Farewell Bali

All good things must come to an end and so must our (longer than we could possibly have dreamed about) time in Bali.

We have been here since October 14th (wow) and what a time we’ve had. After a great few days in Jakarta we moved to a small hostel in Kuta Bali where we met up with my old School friend Jonny Swank.

Photo-20141127203710.jpgWe surfed, we ate, we laughed, we drank, we philosophized, we swam, and we laughed some more.
We’ve spent most of our time here in Kuta, Bali. That’s the heart of “Bogan” territory (tank-top wearing, tattoo covered, beer swilling young Aussies who mean well but keep falling over), tourist-swag stores, great surfing, and more hotels and restaurants than you can shake a stick at – of all shapes, sizes, styles and prices.

As Consciencious Capitalists, we do our best to select locally owned hotels and restaurants, and man oh man did it work out! Below is a photo of one of the pools from our Hotel, the Puri Rama TroppoZone Hotel:

wpid-Photo-20141127203711.jpg The hotel is right in downtown Kuta. So downtown that you are next door to most of the major dance clubs. As a result, you need to be a heavy sleeper or wear ear plugs between bedtime and 4am.  Possibly because of this situation, the resort has been rebranded as a Party Hostel – the logo is two people having sex… seriously. (We won’t post it, you’ll have to take our word for it).
The Publicity photo taken from the second pool. Our room was off to the left

The Publicity photo taken from the second pool. Our room was off to the left

The hotel has a great restaurant with a complimentary breakfast every morning.  Guests enjoy a selection of eggs, bacon, Bali coffee, omelettes, pancakes and jaffles.  There are free pool tables, a ping pong table, a well stocked an expertly staffed bar, and some of the nicest staff you could ask for.

As we got to know them a bit, we found out the housekeepers earn US$80/month working 6 days a week (that’s $0.50 per hour).

It is locally owned so we know the money we spend there goes to a local who DOES re-invest and can therefore keep up with the growing tourist trade.

Oh, did we mention we’ve been paying only CA$18.00 night? I know, right?

wpid-Photo-20141127203711.jpgWe did take a few days away from Kuta and visited Ubud – where Eat, Pray, Love was filmed, apparently. This is where all the hippies go.  It’s like Kuta on Valium. Yoga, rice fields, some jungle, and raw food can be found there. We met up with Catalina, Sarah’s best friend since they were 6, and our Maid of Awesome for our wedding. Cat had been taking some Batik art classes so Sarah joined her and they both created some amazing masterpieces. Cat and Sarah took a local cooking class while I spent my day working. We also caught a performance of the exotic (but slightly creepy) traditional Balanise Dance. Cat and Sarah were pulled up on stage for the final Seduction Dance while I carefully hid behind the camera.

wpid-Photo-20141127203711.jpgEn route to Ubud, our driver took us to a few traditional villages where families have continued the work of their ancestors for generations. This included a Batik village, an art village and a Silver village where we saw the most incredible creations of silver craftsmanship I’ve ever seen – all done by hand in the traditional way. We also stopped at a Luwak coffee plantation – ever heard of it? That’s the horrendously expensive coffee that was pooped out of an Asian palm Civet – an animal part badger, part lemur that eats the coffee beans, graciously eats the beans (selecting only the best quality beans) and then poops them back out after their stomach acids have improved the flavour some what. This is known to be the most expensive coffee in the world, understandably – the Civets have extremely discerning tastes. I will say, it’s the only cup of black coffee I’ve ever enjoyed. Sarah loved it.

What else…..

wpid-Photo-20141127203711.jpgWe both got to rent and ride scooters, Jonny even taught me how to ride a ‘real’ bike with gears and stuff. That was cool.

We saw amazing sunsets, learned to surf, met some lovely people, and (while I worked) Sarah even found a circus school! Bali Circus is a wonderful house that teaches everything from hoola hoop to juggling to aerial – Sarah has been doing pushups, crunches, stretches, and working on aerial silks, trapeze and aerial hoop a few days a week!

wpid-Photo-20141127203711.jpgAll in all, it has been an amazing trip here to Bali. Tomorrow we fly back to Jakarta for a night and then on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where my brother Toby and his wife Tara lived for 2 years. We’re 8 years too late to meet up with them, but I’m sure it too will be an adventure.

Until then, keep livin’, laughin’, lookin’ and dreamin’.


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