Greetings, my readers! As a travel blogger, I always want to be honest about my travel experiences–the good, the bad, and the unexpected! Bali was definitely not what we expected, so read on to find out why.
My husband Steve and I had such a great time in the Baltics, but by the end of that leg of the trip we were looking so forward to enjoying some fun on the beach and in the sun in beautiful Bali! Three flights and 28 hours later, we landed at the Denpasar airport and took an hour long drive to go 13 miles to our accommodations. No big deal. It was Friday night, of course there would be congestion on the small island roads. Right? At least we were greeted like this:
Our villa was beautiful! Instead of a regular hotel room, Steve and I would be spending our time in a private villa with a pool, indoor/outdoor kitchen and living area, air conditioned bedroom, and a beautiful bathroom looking out on our private pool!
It was like an oasis away from… well, nearly everything else about Bali.
So, we were (well, I was) fully expecting to land in a beautiful paradise of white sand beaches, turquoise water, friendly sea turtles named Ferdinand… instead it was mostly blackish and littered sand, grayish water, and the only wildlife we saw were hundreds of stray dogs. No sidewalks, so we had to walk in the road, hoping to avoid thousands of motor scooters, dozens of cars, and construction (including ditches on either side of the road).
One highlight, however, was seeing a Hindu worship celebration on the beach:
Steve and I surmised that those people who post endless beautiful pictures of gorgeous beaches and beautiful landscapes are staying exclusively on a resort. I did find a few nice shots of flowers around our villa, though.
Good thing the villa was so beautiful because we couldn’t even bring ourselves to venture out beyond the beach because the traffic was so horrendous. Just driving to Ubud in the middle of the island, 20 miles away, could take well over an hour. If I want to go that far in that amount of time, I’ll drive the roads of DC back home–not on vacation! And actually the driving was going to be pretty expensive, too. We would have to hire a driver from our villa for the day–$40 for the first two hours, $12 per hour after that.
So how did I make the most of it? What did I do with that money instead? Scheduled a 3-hour series of spa treatments–for the win! Foot bath, massage, body scrub, body wrap, fruit-infused bath, and fruit salad with hot tea in my villa afterward. And it was way less expensive than an 8-hour excursion mostly sitting in traffic!
We did venture out on our last full day there. The villas provide a complementary ride into the nearby town of Seminyak for shopping, so we did that and realized for certain we made the right decision not going anywhere else on the trip!
At any rate, we’re glad we went but we were also ready to get home by the time we left! The drive to the airport on a Tuesday afternoon was, well, incredible. We got there in a little over an hour (again, just 13 miles!), and wandered around until time to check in for our set of marathon flights.
What are marathon flights? Find out in an upcoming blog post! And what did we eat in Bali, you may ask? I’ll be writing about that soon, too! A series of “What I Ate Wednesdays” is coming!