Monday, 22 September 2014

Forty nine weeks down... Part 1 Bali...

My 10 days in Bali have been amazing! I had so much fun and met some great people along the way. 

On Tuesday I headed to the airport and had 6 hours on the plane of which I slept for most of it!! When I first set out on my little adventure I never expected it to be this much fun...

I got a transfer from the Kuta Central Park hotel where I finally arrived at 11pm. The drive made the place look so rough. We stopped at the traffic lights and a young kid banged on the window crying for money, the driver said ignore him he does it everyday. At this point it was safe to say I was wondering what the hell I had got myself into!! 

I went straight to my room after checking in and fell pretty much straight asleep.

The next day I headed to breakfast at the hotel which wasn't very nice. I then decided to have a full body massage at the hotel which was pretty cheap (only $15). The rest of the morning was spent sunbathing by the pool before getting a Taxi to Seminyak. 

The Guess Hostel was really lovely. It was pretty clean and had all the necessary amenities. 

I headed out to have a wonder and ended up at the gourmet cafe. I had nachos, mocha and hangover cue smoothie which were all delicious after my horrible breakfast!

I decided to have a look at Seminyak beach and went to Potato Head which is a Beach Club overlooking the beach. I had a berry blast cocktail and a Mai tai and enjoyed sitting reading my book with an incredible view!

Once I went back to the hostel I met a girl who was also a single traveller, so we headed into Seminyak square to have a look around the shops and get something to eat. I must say the shops in Bali are amazing, however, for a place that is very cheap the clothes are certainly not! They have a lot of choice and much better than Sydney clothes shops. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Motel Mexicola which was really busy. I had chicken and cheese quesadillas with tacos and guacamole which were yummy. Then we shared the Churros with Carmel sauce. 

On Thursday I booked a Sightseeing tour with Golden Bali Tours. I choose the full day Jatiluwih tour. It was just me and the driver Wayan, he took me all over Bali and it was really good fun, especially, as he was able to tell me all about the culture and history behind Bali. 

My first stop was Tanah Lot Temple, which means the small island floating on the sea. 

The next stop was Batu Karu temple situated in the tranquil rain forest with the Batukaru Mountain as a back drop. It does require a small donation and you must wear a sarong which is provided for you. 

I then was taken to Jatiluwih rice terraces which provided a very beautiful panorama of the rice terraces unfolding from the foot of mountain.

I then headed to an authentic Balinese restaurant called Pacuny where it had a buffet style lunch overlooking the rice terraces which provided a stunning view while eating. 

After lunch I headed to a coffee plantation where I got to try all sorts of different coffees and teas including their speciality Coffee called Luwak coffee,. It's process is the bean passing through the digestive tract of the animal known as a Luwak. 

The next stop was Ulun Danu temple which lies by the western banks of Lake Bratan. It is one of the most picturesque and most photographed temples in Bali. 

The final stop was Taman Ayun Temple which is built on flat land with a big fish pond surrounding it so it looks like it's adrift. 

Once I returned to Seminyak I decided to head to the beach to watch the sunset at Ku De Ta with a passion fruit mojito cocktail.

Afterwards I went into the town for Dinner as I wasn't overly hungry so I opted for a caprese salad which consisted of tomato and mozzarella. I also had a tequila sunrise which had more tequila in than juice! 

I headed to a spa to have a pedicure after walking all day. I was amazed it was still open at 9pm at night. 

I then got back to the hostel and met a few people that were heading out for a few drinks so after a quick change we headed to potato head. When we arrived it was really quiet so we decided to walk along the beach to Ku De Ta in search of a party! 

Along the beach there was a stream which smelt bad so we tried to opt for going back onto the street. Instead one of the guys and I ended up getting chased by two dogs. We managed to scare them off and had no choice but to go through the smelly water. We both ran straight into the sea to clean off after! Once we arrived at Ku De Ta we realised it was also dead. We finally ended up in a bar called Sally's bar which was pretty busy.

Friday morning I went to gourmet cafe where I had French toast with grilled bananas which was delightful.

I headed back to the spa for a full Massage which sent me straight to sleep! 

Afterwards I headed to the Beach to catch some rays which was pretty hot! 

A few of the hostel guys and myself went for Dinner at Mi Casa Su Casa which was a Mexican restaurant. I had dirty rice with pulled pork which was amazing although the potions were tiny. There was alsothe cutest  dog there!

One of the girls and I headed to sea circus restaurant for drinks which had such a cool decor.

Afterwards we headed to Sally's bar for more cocktails.

We arrived back at the hostel to find a few guys chatting so we joined them and before I knew it, it was 2.30am.

On Saturday morning a friend and I headed to Sea circus restaurant for breakfast. I had the Acai bowel with home made granola, strawberries, bananas and bee pollen it was soooo good! I also had a Mary popin's drink with strawberries, watermelon and mint.

We walked around Seminyak and did a bit of shopping.

We then headed to potato head for some lunch.

That afternoon I got a taxi to Ubud with two of the people from my hostel and headed to our new destination...

Check out how I got on in Ubud in my next post.

Keeping you posted.

Sarah x 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Forty eight weeks down...

This week was my last week living in Sydney, I really don't understand where the time has gone?! I have had one of the best years of my life so far and it has just spurred me on to do more and more travelling. It's been amazing feeling so welcomed in Australia a place that's not my native home but it truly feels like home now thanks to the amazing people I've met and places I had the opportunity to go to. 

Monday was my last ever salsa night in Sydney, so I met up with a few of my salsa performance team mates and made the most of our last night together at Bar100. 

Wednesday I went for tea to the local Pub Called the Old Fitzroy Hotel. The pub itself is an unpretentious watering hole filled with 1970's decor. I had the satay chicken with rice which was delightful, although, it was rich in spices so I had to have a lot of water! 

Thursday I met up with a few of my colleagues and headed to The Buffalo Dinning club which is famous for its gigantic parmesan wheel filled with cacio e pepe, the classic Roman pasta dish of spaghetti tossed with olive oil, pecorino cheese and pepper. It’s a dish that exemplifies simple and delicious.  As well as having their famous pasta dish, for a starter we had buffalo mozzarella with cured meat which was sensational. The Buffalo dinning club is first come first serve with no reservation possible so be prepared to wait. 

Friday was my last day of work which I was extremely happy about! My boss gave me some money and a bottle of Mo√ęt which was very kind of him.

After work the roomie and I met up with an old roommate and headed to The Italian Bar. The typical family owned Italian restaurant provides rich authentic Italian taste infused with a combination of eye-catching colours and an authentic Italian design. We had a side of Polenta & Funghi which consists of oven baked polenta chips, sauted swiss brown mushrooms & thyme. For main we shared a Prosciutto & Rucola pizza which is tomato, Fiore Di Latte mozzarella, Parma ham & fresh rocket. We also could not go to an Italian restaurant and not order the Caprese which has Beef tomato, Mozzarella Di bufala, basil with extra virgin olive oil & reduced aceto balsamico di Modena. For pudding we had one of their homemade cakes which melted in your mouth, along with a few traditional Italian alcoholic shots...

We then headed to Coco Cubano on Oxford Street for cocktails. I had a mojito which went down way too easy.  The venue is a great spot for food, although, I have yet to go therefore breakfast but I hear they do a mean hot chocolate!

Afterwards we decided to go to another bar on Oxford Street called Hello Sailor. This nautical-themed bar was really cool it consist of ropes, wooden embellishments and sailing paraphernalia as far as the eye can see. If you go make sure you try their signature Pina Colada cocktail.

We then got talked into going to the Star Bar on George Street which was full of backpackers. We didn't stay too long and headed home as there were a lot of creepy guys. 

On Saturday we headed to Paddington to visit the markets, the weather was appalling but this still didn't stop us from having a look around to see if we could spot some bargains. I didn't buy anything but my roomie managed to buy quite a bit.

We had breakfast as one of my favourite brunch spots called Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore in Paddington. Not only is the food amazing but it's also a bookshop. You can have your food served while you read some of their selection of classic fiction to non-fiction to the complete random!

That night we had our final leaving House party. The party wasn't as good as last weeks, especially, as I ended up staying in to make sure my roomie was ok and she drank way too much.

Sunday I woke up not feeling too fresh but I had brunch at John Montagu in Woolloomooloo. They do a drink called witches brew which has lemon, honey, anticol which is perfect for those who are suffering with a cold.

In the evening we had a walk around Circular Quay harbour. The view still and always will be incredible.

We headed to The Argyle in The Rocks for dinner which was steak and chips which was delicious.

On Monday as it was my last day my roomie and I caught the ferry to Balmain for brunch which was lovely. We headed to a place called La Cafeier.

After catching the ferry back from Circular Quay we changed ferry to head to Mosman which is not only well known for having the most expensive real estate in Sydney but also for its National park. 

We headed for a walk around the park and took in all the views of Sydney's sky line. 

We then ended up in Belmoral which was a fantastic accident as it was beautiful. It also had The Boathouse restaurant made famous in Palm Beach for its brunch menu.  

After a very exhausting week I spent the rest of the evening packing all my stuff and make sure I was ready for my next adventure which is Bali. I didn't realise what a hoarder I am after only 1 year in Australia it's amazing what I have managed to collect along the way...

Stay tuned to hear how I get on in Bali. 

Keeping you posted.