The Beattie and Washer families have already completed several epic journeys with Adventures Within Reach. At AWR we love helping our guests with select adventure destinations beyond what we list on our website. We have specialist local guide connections in a number of remarkable regions (Sri Lanka, Morocco, Greenland etc.), so curious travelers can always contact us and see if we can help them arrange an itinerary to any destination worldwide such as what the Beattie and Washer families did with Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Over the next weeks we will be sharing their personal stories of their most recent adventure to SE Asia exploring Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Borneo, Bali and Singapore as told by Tinaz. Read on for part 2: Incredible Indonesia.
Took off for Bali from Columbo at the crack of dawn. We spent the whole day traveling with a stop in Jakarta. Arrived in Bali in the evening and we were picked up by Buddha, our host who escorted us to our hotel. He was quite the character! We arrived at our spectacular oasis Sankara Ubud Resort, with its beautiful pool, lush grounds, and lovely rooms…albeit no ocean! Excellent service at this hotel and we were looking forward to our few days in Bali! LOVE!
Despite strong desires to hit the 7am yoga class, we all slept through and enjoyed a lovely breakfast overlooking the pool at 8am (LUXURY timing for this early-to-rise bunch)! We met up with our guide Dewa and proceeded to have one of our HIGHLIGHT experiences of our time in Bali, and on our trip altogether…a SPECTACULAR morning with a Shiva Buddhist and his lovely family in their beautiful home! Dewa brought us to his village, and we walked around the small area learning of their way of life as Shiva Buddhists. IT WAS JUST FASCINATING TO HEAR OF THEIR BUDDHIST VALUES, INSIGHTS ON HEALTHY LIVING, MINDFULNESS, COMPASSION, COMMUNITY-ORIENTATION, AND IN-THE-NOW MENTALITY! 😇
Some ideas he shared with us…
On harvesting anything from the earth…YOU TAKE ONE, YOU GIVE ONE…
On living in the now…THE VOLCANO CAN COME AT ANY TIME, SO THIS MIGHT BE YOUR LAST DAY…WHY WORRY?
On being vegetarian…OH NO WE EAT ALL BUGS…SPIDERS, INSECTS…
On sharing with your neighbor…WE COOK FOR THE COMMUNITY, KEEP ALL DOORS OPEN, AND SHARE OUR ABUNDANCE…
On being lucky…WE ARE NOT RICH, BUT WE ARE LUCKY BECAUSE WE HAVE ENOUGH TO BE HAPPY…☺ ☺ ☺
We then saw his lovely compound, open-air traditional home, and met his wife, sisters-in-law, children, and his dog…obviously named “Doggy”! His home was passed down within his family for 1300 YEARS…WHAT THUHHHHH?!?! 1300 YEARS? HOW MANY RENOVATIONS IS THAT? WE JUST FINISHED OUR THIRD AND OUR HOME IS ONLY 21! Apparently they renovate every 20 years in order to manage the earthquake damage.
We sat down in his kitchen and got instructions to help prepare 5 dishes with items grown on his property, including, fresh garlic, ginger, peppers, tempeh, shallots, tomatoes, corn, ferns (for salad), and chicken (enjoyed only once per month)! We each got tasks to chop, mince, sauté and help create a DELICIOUS meal with the help of himself and his family. O.M.G…IT WAS TRULY SURREAL TO BE THERE…IN THIS 1300-YEAR-OLD HOME, WITH A TRADITIONAL BUDDHIST FAMILY, IN BALI…WE WERE TRULY ALL ON A CLOUD ENJOYING THIS SPECTACULAR EXPERIENCE!!!
Afterward, he and his wife drove us back to our hotel in Ubud…and I’m not sure why, but after this highly TRADITIONAL experience that seemed as if we’d gone back in time, I was surprised to be driven in their vehicles (half-expecting a horse and buggy!). This half-day spent with Dewa was one of the most memorable travel experiences we’ve ever had together, and it was such a pleasure to see the kids enjoy it as much as we did. WELL DONE DAN AND AWR!!! 👊
This afternoon, we were met by our guide and we took a walk through the rice fields to a lookout point, and then embraced another family meal (with our guide’s family) within a different village. Delicious food as well, prepared by some lovely, kind and very friendly ladies…and we were beginning to feel like all we do is EAT! SEVERAL BANANA FRITTERS LATER, and after playing with a mountain of puppies, we left the family home and were driven back to our hotel. En route, we decided to bail on the next day’s agenda and enjoy a lazy day by the pool! Yeah…you know…like most people on vacation…
Yoga at 7am for Greg, Glenn and I was quite delicious…followed by a lovely breakfast and somewhat sludgy coffee (although certainly respectable enough for several pots)! The ladies had booked mani and pedi appointments at the spa (loooovely), and the boys decided to embrace a hotel-driven, white-water-rafting excursion for the afternoon. The grownups hired a car for two hours and hit a couple of shops for some great Bali souvenirs. After some WONDERFUL pool time, we also all went for a deep tissue massage at the spa…AWESOME! CAN EVERY OTHER DAY BE A DAY AT THE POOL?!? JK…love our crazy, busy holidays…but we’ve definitely discovered a day off at least once is a good thing… 🙂 !
Today we BIKE! We were met by our guide after breakfast. We took off for a coffee plantation and discovered how they make LUWAK COFFEE…made famous in the movie BUCKET LIST. As Ryan noted, how does one FIRST discover that the undigested coffee beans in a luwak’s poop would make for great coffee and sold worldwide 💩 ???
We then took off by bike for a phenomenal 22km ride through village after village, bee farm, banyan tree, and learned of the predominantly Hindu population’s cremation ceremonies. We stopped to witness the lifestyle of one family in their compound as the ladies weaved bamboo bread baskets for sale, and their very young children helped with great big scissors! It was truly phenomenal to see these villages by bike, with a downhill ride through 95% of the journey making it an easy cycle!
On the way back, we stopped for lunch and then checked into our new hotel for the next couple of nights…The Kajane Hotel. ❤ ❤ ❤
OMG OMG OMG…WE EACH HAD OUR OWN 2-BR VILLA WITH A PRIVATE POOL, TERRACE, DECK AND CHAIRS TO ENJOY!!! We all flipped out at the accommodation here…totally surprised as this was a re-routing of our agenda (2 extra nights in Bali) given the earthquake that had transpired in Lombok. I HAD to jump into the cool water of the pool and embrace some exercise in order to deal with the mountains of food (esp rice) we were getting used to enjoying! We had dinner in the restaurant on site and hit the hay early as we had an early start the next day trekking Mount Batur…1717 meters to the summit! 😬
Whilst most groups trek Mount Batur in the verrrrry early hours of the morning (hotel departure at 1:30am!), we negotiated a 7am start cuz…well…does it really need explanation?!? Greg has definitely chilled over time as I recall waking at 3am (on his suggestion) for a drive up Haleakala in Hawaii 13 years ago with highly cranky wee ones 👶 (definitely worthwhile). We were driven to a breakfast hut where this lady made us banana pancakes and coffee and then we got to the base of the volcano for our early day climb. It was raining and/or misty all throughout the hike, and I was thankful for our lovely guide’s hand during some steep areas.
So glad we didn’t go at sunrise- we were the only ones at the top when we arrived!!! We got boiled eggs (cooked in hot lava steam!) and fruits in a small shack at the peak and made our way down to the Hot Springs for a dip in their pools.