I guess with pretty much any travel experience there will always be a few things you wish you knew in advance and a few things you would do differently if you did it again.
So far during our round the world travel experience there are actually very few major things I would have changed, I have felt that every location has had something to offer both Cameron and I, and there has been no place which we haven’t both really enjoyed.
Hence when I have heard so many wonderful things about Bali maybe I didn’t do my research well…..No.1 mistake was staying in Seminyak (Semin-YUK) as we quickly re-named it. It was certainly a case of “what the travel brochures don’t show you…..” dirty, crowded, polluted, noisy and quite frankly dangerous. The traffic is absolutely mental, I made the big mistake of attempting to try and cross the road on the zebra crossing only to almost get us both killed because not only do the endless stream of cars and moped not stop, they don’t even make any attempt to slow down. Then to make matters worse we almost got mowed down by a moped on the pavement because he didn’t have enough space to undertake the cars, so just rode along the payment instead and shot straight towards us as if we were invisible! 😡
Cameron was understandably really anxious and worried every time we stepped foot outside the hotel (I found out later from another parent with a 7yr old son, that he did exactly the same). It was a scary, daunting and frightening environment for children. By the end of the day 5 I was quite prepared to throw away the next 5 weeks of pre-paid accommodation, buy a new flight ticket and come home!!
The only saving grace was a) the friends we met and made here, and b) Our beautiful hotel, which most definitely became our security blanket!
It was hard to believe that the beautiful tropical oasis of The Blue Karma Oasis hotel lays admist the chaos and the noise outside. A small boutique hotel with just 16 rooms it had been furnished to the very highest standards and from the moment we arrived until the moment we left the staff could not do enough to help and to make us feel welcome.
Set within small tropical gardens which are immaculately manicured, lays the central pool which is spanned by the ‘bridge of happiness’
The pool water was slightly on the chilly side, but we are south of the equator here and hence they are now in their cooler dry season (there is no real such thing as winter here!)
In house there is also a small spa which offers a wide range of services; after 2 long haul flights to get here I was in desperate need of a good massage and I enjoyed every second of my 90 minutes deep tissue massage and certainly felt the benefit of it the following day.
Our own room was large and spacious, and I really loved the experience of the outside bathroom and rain shower…it is strangely liberating 🤣.
We also had the benefit of our own private plunge pool, although I must admit that didn’t ‘plunge’ as it was freeeeeeezing!!!!!
Even so it was just nice to sometimes sit out and relax in the privacy of your own space.
Breakfast was included each day with our room rate and there was always a good selection of cereals, fruits, breads, etc as well as a substantial menu of cooked foods to choose from as well.
Most evenings we chose to eat dinner at the hotel as well. Cameron was much more settled in the quieter surroundings and the one night we ventured to an outside restaurant to eat we both ended up with ‘Bali Belly’!
The Blue Matcha Restaurant on sight had a fantastic menu of food which was healthy, delicious and artistic. Full credit has to be given to both the chefs and the waiting staff who were just wonderful and always made a big fuss of Cameron every night! Yes the prices were a bit higher than you will pay outside of the hotel, but compared to prices back home in the U.K. were still very reasonable and for me worth every penny.
So whilst in all honesty I would never go back to Seminyak again as it was just too touristy and chaotic for us, I am very glad that we found the calm and tranquility we were looking for at Blue Karma Secrets.
Today we left Seminyak and began the drive up to the more rural area of Ubud. It was lovely drive up through the little villages and gave as a flavour of the ‘real’ Bali which we came to see. Ubud is also a popular tourist area but feels so much more authentic and we are looking forward to exploring out from here over the next week.