Uluwatu – Canggu, Bali, Indonesia – My halfway of the point.
It was a late night getting in the night before and settling in yet our bodies are attuned to waking up early.
We booked a day tour via Airbnb experiences. The only issue was Bev wasn’t feeling well in the morning so I ended up going solo on the private tour with the tour guide Gede.
I was picked up in Canggu and our first was Bukit Sari – Coffee Plantation. You can see a Luwak and have a flight of teas & coffee tastings. Ginseng coffee is pretty tasty. after the tasting, you have a chance to purchase any of the teas or coffees you tasted but no obligations.
The Kecak & Fire Dance – It is a very unique experience where a choir of seventy men create sounds the entire performance. Sanghyang or trance dance using the dancers & deities as a medium.
The performance portrays the story of Prince of Ayodya – Rama who was exiled from the realm by his father Dasarata. With his wife Sita and her younger brother Laksamana, they went into a forest called Dandaka. The demon King Rahwana found them in the forest and lusted over Sita. With his prime minister Marica, they tried to steal Sita by using magic and transforming Marica into a Golden Deer. Disguised as a golden deer, they successfully were able to lure Rama and Laksamana away from Sita and take her to his palace in Alengka. Deceived, Rama and Laksamana set out to rescue Sita with a huge army of monkeys under the command of their King Hanoman.
After the performance, it was an 1.5hr drive back to Canggu. For dinner, I ate Chicken Mie Goreng (34800IDR) at Urban Bites Cafe.
Tidbits of Bali / Indonesia:
-Nyepi is a Balinese “Day of Silence” that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar – day of rest and silence – no flights, no cars, no internet, everyone stays home
-Motorbikes are the way to go if you want to get around quickly as they can weave in, out of traffic.
-Technically you need to be 17 to have a license to drive a motorbike but families will let their kids drive them so they can take themselves to school as parents have to work. If there is a household of 4, there would be 4 motorbikes. They are cheaper than purchasing a car.
-The smaller petrol stands are actually more expensive than the big box gas stations but people are willing to pay a premium at the smaller stands because the lines are too long at the big gas stations to fill up.
-The streets are incredibly narrow so even having 2 cars beside each other is tight but also having to be aware of motorbikes simultaneously is a challenge. There aren’t really sidewalks either.
-Always leave time as traffic is always unexpected
-So many people here smoke cigarettes
-If you want to have dinner at La Brisa for sunset, book in advanced!
Mertasari, Denpasar – Canggu – Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
We had a 530AM pick-up to Mertasari Beach for an early morning surf day. We surfed baby reef area.
Ryan from Wetsurfguiding was our instructor and his dad was our driver. It was 55K IDR (included driver, rash guard, board rental & instructor). The waves have been better at Mertasari than Canggu so that’s where we went. We arrived to a beautiful sunrise. Daniel joined us for the early morning surf as well. We took the boat further out to where the waves were.
Overcast morning which was perfect for us surfers. Note to self – if using the zinc sunscreen on the face, don’t put it too close to the eyes because it will get in there and be very unpleasant.
The views were amazing. As you wait for the next set of waves, you look out to the cloud formations. It was also clear enough to see Mt Agung.
I’ve surfed 3 times before (Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Tamarindo, Costa Rica & Huntington beach, California) but I had my longest rides of any waves in Bali. The only downside of riding it so long and far is the paddling to get back out. My arms aren’t as strong as they use to be so that was tough.
We surfed for about 2 hours and came back to shore for a quick rinse off before going for breakfast.
We drove a little further down the beach to have a meal at Lilla Pantai. I had the Balinese Chicken Curry and the Beetroot Ginger Zinger (90K IDR).
Another 30-45 minute drive back to Canggu. We rested for bit before I decided to go on a walk to explore the area. I was told people in Bali don’t walk and I can see why. There aren’t any real sidewalks for people and you have to be more alert while hugging the side of the roads. It didn’t stop me from walking though. It was hot but the humidity is what gets you.
I met back up with Bev and we ended up having a snack at Hungry Bird Cafe – I got the fruit salad.
For dinner, we took a Grab over to ShiShi in Seminyak. We had dinner with my friend Daphiny from Vancouver who happened to also be in Bali. Her lovely friends Bri and Carina were also there as we took part in the AYCE Korean meal. We ordered everything.
Mertasari Beach – Canggu, Bali, Indonesia. 30C felt like 37C
We had another morning surf session with Ryan back around Mertasari Beach. We took a boat to another spot further down near an area called Serangan (I think) to catch bigger waves. Ryan also switched us to smaller boards. I was on an 8.0 while Bev was on a 7.5.
We had the soft top big boards the day before. Ryan said he watched us pop up on them the day before so wanted us to try smaller boards. Wobbly the moment we got on them as you have to focus on balance a lot more.
Bev was the first to try to catch a wave. She went down. Seeing this, I thought the same was going to happen to me but low and behold, I caught the wave on my first ride and I rode it for a good while.
The riding was good but new location and bigger waves, I panicked once in the water as the next 2 rows of waves came in fast and I was struggling so hard to paddle.
My shoulders and arms might look strong at times but endurance is quite lacking. By the time I made it into the safe zone of the current, I had a throbbing headache. Paddling and having to look up put alot of stress on my traps for sure. Sad to say I only lasted 2 rides but at least I successfully got up and rode the waves.
Luckily there were 2 boats nearby that let me lay down in them until our 2 hours was done and our boat would come for us.
We got home and grabbed lunch at Hungry Bird Cafe. I got the Ayam Chicken Burger.
Immediately after lunch, we both went for massages. I went to Dream Spa Salon and got the 75min sports massage. I have a good threshold for pain and man, I was quivering at certain points. My girl Nelly was really good. My calves, scapula & traps were super knotted. I got off the table and almost collapsed in a good way.
Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
When we were in Auckland, New Zealand getting my tattoo done by Terje Koloamatangi, we had mentioned we would be heading to Bali. He mentioned his best friend Mike owned a gym in Canggu where we were planning on going to. I knew I had to go.
I went solo to Soma Fight Club as Bev was completely worn out because she basically had a solo surf session yesterday after I had to stop. I did the 8AM Muay Thai Pads (all lvls) class. Unfortunately Mike was flying back to Bali later that day so I didn’t get the chance to meet him. Still a cool connection throughout our trip.
A day pass was 250K IDR for the day (including access to ice bath and sauna) + 50k IDR for glove & wraps rentals.
For the Muay Thai class, they start with skipping ropes and then go into combo work. They then get you to go into pairs to work on combos. I paired with this guy who is slightly larger than myself. We threw combos of punches, elbows, knees and kicks. So MUCH SWEAT everywhere. I threw a kick to his stomach and almost wiped out because my foot slid off him. Next after pair combos was half/half working with instructors w/pads while the others worked the punching bags alternating. Finished off with pairs punching bag combos.
I definitely wanted to make sure I took in all the features of the gym. I went straight to the sauna and the ice baths and did 2 rounds. Showered and went on my way.
For lunch, we went to Cafe Vida with Daniel. I ordered the Pink Panther Smoothie (58K IDR) & Dr Seuss green egg omelette (90K IDR)
Daniel left us to do some work while we walked around that area and made our way to Love Anchor Bazaar to do a bit of shopping. We picked up matching bracelets and Bev tested out her haggling skills. In the end, we literally emptied out our wallets and we had 50K IDR less than the number we haggled for but they saw us struggling and let us have the bracelets for the money we had. We got 5 bracelets for 600K IDR (it should have been 650K IDR but we were short).
Feeling poor, we went home. Bev went for a sunburn healing massage that didn’t end up healing.
My Grab app wasn’t working so unfortunately we couldn’t take motorbikes to dinner and had to opt for a car ride. We were stuck in traffic for so long. We met up with Daniel and his partner Natalie for dinner at Beach Boy Canggu. It felt like they bought out the place for us to have dinner together. The staff were incredibly attentive and they all knew our names. They also had live music and they take requests. I ordered a Bintang Radler (39k IDR) & Bolognaise pasta (90k IDR).