My partner, Nic, and I travelled to Bali, Indonesia – The Island of Gods – this February for ten days of inspiration, food and surf. I arranged the trip as a surprise getaway; for no real reason besides taking away the opportunity for my Cancerian home-body partner to say ‘no’, and the flights were on sale. I was not taking the Leap Year opportunity to propose, contrary to popular belief.
It was my first time visiting the island, despite it being a short five-and-a-half hour flight away from Sydney and it being the go to destination for most Australians. The latter was the main reason I’d been putting it off (I’m not one for touristic resorts and party holiday destinations), but with a couple of artist friends (the very talented, Mia Taninaka; and prolific multidisciplinary artist,Beastman) choosing to call the place home, I started to get curious.
Ubud and Surrounds
We spent the first half of our trip based in a villa in the rice-fields just outside of Ubud, near Penestanan Village. Ubud is a beautiful labyrinth of artisans, food and yoga retreats; and although the small, windy streets are busy with scooters and motorcycles, there’s always a little sanctuary not too far away. With Galungan just past (the Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma), the streets are lined with Penjor, and it really does feel like an Island of Gods. The offerings, shrines and ornate temples express the Balinese Hindus dedication to their spiritual practices, traditions and ritual.
The second half of our trip was based in Canggu, on the south coast of the island, not far from Seminyak. We spent our time exploring the black sandy beaches and surfing, at Echo Beach, and Batu Bolong; and eating (my appetite returned after suffering for a few days with the notorious ‘Bali Belly’).
The Island of Gods : Top Three
- Mountain biking through small mountain villages and across rice fields, north of Ubud with Banyan Tree Tours(just remember to have a big breakfast, and be careful what you eat along the way! Trust me.).
- Surfing at Batu Bolong Beach – a great little break for beginners.
- Eating – my favourites were Sage in Ubud, Mamasan in Seminyak, and Peloton in Canggu.
See more photos on my VSCO Grid.