Morning comes around too soon. We’d enjoyed a lovely dinner with our group last night with our tour guides showing us some fabulous ‘YouTubes’ of other Indonesia destinations to whet our appetites. So I threw on some clothes to head to breakfast at the stunning new Alaya Resort in Ubud. (We have more water activities today, so we needed the same old clothes again.)
This was the last official day of our tour, and with Alliance Indonesia, and this was a day Explorason was looking forward to the most.
As I sit makeup-less and someone sleepy, I’m surprised by the staff coming up with singing “Happy Birthday to you”.
How lovely!! It is actually my birthday tomorrow, but they have seen on my passport my birth date and organized me a surprise cake to be delivered for breakfast.
I’d stay here at Alaya Resort again in a heartbeat. The service and special way they treat there guests emanates all you hear about how lovely the Balinese are, and how well they treat travelers and tourists. I’d give them 10 points for this. Thank you Alaya Resort.
With luggage backed, we head to our Tour Guide who is waiting at the van for us.
Our first stop is the Monkey Forest in Ubud.
This is a place where cameras click – a photographers dream.
I have so many cute photographs, and the detail is incredible.
The staff feed the monkeys fruit, and so most of the time they don’t wander far, and interact with the staff well.
However, Explorason was carrying a water bottle, and he was a little scared. Why? A monkey came and tried to take the water bottle, and wasn’t too nice to him. I wasn’t close by – he was with the tour guide, as I was taking photographs. The monkey jumped on him and grabbed his bottle and his hand. He did not get his skin scratched or broken, but it was very frightening for him.
Personally, I don’t recommend this as a place to take children. I’d come back to Bali in a heartbeat, but I wouldn’t bring a child here.
We move on. Next is what we are excited about!
This is two hours jammed packed with fun. We start with a light training. Then we head down hundreds of steps to the Ayung River with our Mega Rafting guide.
This is going to be such fun!
The best time is starting ‘water wars’ with the passing rafts.
One raft says they have ‘Miss Korea’ on board. This lady is NOT enjoying the splashing. We’ve no idea IF she was Miss Korea, but it was fun.
We stop about halfway through, and there is a high rock that several dare-devils climb up to, and jump from. Explorason, of course, joins them. Not once, but about one dozen times! I’ve left the good camera behind in the van, so no good photos of his jumps. He sure is brave!
Soon it started to rain, but it didn’t matter, as it was still warm. I thought it was funny that some tourists wore rain (hooded) ponchos!
At the end of the rafting, there are lovely hot showers and a place to change. We’ve been provided with waterproof sacks for our personal items, so we have nice clean dry clothes to change into. They even supply toiletries and a towel for us. Mega Rafting is a company I’d definitely recommend if you choose rafting, and they even take the professional photographs (these are some), and you can purchase them all on a disk at the end. This means you are free to enjoy the experience whilst they capture you ‘in action’.
We enjoy a lovely traditional Balinese lunch by the river when we end our rafting. One thing Alliance Indonesia has ensured we experience a lot of the traditional food and drink. This is to be commended.
As we drive back towards the Kuta region, we stop at a stone carver.
This Balinese craftsman is busy with the river stones, carving carefully.
A small statue is only about 6 kg, so one of the Italian tourists buys one. I decline, though I love the lights they have for sale. We have enough!
What impressed me was the time he spent with Explorason teaching him to carve. He didn’t charge us, he was just being kind. The Balinese are indeed patient and very kind.
Now it is the turn of my tour guide to impress me! I’ve been ‘ticked off’ (at myself) for days that I never bought some Balinese clothes that I fell in love with in Sanur near our resort, and I’d told him. Our amazing tour guide from Alliance Indonesia organizes a diversion, and a ten minute stop so I can purchase them. Now that impresses me!
We head on the new motorway to Nusa Dua and finally get to the resort where we will spend our last night.
We are at the beautiful Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa – one of the amazing and grand properties that have been here since the early days of tourism in the area.
We have a beautiful room – with shutters that open over the bath, to make like a large open expanse. And we have a balcony too – this looks out to the pool and garden, towards the dazzling aquamarine ocean.
We take a stroll through the tropical palm gardens. I instantly regret booking a flight out tomorrow and desire to stay longer.
We quickly head to the room and change.
Dinner is at Belmond Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
As we enter the beachside Belmond Bali restaurant, our favorite song “It’s a Wonderful World” is played by the band.
Now I feel like this is a perfect moment in life.
The restaurant is right on the beach, and the floor is sand beneath our feet. I take off my shoes and run my toes through the sand.
It is like a dream come true to be here.
Romanic couples sit under the moonlight having candlelit dinners on the beach!
I order a SMALL salad – it isn’t small – it is massive and delicious!
Next is a truffle infused pasta. Their chef here is world-renowned. It is a glorious dinner.
We are once again joined by Mr. Putu, the owner of Alliance Indonesia tours, and he is so kind. He presents me with a beautiful birthday gift of essential oils, incenses and a burner etc in a lovely gift box for my birthday. How kind! A gift I can use and remember our special time here in Bali, and the lovely service we had on our tour.
Sadly we farewell Mr. Putu (the owner, who has also been our master tour guide) at the end of the evening, and we return to Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa.
When we arrive, Explorason is having a word with the reception. I have NO idea what he is up to!
But he has ordered toilet rolls to decorate our room for my birthday.
He has brought with him (and wrapped in Australia) little gifts. Things he has collected from our travels for me. He hides them all over the room, so as I wake, I ‘arm-machete’ the toilet paper to get to the en-suite.
It is a great start to my birthday!
He is so imaginative, and there is a card under my pillow from him!
He really is a great kid. So thoughtful!
We dress in our swimwear at about 6 a.m. and head down for a sunrise swim in the pool.
After the swim, we walk along the beach. This is a stunning resort and there are about 20 people doing yoga at sunrise – what a great way to start the day.
We are invited by the staff to experience the beachside ‘exotic fruit and coffee bar’. What a lovely touch. So much is thought of here in Bali to make their guests feel special.
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa also have a ‘turtle hatching area’. You need to check prior to your reservation, as to the time of year for the turtle hatching, but guests are invited to experience the baby turtles being released to sea!
Sadly we are due to leave at 9:00 a.m., but mid-breakfast we receive a text our flight is delayed. Awesome!
We race to the lobby to contact our tour guide to advise him of the delay, and as we do we pass a lady walking with flowers balancing on her head. I think this is pretty cool!
Little do I know the flowers are for me!
The staff is fabulous and helpful.
Explorason and I are then instructed to return to the breakfast area, where a special table is prepared. The other guests from our tour arrive surprised to see us still here. They join us at our table, and a lovely Birthday cake is presented to me by the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa.
So glad our flight was delayed! What a perfect start to my 54th birthday, and what a perfect end to our time in Bali!
Goodbye Bali – you have been amazing.
And THANK YOU to Alliance Indonesia and everyone who made our time so special.
We hope to return again.
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