Star Date:  May2019
Bali - Around the Island



Hello Dear Family & Friends!



"Apa kabar? Bagus or Bie."

(How are you? - Good or Fine  Bahasa Indonesia)



"I looked in temples, churches, and mosques. But I found the Divine within my heart."


After 3 months in bed and confined to our little house in the rice fields, like a horse in the starting gate, I was ready to get away!  I wrote,

"4 Weddings and a Funeral.  3 Hospitals and a Dentist!  In 8 weeks I have been out 4 times - fourth today.  That's right - three hospital visits and a dentist.  How's that for exciting!?  Being stuck in the rice field has been really a serene, magical place to be and to heal, vs. say Inner Mongolia, but enough already!  I tell you this has been a challenge.  A gift?  We'll see if I learned what I'm supposed to have learned.  Being ever THANKFUL, with peace inside and a twinkle outside.  That's what it has taught me. Just words, we'll hope the actions follow.

So today I successfully hopped on a motorcycle, got my tooth fixed at the dentist, and had a wonderful sumptuous salad and desert at Alchemy Vegan Cafe with my great nurse and compadre Joseph.  Freedom!  And I was like a kid in the candy shop i.e. vegan in Alchemy!  I even successfully 'crutched' around the Mansion 5 star resort.  I'm hoping to ditch the crutches in a couple weeks - as pain is less daily,  I am ready for my coming out party!!  This virgin 'walkabouter' is ready to get out and get dirty!Yeah!!!

I came home and put chocolate henna on my hair - I bought it for the name of course - now I am ready for our 4 day romantic get a way in Sanur on Thursday. Can't wait to be by the ocean! This was planned for Valentines Day - I broke my ankle Feb 13th!"

The getaway was a wonderful success and there was no turning back.  My broken leg, plus the bone chip and torn ligament just to complicate things, made me revisit the idea of Patience.  Come on - enough of this patience thing already.  Recovery was slower than hoped.  Before I knew it 3 months had passed.  Hours of exercise daily, a healthy vegan diet and a good attitude, most days that is, got me through.  Soon we were faced with packing up and moving on, a tough chore on crutches.  Five days before leaving we were informed that poor Mr Ketut, our friend of many years was retiring and his son-in-law was taking over the business.  We had to move out! 

We were both shocked and upset.  It wasn't a problem with us, just a change in rental arrangements.  Ever try packing and moving on crutches?  Another 'plan' shot to hell'!  Ok God, I can hear you laughing!

Our local neighbors and friends, Made and Abu, felt sorry for us and quickly offered to put our bookcase in their storage room.  When one door slams shut another opens.  Like birds waiting to land after a long migration we set out to explore ALL of Bali, our new nest was out there somewhere!

West Bali.  We started by staying at the Medewi Resort, near Negara, West Bali.  Madewi Beach where the waves rock!

Based in the rugged surfers paradise of Medewi Beach we spent 10 hours checking out the coastline from Negara to Sinaraja.  

This is the least visited area of Bali, and is sparsely populated, except along the main southern coast road from Denpasar to Gilimanuk, the seaport which connects Bali to Java. Most of the land is covered by the forests and highlands of West Bali National Park and adjacent protected areas. The flatter southern region is very fertile and is rice growing country. Villages have a clean air, partly due to the mass of flowering shrubs which almost obscure the neat little houses.  Income is derived primarily from fishing, rice paddies and plantations of coconut, coffee, cloves and vanilla. The main southern coast road runs alongside black sand beaches for much of its course through Jembrana regency.

Blimbingsari and Palasari. The former is a Protestant community and the latter Catholic, and both were carved of out the jungle by trailblazing Christian pioneers. The communities, while Christian, are heavily influenced by Balinese culture. There are epic plays and dances for example which substitute the normal Hindu characters with those from the Bible. Both villages are well signposted from the main coast road between Negara and Gilimanuk at the village of Melayu. There is also a large reservoir at Palasari from where there are great views of the surrounding hills and mountains.

We first stopped to check out the waves at Medewi Beach and felt as if we were back in Hawaii with dazed, drifting surfers either riding the big ones or gazing dreamily towards the ocean. 

This is a tiny, remote village is not often visited.  It is very much a surfing hot spot, and most visitors who do stay here stay for that reason alone.  For non-surfers, it does offer a glimpse of what so much of Bali was like before the growth of mass tourism in the 1970s, and is a great place to relax.

We wanted to stop by the eclectically named Rock and Fried Squid shop, next to the mosque and Karaoke Bar; but we had a large area to cover and the meter was clicking.  Actually our driver, Komang, was fantastic and relaxed, but Bali is a big island with challenging roads.

Nearby Rambut Siwi Temple is built high atop a cliff overlooking the crashing surf below.  As if that isn't enough, the back side is built in a green expanse of magnificent terraced rice fields.

Driving along we saw a team of buffalos racing around the large sand track along the road.  We were told that these Buffalo races (Mekepung) in Delod Berawah about 9 km east of Negara town were thought to originate in Madura.  Mekepung were originally held as part of the harvest festivities in Negara. The colorfully decorated carts and buffaloes race on a four km course every 2nd and 4th Sunday morning starting at 7am.  Certainly one of the main attractions in Negara.

Along the way we saw several Bugis Houses.  These decoratively painted wooden houses are thought to have originated in Sulawesi.  Another unique sight were the remarkable Madurese style fishing boats S.W. of Negara in the inlet of Pangampengan.

We followed the coast all the way around the NW corner of the island and along the north shore on to Lovina Beach.  Most of it is remote and we even explored down to the ocean on numerous dirt roads.  A few interesting places but so remote that we realized we wanted a small community and a bit of infrastructure.  We also like to be able to get around by walking. We had lunch in Lovina and walked the ocean promenade in search of a bungalow to call home.  Joseph was all excited about a place he found but thank goodness the honest owner sheepishly revealed that on most nights loud music from a nearby bar plays until 3am!

From Sinaraja we headed straight up the mountain and came down at Buyan Lake on the other side.  A cooler climate, it was fun to watch the locals riding around the lake in little swan shaped paddleboats.  We shared fresh roasted corn, peanuts and strawberries with the Balinese along the shore.  The rest of the afternoon was spent on hairpin mountain roads with magnificent vistas at every turn.

We passed pretty Gitgit Waterfall and ended up at Bunt Bulong sacred tree.  Folklore surrounds this banyan tree.  It is so large that a bus can drive through it's massive roots.

From the tree there are views across jungle hills of what used to be West Bali National Park.  The drive down from there is super-scenic and at certain points you'll get spectacular views along the coastline.  Remember to wind the windows down as cloves and cacao pods are often drying next to the road, and perfume the air.  We stopped and bought a mountain of fruit from one of the many farmer stands along the road.  Back at our resort we settled in for a week, being one of 2 occupied rooms in the 60 room place with an enormous pool.  We felt like royalty with the place to ourselves and excellent service.

Hati  Hati! (danger-danger)  Opening the gigantic 8 ft. doorway  window one morning, Joseph noticed the pane of glass had slipped and was just waiting to crash into the room.  A potential, dangerous disaster.  When we notified the front desk, they advised us to change rooms.  We loved our new condo room with a full kitchen, jungle patio out back and didn't want to move.  Besides my first week off crutches (because I had to return them to Kadek at the Warung in Ubud) and I couldn't get around so well yet.

Then Linkin, Blinkin and Nod arrived.  They laughed whole heartedly at the hanging piece of glass.  One got on the inside, one on the outside, and slipped it back into the wooden frame.  Smiling, away they went.  Problem solved.  Another example of different cultures looking at the same problem differently.  Mr Magoo vs. the terrified tourist.  Let's just say we didn't go near that window again!

Joseph first came to Bali in 1961, with his Mom, when everywhere was remote and population low.  I first came in 1996, with my kids on our Around the World Trip.  Bustling Ubud still had dirt roads.  My what overpopulation does to an island!  They say Bali is so populated that one day it will sink into the ocean under sheer weight.  Now a beehive of activity one has to search out the quiet nooks that exist like hidden gems on this amazing island.

It is so much fun when orbits collide with friends we have met through the years traveling. We had a surprise visit from our dear friends, Ram, Gundekesari, and son Sri Krisna, from Kathmandu, Nepal.  They were excited to be in Bali and we were equally excited to see them.  I've known Ram for over 35 years!  It had been a year since we visited them in Kathmandu. Great people and we had a lot of fun together.

We also had a surprise visit from our dear friend, Barbara, from Lake Toba, Sumatra, via Saratoga Florida.  She and I escaped for a day and visited The Bali Safari Park.  I was impressed with their care and display of the animals, even after having spent 4.5 years in Africa.  Coming to Asia, drop us an email?  It would be fun to meet; if you can catch us that is!

East Bali.  We continued our recognizance mission to find just the right spot for our new nest.  We drove from West Bali to the complete other extreme end of East Bali and made Candi Dasa our base.  Basically a stretch of hotels along the ocean side, we explored several areas. We stayed at a Karma property right on the water and enjoyed meeting many Australian couples who were delightful and fun to talk to.  There were people from all around the world, South Africa, the U.K., India, China, to name a few.  As I exercised my poor sore leg in the pool our new friends from Kenya told me, "Be you well!"

Staying in a resort has its benefits. Daily hours of swimming in the pool helped my leg recovery immensely.  We went out twice to hear a local rhythm and blues band at a hot nightspot.  We also enjoyed a traditional Balinese performance over gado gado, at our hotel.

The Panyembrahma Dance is performed by the women to welcome visitors.  Soon our favorite character the shaggy fun loving Barong appeared and played with a mischievous monkey or Hahnemann.  Next we were in a beautiful garden for the Oleg Tamulilingan or bee dance.  An innocent female bumble bee is flying flower to flower.  Soon she is courted by a forward male bee.  She tries to outwit him but soon gives in and they fall in love.  No doubt making many little bees.  Thank goodness because our planet needs all the bees it can get.  Exquisite costumes adorned the graceful Candrawasih or bird dancers.  We were all left in a relaxed mood as the performers disappeared into the star filled night!

The next morning we eagerly ventured out to explore the eastern end of Bali.  We slowly made our way through the rice fields of Bugbug, love that name, and on to White Sands Beach.  From there we slowly crawled up and down, round and round, along the coastline through Shroya towards Amed.  Markets were pulsing, fisherman were selling their catch alongside the beach, sandy coves were crammed with brightly painted fishing boats, school children in matching uniforms walked back to school, prayers echoed from temple walls, a pig was roasting on a spit with wishful bedraggled dogs gathering nearby.

Amed is a happening, kind of funky place full of expats, divers, tourists and locals.  Strung along 10km of coastline we were amazed at how many businesses and 'wanna be' businesses there were.  Not being able to chose a place we finally stopped at the far end of town at Green Lemon, on a peaceful little beach, across from Palm Beach Warung.  Mt Agung,  the volcano which recently sent people fleeing when it belched plumes of smoke and ash, loomed directly overhead.  Amed and villages on the mountainside were affected but Candi Dasa on the south slope is not bothered.

From north of Tulamben, site of the sunken shipwreck, we drove what felt like straight up the side of the mountain to the lively town of Kintamani.  The clouds parted and we gazed on Mt Batur volcano and remote Lake Batur in its shadow. The Lake Batur area has a strange feel to it.  A kind of village mafia controls all activities.  If you have been to Sulaweisi and marveled at the different strange funeral and burial rituals it is a must to hop in a boat and visit Trunyan Village.

Visitors who have never heard of the Trunyan Village might get the shock of their lives as they come across decomposing corpses under bamboo fences, and skulls lined neatly in a row. Relax, it is neither the scene of the next horror blockbuster nor the site of a cannibalistic village. It is a unique traditional method of burial for the Bali Aga indigenous people. The tree helps preserve the bodies without rotting.  They believe that this is the way to bury men who had been married, people who are still single and children who have lost their baby teeth. Those who died of unnatural causes, however, were buried.

The strange thing about this method of leaving bodies to decompose is that bodies do not emit the stench of rotting flesh, despite being left there for many months! It is believed that the fragrance of the Taru Menyan tree absorbs the odor.

Women are forbidden from going to the cemetery when a dead body is being carried there as it is believed that there will be a disaster in the village, such as a landslide or a volcanic eruption of overbearing Mt. Batur.

From Batur we passed through Sideman and the lush mountainous landscape back to the coast near Candidasa.

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked.
"Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure." (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist ) 
Like 'The Alchemist' we went all around the Island of Bali and came back and found the gem we were seeking right in Candi Dasa, where we started.  Life is more than just black and white.  Just let go and trust life sometimes.  Enjoy the 'grey areas' of life.  Happy journeys into that mystical side of life.  I find myself hanging out there more and more.  Remember those small globes with the snow inside when we were kids?  Bottom: human story line.  Top: Light/Infinite Consciousness.   Give it a shake and we have our lives.  Magic!

And so it goes......................................... Next month recharging our batteries in stunning Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia.  Until then remember to take the time to look within.  The answers await you.  Trust life.   Thanks for stopping by. We love getting your emails and news!  Take care and keep in touch!




Love, Light & Laughter, 

xoxoox  Nancy & Joseph




Travel notes:

1 US Dollar = 14,375.50 Indonesian Rupiah  IDR


Around Bali:

West Bali:


Medewi Bay Retreat, Medewi, ☎ +62 812 3842252 (, [5]. One, two and three bedroom villas in this exclusive resort set back about 500 metres from the beach, but not situated in Medewi as the name may says, in fact about 20min with the car to Medewi, keep that in mind. From US$72  We stayed in condo # 2

Puri Dajuma Cottages, Beach Eco-Resort & SPA (Puri Dajuma Cottages), Medewi, Pekutatan, ☎ +62 365 43955 (, [7]. Luxury resort offering many packages from about US$140 per night. Located just south of Medewi Beach

Across from Medewi Bay Retreat
Warong Batan Jati  Kadek and Komang
+62 85858546422
Komang is excellent driver at a good price.  Speaks English and very pleasant and helpful.


East Bali  Candi Dasa

   Aquaria Candi Dasa

Jl Puri Bagus, Samuh
 +62 363 41127

"Our intimate seaside restaurant offers fresh, tasty dining every day in a tranquil setting just 500m from the centre of Candi Dasa.

The restaurant transforms from poolside, fresh dining during the day to romantic candlelit dining at night, when tables overflow into the garden for dining under the stars.

Soft relaxing music, attentive staff, free flow cool water, aqua pool and the sound of the waves all add to the ambience."

Refresh - vegan restaurant in the center of Candi Dasa.  On the highway.  Many better, quieter options along the ocean.  Just follow any long driveway and be surprised at the restaurant or bungalows awaiting you.

Karma:  We won a free 7 night stay in Bali from the Hotel Group, Karma, and chose Karma Candi Dasa.

Right on the ocean the Spa was amazing with waves pounding - Unbelievably restful.

From Amed to Ubud through Sidemen (snake fruit) stunning terraced rice fields.  Warung Makan - Organic Open Air Cafe - beautiful view. Jan bati - delicious


Tambun Sari Beach Homestay
 87 762 832 391
297,000odr low season

Three Brothers  0363 23471

300 #3
Lucky Paradise Bungalows
right side of tran 400idr

On the way out of town along a flat quiet beach is the Green Lemon.  Green Lemon, is on a peaceful little beach, across from Palm Beach Warung.  Not a hyped up tourist place, just a simple warung but right on the beach.

Other places suggested to check out in Bali:

Crystal Beach in Candi Dasa - budget
Nusa Perida - Lebongan Island

Backung Beach Resort - Kuta  2nd floor #329

Kommune Hotel  Keramas Beach
Taxi from Ubud 170   Made 081 91741 327

Bali Safari Park (Gianyar):
Long ago on a remote hillside, between the mountain and the sea, in Bali lived a small village of people who loved Nature.  They considered all the wild animals and plants to be their friends.  With few people the tigers and other animals lived side by side in peace with the villagers.  The 40 hectare park tries to relive this legend.  About $40 p.p. so pricey but it was amazingly impressive considering how far from Africa it is!

Bali best secret and hidden places to go:

Bali Island is just a small island among 17.000 island in Indonesia archipelago. The only island that still keeping an old Indonesian culture and tradition . The only Island with the biggest Hindu religion population .

The culture , friendly peoples , magnificent landscape and also beaches with strong wave made Bali island as a top destination in the world . From the domestic tourist and also international visitors . For this reason its so difficult to find a famous attraction with less visitors . And this could be annoying for visitors who coming for find a quietness and some places away from tourist crowd .

On this blog I would like to share and give you some idea of Bali secret places to go . Wonderful places with less tourist, still unpopular for tourist attraction . Best Bali secret places to go and visit .

You in Bali and tired with hustle and bustle tourism industry ?

Would like to stay away from all the crowd , visit beautiful places with less tourist . Here below is information regarding the places with less crowd.

1 . Belok Village , the marigold farm village .

This place should be one of your consideration from Bali secret places to go  . Located in the middle north of Bali island . About 2 hours drive from Kuta area . Beautiful village on the slope of the mountain with beautiful terraces if Marigold farm flowers . Along the village you will see a beautiful yellow flowers , marigold flowers farm .

2 . Gesing Rice Terrace at Gesing Village .

Gesing village is untouchable village on the northern slove of Bedugul mountain . 15 minutes from Munduk village and about 3 hours drive from Kuta . The village with almost 90 % population is working as a rice farmers . Around the village you will see beautiful and scenic view of the rice terrace .

3 . Kekeran Busung Biu Rice Terrace

Still from northern part of Bali . There’s a village on the northern part of Bali call Kekeran village , Busung Biu district . Along the main road that connect north Bali and west region through pupuan district . This rice terrace is one of the Bali secret places to go with great rice terrace and magnificent nature landscape view .

4 . Ababi Rice Terrace near Tirta Gangga Water Palace

Beautiful rice terrace with the biggest active volcano background and Lempuyang hill in the east . Beautiful scenic rice terrace view located just 5 minutes drive from Tirta Gangga . Perfect quick stop if you going to the east part of Bali island . Ababi Rice Terrace is about 2 hours drive from Kuta , this place could be best additional sites to complete your full day tour program around east Bali .

5 . Tukad Cepung Waterfall

Another Bali secret place to go is Tukad Cepung Waterfall. This waterfall is only popular among the peoples around that area . Located in Bangli region , Tembuku village . About 2 hours drive from Kuta and 40 minutes from Ubud town . Beautiful and quite place , Tukad Cepung Waterfall could be best Bali secret place to go away from tourism crowd .

6 . Bali Kanto Lampo waterfall

Unlike other waterfall in Bali island which located far away in the mountain side , but Kanto Lampo Waterfall is just located in the center of Gianyar region . One hours drive from Kuta and about 3o minutes drive from Ubud center . The source of this waterfall is actually from the irrigation canal , the water overflowing from the irrigation canal because of clogging . This water is falling into the river bellow the irrigation canal . Its really beautiful place and easy to reach indeed .

7 . Virgin Beach in east Bali

Beautiful white sand beach which is located in the east Bali . About 3 hours drive from Kuta and just 30 minutes drive from Candidasa . This beach quite popular for European tourist , but even though quite popular still this place is a quite beach , much more quite that other popular beaches around Bali .  The water is clear and calm , perfect place for swimming . The beach is surrounded by hills and coconut farm , toward the ocean we could see Nusa Penida Island . This place is perfect place for relaxing and stay away from hustle and bustle tourism . One of the best Bali secret place to go .

8 . Sekumpul waterfall

This waterfall probably also quite popular for real adventurer visitors in Bali island . But due to the distance from the town and difficulties level made this site still very quite and have less visitors . Located in the north Bali and consider the biggest and the tallest waterfall in Bali island . Amazingly there are 7 point waterfall in one place . Perfect place for real adventure but have to make sure we have a good physical condition to defeat more than 1000 stairs down to the waterfall .











Nature showing her mystical side.
(Compliments of FB).


One of the volcanoes in Western Bali.


A surfer at Medewi Beach.  Medewi Beach
where the waves rock!


Sunset in peaceful Western Bali.


Enjoying a drink along the ocean.


The brilliant green rice fields near
Rambut Siwi Temple.

Remarkable Madurese style fishing boats S.W.
of Negara, in the inlet of Pangampengan.


Bearded monkeys.  Even the young
ones look old.


We followed the N.W. coast up to Lovina then
crossed the interior mountains to Buyan Lake .
  A cooler climate, it was fun to watch the locals riding
 around the lake in little swan shaped paddleboats.

Rice, a staple in Bali.


Bunt Bulong sacred tree.  Folklore surrounds
this banyan tree.  It is so large that a bus can drive
through it's massive roots.


Completing the circle drive back to the coast
is super scenic and you can get great
views of West Bali National Park.


Heading from West to Center Bali one is
greeted with many stunning, large Balinese
statues depicting their Hindu/Buddhist beliefs.


The southern beaches of Sanur.


Here we met our dear friends, Ram and
family, from Kathmandu, Nepal.


They treated us to a boat cruise.


Usually just blending in with the local Balinese
when we visit Bali, it was interesting to see what
tourists do in Bali.




Back into the calmer East side of Bali,
we stayed in Candi Dasa.


Our pool along the ocean.


Traditional dancing and music, acting out the
 Barong and mischievous Hanuman


The Panyembrahma Dance is performed by the
 women to welcome visitors.


We went to hear a local rhythm and blues
band at a hot nightspot, with friend
Alan making a surprise appearance.


Driving up the East coast past Bugbug to Amed,
 there are many coves filled with fishing boats.

Along the road women sell fresh fish.  Fishing
provides food for their family and a small income.


The backside of Mt. Agung - the giant volcano
 who never sleeps.


We continued the Eastern circle, crossing
the mountains and passing many ancient
sacred temples.


The clouds parted and we gazed on Mt Batur
volcano and remote Lake Batur in its shadow.


Skulls lined up on a wall in Trunyan Village.


Sweet roses.


Frangipani or plumeria blossoms
grace the gardens of Bali.


We also had a surprise visit from our dear friend,
Barbara, from Lake Toba, Sumatra,
via Saratoga Florida.


 She and I escaped for a day and visited
The Bali Safari Park.


Stalking tiger.


His prey was behind a glass enclosure.
"If only.......!"


 I was impressed with their care and
display of the animals, even after having
spent 4.5 years in Africa.


Feisty rhino.


We were able to get up close and personal to the
 animals while on the Safari Bus.  Reminded me
of us driving through Africa and getting close
to observe the wild animals.



Slender, unique giraffes.


Indigenous Indonesian Komodo Dragon.


Another lazy afternoon.


Colorful Asian hornbill.


Cheeky orangutan.  What comical characters!
Sadly their habitat is being destroyed as fast as
the overpopulation of the world rises.


A mix of culture and animals.


A regal leopard.  Almost impossible to see in
the wild, it was fun to observe him up close.


Rainbow macaw.  







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