Bali Trip: Uluwatu

My mom and I just got back from a 10 day trip in Bali.  It was a fabric tour centered around making batiks, and after looking forward to this trip for a year and a half it didn't disappoint.  

Most of the people on the tour flew in from the states, but my mom and I flew up from Australia a day earlier.  We landed around 10 pm and once we got through customs the airport was complete chaos.  There was a swarm of drivers with signs, and at first we couldn't find our driver.  We walked out to the street and kept getting hassled by drivers asking if we needed taxis.  One guy followed us around the entire time we were looking for the driver.  Finally we found him, and with all of the people around, the late night, and the high humidity it was a big relief to be headed on the way to our hotel.
The gates at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel
Koi at the hotel
For the first half of the trip we stayed in Nusa Dua, on the south side of Bali.  The first morning we got up and explored the hotel grounds.  It was absolutely stunning, with a great big Balinese gate at the entrance, koi ponds, several pools, and private access to the beach.  Then our driver picked us up and showed us around the area.  He took us to a beach area that was being developed as a new resort area.  It was a pretty beach, but it was kind of sad to see the mountain being scraped out to build a new resort.  It was interesting to see the construction workers wearing flip flops and no shirts.
The new resort area
Pantai Pandawa Beach
A Hindu ceremony on the beach
The area surrounding the beach was really dry and desolate.  It was an interesting contrast to the lush resort we stayed at and made me realise just how much of a disparity there was between the locals and the tourists.

We then went to Uluwatu Temple and hiked up and down many, many steps.  The cliffs were very steep and the ocean below was beautiful.  A few monkeys were hanging out along the wall trying to grab water bottles and snacks from the tourists.  Coming from winter, the hot and humid weather was a nice change but kept us honest hiking around.
My mom and some monkey friends
Monkey enjoying the view
Uluwatu Temple and the stunning cliffs
My mom and I with the temple in the background.
Uluwatu Temple
Another view of the temple
This monkey took the bottle from the tourist and took the cap off like he had done it before.
In the afternoon we explored the Museum Pasifika back near the resort.  It was an interesting art museum with the pieces grouped by region the artist was from.  It was interesting to see all of the different perspectives on the Balinese culture.

We headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a late lunch on the beach - and I mean literally on the beach, with our table on the sand and the water just a few meters away.  There was a nice breeze blowing, and it was so relaxing just to sit there.  My mom was enjoying it so much that she asked if we could just sit by the water for awhile and relax.  That was definitely a first - my mom is not one to sit and relax by the beach.  It was fun to see her soak it up and really enjoy it.
Lunch on the beach at the hotel           
That evening the rest of the tour group arrived and we had a welcome dinner at the hotel.  We could tell everyone was jet lagged, and they called it an early night soon after the meal.


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