Indonesia drives on the left

Amando, driving on the left side of the road

I rode a friend’s dirtbike a couple times when I was 16. Flash forward ten years when I almost crashed my friend Alan’s Vespa into a car in the same driveway. That was my last attempt on two wheels before renting a scooter and putting my fiancee on the back. The guy who rented it to me ($9 total for 3 days plus gas) though explained how to honk the horn (very necessary) and how to store the helmets.  I asked where the gas tank was he looked at me with one skeptical eyebrow raised and said, “Why don’t you try first?”  I went about 30 shaky feet before he yelled stop and Erika hopped on saying, “you know you were on the wrong side of the road, right?” Indonesia drives on the left. But wait, there’s more

Yes, please.

Today we left Bali for Java, and there are things we already miss : friendly and approachable people, incredible architecture, dark skin in romanticized island attire, a devoutly religious culture, and folks who love to bargain. If you are looking for a tropical island where the locals like testing their English, religious deities and ceremonies that are inspiring yet festive, a place where you ache at the thought you can’t stop at every temple, you have an excuse to wear a sarong and a sash, and where you can always get a fair deal even if you didn’t get a good deal, Bali is your place.   But wait, there’s more!

Tanah Lot and Uluwatu

Pura Tanah Lot

The last few days we have been blessed to see two incredible Balinese temples.  The first, Tanah Lot, is located on the southwestern coast in Bali. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th century priest Nirartha and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were built so they were within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast.  But wait, there’s more!

Day Trip Around Bali

We decided to take a day trip around Bali to see more of the island.  Made, our guide, was fantastic!  We headed toward Kintamani and had lunch overlooking Mount Batur.  Here we share our day with you:
If you are coming to Ubud and need a great guide, let us know and we’ll send you his contact information.  He speaks great English, drives well and has a nice car, and took us to quieter, less “touristy” places.

Snap Shots Along the Way

Cremation Procession

Pulling out a camera to capture moments isn’t always convenient when you’re trying to remain in the moment. Plus it rains often and the camera is heavy, so perhaps laziness is the more appropriate excuse. Still, every now and then I don’t feel like a tourist. The other day Erika went into a shop to purchase a much needed t-shirt. The one’s she had brought on the trip were all dark, and a lighter colored one was required. I sat on the sidewalk and people watched. But wait, there’s more!

Its raining

Well its raining.  But the rain is good because it means you sit under a roof, on the beach and meet new friends.  And its nighttime which means you also drink Bintang beer and play cards games….new Dutch card games you learn from you new Canadian friend.

We are currently on Gili T, a tiny island (in a set of three), off the coast of Lombok, the island east of Bali, for those of you that haven’t memorized the 17,000 islands in the Indonesian Archipelago.  🙂  We will be here for one more day, circumvent the island (which should take all of 3 hours), then head back to Bali, specifically Ubud.

Traveling has been good to us so far.  We started off in Singapore with Amando’s roommate from college, Chris.  Please see Amando’s FB page for awesome photobooth pictures they took together.  Starting the trip off with a friend was priceless.  Singapore is beautiful, lush, metropolitan, and the food!  OH the food!  We had, if I remember correctly, about 6 different kinds of cuisine.  After 5 days in a big city, it was off to Bali to start using some of those Marriott points.  And since then its been beach, beer, good friends, sun, and lots of walking.  We’ve quickly discovered that we: a) don’t like moving around as much as we thought, b) its important not to by a return boat ticket before you are sure that you will in fact, return, c) plans can change literally in a matter of hours, d) and that the snorkeling/diving around here is like looking down into an aquarium.

Look for some pictures coming soon and please feel free to share with your friends and family!  We are also hoping to, at some point, have guests posts involving others who have done similar things to us (traveled, fulfilled a dream, etc), so if you have anyone in mind, please send us an email.  We hope to inspire all of you, as so far, we have inspired ourselves.  We are incredibly grateful to be here and thank all of you for what you did to help us get here!