Pulau Menjangan snorkeling trip

We arrived yesterday to monkeys and deer. Love to say I have pictures but, no. Food at resort is great. Coffee, Yoga and then off to breakfast. The resort is beautiful. Our place. 

We ate a quick breakfast and I scurried to the water sports shop. I signed my waivers and next of kin, luckily Mariella is here. She saw me off. 

The boats that go to Menjangan Island are these handmade wood boats. There sturdy and seemed to be powered well enough.

The weather is cooler than in the south where we were. This the NW corner of Bali. The mountains dip right into the sea almost. Java is just a short ferry ride away not to far from here. 

The area is beautiful. 

We arrived at the island and first one out of the boat was me. It happened that my waterproof camera was not fully closed and bubbled when I jumped into the water. We quickly got it out and took out the battery and card. Set it in the sun to dry. Unsure if it will salvage. Real bummer. The island. 

I had to remember it was just a camera and I was in one of the greatest places to snorkel in the world. In I went again. It was amazing. Indian bannerfish, Titan triggerfish, every shade of parrotfish, all types of butterfly fish, Moorish Idol, bird wrasses, anemone fish, blue sea star, puffer fish, needle fish, trumpet fish, big sea turtle, manta ray, wrasses of every shade,  feather dusters, giant clams and healthy coral. Big fish and little fish. Great lunch and back to resort. Quick snorkel with Mariella this afternoon. We will go back together tomorrow morning. 

Can replace camera in Denpasar before going to cruise ship. We will see what happens. Peace out. Namaste Tres 

To the Menjangan resort in West Bali National Park

It is bittersweet that we leave Tanjung Sari Hotel. It has been an oasis. 

This place really could be one the best small boutique hotels in the world. It is a destination in and of itself. We had our last dinner to Balinese bamboo vibraphone players. Not these but someone like them. Nice. 

It was beautiful. Yoga, breakfast and a swim in the ocean and pool. 

This place is very romantic. 

We packed and went with our driver, Widi. He picked us up at the airport and took us out yesterday. Super dude. Our first stop will be the Hindu Temple on the sea, Tanah Lot. Only native Balinese are allowed inside and the causeway out to the temple can really be underwater. Magical setting. 

This was on the other side of the overlook we were at. 

Widi drove and drove and drove us on the crazy Balinese roads. 

We headed for Lake Brayan and Lake Buyon steadily climbed up ward. It became rainy and overcast.

We got to a good overlook and had a coffee.

1500 meters up. We finally got the coast road and found the Menjangan resort in the park. The view from the tower at reception. 

We took a double decker safari car through the park and sat up top. Better pictures later in the stay from the safari car. 

Mariella and I are pretty “knackered” from the long drive. I cannot say enough how great Widi was today. He was so conscientious about our comfort. Driving in Bali is no small feat. He will pick us up on Saturday. I will take a boat and snorkel at Palau Menjangan tomorrow morning. Mariella will snorkel from the beach a little further down from the featured image. Home for 4 days. Peace. Namaste Tres. 

Last full day in Sanur Beach

A great sleep in Tandjung Sari paradise. Yoga then breakfast. A slower snail pace for today. 

Mariella and I have scheduled a ride to Bali Orchid Garden this morning for our last organized activity before leaving tomorrow. We will come back and just hang out at the beach. It was phenomenal. A few pics.

Needless to say it was Orchid heaven.

We left there and had some coffee from the luwak and bought a little too. The featured image is in the median of a highway.

We will have a traditional rijstaffel dinner at hotel. Tomorrow off to Menjangan at West Bali National Park. Some of the best snorkeling in Bali. Peace. Namaste Tres

A planned bike ride tour to Ubud with Sanur Cycle Tours

I awoke to the birds singing. It was a good sleep. Did my wake up sun salutations and went to breakfast. Mariella was awake and was  to join me before the pickup. It started to rain while we were eating. It rained during yoga yesterday and fairly quickly stopped. 

The entrance roadway into the property is quite pretty as I waited for my pick up.

They were running a little behind and it gave the rain a chance to stop. Anna the Indonesian wife of the owner Ivan of Sanur Cycle Tours scooped me up and away to where we get bicycles and it would also be the start and stop of the ride.  Both of them could not have been nicer.

I was with 3 British ex-pats and a young Russian woman. Everyone was also very nice and it felt that I was a little more a local. We were led by Dwi,  the main guide. She was incredible. She does not own a car or scooter and only rides a bicycle everywhere. When you see my road pictures that is the woman I am following. Thank god. None of us could not have done the ride if had not been for her. She looked for us a million times today.

Riding in crowded places was wild. We all did what Dwi did.

We got out of town a little and the riding got a little better.

We went a bit more and before we knew it we were going through the rice fields. It was like this off road single track made of dirt, mud, broken concrete and grass. It could be quite technical. I am just going to lay a few pics out.

It was magical immersed in the land and people. Frangipani, smoke and air thick with water. The people saying hi as we rode by. A bicycle is the only way to see this.

We got to rest stop and had a sweet snack wrapped in banana leaves.

I was given a bunch and gave some to the local kids.

The shrines were interesting along with the icons and signs.

We had been climbing and continued to climb as we headed for Ubud.

We got into Ubud and went down this amazing canopy street.

This street was next to the Ubud monkey forest and we rode a trail next to it.

We went to the Capuan ridge for a look. Strenuous.

After this we went to lunch on the other side of Ubud. It was really healthy.

We went to the entrance of the waterfall and it was a zoo so we went back to the rice fields. This was not the waterfall.

We rode to a lock on a river next to a temple.

How about this guy.

The road could be like this.

We were having to come back into town at a much busier time. So it could be like this.

We did 70 km of up and then down. Indonesia is HOT. But what a day. I could have not had been happier about riding with Sanur Cycle Tours.

I got back to the hotel and the children practice folk dancing here. It was dear.

A shower, a nap and another great meal at Three Monkeys Cafe. Easier day tomorrow for a tired Namaste Tres. Peace.

Another day in paradise…

After a very restful long sleep it felt as if we had really started to overcome the jet lag. A beautiful breakfast with the most amazing fuschia tropical fruit called dragon fruit. There was an early rain.

The early to bed early to rise allowed us to be able to go to an onsite yoga class above the gym where we were staying. Mariella and I thought it would an hour to hour and a quarter class. It was a 2 hour tour de force of Iyengar yoga that had us dripping sweat at the end. It was the real deal. I got my cheap renter and the other for Mariella was not working for her. 

I rode up the boardwalk to the Museum of Le Meyeur. It was hotter than yesterday. The multi use path is pretty zooey at times. 

I was early to the museum and rode up a busy side street to the main drag.

Funny how US capitalism comes to the 4 corners. The Colonel. I did come back to find a huge mosque at the Grand Bali Inn. Bali is mostly Hindu. 

The grounds were beautiful and large.

The entrance to the Grand Bali Beach Inn was very dramatic. 

Mariella had made the mile walk to the museum. The art was interesting. The artist had come to Bali and met a 15 yr old dancer. She was beautiful and 30 years younger or more. He stayed and painted her as a muse. It was unfortunate the art was not as cared for as it probably should have been. The paintings were in cases that had no back to them and mothballs were sprinkled at the base. Smell pretty much drove us out. Back to the path. 

A swim at the hotel pool and a great lunch. 

A delicious nap in the heat of the day. We will go out to the street that brought us to the hotel for organic dinner. This section of Denpasar is really just right with things to do and places to go. Went to Three monkeys cafe and a lovely meal of salad and pumpkin ravioli. Pink snapper for Mariella. It was a real nice place

 Remember this mantra-cannot drink the tap water. Lots of big bottles of H2O. I am going with Sanur Cycle Tours to Ubud and Tegenugan Waterfall tomorrow. They do a 7 day tour, maybe next time. I love it here enough to expatriate. Easy. Peace. Namaste Tres. 

Tandjung Sari Hotel on Sanur Beach

Mariella and I finally awoke to the latest breakfast we could in what appears to be a Balinese paradise. 

The food at this place is incredible. The grounds of the hotel are idyllic. Our rented front yard. 

Doors and doorways are small and are valued as antiques. Mariella adorning our door at our room 29. 

The Hindu imagery is everywhere like the Italian details all over the big cities of Italy. 

There is a path that is miles long that goes down Sanur beach. It is one of the reasons we stayed here. 

We walked a bit up and down the beach after a swim in the ocean and the pool. 

This place is incredible. We will rent cheap bicycles tomorrow and ride up and down the path. 

There is a museum of an artist we will see tomorrow along with an orchid jungle. Peace. Namaste Tres. 

Signage is interesting here. 

Indonesia-Bali flight

I and Mariella were early to airport because of the great ride from my sister in law, Holly. Luckily after a scare with American Airlines stating we needed a visa to go to Denpasar Bali. We were to be in Bali less than 30 days and a visa is not required. It is a stiff penalty for the airline if they permit the passenger to go somewhere without proper documents. 

It was a bumpy ride with a quick turnaround in Dallas. Looong flight to Seoul, Korea. A little quick moving but to the gate with time to spare. 

We are in for a 14 hour flight. We wandered the very modern Seoul Incheon airport. I had the best ham and cheese croissant sandwich I had ever eaten. No offense Carla and Anita. There seemed to be a lot of quarantine stations in the airport.

The islands outside of Seoul from the air was beautiful. 

6 3/4 hour flight to Denpasar, Bali. We were met at the airport by our driver to Tanjung Sari.

It was approximately 12,000 miles on three different flights. Bali is 12 hours different than Tampa and is exotically beautiful. Half way around the world. 

I will write a blog about my first full day in paradise after a swim or two and nap. Peace. I am going to turn into Namaste Tres. 

Ride of Silence Sarasota Florida

I was a ride marshall with my my bike club Sarasota Manatee for a local version of an international silent memorial ride honoring the cyclists that had been killed while riding their bicycle. 

It was a nice turnout of over 100. There were also other clubs involved. Village Idiots cycling club, Sarasota storm triathlon club and the Valencia Lakes cycling club. 

It was a beautiful night to ride and I was able to be a ride marshall at a corner near Burns Court. If you have not done this before I encourage you to consider this next year. Peace.