so we headed to the pool pretty quick. Unfortunately every man and their friend had reserved a cabana or sun lounger with a towel so we couldn’t find anywhere to relax and put our stuff. People must get there pretty early in the morning because there definitely weren’t as many people in the pool then there were reserved sun loungers.

Anyways, it didn’t matter too much. I found a place for my handbag and chucked some towels over it and hoped it wouldn’t get stolen as I had my wallet and phones in it 😥

The water was refreshing and the drinks were great! I’m currently in the process of working my way through the cocktail menu. I think I’m about 6 or 7 cocktails through out of about 20. 🤤

Half way through our swim, I saw they were doing aqua aerobics so I decided to join in! It may have been the alcohol talking but i had a great time splashing around the pool and running through the water. Nathan of course did not join in and instead decided to film me and drink from the sidelines. I don’t think you can really see me in the video below but I’m bopping around there somewhere.

We relaxed in the pool until about 3pm and our hands had turned wrinkly. I was worried I was going to get sunburnt because our sunscreen was in our suitcase which we’d given to the bell boy so I was trying to alternate between shade and sun for the afternoon. However I was right in being worried because now as I type this I’m lying in bed with very red shoulders and a burnt nose. I hateeee getting sunburnt on my face. I use Retinol & stuff on my face too so it gets sunburnt really quick 😖

Anyways, we thought our room must be ready by now so we headed to the adults only tower and met with our Butler who showed us to our room. He took us to our room and it’s so nice! We’re on the 8th floor so we have really nice views of the ocean, plus we have a jacuzzi hot tub on the balcony!

Our butler very kindly showed us where everything was and told us all the amenities included in our stay (private access to rooftop infinity pool, private elevator to the spa, complimentary hydrotherapy circuit etc) he also showed us these cool tablets in our room where we can order 24 hour room service, choose our pillows, choose our essence for the room (I chose a lime scent) etc…I did also order some aromatic pillows but they didn’t deliever them. I’m not 100% sure it went through correctly on the tablet though so maybe I did something wrong 🤷‍♀️

He also offered us a bottle of spirits to have during our stay or take home as a gift. We chose Vodka but I have no idea if we’ll even drink it or not Haha 😂 there’s so much alcohol here that we’ll probably just take it home.

We were all chlorinated from the pool so we both had showers and I tidied myself up a bit so we could go and eat. (And by this I mean putting make up on and doing my hair so Nathan didn’t feel like he took a homeless person on holiday haha) By this stage it was around 4pm so we went to Chevy’s diner downstairs and had some appetizers to tide Nathan over until Dinner time.

We thought we’d check out the rooftop infinity pool and grab a drink from there too. Looking back, I don’t think we actually even went in the pool, we just lounged on a Bali bed and talked for about an hour.

The sun was beginning to set so we headed down to the beach and took a few photos. It was so beautiful! There was a couple having a dinner on the little pier too which looked really romantic.

Dinner was calling after the beach so we walked around a few of the restaurants until we decided on eating at the buffet. (I promised myself that we wouldn’t eat here for dinner but they were having a Brazilian steakhouse night and Nathan insisted)

We were pretty full after the Buffet so we only had 1 dinner tonight (not the 2 that was expected of us) however I did manage to squeeze in a couple of treats from the desert parlour after playing a couple rounds of pool with Nathan 😋

Now I’m In bed, Nathan is kicking me to turn my light off and go to sleep because he’s trying to sleep 🙄 you’d think he has work or something tomorrow from the way he’d acting.

Tomorrow we may check out the Sister resort Hyatt Zilara or do the hydrotherapy circuit at the Spa who knows!🤷‍♀️ I will update tomorrow 🤗

Ciao xo