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travel

Bali, Travel & Wanderlust

The Best Places To Eat In Amed

July 10, 2017

Amed, situated on the north east coast of Bali is a quiet little fishing village three hours of Denpasar. In my month here I found some treasures, and must eats here for your next trip (for half the price of southern Bali.) Here are some of the best places to eat in Amed. Hit me up if I have missed any!

Warung Enak 

Warung Enak is a favourite with travellers coming to Amed and it’s easy to see why. Situated on the main street, they serve a great selection of salad, pizza, fish of the day and home made ice cream. They have recently extended their seating area but it still gets super busy, especially in diving season so get there early. Be prepared for things to take a while if you are in a large group. Notable mentions: Tuna and corn pizza and the tofu and egg salad. Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

Warung Osin 

This is a small, unassuming and very clean warung close to the centre of Amed opposite the ATM and Barung dive centre. It is easy to walk straight past but if you do you will miss some of the best Indonesian food in Amed. Here you can get great nasi campur (a little taste of everything), satay chicken and fish, as well as fish of the day. The above meal of satay tuna will set you back about $6 AUD. Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

Day 24 Reflections – 42 Days of Summer

May 15, 2017

And so it is after about three weeks of chill I think that the big questions start to come. What am I doing with my life? What is it all about? Is Sydney life really it? Am I really meant to sit in an office? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I know if I was a digital nomad, I’d have to have something to sell, and I’d have to have more decent wifi. It’s taken sooo long, two beers and three different locations to write this post. So it will be back to the office for me for now.

A holiday this is not and I have not even touched the sides of all the things I wanted to read, because the training has been so hectic! Amazing but hectic. I have really improved my diving feeling super comfortable  and increasing my depth each day. I have met a new family of freediver friends here in Amed to come back and visit, my original fears of changing schools were really unfounded.  Last week rounded up the end of a five day workshop with Frederic Lemaitre. I was sooo exhausted by the end of it, and so were the instructors.

A shot from Freediving last week with Frederic Lemaitre. Credit Kwabana.

They gave us three dry days out of the water, so today we did some fun diving to the USAT Liberty Shipwreck today. USAT is 104 meters of shipwreck that was pushed off the beach and covered in volcanic ash. The bow is in about 5 meters of water and the stern goes down to about 20 meters. So many fish and fun swim throughs. This time I could get the courage up to do the 15m ones. Plus… Ginger Hunk! Here is some footage from today.

Ginger Hunk arrived on Friday and we had a great weekend chilling with friends who were up visiting from down south.

Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

Day 11 Reflections – 42 Days of Summer

May 1, 2017

Have I really been away 11 days already? It has been a bit of a blur. I’m delayed with my posts because I had a nightmare with my site, somehow it reverted back to old fonts, and my old settings did not work. So I’ve had a delightful time, trying to re-code the fonts here in the Balinese WIFI. Anyway, if something is weird, do tell me.

So I spent the first four days of my trip winding down in Penestanan, Ubud. Caught up with some friends, walked in rice fields, practiced some yoga and ate a lot of wonderful vegetarian food. I’ll share my tips here in a separate post. I also spent about four hours one day visiting Villa Kitty Bali, again, a separate post. I was truly amazed at the dedication of one woman to bring animal rights to Bali. It is really sad what happens to the little kittens here, anyway, I will save that tail (get it, tail?) for another time.

On Tuesday I arrived in Amed, and felt the sigh of relief to be in a slower paced quiet environment. I was a little bit anxious to not have the familiarity of my old dive instructor and my old freedive school but on turning up at my homestay and Apneista I knew I had nothing to worry about.

On Wednesday, I met my new freediving family and was delighted to find out the owner’s wife is a mad cat lady, and they have five cats in their home. I had three warm up sessions in beautiful Jemeluk Bay, where the visibility was so awesome we could see and touch the sand from the 25m line. After my anxiety about getting in the water, my previous equalisation troubles, I was astounded to get to free immersion at 23m on day three. Continue Reading…

Daily Life, Musings of sorts, Travel & Wanderlust

Things I am grateful for – the returning home edition

May 26, 2015

The first week of my holiday I spent in Boracay, which was very beautiful (but at times felt like a shopping mall). The second week I went to El Nido in Palawan, which was probably one of the most remote and amazing places I have traveled to in my life.

We got there by taking a flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa, then after a six hour journey we arrived into El Nido town, at a row of dusty shop fronts, restaurants and dive shops. The nearest ATM was a three hour bus ride away.

Last breakfast @hibiscus garden inn before venturing to El Nido

Last breakfast – Hibiscus garden inn before El Nido

From El Nido town we spent two days on a boat in Bacuit Bay with Palawan Divers. Two glorious days, where we saw no other humans and had no internet access. Nothing but us, the crew and tales of the sea. I have never felt further from anywhere before, except for maybe when I traveled to the Thai Islands and Cambodia for the first time 14 years ago.

It was an amazing, uplifting, thought provoking and interesting experience, which made me fall in love with travel again.

(Real travel, the kind that fills your soul and makes you want to quit your job.)

El Nido Town - the main drag

El Nido Town

Once again I am home, with all this ‘stuff’ surrounding me again, wondering why I need it all. Books, clothes, make up. A cupboard full of extra laundry stuff and shampoo. Sneakers (ones that can get dirty), bikes we don’t use. A pantry full of food. A drawer full of cling wrap (several different kinds I might add).

There are some things though, after my week in El Nido that I would like to say that I am truly grateful for.

1. Drinking water

If you live in El Nido you are part of the 544 million people in Asia that do not have access to safe drinking water. There are taps and there is water, but you can’t drink it, unless you want to get a stomach bug pronto. This is part of a global sanitation crisis. 

You can buy it in bottles but this only adds to another environmental issue – a million water bottles, a lack of environmental awareness or local facilities to recycle.

2. Electricity – all the time, anytime  

When in town in El Nido town and you hear a big clunk, then the electricity turns off. That is the sound of the generator stopping. And who knows when it will come back on. Apparently to this day, there are 1.6 Billion people in the world without a flow of regular electricity, if at all.

3. Medical care 

Whilst travelling in paradise, the rule is don’t get sick in paradise. Sadly for me, this was the trip of the allergies. A series of infections before leaving Australia probably left me susceptible to such things. The Ginger Hunk had an upset stomach for a week. I got covered in bites (which our traveling companion self diagnosed via Google as Seabather’s eruption), a reaction to jellyfish and sea anemones. I then got infected Lymph nodes under my right armpit. They were the size of golf balls and very sore. I asked my dive instructor what he thought it might be. He said he wasn’t sure, but that his Filipino wife had a similar thing, and used ‘local leaves’ to get rid of it.  “Is there a doctor?”, I ask. “Yes, but no good.”  I take my chances on a pharmacy. She says one word I understand, “antibiotic.” I traveled with some in my bag, so I took them, hoping the golf ball under my arm would disappear. It eventually did, a little, and after seeing my GP on return yesterday I am now thankfully on the good stuff.

Seabather's rash

My seabather’s eruption

“What happens when women in El Nido have babies?” I asked one day. They learn to hold on during the six-hour bus trip back to Puerto Princesa, or ‘it just happens here‘ my dive instructor tells me. I didn’t want to ask any more. (Good thing you can get things laminated there though, always handy.)

Lamination, always a priority

Lamination, always a priority in paradise!

4. My bed 

There is nothing at all in the world quite like the feel of your own bed. The linen, the feel of the cushions, the room temperature, the duvet pressure. I feel into a heap last night and slept for 13 whole hours.

And I woke up today thinking I shall never complain about the little things again. (And that I want to travel more.)

Any places you have traveled lately that reminded you of how lucky you are to be at home?

What were they? 

Photo above by James Mills - going to work with Dad means riding the Trike in El Nido!

 

 

Daily Life, Travel & Wanderlust

A feel good customer service story….

May 21, 2014

Last week I traveled on the E85 bus.

The machine ate my ticket. I was not impressed. I had six trips left and it was non pay week. I was annoyed at having to buy a new ticket outside of my usual routine. I ranted at the bus driver thinking he had a magical device to open the ticket machine. He did not.

He told me to ring the bus depot or use 131500 and my ticket would be replaced.

I DID NOT BELIEVE HIM. Continue Reading…

Travel & Wanderlust

Is the Internet ruining your holiday surprise?

March 9, 2014

 

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I must say I am a little sad about the way that travel planning has turned out.

Gone are the days of reading the lonely planet, booking everything through email, and turning up at your guesthouse hoping a) that they remembered you were coming and b) that the place had not burnt down.

My husband and I have fully embraced this review-just-about-everything culture.

I admit that I am guilty as charged.

This addiction to reviewing and documenting everything we do on the world wide web leaves nothing to chance on our holidays anymore.

Once travelling, we spend our time glued to our iPhones and Instagram.

Continue Reading…