Nusa Ceningan – Part 2

Bali

Sometimes places need a special shout out, all on their own.  Their pictures can’t just be thrown in with other random shots, they need to be grouped together so their friggen awesomeness and glory can be fully appreciated.

I feel like this about Le Pirate and the Blue Lagoon.

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Hot tip!  When over on Nusa Cenengan, you don’t have to stick to just your hotel, you can use pretty much any on the island (obviously the trade off is that you buy some food and drinks in there).  With this in mind, we scootered down to Le Pirate and eeeek, you can’t even believe how zinging cute their little cabins are!  Those who know me well know I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to houses and interiors and just aesthetics in general, and personally I think the resort is a standout in terms of the look, atmosphere and location.  It’s got the perfect island vibe going on.

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A huge bonus for Le Pirate is that as well as the pool, there’s direct beach access.  Follow a little staircase down to the water at high tide and you can swim in that beautiful water until your heart is content.

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Also on the ‘must list’ is a scoot/walk to see the Blue Lagoon.

I mean… *speechless*

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There’s this amazing milky-blue hue that just becomes more azure as it goes out to the ocean, then turns this super dark blue as the seabed just drops down.  Honestly, it was stunning to look at.

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I really was impressed with this little island.  It’s definitely still up-and-coming and a bit rough around the edges but honestly, it’s part of the charm.

Note – there’s another island off these two, called Nusa Penida that we’re also planning on seeing before leaving Bali behind.  From all accounts I’ve heard it’s magnificent – you can swim with manta rays! – and we can’t wait to visit.

From somewhere mind-blowingly blue,

Sav & Crew

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Nusa Ceningan – Part 1

Bali

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Remember how I was all up in Matt’s grill with “we are not doing enough!” and that I’d booked us a weekend over on Nusa Ceningan but then Wills stuffed her foot cartwheeling and we thought it would all be over?

Well, the fab news is that we did end up making it over there!  Albeit not for the original 4 nights we had initially booked (because, foot needed to rest), but heck, I’ll take what we got and I’ll call it a win.

See that photo above?  That is of a woman who was pretty pumped to be checking out some blue, blue seas.  That is also a woman with the beginnings of a double chin – #illworryaboutitwhenwegetbacktoaustralia

I’d read/seen/Instagrammed a lot about Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan (they’re side by side and linked by the cutest yellow bridge) and had everything crossed it wasn’t going to be a flop.  Y’know – looks great in a frame but actually turns out to be a dive because people, haven’t we all been there before?  Instagram vs Reality.  (That app has a lot to answer for when it comes to travel expectations!)

Well, brace yourselves, good people, because THIS IS REAL.

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I mean, can you even?  I literally took this shot in about 1 second by hanging my camera over Raff’s head out the window and hoping something would end up in focus.

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Honestly the bluest water I can remember seeing.  It’s spectacular and clear and so damn photo-worthy I was beside myself.  This is it!  We have found paradise!

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There are generally no cars on these islands, so you are transferred to your hotel in the back of little trucks.   The kids were pumped.  They’re all for embracing Bali’s ‘no seatbelt, no worries’ way of life

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We stayed at The Palms Ceningan and this was the view from the pool.  Yep, that’ll do for a couple of nights.

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Beachcombing is always a highlight for the kids.  We spent a good few hours just pottering around and peering in rock pools to see what we could find.  Also, the kids were pumped to discover these perfect cowrie shells.

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There are no shortage of cafes and eateries, all with amazing views and a little something that makes them unique and photo-worthy.  Not wanting to get all preachy, I will only say this: if you come here, try to share your love, and more importantly, your rupiah, around.  Yes, go and get cocktails at sunset at the island’s most instagrammed spots, but when you’re out and about during the day, try to get off the beaten tourist path and support some locals.  Believe me when I say 100,000 Rp (approx $10 AUD) is really helping people out.  And don’t be cheap, tip!

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Also, hot tip alert: ride carefully!  The roads are treacherous.  Hilly and so gravelly.  Matt & Raff came off, literally going about 5km an hour crawling down a hill.  They hit some gravel and just slid with zero control.  Thankfully they sustained only very minor scratches and bruises and I do have to mention that the locals were amazing.  People riding by stopped and others (literally) came out of bushes to check on them.  One Indiana Jones Medicine Man mashed up leaves of a plant to put on Raff’s hand (a traditional Balinese remedy), moved the scooter to the bottom of the hill safely for us and made sure we were all ok before moving on.  Friendly and helpful doesn’t even begin to describe the Balinese folk we have had the pleasure of coming across.

Nusa Ceningan – mark it on the map and throw it on your itinerary if you find yourself in Bali.

(Part 2 coming soon.)

From somewhere under a palm tree,

Sav & crew

 

 

Homeschool, fool!

Bali, Us

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Here’s a pretty accurate visual on how most mornings start: Willow looking super impressed with having to write her daily date and sentences, and Raff flat out refusing to entertain the schooling plans for the day.

See below for imagery taken after the K-nex was confiscated.

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When we announced we were taking some time out and heading overseas, along with “how?”, the second thing that people blurted out was “what about the kids?”.  Now, 4 months into this gig, I get what they were actually saying.  Allow me to translate: “You must be a freaking glutton for punishment because travelling will mean you have to educate your own children and that shit is deranged and irrational“.

It’s like the universe is punishing me for every Teacher’s Day I forgot to buy gifts.  Enough!  I repent!  I will never, ever forget again!

Now look, in all fairness, Wills usually comes around to the party.  It’s not her favourite thing in the world to do, but she gets that it’s just part of travel life and rather than prolong the agony, she, for the most part, just sucks it up and gets it done.

This guy though.  For the love of learning, he fights it every step of the way.  Is it the age?  I read once that boys go through various testosterone-addled spurts.  Is that an actual thing?  Is it happening now?  Because he’s throwing his assertion around like bloody confetti these days and delivering more opinions than Kanye.

“I don’t wanna”, “You can’t make me”, “Fine, then I’m not gonna do iiiiit”, “Imma just going to throw these off the table, then.”  All delivered with arms crossed and eyes narrowed.

Give.  Me.  Strength.  And throw in a Bintang, too!

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Husband, bless him, has taken on the role of Chief Educator because I just don’t have the patience and he seems to have a more plentiful supply.

Dear, dear friends, if you have any home school tips, please be sure to send ’em my way!

From somewhere under a textbook,

x Sav & Crew

 

 

Thwarted.

Bali, Us

About a week ago now I was all up on my high horse.  “We’re not doing enough!”, I wailed.  “I feel like we’re wasting this time.  We need to be doing more, not just sitting around relaxing all day!”.

Stifling an eye roll, and being the wise husband he is, Matt gently (but not really) reminded me that, errr, dummy, that’s what this time is all about.  Relaxing!  Slowing down!  Enjoying calm, quiet days where the only real decisions are where to go for breakfast.  (Pffft, that’s easy: Nalu Bowls, dummy!)

Never one to back down, or admit that he may have raised a good point, I promptly booked us on an island excursion.  I was pumped.  Nusa Ceningan we are comin’ for you!  Crystal clear ocean (the one we have here in Canggu/Berawa is not exactly postcard perfection), palm trees and maybe one of those hammocks that sways over the ocean at high tide.  Yeah, baby.  This is Bali life.

Turns out, this is also Bali life:

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Yep.  That’s Willow holding her right foot X-ray.  As it happens, round-offs/cartwheels aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  It happened yesterday and to be honest, we thought it would pass.  Ha!  Joke’s on us.  When she announced she couldn’t go to her horse riding lesson today, we knew things were up and before you could say ‘find a doctor’ she was being referred to the ER.  Thankfully, it is only a sprain, and a few days of rest should have her back to her bouncy (“cartwheeling”) self.

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It must be said that the medical care we experienced was terrific, the hospital staff lovely and obviously this is also a good reminder to never leave home without travel insurance.  (Which, of course, we have.)

Raff spent the day in a somewhat different state, after his 1 minute silence “for the army mans”.

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The pool is shaded all day and gosh he makes the most of it.  His entrance is pretty funny these days:

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When he dips his toe in and deems it cold, his request is that we throw him in.  I can’t bring myself to do it very often, despite him pleading with me to do so.  Little weirdo.

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So there you go.  ANZAC Day done The Bali Way.

Til next time,

Sav & Crew

 

‘Choose’-day

Bali

So, Tuesday.  Or, as we’ve now dubbed it, Choose-Day.   And on this day, the kids get to choose a few things to do.  (Thanks for the idea, Clare!)

It’s a brand new concept for us and my official line, is not that I am proper exhausted from trying to coax these little pixies out of our room in the mornings, but that I’m trying to bestow a sense of responsibility and inclusion to them.  Doesn’t that make me sound all zen and mother-of-the-year-ish?

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I also remembered to  grab my camera so that I can start snapping photos!  I always bang on about capturing the every day, and I’m doing the exact opposite and not documenting a thing!  We’re too boring!  Not doing anything interesting!  What’s exciting about photographing any old stuff?  But, I’m totally missing the point.  Y’see, it’s not about photographing stuff, it’s about photographing the little moments we share together.  How did I come to forget this?

Now, back to Choose-day

Of course we took the scooters.  I never thought I’d love riding one of these as much as I do, but honestly it’s my favourite way to get around.  Yes, fraught with some pretty hairy moments (I’m amazed at how calm I stay when seeing fast moving scooters/cars/trucks coming towards me, head-on, IN MY LANE) but also some of the best.  Ride through a rice field early one morning and tell me it’s not magic.

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They chose Milk & Madu for breakfast and with pancakes like these, d’you blame them?  This is the pop up, at Goodwood because the actual Milk & Madu burnt to the ground the night we arrived in Bali due to an electrical fault.  They’re rebuilding now but unfortunately I think we’ll be gone by the time they’re up and running.  A shame really, because they also used to house Nalu Bowls and y’all know how much I love me a smoothie bowl!

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Look at this happy face.  This is what happens when Daddy’s coffee get served with an Anzac biscuit on the side and you’re about to thieve it!  We’ve all noticed the when we go for a coffee it almost always gets served with a delicate little slice of goodness on the side.  Australian cafes, take note please!

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In keeping with my attempts to #getinthepicture more, I asked Matt to take a photo of Raff & I.  (Wills is still in that I-refuse-to-have-pictures-taken phase.) Clearly Raff seized the opportunity for Snuggle Fest 101.  I will miss such enthusiastic embraces when he decides he’s too big for them one day.  (And also, what the heck is going on with my skin at the moment?  Poor, dehydrated wrinkly flesh is going to need some serious love, soon)

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Check out this girl.  Full of fun and a whole lot of sass these days.  They got sunnies yesterday and it’s safe to say she thinks she’s pretty cool.  “Mum, check this out”, she says, then proceeds to pull this pose.  I’m never not giggling along at her jokes.  Growing up waaaay too fast.

DSCF1352DSCF1364Continued on the Bounce for an hour.  They totally struck the jackpot and were the only kids in there for the hour we’d booked for them!  Willow hurt her ankle while cartwheeling around, so in the end it was only Raff, and this member of staff who was so lovely but clearly exhausted by the time Raff left.

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And we all knew how the day was going to end!  We have had to implement a bit of an ice-cream schedule because, being an fiend of the ol’ I.C myself, shiz was getting a little bit out of hand.  Like, um, every day out of hand.  So we’ve now decided on no ice cream during the week; Choose-day being the exception.  Let’s see how long that lasts for!

Til next time.

Sav & Crew

Little letters – April edition

Bali, Little Letters

 

Dear Mad Pops Ice Cream: My enthusiasm for you will never dull; thanks for getting me through each day.

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Dear Bali Incense: I love your wafts on still mornings.  Would I be taking things too far if I started burning incense back home in Australia?

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Dear Scooter: Thanks for scooting me safely around Bali,  let’s keep this beautiful friendship going.

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Dear Pom-Pom shoes: it’s a big call, but I really think you’re helping me live my best life.  How can things not be completely joyous when I’m prancing around with you adorning my feet?

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Dear Cool Bali Mornings: Oh, I feel you, you saucy minx.  Your cooler temperatures, your no-humidity… and I am excited!  You make me dream of being sweat/frizz free.

Dear Micellar Water: you have saved my life.  Your very existence brings me, and my face, deep, deep gratitude.

 

38

Bali

Despite the crown (thanks to our dear friends, Her Travelling Tribe – go and check out their family expeditions!), I’m not a huge birthday person.

Rather than adopt a ‘Festival of Savanah’ approach, I much prefer to see the day out in a more low-key fashion.  And rather than presents (although Matt did gift me a rather spectacular piece of art from Lisa Lapointe last year, so I’m not entirely against them!) I much prefer a day off adulting, a massage and an afternoon nap.  Oh, and if there’s a chance of finishing the day off with pizza and a cold mojito, well, you’ve totally won me over.

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This year, however, given that we were in Bali, the wish list was a little different.  Still simple, but a little more in keeping with our tropical surrounds.  I had but two requests:

  1. a Mavericks smoothie bowl from Nalu Bowls, and
  2. Mad Pops ice cream

Easy.  Peasy.  And, unsurprisingly, centred around food!

We made some lovely friends while over here, Claire & Andrew (from the aforementioned Her Travelling Tribe) and their gorgeous kidlets, Lily & Spencer.  This crew joined us for breakfast at one my favourite spots in Bali, Shelter Cafe and gifted me some gorgeous tassel earrings I commented on the day before while Claire & I took our girls for some pamper time.  I did maybe well-up when they gave them to me, because I am a sap but also because; so thoughtful and generous, and the older I get the more I appreciate these qualities in people.

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Claire brought along her crown and I will definitely be ordering one from Le Petit Renard Rouge as soon as we hit Australia.  It’s just the cutest and made the morning so much fun.  Also making the morning fun (and ever-so-slightly mortifying), the staff at Nalu Bowls bringing out cake & candles while singing Happy Birthday.

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I just felt so lucky.  To be surrounded by three who love me and terrific friends, waking up to messages from family and friends back home.  It’s nice to think that you’re in people’s thoughts, isn’t it?

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38, I reckon you’re going to turn out to be ok.