BALINESE GETAWAY #2: KITCHEN HANDS REUNION
As serendipity seems to be a serious part of my trip, I realise that Clémentine, my friend from Te Anau, will be in Bali at the same time as me. She’s having a stopover in Bali before going back to France. I’m more than thrilled to see her again, considering that I’d cried like a baby when she left Te Anau last January.
We’re going to spend a whole week together and we both are terribly excited to see as much as we can of the Island of Gods.
Clémentine is meeting me in Padang Bai, south-east of Bali Island, at the same moment as I’m kissing my friends Selena & Gina goodbye. Both of them are flying off the island, one is heading back Australia, and the other one is returning home in Germany. Si I swallow my tears (and my snot) to focus on my freshly arrived French friend that I haven’t seen since the end of January. She tells me all about her hiking adventures through New Zealand while I’m updating her about Te Anau’s last gossips.
PADANG BAI & THE BIAS TUGEL BEACH
I take her to the secret beach, Bias Tugel, where the waves are insane and we got to eat the cheapest and the best GadoGado of the island. The Gado Gado is a delicious Indonesian dish which consists of steamed vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, spinach, green bean, tofu and some other things I can’t really remember) with a hard-boiled egg and some peanut sauce. Definitely my favourite Indonesian food so far.
This is the hidden beach I talked about in this previous post.
LET’S GO ON A ROADTRIP!
We meet our driver Wayan (another one! But actually Wayan is the most famous name here in Indonesia) who drive us to the Water Palaces on the east side of the island for an enchanted afternoon.
WATER PALACE UJUNG
The first one, the Ujung Water palace was built in 1919 par the Karangasem king, this province of Bali situated on the east coast. Unfortunately, this palace was destroyed by the Mount Agung eruption in 1963, then a terrible earthquake 10 years later. So, the palace as we’re seeing it today is a reconstitution of the palace as it was at the beginning of the last century.
Here is definitely everything I like. Plants and flowers everywhere, the water is pervasive as well and numerous statues and constructions like bridges and gazebo are scattered amongst the palace’s garden. The house on the water, the Balai Gili, was the relaxing place of the king’s family. You can access by two bridges on both sides of the house. There’s also the Balai Kambang, the floating lodge, which was used for meetings, especially with important guests. There are also fountains, a temple, some arches, et loads of statues.
Well, that’s settled. When I’d be rich, I’d have a water palace. Yeah, baby.
TIRTAGANGGA WATER PALACE
Then, we discover the Tirtagangga water palace, which name means ‘Ganges waters’. Built in 1946, it was also destroyed by the Mount Agung eruption and was skillfully rebuilt. The Tirtagangga allows you a beautiful stroll amongst lily pads, scarlet dragonflies, little stone bridges, pools, fountains, stone statues. It’s even encouraged to bath in the main basin.
The place is so calm and peaceful, that’s a welcome break from the Balinese frenzy of the yelling taxi drivers.
LET’S GO THERE! :
BAMBOO PARADISE, Jalan Penataran Agung, Padang Bai
BIAS TUGEL BEACH, Padang Bai
UJUNG WATER PALACE, Jalan Lettu Alit, Karangasem
TAMAN TIRTAGANGGA, Karangasem