With May finally upon us, we headed to Bali for a birthday wellness treat. It’s the first time I’ve been to Bali and I was curious to finally see the place that holds so many Australians in thrall.

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We arrived at our villa shortly after 6pm so it wasn’t long before we had to head to Sardine for our dinner reservation.

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P5110044.JPGSardine is a seafood restaurant in Seminyak, which is the same area where we were staying.

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Sharon arrived in Bali late that evening so she was quite tired when we woke up the next morning at 7am for our first day of diving.

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Our first day of diving didn’t go as smoothly as planned. First, our divemaster and crew were an hour and a half late to pick us up. After driving for 30 minutes, we had to stop by a mechanic as a screw in our van had come loose.

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Three hours later, we arrived in Amed. Meanwhile Jess was at a 5 star luxury resort, doing a pool session with a dive instructor.

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After our first dive, the irritation of the morning was forgotten.

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Diving in Bali is so different from diving in Australia.

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Water temperatures are 27 degrees on average and that’s the first major difference.

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We saw stingrays, eels, lionfish and pufferfish on the first day of diving, amongst many other marine life.

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In between our first and second dive, we had lunch by the resort and soaked up the rays in the pool.

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It was very late by the time we got back but we still had time to stop for a street snack.

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The next day, Sharon relaxed at the villa while Mae, Jo, Jess and I headed to Tulemban Bay for our two shipwreck dives.

P5130260.JPGThe resort here was nicer than the resort at Amed. Jess had her first open water dive today and I was excited for her.

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I was also pretty excited for my first wreck dive.

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No matter what the destination, there is always an opportunity for funny photos.

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During our wreck dive, I saw a large grouper, plenty of clown fish, pygmy seahorses and cuttlefish to name a few.

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On our third and final day of diving, we headed to Padang Bay. Jess was a little nervous about her first boat dive.

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The fish below is a box fish. Its fins move very quickly.

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This particular species of stingray is called a blue spotted stingray. Amazing how they can camouflage themselves.

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We also saw a mantis shrimp which I’m sure I’ve eaten before. Apparently these little critters are vicious.

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It was a satisfying day of diving followed by a satisfying day of eating.

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Ignore the strategically placed water droplet in the photo above.

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Padang bay is only an hour and 30 minute drive from Seminyak so we got back to the villa in time for Rex’s arrival .

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The day after Rex arrived, Nancy arrived and then the eating began! Our first big group meal was at Mamasan, a funky Thai fusion restaurant.

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On my birthday, we headed to Yogi’s restaurant and grill for some suckling pig and seafood.

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This place came highly recommended by Jess’s colleagues and it had a 96% rating on tripadvisor.

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The size of the suckling pig was very impressive. Apparently it weighs 30kg.

 

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In the end, it was too much pig for us, even with the likes of Jo, Rex & Nancy eating.

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We had to kiss the leftovers goodbye.

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The seafood platter was another matter. I was in foodie heaven when I saw it and it wasn’t long before it was polished off.

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Before you go judging, I would like to say that I did eat healthy ONCE on this trip and that was when I had lunch at the Junction with Jess & Rex.

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After Yogi’s, Jo, Mae and I made our way sluggishly to Jari Menari, a massage parlour which translates to ‘dancing fingers’. What is unique about this place is that all the masseuse are men.  It was an interesting experience for Jo, shall we leave it at that?

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That evening, we headed to Ku De Ta. This restaurant is Sharon’s favourite in Bali and I could see why. The restaurant/bar overlooks the beach.

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It’s decor is swanky and stylish. It was also one of my favourite meals of the trip.

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Mike and Janice had sneakily gone to the restaurant earlier in the day and ordered a birthday cake for me. It was definitely a very good birthday.

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The next morning we headed to Bodyworks, a spa experience and pamper place.

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It’s my second time at Bodyworx. I seem to have developed a love of massages. Who would have thought considering how ticklish I am?

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We all went for the 1.5 hour Bmassage followed a flower bath and a yoghurt/ cinnamon scrub.

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For lunch on our second last day, we headed to Potato Head which is near Ku De Ta and also overlooks the beach. It was nice to visit a venue like this in the day time.

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After lunch, Sharon, Jess & Mae went to Bodyworx for their massage, while the rest of us walked back to Seminyak town for some shopping.

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Shopping wasn’t hugely successful and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves back at the villa, cooling off in our private pool.

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Naturally Jo found other ways to amuse himself.

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We start off our evenings with a drink at our villa before we head out for dinner.

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For Mike’s birthday dinner, we headed to Sarong, the more upmarket and sister restaurant to Mamasan.

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