Everytime I go to Newcastle I am struck by how much I like it there. The last (and first) time I went I enjoyed its beautiful beaches. (Although a big shark meant that we couldn't swim at any of them!) This time we had tea and dumplings at The Tea Project and then walked across the road to High Swan Dive. I honestly would not be surprised if I end up living in this town one day.
I surf the web a lot. I just wanted to share some of the more notable things I've found on there.
One of the best shops in Melbourne right next door to the best cakes in all of Melbourne.
We spent out last day doing a bit of sightseeing and talking to some lovely people.
We stayed at Bambu Indah for the last few days of our trip. We were the ones in the cheapest room because we didn't really belong there. It was a very cute and cosy room though. I figured since we were paying so much money to be there we might as well spend a whole day exploring the place. We ate lovely food and swam in the pool and I got a massage with a really lovely lady called Dewi and we had afternoon tea and went for a little bushwalk. The staff at Bambu Indah are really lovely and if you have the money I do recommend going although the location is not great if you are not game for hiring a scooter and driving yourself around.
P.S. If you do go, you should know that anyone is allowed in the treehouse. I thought it was someone's bedroom and I never went in and now I'm sad.
We came back to Ubud for our last few days. We pretended to be rich people at our very nice hotel and I bought a few things in some shops I'd never visited before (Threads of Life and Ikat Batik for anyone who's interested). We also visited the Ubud market and got souvenirs for people back in Australia and I drove Sam crazy stopping every 5 seconds to take photos of the little offerings all over the street.
The beach is the best part of Seminyak. And that is all I have to say about that.
We went to Sanur with plans to head from there to Nusa Penida. I got really sick though so we ended up just spending a few days there getting massages and chilling on the beach with an alarming amount of German retirees.
Making the most of of our last day together.
The hardest thing about living away from people you love is not being a part of everyday life. It's so special to visit and do fun things together but knowing that life isn't normal when I'm around kinda sucks. I really treasure days like these when it feels like my presence isn't a novelty.
We hired a bus. We packed a whole shitload of people from the neighborhood in it and drove to the beach. It was chaotic and fun.
My mum called us over to hang out with her friends. I usually get really bored whenever she does this but their house was next to a lake and they took us out on an impromptu canoe ride. It was really nice after years of growing up around this lake to actually be on it for the first time.
One of our most popular local volcanoes. People come here to eat corn that's cooked in the mountain's hot springs while drinking tea and coffee. You can also get a massage while soaking your feet in the water from the hot springs. And then there's the crumbling steps that have been built into the mountain. They lead you up to a lookout point where they've created some wildy inaccurate religious shrines. There's a "buddhist" temple, a "hindu" temple and a "mosque". It's actually meant to be in the spirit of interfaith dialogue which I think is a very very nice and important gesture.
We spent a night in an overpriced hotel in the city. It had a fake beach and we all got sick from something that must have been in the aircon. Beautiful sunset and sunrise though. And we managed to squeeze in some karaoke during dinner at a seafood restaurant down the road as well.
My mum brought bubbles from Australia. We went to the hospital to visit my little cousin Oliver who was a bit sick. Then we went and got dinner and stopped for Martabak on the way home. Martabak is something you must try if you are ever in Indonesia.
Haircuts and tea and church and fireworks and karaoke and Sammy's birthday.