Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Listening… Triple J at work.

Reading… I just read a STACK of books on my holiday, but most of them were trashy. I am halfway through E. M. Forster’s “A Passage to India” which is hard going, but fascinating.

Watching… Season two of True Blood and a stack of movies I bought home from Bali, including St Trinian’s 2, which is uber trashy, but features David Tennant and Colin Firth! Swoon. And David Tennant is the bad guy! Double swoon.

Buying… Oh God, NOTHING. I cant believe I went on holidays when I have NO MONEY! I will be paying for that for the rest of the year! But having said that…. I may have recently purchased my Meredith ticket. WIN!!!

Wanting… Last month I said a holiday and I got that! Wow. Maybe here I should say that I am wanting to win lotto… hmmm. No, I am wanting a very exciting opportunity that has come across my radar in the last week or so and its extremely challenging and tempting… stay tuned! Will post details in October sometime.

Trying… to get my health back on track.

Loving… Hearing how passionate people are on twitter these last two days about the 63rd Annual UN Department of Public Information NGO Conference and seeing how committee people still are to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Go team!

Planning… on a crazy savings plan!

Writing… well… this update! Not much else. My laptop has died a painful, water related death, so until that is fixed/replaced, I am not writing anything! Except for my Simple Diary!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A week in Bali...

Prepare to be jealous...

For some reason, this year's winter has seemed to drag on for months longer than usual. And its been freezing! Each cold snap leaves me thinking “Surely that’s the last of the really cold weather” and each week I am disappointed to find Melbourne still serving up another freezing week of icy winds and rain. I’ve been lucky since I started my job 3 years ago (3 years! When did that happen!?) that I’ve been overseas each year for a really long break of 3 or 4 weeks at a time. But I was not expecting to go anywhere this year – I need to start saving for a potential trip to the States and UK next year.

So it’s a lucky day when a friend of mine invited me to share a week in Bali with her – and as she works for an airline, we got cheap flights. Really cheap flights. Like under $250 return flights. Which meant I got a lovely week away from the very chilly Melbourne weather which was quite unexpected and amazing.

I stayed in Bali for 7 nights and its been 11 years since I last visited. The areas I visited were much more touristy these days. Back when I visited, Legian was considered a ‘village’, whereas these days its hard to find a line between where Kuta ends and Legian begins. Lots of people stay in Seminyak, which is a bit further along and a little less busy than Legian, but not by much.

Why you would want to stay in Kuta is beyond me – its dirty and crowded and expensive. Legian is 5 minutes down the beach and Seminyak another 5 minutes after that and this is where we stayed for our first 2 nights in Bali.

We had booked a lovely little room in a mansion home in a quiet and secluded part of Seminyak. Its called Casa Artista and was the best start to our holiday!

We had a nice spacious 2 bed room here with great air conditioning, outdoor bathroom (obviously private!) and a huge balcony overlooking the pool and wider Seminyak area, where we ate breakfast each morning. It was so beautiful! Included in our stay was a ‘fit and healthy’ breakfast each morning (I don’t normally say this but… lol) and a few spa treatments, so I was also able to enjoy a lovely massage in the outdoor treatment rooms (again, obviously private!)

The only downside to the hotel was the construction work that was happening next door which meant we had quite a few hours of drilling each day. But it wasn’t enough to really disturb you and we both managed to spend a few days by the pool reading and relaxing in the sun!

After two nights we moved onto the Seri Suites, which had been recommended to me from a few different people. We stayed her for 5 nights and it was amazing, with one exception which I will warn you about first in case anyone out there in internet land is planning on staying here… The ROOSTER!!!

There was a bunch of roosters in the farm behind our first room. While the hotel is set in a lovely, village type setting surrounded by rice paddy fields, there were also roosters. So our first morning, come 4am, off they went, every 5 seconds or so, until around 11am. A nightmare and impossible to sleep through. Not exactly a relaxing start to our stay!

It must be an ongoing occurrence at this hotel, because when we complained the following morning they offered to move us straight away. But because we needed a twin room, we ended up having a mattress on the floor of the room we ended up in. Not ideal, but it was fine as we loved the room and the views and were right next to the pool!

And so began 6 very relaxing days lounging by the pool, enjoying beautiful massages and eating yummy food. We had a few dinners over at Jimbaran Bay, which I highly recommend, even though it’s a bit more expensive. Our more expensive of the two dinners was around $40 each, including tip, which is really not that bad considering the huge amounts of fresh seafood we ate, plus beers, plus the car trip there and back (one hour round trip) and the incredible views from the sandy beach across the bay! Amazing.

The shopping was not as great as I remember, but I did come away with some beautiful homewares and lots of jewellery. Food and taxis are uber cheap (around $3 for a taxi back to the hotel from Seminyak/Legian, which was around 10-15 minutes) and the weather was perfect. We even had a few raining mornings which makes the place feel even more beautiful, as you sit in your outdoor lounge room watching the rain wash everything away. So peaceful.

So it’s a place I can highly recommend. I would love to visit again sometime, maybe with a group of friends? A little slice of paradise only 6 hours from Melbourne!