La Lucciola

If there is one thing you can rely on in Bali, it’s the fabulous food. Coupled with a stunning location, you have La Lucciola at Seminyak. After a stroll along the main street accompanied by the cacophony of traffic and populace, reaching La Lucciola was nirvana.

1.La Lucciola2.La Lucciola

Seated on the upstairs balcony, the gentle sea breeze mingled with that of the overhead fans and the tranquil view perfected the scene.

3.La Lucciola

The undrinkable water forced us to order cocktails instead, anything to quench the thirst.

The flower arrangements were quite spectacular, even in the bathrooms.

The meals disappeared too quickly for photographs but I caught a couple of the desserts.

After lunch, we walked onto the sands, soft and golden on this part of the island.

11.Seminyak Beach

Seminyak Beach comprises three adjoining coastal strips, the southernmost bordering Legian Beach.

12.Seminyak Beach

This little squirrel has certainly chosen a lovely spot to call home.

Ayung River

The highlight of our Bali holiday was the white water rafting experience on the Ayung River. From the northern mountains, the Ayung runs for 75 kilometres to Sanur Beach with a series of not too scary class II and III rapids along the way. Once we were kitted out with life-vests, helmets and paddles, we walked the 250 stone steps down to the river.

1.long way down

After further safety instructions, we set off for our 8km ride. There were peaceful moments, cruising along, admiring the verdant scenery.

2.ayung river

We would then hear the words, “boom boom” from the back of the raft, a warning from the guide that we were approaching a rapid.

3.rafting

A bit of mad paddling, hopefully in the right direction, and we returned to cruising mode. We passed intricate carvings in the rocks, depicting the story of Ramanyana, an epic Hindu poem from 400AD. I’m not surprised it took two years to complete. The photos aren’t very clear but you’ll get the idea.

4.sculptures5.sculptures

We indulged in a cooling swim at a particularly tranquil spot, a waterfall offering another dimension for those wanting a shower.

6.cooling off

There were other rafters on the river but we all somehow maintained our own space.

7.bridge

The final rapid was rigged with a company camera so we could all take home an exhausted, exhilarated memento.

8.rafting

There were a different set of stone steps to climb before our reward of lunch, I could hardly walk for three days. A word of advice, if you have sore muscles, do not get a Bali massage! Seeing as we were in the vicinity, we wandered around Ubud after lunch,

9.Ubud

enjoying a beverage while the world passed by. I found the glimpses of life beyond the main street fascinating, so different from our lives here in Tasmania.

10.Ubud11.restaurant Ubud

I have taken the liberty of using some photos taken by our friends on the day. I can’t remember whose was whose but you know who you are and I thank you.

Sanur Beach

After spending a sultry, sweaty morning at GWK Cultural Park, we sought the solace of the seaside. Sanur Beach Market Place offered a beautiful beachside location for lunch.

1.Sanur Beach Market Bar & Restaurant2.Sanur Beach

Sanur Beach is Bali’s earliest beach resort, the golden sands a contrast to the dark volcanic grains of Seseh.

3.Sanur Beach4.Sanur Beach

We were appalled by the condition of some dogs we had seen in Bali but this fella looked very contented in the sunshine.

5.Bali dog

A group of musical orphans wound their way through the market. I couldn’t resist a donation, although I knew it wasn’t nearly enough.

6.orphans

Suffering the worst case of cankles known to womankind, I was easily convinced to partake of a post prandial fish spa. Despite his pedal sensitivity, Michael bravely accompanied me in the experience.

7.fish spa

The tiny, toothless garra rufa fish nibble enticingly at the unwanted dead tissue on the feet, fortunately leaving the good stuff alone.

8.fish spa9.fish spa

Time for another beer………

 

GWK

On a balmy Balinese morning, we journeyed south from our villa at Seseh to experience Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. GWK, as it is known, is a 60 hectare park devoted to the Hindu God, Wisnu and his mythical half-man, half-bird companion, Garuda. There are different areas used for various art & cultural performances. We first encountered Kura Kura Plaza, or Turtle Plaza. The turtle sculptures are believed to guard the earth from natural disasters.

1.Kura Kura Plaza

The views were spectacular from the elevated position of the park, looking over the ocean and Denpasar.

2.view-Denpasar on right

There is an ongoing project at GWK, the creation of one of the largest statues in the world. The finished copper and brass monument, portraying Wisnu riding on the back of Garuda, will apparently be 120 metres tall and Garuda will have 65 metre long wings.

3.Garuda Wishnu Kencana

Started in 1997 by Balinese sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, some parts of the statue have been completed. The first sight of the 20 metre high Wisnu was absolutely breathtaking.

4.Wisnu

Wisnu Plaza is on the highest part of GWK and is the setting for traditional Balinese art performances.

5.Wisnu Plaza

It must be awe inspiring to present a show under the watchful eye of Wisnu.

6.Wisnu

We passed this Hindu shrine

7.shrine

on the way to Garuda Plaza.

8.Garuda Plaza

This part of the statue was not as tall, but equally as impressive as Wisnu.

9.Garuda Plaza

The largest outdoor venue in the park is called Lotus Pond. It isn’t actually a pond but the massive limestone pillars around the perimeter make it a fascinating venue for big events such as music concerts.

10.Lotus Pond

It is also the perfect setting for a Segway ride. Michael soon mastered the balancing act and there was no stopping him.

With the beautiful limestone columns as a backdrop, Nyoman Nuarta has weaved his magic again. The magnificent Peace Memorial is dedicated to all the Bali bombing victims in the hope of uniting the world into a peaceful, harmonious community.

14.Peace Memorial

Seseh Beach

Our first morning in Bali, we walked the few hundred metres from our villa to Seseh Beach.

1.towards beach

Undaunted by the warnings,

2.warning

we continued on past neighbouring properties

3.villa neighbours

to the lure of the ocean ahead.

4.just down the road

As we neared the beach

5.seseh beach

we were surprised and somewhat disappointed to find, not the expanse of untouched golden sand one might imagine, but a beach of black sand.

6.seseh beach

This western coastline is among Bali’s favourite surf spots, though not conducive to relaxing on the beach. The volcanic rock formations were fascinating

7.seseh beach

and the flotsam intriguing.

8.seseh beach

The fishing boats of Seseh village were patiently awaiting their next adventure.

9.seseh beach

We strolled back, past curious doorways

10.doorway

with intricate carvings.

11.another doorway

Returning to the villa, we were welcomed by the familiar shrines at the entrance.

12.shrines at villa