Makani Kai - Postcards from an adventure

14 June 2010 | Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
26 May 2010 | Bali, Indonesia
18 May 2010 | Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
16 May 2010 | Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
14 May 2010 | Uluwatu & Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia
12 May 2010 | Serangan, Bali, Indonesia
10 May 2010 | Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia
09 May 2010 | Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
06 May 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali, Indonesia
28 April 2010 | Serangan, Bali
22 April 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali
19 April 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali
18 April 2010 | Lovina Beach, Bali
14 April 2010 | Belitung, Indonesia
13 April 2010 | Belitung, Indonesia
10 April 2010 | Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, Indonesia
07 April 2010 | Danga Bay Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
01 April 2010 | Melaka, Malaysia
24 March 2010 | Pangkor Island, Malaysia

3 nights in Ubud – Part 1

16 May 2010 | Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Ubud is my favourite place to stay in Bali and if I had my way I would spend weeks there. Unfortunately every trip to Bali revolves around surfing and of course this time it revolves around the Makani Kai so we would have to settle for just a few nights instead. We had managed to find a nice new villa about a 15 minute drive out of Ubud that could accommodate 3 couples at short notice. The villa itself was beautiful and had only recently been completed, with manicured grounds, sun lounges and a gorgeous pool to offer respite from the heat that was noticeable despite being in the mountains. As the villa next door to us was vacant we had an army of staff at our disposal, I could certainly get used to this! What we had trouble getting used to though were the differences between us and the local people working just beyond our fence. The rice paddy views that were boasted about on the website were not the lush, green ones that had been pictured. They were paddy's that were being worked by the local people and they were busy with the harvest. The contrast between their living conditions and ours were vast, we, lying around on our sun lounges and they, doing back breaking work all day before retiring to their makeshift tents put together from tarps and any other materials they could find.

A driver was included in our stay and so it wasn't long before we decided to head into Central Ubud. Ubud has changed a lot over the years and is now very cosmopolitan, full of funky little bars and world class restaurants and shopping. Some things remain the same though like the multi level marketplace at the top of Monkey Forest Road which has all the sights and smells you would expect of an Indonesian marketplace and is so jam packed with rubbish that it can make you feel claustrophobic to walk through it! A beautiful dinner at 3 Monkeys Restaurant finished off our first afternoon in Ubud, back to the villa to chill and get a good night's sleep before our next day's adventure, a bike tour through the villages of Ubud!

It's amazing to me that after nearly 20 years of coming to Bali we can still find things to do that we haven't done before, one of those was a bike tour. I got in touch with Baik Bike Tours, which is a wholly Balinese owned and run business, to organise a trip for the 6 of us. They picked us up at our villa first thing in the morning and we met the other participants in the van, a young couple from Singapore and a lone American woman who pretty much kept to herself. The van would take us to Kintamani from where we would begin our descent on the bikes, this was a great relief to both Mel and I as the least fit people in our group and the ones with the greatest aversions to any form of exercise! Our day did not begin and end with bike riding though, we stopped at a coffee plantation on the way to Kintamani where our guide walked us through the plantation and explained what the different plants surrounding us were. We soon found ourselves seated around a table looking down into a rainforest filled gorge, staff placed small glass mugs filled with samples of the different coffees we could buy in front of us. We also met our first Luwak! Well kinda, he was very sleepy and wasn't very obliging when it came to taking photos, preferring to curl up in a ball hiding his face and ignoring the curious tourists crowding around his cage. For those of you who don't know, the Luwak is the animal responsible for the famous and ridiculously expensive 'poo' coffee. The Luwak is a weasel-like animal that knows exactly the right time to eat the raw coffee beans, it digests the soft outer layer of the bean but not the inner bean which is excreted and is then collected for sale by the locals. The digestion adds a unique flavour to the beans and removes the bitter flavour. A cup of this brew can set you back about $50 and a kilo of the stuff has been known to cost around $1,000 and above! Nice work if you can get it but I'm not going to hurry out to taste the 'poo' coffee or Kopi Lewak regardless of the price!

Back in the van and on to Kintamani where a buffet breakfast awaited us. After the heat of Sanur the chill of being in the mountains set in, we hadn't exactly dressed for the cold but in shorts and singlet tops instead anticipating that the cycling would make us warm but 2 hours into the trip we had yet to see a bicycle let alone sit on one. The warmth of the tea, coffee and Indonesian favourite's nasi goreng, mie goreng and fried banana were welcomed as we took in the view from the restaurant of the regions active volcano Mount Batur and Lake Batur. The clouds wafted in and out, one minute we could see everything, the next everything was swathed in white. The restaurant was crowded, it seemed that all the bike tours, and there were many, came to this restaurant for breakfast. The car park was crowded with vans and local hawkers selling everything from sarongs and t-shirts to wooden carvings and postcards.

Back into the van and off to find these elusive bikes, we converged on an area along with another group to find our bikes ready and waiting. We each found the right fit and declining our helmets which were available but not compulsory we finally set off... downhill!! The weather was perfect, just the right amount of sunshine and breeze and the scenery, well, it was very scenic! We rode through villages and were greeted by children shouting out hello and holding out their hands for us to give them a high five, squealing in delight when a connection was made. We rode through rice paddies where workers paused in their back breaking labour to give us a big smile or wave a hello, happily posing for photos when asked. We witnessed every stage of rice farming, from preparing the field for planting, the planting of the rice, the beautiful green rice paddies that are the subject of many a visitors photos, fields ready for harvesting and of course, the harvesting. The photos taken really do not do justice to the beauty of the area that we travelled through.

All too soon the journey was over and we arrived at the Balinese family compound of our host, Wayan Sujana, where we would enjoy a traditional Balinese meal prepared by his family and served in the compound. A mixture of Balinese delights were on display and it was all delicious! After the meal Wayan took us on a tour of the compound, introducing us to his family and explaining the layout of a Balinese compound. Family is very important to the Balinese, there are no old people's homes to banish the old and infirm to, family takes care of family and they live together until death. Even after death the Balinese worship their ancestors as it is believed that they have the power to direct the forces of nature. They also have a belief in reincarnation, it is said that their ancestors are reincarnated back into their families, a newborn is often deified as the reincarnation of an ancestor. For this reason a baby is not permitted to set foot on the ground literally for the first 210 days of their life as it places them too close to the underworld. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye and head back to the villa where another beautiful spread of food would soon be awaiting us prepared by the villa staff, who as always would prepare enough food to feed a small army!

I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Bali that they do a tour with Baik Bike Tours, it was truly a memorable experience that will stay with us for years to come. The other thing I really liked about this organisation is that they sponsor an English program in the local schools and gladly take extra donations, 100% of which go towards books, supplies and the salary of a qualified English teacher. Their aim is to enhance the employment opportunities of their children. They walk the walk and talk the talk, giving back to and employing the local community. It's nice to see a local organisation benefiting only locals and not lining the pockets of a westerner. For more information go to www.balibike.com.

Comments
Vessel Name: Makani Kai
Vessel Make/Model: Stroud 44
Hailing Port: Gold Coast, Queensland
Crew: Jay and Jodie Stroud
Makani Kai's Photos - (Main)
42 Photos
Created 21 February 2010
Using Mai Sai as a base, Jodie and Jay head up the mountain Doi Tung, where Jay almost gets into trouble with the Burmese, they go to a temple and find a little treasure beside the road.
43 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
Basing ourselves in Mai Sai looking directly across the river at Burma. We spent the day exploring the markets and temples of Mai Sai.
35 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
Checking out of the Garden Home, Jay and Jodie took a boat ride to the Burmese border and travelled to Chiang Rai.
26 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
Patch joined the crew of the Makani Kai for a couple of weeks in The Banyaks for a catch up and some good waves!
108 Photos
Created 6 December 2009
Visiting the Chiang Dao caves before moving on to a pretty village called Tha Ton.
31 Photos
Created 3 December 2009
The non-surfing photos taken at the Bay of Plenty in June!
10 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
A collection of shots taken at The Bay of Plenty, The Banyaks.
33 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Jay and Jodie head into Sibolga to renew their visa's. Not a place we want to spend a lot of time in but the sunsets were awesome!
23 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Hiring a car, Jay and Jodie set out for Chiang Dao with Ian and Michelle from Raku. They visited a monastic centre there.
21 Photos
Created 2 December 2009
Hiring a motorbike for the day Jay and Jodie headed up the mountain for a day of exploring.
26 Photos
Created 1 December 2009
Our brief trip to Afulu Lagoon on Nias and to Asu
14 Photos
Created 1 December 2009
Taking a day off the tours we walked around Chiang Mai taking in what it had to offer.
15 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Our first weeks in the place that would become our surrogate home for the next 6 months.
51 Photos
Created 30 November 2009
Jay and Jodie venture outside the city to visit some hill tribes and hang with the tigers.
37 Photos
Created 26 November 2009
Our first experience at Pulau Simeulue, a place that would become our base for most of our 6 months in Sumatera.
31 Photos
Created 26 November 2009
Keen to see some of what Chiang Mai has to offer Jay and Jodie embark on a temple tour of the old walled city and learn how the beautiful Thai umbrella's are made.
44 Photos
Created 25 November 2009
Leaving Pulau Weh behind we headed to Luk Seudu on mainland Sumatera, Pulau Raya and Pulau Lakon where the boys got their first surfs in Sumatera.
41 Photos
Created 25 November 2009
After almost 2 days sailing we arrived in Pulau Weh from the Butangs in Thailand. Not knowing what to expect we were pleasantly surprised by the efficiency and friendliness of the Acehnese.
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Created 23 November 2009
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Photos from our relaxing time at Nembrala.
39 Photos
Created 13 September 2008
Photos of our 5 days in Kupang.
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Created 1 August 2008
Our trip through the Northern Territory to Darwin for the beginning of our rally.
104 Photos
Created 19 July 2008
Pictures of our journey to the top of Australia.
63 Photos
Created 27 June 2008
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Created 15 June 2008
Documents our magical 10 day stay at Lizard Island.
75 Photos
Created 14 June 2008
A photographic journal of our trip from Port Douglas to Cooktown.
81 Photos
Created 29 May 2008
This is a photo journal of our trip from Dunk Island to Cairns.
38 Photos
Created 28 May 2008
This album shows our journey through the Hinchinbrook Channel to Cardwell.
50 Photos
Created 24 May 2008
A photographic journal of our trip from Townsville to Orpheus Island.
53 Photos
Created 13 May 2008
This album documents the journey from Airlie Beach to Townsville.
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Created 8 May 2008
This album documents our quest for the best Pina Colada between the Whitsundays and Thailand.
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Created 6 May 2008
A photographic journal of our journey beyond Brampton Island.
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Created 4 May 2008
This is a photographic journey through the Islands of North Queensland.
54 Photos
Created 1 May 2008
A photographic record of the boys surfing regardless of how bad it is...
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Created 1 May 2008
This is a collection of all the sunset shots we have taken during our trip.
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Created 1 May 2008
This album shows photos of our travels from the beginning at Peel Island to Pancake Creek.
63 Photos
Created 22 April 2008
This album contains photographic evidence of our fishing exploits! Yes, we really are catching them!
53 Photos
Created 14 April 2008
These are the photos from the first Island paradise we have encountered.
16 Photos
Created 6 January 2008
N.A.S.A. (not to be confused with the American one) is a group of people with a series of events or occurances that bind then to one another in a way that non-NASA members cannot understand, unless it happens to them. Affectionately known as N.A.S.A. (not a sailors a'hole)a group of men, Tony, Tony, Ken and Athol, will be held up as role models to those that come after them. Jay and I having had our application for membership denied have taken it upon ourselves to find other would-be members from around the globe. This is the pictorial account of our efforts.
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Created 21 December 2007
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Created 18 December 2007
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Created 7 December 2007
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Created 7 December 2007
These are the weird and wonderful fish we have caught on our journey so far!
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Created 7 December 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
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Created 24 November 2007
These are the photos from our trip to Australia Zoo. If you have the chance, make sure you go there!
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Created 14 November 2007

Who: Jay and Jodie Stroud
Port: Gold Coast, Queensland