Exploring the nusa islands

My last trip to the Nusa islands was a little, uhm what can I say, disappointing? Due to a round of not-so-nice balibelly we weren’t able to explore as much as we wanted. That is why I was even more excited to go back with Ingvild and Ellie the other week. We managed to see and do just about everything that we wanted to in the 3 nights we spent there, and have a whole bunch of tips and pictures to share with you guys. If you’re interested in reading my post from my last trip to the Nusas, you can check it out here.

Firstly, the best and most convenient way to get around is by scooter. We had a slightly hysterical/traumatising moment where both Ingvild and Ellie attempted to drive one. Both realised within a few dramatic seconds that that was not gonna happen. So instead of risking all of our lives by squeezing all three on my scooter, we opted for walking, and got a few lifts from our very lovely and helpful host.

On our first full day we did a snorkelling trip to Manta Bay, Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay. Manta Bay was definitely the highlight of the three, as we had an amazing experience snorkelling with three beautiful manta rays. At times there was less than ten centimeters separating us and the mantas, and it almost felt as though they were playing or dancing with us. Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay both had amazing, clear water and a lot of beautiful fish, but the water there was a lot colder and with pretty strong currents. Still gorgeous though.

Day two went to Nusa Penida, the bigger, less developed island of the three. We got a small fishing boat from the harbour by the bridge on Nusa Lembongan over to the harbour on Penida. Our host advised us not to pay more than 200K IDR in total one way. We ended up agreeing to 450K/return, as the guy was happy to pick us up whenever we wanted later in the day.

Once we got to Penida we hired two scooters, one that I drove with Ingvild on the back, and one with a driver and Ellie on the back. This worked out pretty well, although it did cost us a little extra. For the full day we payed 330K for both scooters and the driver. The only bad thing with the sights on Penida is that they’re a bit far away from each other, and the roads are not good, haha. You could say our bums were a little numb after 4 + hours on bumpy roads and bad scooter seats. The sights and nature was beautiful though, and most definitely worth it!

Nusa

We drove to Kelingking Secret beach first, also known as the T-Rex (see above). Up there we got an absolutely stunning view of the secret beach and the surrounding T-Rex shaped cliffs. This was where I annoyingly realised that I had forgotten the memory card to my camera, so I ended up having to make do with my phone. Luckily this place is impressive enough to look good on most devices.

Next stop was Broken Beach and Billabong (see below). Nature and the strong waves here have created magnificent cliffs where the waves play around and crash up against the walls. Hard to describe, but beautiful to watch.

Apart from the above, we also explored Lembongan. The top spots to check out here are Dream Beach and Mushroom Beach (where I recommend the Margherita pizza at Hai Bar). As well as Sandy Beach (where you can get amazing tuna steak while watching the sunset) and Devil’s Tears. We also got to see many of the sights like the Blue Lagoon and Devil’s Tears while we were at sea on the snorkelling trip.

I think three days/nights at the islands is the perfect amount of time if you just want to explore a little. There are tons of boat companies that offer roundtrips including pick up and drop off at the harbour/hotel. Boats leave from Sanur and Padangbai on Bali and shouldn’t cost you more than around 4-6ooK IDR for the return (depending on where you departure from). I’ve tried Arthamas express, Scoot fast cruises and a few others but always book through  my homestay or one of the small stalls along the streets (if you book there you can sometimes bargain, although homestays normally have good rates).

As for accommodation, you can book in advance and get some great deals on fairly luxurious bungalows like Kencana Gardens or Dream Beach Cottages (highly recommend both). Or you can walk in to guesthouses that lie near the harbour/main beach and ask for available rooms on arrival. You’re bound to find something cheap here although the standard tends to be more basic. Perfect if you want easy access to the surf spots though.

And that’s about it! The Nusas are absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit (or three, like me haha). If you go or have been, let us know what you thought.

Emilie x

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Three Days Solo Travel in Ubud, Bali

So, not to rub it in, but I’m chilling in Bali as I type this – casual y’know.

Unfortunately I am not able to stay for four months like Emilie, but I’ve been super lucky and managed to fit in a 20 day holiday to Indonesia. Sun, culture and good food combined with a CC team reunion – it’s a yes from me.

Being Emilie’s fourth month in Bali now, she has already done a lot of travelling. This includes Ubud, an inland city in Bali. I was eager to visit so I decided to head there first for a quick three day solo trip. And I’m so glad I did!

For those who have never been, Ubud is a hub of culture, food and yoga. (And people, a lot of people.)

Where’s best for your stay is totally dependent on what kind of trip you’re taking. For my brief solo visit the centrally located hostel I stayed in was perfect – cheap, clean and on Monkey Forest Road (i.e. within walking distance of many sights).

Note – if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, central Ubud is not for you (it is a city after all). From what I’ve seen, there are some gorgeous hotels located further out. And I mean, if it’s got the Obama’s seal of approval, then it’s gotta be good.

Ubud has a lot to offer and it’s easy to spend the day wandering from one thing to another. Enjoy a juice or two as you go!

  • Be sure to explore Ubud market. Jewellery, bags, sarongs, buddha statues, the list goes on and on of what you can find.
  • Just across the road from the market is Ubud Palace and down that road is the Water Palace. Both have beautiful architecture that visitors can enjoy from the gardens.

  • And further beyond that is the Campuhan Ridge Walk. This is a trail that takes you up out of the city centre and onto higher ground with views of jungle and rice terraces. A change from the pace of the city! It’s beautiful, although I would avoid walking it in the midday heat. My late afternoon wander was perfect to see the start of the sunset and wasn’t too strenuous in the lower heat (though be sure to bring water).

Of course there is also the very popular Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Being short on time I decided not to spend the day wandering the sanctuary, however I’ve been told that it’s fun although very busy. Emilie gave me a good tip though – walk down the road for scooters that runs alongside of the sanctuary.  I gave it a go and got to see a monkey family exploring and playing up close- loved it! It’s not the same experience of course, and if you are keen on going you will definitely be able to fit it into your schedule, however I at least didn’t feel like I had missed out on too much!

Also – if yoga is your thing then I think you’re gonna like Ubud. I took classes at the Yoga Barn, which were enjoyable and varied. However I was also recommended Radiantly Alive. (I would have loved to have tried but my short trip didn’t allow it unfortunately!) Definitely check out both if you can!

As I should have expected, I was hit heavily by jet lag throughout my three days, which unfortunately disrupted my schedule! I didn’t manage to fit in a visit to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. I was disappointed of course, however I’ve managed to see many rice terraces around Bali since. Apparently it is fantastic however, so I’ve popped it on my list of things to do on my next visit!

And finally (and maybe most importantly?!); the food.

Ubud has literally every type of cafe and restaurant you could want. Below are the ones I tried (and loved) but there are plenty more fantastic ones that I didn’t manage to fit in. (My list for my next visit is getting longer and longer!)

  • Mudra – I think Mudra was my favourite cafe in Ubud. Great coffee (super important, ofc) and tasty fresh food (good smoothie bowls)! It’s located off of the main road so it’s much quieter. Plus the front of the cafe is covered by hanging plants and vines – perfect for a chilled morning or to get some work done.
  • Clear Cafe – Super stylish and chilled with clean, healthy food. Everything is sourced from local Balinese farmers and completely natural – lots of choice too! I sat at a table facing out onto the pond, fountains and fish – a very cool location although the water attracts the bugs – luckily they provided bug spray!
  • Seniman Coffee Studio – I am a proper coffee addict so I couldn’t visit Ubud without a stop by here. Fantastic coffee and a nice quiet atmosphere – really perked me up for the day.
  • Sage – A recommendation from Emilie – clean, tasty vegan food. Located further south of Monkey Forest, has a very quiet relaxed atmosphere, a break from the bustle of the centre. I enjoyed a tasty salad bowl, and Emilie also recommends the carrot cake!
  • The Garden Kafe (The Yoga Barn) – Stopped by after an evening Vinyasa Flow class and had a very tasty salad. Another place with fresh, healthy clean food – perfect for a post-class pick me up. The juice bar is fantastic too.

All in all I absolutely loved my solo three day trip to Ubud; it was interesting, fun and chilled. I felt that three days was a good amount of time to enjoy the city before moving onto a beach location. There were only a couple things I wish I’d had time to do!

I loved the experience – if you get the chance to go, do it! xx

I’m no Carrie Bradshaw

When we watch SATC (something that happens very regularly- it’s essentially the foundation of mine and Emilie’s friendship), it is tradition to discuss which character each of us are – a tradition I highly doubt we’re alone in. I like to think I’m Carrie minus the bad puns, her flair for the over-dramatics and those awful oversized flower brooches from seasons 2 and 3. And minus Carrie’s views on love because, let’s be honest, they came across pretty childish sometimes… And then there was the whole Berger thing, I mean come on girl.

Don’t get me wrong though, I absolutely love Carrie for all the above points and more. (Except the flower brooches – seriously, they burned my eyes). But maybe I’m less like her than I hoped…I’m possibly blinded by my love for SJP.

(Wait. Am I a Miranda? Jeez, I feel like I’m having an identity crisis)

 

 

Nonetheless, an attribute I wish I shared with Carrie is the ability to put pen to paper and write.  Sorry guys, I haven’t written a blog post in a long time! My only excuse is that basically I haven’t had time to do anything exciting being in my final year of uni. (I really should have listened to you last year Em when you were telling me how busy you were!) Although if anyone needs Indesign tips or a review of Manchester’s libraries, I’m ya gal. I feel like I’ve had zero time and suddenly the year has flown by… However, I have now finished (yas!) and I graduate next month, so I no longer have degree demands, freeing up space in my brain for blogging (that’s how it works, right?).

Luckily whilst I’ve been skiving on my blogging duties, Emilie has been keeping Chasing Cultures updated with posts on her travels – if you haven’t seen them yet be sure to scroll down! Seriously, the photos are gorgeous.

Anyways, I wanted to say hello and to promise more frequent posting from here onwards! Be sure to keep an eye out for new content coming your way very soon and also for joint content from both me and Em once we meet up in Bali next week; both on CC and on our instagrams 🙂

@wearechasingcultures
@emiliegarness
@elliecallow

xo

Canggu sunsets

Canggu SunsetCanggu SunsetEliseCanggu SunsetCanggu SunsetThe lawn

I love watching sunsets and how the colours of the sky change as the sun disappears past the horizon. These photos are from the other night when I went down to Old Mans beach with some friends and my camera. The sunset didn’t disappoint, the sky was almost rainbow coloured as the sun went down behind the clouds. As for the shots, they barely needed any editing apart from some tiny adjustments. So #nofilter is approriate here. Happy days.

/Jeg elsker å se på solnedganger og hvordan himmelens farger forandres. Her om dagen tok jeg med meg kameraet og noen venner ned til Old Mans for å sjekke ut solnedgangen. Det så ikke så lovende ut da det var en god del skyer, men som vanlig klarte sola å gjøre noe magisk i det den sank ned bak horisonten. Himmelen var nesten regnbuefarget og helt fantastisk./

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Canteen mornings

Canggu canteen canteen

How most mornings are spent here. Sunny mornings with good coffee, good food and great company. Canteen is one of our favourites for a relaxed but really good breakfast or lunch. The atmosphere is amazing, they play great music and the people are lovely.  I normally get Deal #1 with fried eggs, chilli beans and a long black  coffee, but the hotcakes and french toast are amazing too, along with just about everything else haha. For lunch try the noodle salad or veggie burger – both are👌🏻. I’m definitely taking you here when you come Ellie!

Hope you’re having a great day! It’s rainy and grey here today so I’m spending the day  doing tedious stuff like tidying and picking up laudry… Speak soon x

NEW FEATURE: Norwegian Translation
/Slik ser de flest morgener ut her nede. Vakre soloppganger, god kaffe, bra mat og fint selskap. Canteen er en av våre favorittplasser for frokost og brunch. Her er det super avslappet stemning, bra musikk i bakgrunnen of utrolig hyggelige folk. De har hotcakes (pannekaker), french toast og bagels som er supergode men min favoritt er Deal #1. Der får jeg fruktsalat, egg, chillibønner og en digg sort kaffe. Akkurat det en trenger for en bra start på dagen! Er du her for lunsj, bør du prøve vegetarburgeren eller noodlesalaten. Skal definitivt ta med Ellie hit når hun kommer 🙂

Håper alle har en super dag! Her regner det i dag så blir en “fikse og ordne” dag på meg. Litt klesvask og rydding, og kanskje litt mer blogging 😉  Vi snakkes x /