First stop in Bali was Kuta where I met up with Kev, one of our Cambodian travelling companians. Kuta is a very popular holiday destination for the Australians, I suppose it is like their Costa Del Sol, which as it sounds, means that it is very touristy in places. It is a surfing mecca though, and the streets are lined with various surfing and board shops, and the waves pound the beaches all day waiting for the next surfer ready to take the plunge. I got tempted myself one day and had a surf lesson from an Australian surfer that now lived in Bali, after 2 hours in the water I was knackered but had ridden a couple of waves, just! It was great fun though and am sure surfing will be another hobby that I may dabble in again!
After spending a couple of days in Kuta we then moved onto the next town called Legian that was still busy but not as touristy as Kuta. It was here that the bomb exploded 2 years ago at the Sari nightclub when over 200 people were killed. There is now a memorial plaque that has been built on this site. Tourism obviously was affected by the bombing but it hasn't taken too long to build it back up again.
In terms of sightseeing on Bali, first stop was a temple at Uluwatu which is sited right on the edge of the cliffs with stunning views out to sea. In all of the temples due to their cultures and religions you have to have your legs covered so I was given a very fetching sarong to wear with a gold sash! On the way back to Legian we stopped off at a very popular spot to watch the sunset at a fishing village called Jimbaran Bay, where you can watch the Balinese wade out to sea and literally catch the fish by hand! Another stunning sunset was seen here whilst enjoying a lovely seafood meal.
During my last few days in Bali we took a cruise on a catamaran over to Nusa Lembongan, a very picturesque and beatiful island that is still very unspoilt, and only 1 hour away from Bali. We stayed overnight on the island and whilst there took part in a few of the tours available including a trip to one of the villages where we saw some of the villagers hard at work fishing for seaweed which is their major source of income on the island. We also had a look down in a cave that was dug out by hand by an elderly man over a period of 15 years. It had many rooms, 2 bedrooms, bathrooms etc, although not with the modern day ammenities!!! Then the next day after a spot of snorkelling where we saw some beautiful fish, we had a very plesant canoe ride down through the mangrove swamps which are now protected on the island.
Ubud was another place that we visited whilst in Bali. It is quite a touristy town but without all the bars and nightlifes, just cafes/restaurants, hotels, and still has a traditional feel to the place. Here we saw hundreds of shops and factories selling crafts including stoneware and woodwork products. We also stopped off at Sabutu temple just north of Ubud where there were pools of supposed holy water which you could bath in if you wanted!! And then on the way back to Legian we passed through some of the many spectacular rice terraces that can be seen throughout Bali.