“Are you free for four days? I want you to go to Bali and write about the experience …”
It was the type of question I dream about being asked. The chance to do my own mini Eat Pray Love adventure! And so 10 days later my suitcase was packed with shorts and sarongs and I was in a cab and on my way to the airport to meet my eight fellow traveling companions to road test a Bali adventure.
A mere six hours later and we were at Denpasar Airport. Now you can forget long queues at passport control. When we disembarked, we were met by a representative from Creative Holidays who told us to bypass the throngs of people and meet him at the front of the Customs line!
This is a VIP service that Creative Holidays offers … for $38/adult (less for kids), they will take care of your visa on arrival (which can only be done at this end and must be paid in US Dollars only) and Immigration formalities. The visa fee is an extra $25 per person. The process, if done on your own, can take hours, so this is well worth the nominal charge.
Our first night in Bali was spent at the Laguna in Nusa Dua. My favourite part was that the pool was accessible from my balcony!
My first morning in Bali was spent having a walk on the beach and a leisurely breakfast before we were on the bus and headed to Como Shambhala in Ubud – a wellness retreat just a two-hour drive away.
We were met at Como Shambhala and whisked away to the restaurant where we had THE most wonderful lunch. Their food is exactly what I love: fresh, healthy and simple but very tasty.
We were treated to a massage after lunch, and then I was shown to my villa (Hello? I could get used to this life VERY easily!)
It was beautiful. A huge room with high ceilings and an outdoor bath, which I decided I should immediately try out.
I didn’t have long to laze around. Before I knew it, it was time to go to the Elephant Safari Park for dinner. Some of the group were staying there and had been hanging with the pachyderms while I was hanging in my tub. Initially I was dismayed to see the elephants were chained but it was quickly explained to me that this was only during the elephants’ meal times. Who knew elephants grappled with food envy? Apparently they get a tad violent if they think their food is being compromised. All the elephants at the park have been rescued from Sumatra where they were used for logging and treated brutally. So this new life for them is wonderful. The males even have their tusks, which is something you don’t see often anymore.