Getting to Bali proved to be a challenge thanks to AirAsia!
Our flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur was delayed by two hours, not so bad as some Aussies had been waiting at the airport for 10 hours and were a little unhappy with AirAsia to say the least. This two hour delay meant that our transfer time from arriving into Kuala Lumpur and departing was about 10 minutes. So Laura and I ran through KL airport, through two security checkpoints to get to our gate only to see our flight was delayed from 9.30 pm departure until 4am!!! This is going to be fun with Iris. By the time we passed back through the security checkpoints and got to the transfer desk time was kicking on and Iris needed a bed. We were offered accommodation but it was now nearly 11pm and we had to get back to the airport for 2.30am. The accommodation was 30 minutes away and the reviews on TripAdvisor were appalling. We made the decision to sleep in the airport so we could get Iris down, and Tom haggled for more food vouchers. Equivalent to £30 worth, that will get us a decent meal. We set up Iris a make-shift bed under the escalators as it was the only dark space, with carpet. She was straight down and then we took it in turns to get food. Unfortunately no sleep was had by either of us!
On arrival at Berry Glee, where we had missed our first nights accommodation, we went straight into breakfast before sleeping for the rest of the morning. We chose Berry Glee because we thought it would be part of the trip that would be great to spend some time doing things for Iris. It has a swimming pool, themed rooms, children’s play area, a playroom and karaoke fun pods. Also Tom liked it because it is 17 out 252 hotels in Kuta, not bad for a kiddie hotel. Although it soon became apparent that you don’t need kids to stay here. You can ‘get your glee on’ without children. We really like the hotel and it has many benefits (pool, breakfast buffet, family friendly). There are a few things that we found a bit strange: not having maps of the local area, only 1 highchair in the restaurant (when it’s a children’s hotel) and slippery decking leading to the pool. It’s been an excellent base for us to explore the local area and staff are friendly.
Imagine saying ‘Kuta’ in an Aussie accent. That’s what Laura has been saying for the past few days. To be fair this is Aussie central, as you walk down the street in Kuta it’s full of bars with Aussie footy on and Aussies young and old soaking up the atmosphere. Not really our scene with Iris. We managed to find a couple of lovely eateries hidden away, Poppies and Un’s, both restaurants in the top 30 of course. Some incredible dishes at both. The main attraction was that they were quiet hideaways to escape the chaos of scooters, sellers and noise. The beach in Kuta is just as busy and is a surfers paradise. Great for watching surfers ride the waves whilst soaking up the sun, or take a surfing lesson if that’s your thing. We also visited the memorial to commemorate the victims of the 2002 bombing at two popular nightclubs. On a walk back to our hotel after dinner Tom was pleased to find a local bakery. This didn’t look like any old bakery, from the outside it looked like a temple and from the inside it was a cake lovers dream. Back at the hotel it was a cuppa a cake before bed whilst listening to the karaoke, very entertaining!!!
Tom did his research and saw some hidden beaches to the south of Kuta. So we thought we would try a few of them. How to get there? Buses looked risky (getting from place to place), hiring a car seemed to be effort so we went with an Uber. We have been using Uber because they are a third of taxi prices. So our first Uber was to PadangPadang beach. We didn’t take into consideration the traffic on the roads – it was so busy. No wonder most people opt for hiring scooters. Anyway, we arrived at PadangPadang which is a stunning beach with clear waters. Good for swimming as the surfers are further out. The beach was crowded with tourists, all trying to get the perfect shot on their DSLRS, GoPros, selfie sticks and even a couple of drones buzzing around! We managed to both have a tag-team swim with Iris. She found some rocks and wouldn’t let them go! She loves searching for hidden treasures on the beach and creates quite a collection. On from PadangPadang we walked to Bingin Beach with a stop off for lunch a Bukit Cafe. Laura especially liked the vegetarian options and I enjoyed the BBQ tacos. Best of all Iris was asleep whilst we ordered drinks, so we managed to have our mocktail and fruit smoothie in peace.
We continued our walk to Bingin beach, along quiet and windy roads and then finally a lot of steep steps and through cool and laid back beach bars to the to get to the small, narrow sandy beach with rock pools and some lovely buildings on the front.. This was very quaint, quiet and beautiful. Some stunning places to stay with sea views. We were lucky to get an Uber though as it was pretty limited, but then onto Jimbaran beach. I had read lots about fish markets and eating on the beach at Jimbaran (Rough Guide). It was mentioned as one of the highlights whilst in SouthEast Asia. Due to traffic, once again, we saw the sunset on our way, pretty early here at 5.30. When we arrived there were hundreds of people sat out having candlelit dinners on the beach. You can choose the amount of fish and pay per KG or go for a set menu. We had a great fish supper. Very romantic! We found some more rocks on the beach which kept Iris entertained throughout the meal. More traffic on the way back to Berry Glee, a late night for Iris but well worth it. Our day travelling by Uber worked out at £13. Three journeys covering 45km.
We might have missed the sunset on Jimbaran beach but we caught it the night after on Kuta beach, with a local Bintang beer to celebrate. Sunset is early here, at 6.15pm.
The Gili Islands await us next, where we are meeting up with cousin Jess. After, we will return back to Bali and staying in Ubud.