B A L I : Keramas & Ubud

Our next stop on the trip was Keramas, renowned for its Volcanic sand beaches & the famous Keramas surf break, it is set on the lush & unspoilt East Coast of Bali.

After catching our ferry from Nusa Lembongan to Sanur and a quick taxi ride later, we arrived to a tropical oasis… Welcome to Komune Resort Bali.

Welcomed with a refreshing passionfruit drink & ice cold towels, it was time to chill out for the next 2 days. The resort is truly something magical & a place you would head to to escape the hustle & bustle of your daily life.
One walks through the reception area and  into the most breathtaking gardens. Flower vines cascading down pillars, fruit & vegetable gardens creating a pathway through the gardens, passion fruits, herbs & pineapples, to the lush greenery creating a tunnel along the path. You have stepped into paradise! Sky high coconut palms for a canopy, as you wind your way down to the beach front. Crossing the wooden bridge, you are welcomed by an incredible rim flow pool right on the beach. Huge comfy sun beds & loungers surround the pool and the famous surf break right is right in front of our hotel. What more could you ask for! To the right you have the restaurant and bar area and to the left, you have another decked out area with fairy lights & swings beneath the deck right on the beach sand.

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As for the volcanic sand beaches, it was something like you have never seen before… Pitch black beach sand, that sparkles like glitter in the sunshine. The contrast of the green lush vegetation to one side and the dark spelled ocean on the other.

Their food & drinks were out of this world!!! Delicious fish tacos & burgers were AMAZING! Binnies were flowing & when cocktail happy hour hit, well then as true South Africans do, you order a ridiculous amount of cocktails just to make sure you are getting your moneys worth. Coconut Chilli Martinis, Passion fruit Caipirinahs & Elderflower Margaritas … Life was FANTASTIC!

We were super stoked as one of our good mates from Durbs was able to join us while we were at Komune… Good ol’ Beanie! Beanie aka Brandon Celine is based in Canggu ( which was one of our upcoming stops) However he was off to Singapore for work so lucky us, he graced us with his presence! Which was GREATLY appreciated, Thanks again for coming through Beanie!

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The next morning we found The Health Hub… WOW! This area was the most tranquil, beautiful, calm area of the resort. A place where you did Yoga in a beautiful Balinese open room. There were daily gym classes, a health restaurant with the most insane breakfast menu catering to the vegan & health fanatics AND of course the swimming pool area, rim flow pool lined with banana trees on the one side (with actual hands of bananas hanging over the pool) and on the other side, beautiful large day beds where one could tan & relax in peace & quiet. This whole area is a kid free zone, nothing against children, its just nice to be able to zen out at the pool and not be splashed or harassed by kids.

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We explored the area surrounding our hotel and as you step out of the resort you are greeted with rice paddy fields. Something that is truly majestical! We decided to skip the pricey prices that our hotel had to offer and rather explored the surrounding warungs ( a warung is a small type of family owned business, either a restaurant or cafe’). We ended up sitting on a stilted hut on the beach, drinking binnies. We weren’t that lucky with the weather front in Karamas, so when it got muzzy, we meandered our way through the rice paddy fields to a warung overlooking the fields. As the sun set & happy hour began, we worked our way back to our hotel bar to unwind for our last night at the resort…

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At Komune, the staff were incredible, our rooms were amazing and the food & drink was out of this world! It was the most expensive stop of our trip, but was truly worth every cent. One really does need to experience a stay at this resort! It was out of this world!

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After 2 nights at Komune Resort we headed off to Ubud for the night. We ended up winning the lotto when it came to our shuttle driver. He had so much knowledge to offer about his homeland and truly was THE BEST! We told him what we wanted to do and see while we were in Ubud and he took it upon himself to make sure we did absolutely everything!

First on the list was chasing waterfalls. Our awesome driver took us to one darn beautiful one! You walk through a tiny market where the locals are selling really cool clothing items & accessories for a bargain. You are then welcomed by a view of the waterfall below in the midst of the lush jungle. You are able to walk down & explore the waterfall & all its beauty it has to offer!

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I dont know what it is about waterfalls but they captivate you, calm you & give you that feeling in your stomach that life is AMAZING! Maybe thats just me but that is what it does…  A few pics & boomerangs later we climbed the hundreds of steps back up to our shuttle.

Next stop was the Luwak Coffee stop. Quick background to what Luwak Coffee actually is   ( I pulled this off Wiki so I got all the details correct haha…)  Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee refers to the coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. The civets are fed fruits such as pawpaw and coffee beans and then, you end up drinking the coffee made from their poop. Interesting I know! As I am not a caffiene coffee drinker, I was just going to watch the rest of the group take part.

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We got dropped off at such an awesome Luwak Coffee stop & for a stop I wasnt too concerned about, it ended up being one of the most interesting stops of the trip! It was called Teba Safari. Not only did they make Luwak Coffee but also grew their own fruit, herbs & spices. They brewed their own teas & made their own chocolates from the very cocoa that they grew on their grounds. You get welcomed by the sweetest Balinese lady, who then walks you through the grounds, showing you all of what they have to offer and explaing what each herb or plant is and what it is used for. After walking through their beautiful gardens you are then seated at your own private table setting where the coffee, tea, chocolate & tobacco tasting takes place. They bring you a tasting tray of all the coffee & tea flavours they have on offer. While she brews the Luwak Coffee, we spent time sipping our way through the tasting tray, eating delicious chocolates and if you feel adventurous enough you can roll yourself a ciggie with their own tobacco.

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This was a one of a kind experience! Super interesting & lots of fun! I will definitely recommend it if you travelling through Ubud!

After dropping our bags off at our hotel, we went off to do a cycle tour through Ubuds renowed rice paddy fields & terraces. We were met by our Balinese guide, who hands over the bikes & helmets, on we hop & off we go… What an experience & what an adventure!!!

Cycling through the rural villages on the most quaint roads, watching the locals as they carry on with their daily lives. One turn later you are cycling through the jungle on a narrow muddy path and the next turn you are passing the most incredible temples. All whilst you are taking in the most breathtaking views wether its the rice paddies or the cascading jungle beneath you. It was honestly great fun! The whole route is down hill, so if you ended up peddaling for 30 minutes out of the 3 hour tour that was a lot. it was such a different way to experience the country  and having our own private tour guide was a bonus. Once we had finished the route, we were taken to a local home for an incredibly tasty Balinese meal. The family of the tour guide, cooks up these meals. We sit down in their home and tuck into the deliciousness they layed out for us. Dessert was my favourite, banana slices which are deep fried and served hot with some sugary caramel sauce drizzled over! YUM! Once we were done eating it was time to head back to our hotel, which we hadnt even explored yet, so we were very excited to get back…

We stayed at The Artini Resort … I know I keep saying this but WOW!!!! It couldnt get any better than this! Surrounded by the most beautiful gardens & skyscraper palms, it was breathtaking! The resort had the most picturesque swimming pools and pool bars so one didn’t even need to leave the pool! It honestly is everything you want in your hotel in Ubud. Breakfast is served sitting next to the Khoi ponds, once done at breakfast you had the option of either relaxing pool side or exploring the hustle & bustle of the shopping streets Ubud has to offer.

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This is definitely the shopping stop of the trip, there are tons of boutique shops selling the most incredible clothing & jewellery items. Beautiful leather sandles & woven handbags made by locals. Ladies you will loose your minds!!! You can spend hours meandering your way through the markets and streets of Ubud. We only spent one night here, but if I could do it again I would definitely spend 2 or 3 nights here, just so that you can take it all in. There is something magical about this stop, something so calming and spiritual! The boys on the other hand couldnt wait to get back to the waves, but for me this was such a perfect stop during our trip! I fell in LOVE with Ubud!

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From the beauty, the nature, the shopping, the restaurants & the exploring! There is so much to see & do in this tiny town. The only downfall is the influx of tourists which condense the only road in and out of the town. So expect huge traffic jams from lunchtime through to the evening. Its better to travel in the morning or definitely walk around if you can. Your feet will move a million times faster than the traffic. Even though we are all not a fan of traffic, its worth it I promise! So dont miss it if you come to Bali.

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After a magical retreat in Keramas & Ubud we were off to Canggu…

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