Our driver was coming to get us at 8am so we could start the drive back down to Nusa Dua, but of course we had to tackle a few adventures along the drive. One final yummy breakfast at the hotel, before we packed up all our stuff, and Lincoln’s precious kite and we were off.
Our first stop was the Goa Gajah temple that is famous for a face carved into a stone wall. Our driver told us they don’t even know how old the carving is. The carving is supposed to be an elephant. I couldn’t quite picture it, but the elephant represents protection and prosperity in the Hindu faith. (I attribute all my knowledge to Gusti, our driver.) Also at this temple is a Buddhist temple off to the side. This is one of the only places you’ll find Hindu and Buddhist temples together. Gusti, also told us that they celebrate at the Hindu temples daily in their home temples, and every 6 months in the village temples. The men decorate the temples while the women prepare the offerings.
After the temple we drove almost 2 hours to the Blue Lagoon to do some snorkeling. We brought all our own gear with us, in our carry on bags. It took up precious room, so Ty and I were a bit determined that we use it at some point. We didn’t quite understand the process, we kind of assumed we’d just be snorkeling off the shore. Turns out we were renting a boat from someone that Gusti knew, and we were snorkeling off around the shore in two different locations and they included a meal afterwards.
It was kind of nice having our own little boat. The locations were busy but nothing like what we dealt with in the Philippines. The first location the boat captain gave me a water bottle filled with a slice of white bread, and water making a slurry that we squeezed out to chum the fish. This worked like a charm! Ryder wasn’t too sure she wanted to snorkel and Lincoln was having all sorts of issues with his gear, so we struggled for the first bit. But after we got Ryder a floaty and Lincoln was able to free dive and hang onto the floaty occasionally Ty was able to swim them around as we chummed the fish and looked at the coral. Nothing was too vibrant but the water was warm and there were some amazing fish. We swam at this first location for about an hour.
The second location had a lot less coral, but we were still able to chum the fish. Ryder didn’t want to get her face in the water any more and I was struggling with my snorkel mask really leaking. So her and I just chummed the fish around her legs and she enjoyed them surrounding her. Ty and Lincoln snorkeled around a bit more before the kids and I headed for the boat while Ty finished up. This area was supposed to have sea turtles but I don’t think any were in the area this day.
After we snorkeled it was back around the cove to the restaurant. The meal was simple, either rice or noodles with vegetables and sometimes a fried egg.
Gusti came back for us and this is when we drove to Hidden Canyon walk. It of course took another 2 hours to get there. Ryder and I were doing some math homework in the backseat during the drives. We needed to catch up on some homework.
Again, like the snorkeling we didn’t quite know what to expect. Ty thought it was just a self guided walk where you could jump off the cliff at the end into the water. Turns out that wasn’t it at all. We had to buy tickets which included two guides, and again a meal. We got changed into swim suits and it was basically a canyon walk/swim through three different canyons. The water level is low now, due to it not being the rainy season yet. So there was really only one spot where Ty and Lincoln could safely jump off a rock into the water. The guides were fun and really played around with the kids but it was definitely low water and there were lots of rocks to avoid. In the last canyon there was a rope swing the kids got to enjoy. As Ryder was swinging there were a couple of monkeys that walked across the tree that supported the rope. So neat!
After the canyons we walked back to the start through some back yards and jungle area. Our guide picked star fruit from the tree for Lincoln. He wasn’t too sure about it but i loved it. Like an apple from the tree. When we go closer we walked through a rice filed where the rice was actually ripe and on the plant! Our guide must have thought we were so funny but I’ve never seen rice on an actual plant. Then even better we got to see workers harvesting it! They had cut all the plant stalks and we’re putting them into a threshing machine. The machine would vibrate the grain to the ground and throw the extra stalks out. The workers put a tarp up to stop the stalks from going too far. They would then shake out the stalks by hand to gather any missed grain. Thankfully our guide saw how interested we were so we were able to walk through the fields to watch the process. Again I’m sure the workers thought we were nuts for being so fascinated by the process. I told him, if he ever makes it to Alaska I’ll show him glaciers and snow, then we’ll be even.
and got to shower while they cooked our chicken burgers. Felt so good to get the salt water and muddy canyon water off. After that extra meal and unexpected canyon adventure we were all pretty tired and just ready to get to the hotel. It took us another 2 hours or so through rush hour traffic to get to our hotel in Nusa Dua, but at least all the roads were legit two lane highways and felt like it wasn’t so twisty.
After check in we explored the hotel a bit. The pool has a twisty slide, there are bikes we can borrow, ping pong and pool tables, kids club activities, and kids spa. So many activities and no plans tomorrow. We ordered room service and got everyone cleaned up for bed. I think the kids managed to stay up past 9 and Ty and I were up till 10. A new record for this trip!