The last JUMP of our incredible adventure

Bali50We felt free in Bali, some of the most free and easy days of our lives. Time seemed to have almost no meaning now, we were just governed by the rising and setting sun. It had been an incredible place to experience. We left Nusa Lembongan to travel to the Bukit Peninsula, this would mark the last part of our time in Bali, and the last part of our whole adventure. Something neither of us wanted to think about.

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The journey back to mainland Bali was much the same, with a crazy boat ride and chaotic car journey through the busy streets. After a month this had become almost normal now, but compared to the ordered systems back home it was just as exhilarating as the first time!

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We were staying in an air bnb, run by the coolest Spanish guys. Edd thinks they have the dream job welcoming guests in the morning and then surfing all day. He’s not far wrong!

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Shortly after our arrival we were told about a mandatory night out! I could see the fear in Edd’s eyes now that he’s turned 30. After a few Bintangs (the local beer) we headed to an outside bar which was really chilled out. We both absorbed the good vibes, drinking and dancing the night away.

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For the rest of our days we drove around on our trusty scooter and headed to the some of the most beautiful beaches we have seen. We were lucky enough to catch Uluwatu with some good swell and see the iconic reef break working its magic for those surfers brave enough to be out there.

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For our final night we went to Uluwatu Temple. We explored the sacred grounds, with its imposing position on the edge of huge cliffs. The last treat was watching the famous Fire Dance. This was just amazing, with 70 guys chanting in a meditative state whilst the sun set and a story was acted out. The traditional Balinese dress, makeup and dancing was mesmerising, we watched in complete awe.

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We are not quite sure how we have arrived here at the closing of this chapter. Packing our loyal backpacks for one last time felt crazy. We’re not ready for this adventure to end.

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Both of us have been able to grow so much together. Edd is so comfortable with who he is, which is just fantastic to see and I feel the same. I couldn’t be prouder of him and who he is. A passionate, kind hearted, talented, surfer hippy. Who stands up for what he believes in.

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Peace & Love, Ally & Edd x

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Nusa Lembongan and another hairy boat ride!

After such a relaxing stay on the island of Gili Air we were sad to leave, but also super excited for Nusa Lembongan.  All it took to get there was another two and a half hour boat ride.  After our previous ride of terror (previous post), we were quite nervous and rightly so, as the swell was huge!   


Somehow this boat ride was even more terrifying than the first!  At one point we actually leapt so far out of the water that people started screaming, one lady shouting ‘we’re going to die’! Then another poor passenger sat next to us was violently sick.


I was so pleased when we finally saw land, and Edd was super happy to see the reef breaks around the island pumping. The waves were beastly waves. After this life affirming boat ride we decided we’d walk to our next air bnb, it didn’t look far on the map, but oh how we were wrong.  


45 minutes later dripping in sweat, getting lost several times, clambering over rocks and through bushland we finally made it. We were welcomed with a cold flannel and a glass of fresh watermelon juice. I had managed all of this with a bout of the dreaded bali belly!  To say we slept well that night would be an understatement.

Once feeling rested and back to 100% we spent the next few days on a scooter and explored the island and its neighbour Nusa Cennigan, crossing the famous yellow bridge.  


All of our scooters we have hired seem to be getting progressively worse.  This time our chosen chariot’s speedometer didn’t work and neither did the fuel gauge.  We only found this out when part way up a hill and the scooter cut out,  with a 10 minute push to the nearest petrol.


It was here on Nusa Lembongan that we decided to try yoga for the first time and wow, what an experience, probably one of my most favourite experiences ever. In a bamboo shack surrounded by palm trees and bush we gathered twice with our teacher and fellow yogis, trying Hatha Flow and Yin Yoga.  

It was during these classes that I was actually able to understand what its like to think of nothing and just be in the moment, I had managed mindfulness, something I have been striving to do for so long.  


The rest of our time was spent lying on the beach, playing cards and drinking coconuts, pure bliss and relaxation.


We can’t quite believe our 6 and a half months of travelling are nearing the end, with only one more stop left on our Bali adventure. The only problem was another dreaded boat ride to get there….


 

 

A Scary Boat Ride and The Gili Islands

It’s a lovely morning in central Bali and we’re waiting on a busy street near a market for a lift. It’s only 7am and already it’s hot and humid. After a painstaking long wait and almost giving up hope of anything coming, suddenly we’re sat in a cramped van on our way to the east coast of Bali. The reason for the early start is to reach our next destination, the Gili Islands.


An hour later and once peeled from our sweaty seats we found ourselves in the chaotic port of Padang Bai. People and luggage were everywhere, and coming at us from all angles. Our passports were hurriedly checked and our rucksacks chucked onto a sorrowful looking trolley. We said to ourselves that no matter what we should follow those bags – the majority of our worldly possessions were in there after all.


We watched the bags be taken out onto a rickety old pier and tossed into the front of a boat. One of the guys apparently in charge signalled that we could jump on too and we were soon balanced on some suspect planks making our way on.


The next 2 hours we had a boat ride to remember. We had been told the route from Bali to the Gili Islands is well known to be rough and that was certainly correct. The ‘captain’ looked far too casual throughout, while monster waves battered the boat, rocking it uncontrollably at times. However the journey was worthwhile when we arrived into our home for the next week, Gili Air.


The island has a completely different feel to Bali itself. There are no motorised vehicles allowed, so pushbikes and horse are the main modes of transport, this simple fact really shapes the place. There are no roads, just sandy gravel tracks and it’s super quiet without the constant noise of scooter engines and horns. Pure bliss in our eyes. 


Our time on the island was completely loose, most days consisted of relaxing down the beach, taking a swim and then going for lunch. Drinking a coconut or searching for sea shells were regular activities. Catching a boat to the neighbouring island of Gili Meno was about as taxing as it got. 


Our accommodation was a small bamboo hut, which we fell in love with and found completely relaxing. It was like climbing into a treehouse each night. On top of this the locals were all so welcoming and we felt humbled to be in their presence. 


We really were lucky to experience the Gili Islands, a tropical paradise, not only in the way they look but also in the way they make you feel. Well worth the journey for sure.


 

6 Months on the Road

Exactly 6 months ago today we began our travels. It’s been an unbeliable journey of self discovery and getting to know each other more than ever before.

We celebrated by hiring a scooter and exploring the islands of Nusa Lembongan and the neighbouring Cennigan. 

It’s been an unbelievable experience so far and hard to put into words. But put it this way it’s been one of the best decisions ever. 

NZ Week 9 – 10: A family adventure and leaving NZ

Our final two weeks in New Zealand were spent with my family. It was quite surreal for us all to meet up after not seeing one another for six months, especially down under. 


The stories shared from each other’s adventures were amazing, and we spent many a late night talking. Some of the mishaps Mike and Beth had encountered were hilarious, particularly their experiences with massages in India. 


My Mum and Dad had also had a fantastic time exploring the South Island in NZ, it is certainly something they will never forget. 


I was super grateful to be with everyone for my birthday – it was the big 30 – one I will always remember, thank you to all of them.


We spent the two weeks in two locations – Hihi in Northland and Pukehina in the Bay of Plenty. 


For all of us it was the first time we had stopped and settled in the same location for a while. Days were spent walking, fishing and kayaking, as my dad said ‘it was magic’. 


This chapter of our travels also marked the end of New Zealand for us. The time here has been unforgettable. The landscape has offered the true impact, the vast scale of what has been before our eyes providing a real perspective on life. 


Much of our time was spent in amazement at the sometimes surreal and often breathtaking sights. We leave with a changed state of mind. 

NZ Week 8: The Coromandel 

Our final week together in Byron the van so we wanted to make it one to remember and headed to the Coromandel. 


It was a week filled with walking on white sandy beaches and collecting the most amazing seashells.


New Zealand felt so cold in comparison to Australia, so when I heard about Hot Water Beach with natural 65 degree springs it became a must do location. We headed down just before sunrise and at low tide in order to find the springs, you could see where they are because of the steam rising from the sand. 


We borrowed a spade from one of the locals and Edd dug away whilst I eagerly waited to get in and warm up. The water was so hot that we actually had to let the sea water in so that the pools were bearable. It was super amazing sat in the sand watching the sunrise through the steam, it was definitely worth getting up early for.


Cathedral Cove was another highlight, walking 45 minutes to a small beach and seeing the rugged archway that has formed in the cliff. Edd was in photography heaven, which was wonderful to see.


Staying in a campervan has been amazing, parking up in secluded spots by the beach and hearing the waves crash at night is something we will always remember. 

The van has been our home, shelter, bed, kitchen, security, transport, kitchen and most importantly dependable friend. I hope that this is the start of more campervan adventures to come.

NZ Week 7: Volcanoes, Snow and Surf

Our first true impression back in the north island – after a quick visit to Wellington – was the snow capped volcanoes! 


Driving towards these beasts was like nothing else we’ve experienced, quite bizarre knowing that one could go off at any moment too. 


There had been a fresh dump of snow the night before we arrived. Walking out into it was pretty strange in May, knowing that back home it was summertime and everyone was probably out barbequeing. 


After a crazy drive on the ‘Forgetten Highway’, with our fuel running eye-wateringly low, we arrived into Taranaki. 


This volcano was the most striking for us as the surrounding landscape is so low lying. Sleeping on the side of it felt truly weird. 


The next day it was time for a walk and we climbed up one of the surrounding mountains for a closer view of the volcano, it was awesome and huge! 


Next on our route was Raglan, a place I have wanted to visit ever since watching the Endless Summer. It turned out to be one of our favourite places in NZ, reminding us very much of Byron Bay, proper chilled. 


One of the crazy things about this area of the country is the black sand, it certainly gives the beaches a different feel. 


It was a super fulfilling week back on the North Island that’s for sure.