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Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth.
You will arrive in Bali in the afternoon and be met at the airport by our tour leader and taken to the Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Spa in Ubud. Upon check-in, you will have the late afternoon at your leisure to relax and enjoy your new surrounds and recover from your journey.
In the evening, we will meet for sunset drinks followed by a welcome dinner along with our tour leader, after which you will be treated to a traditional Balinese Legong dance. At the very heart of Balinese culture, the Legong is a refined form of dance characterized by intricate finger movements, footwork, and expressive facial gestures.
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, we will then visit a local village and learn about their ‘banjar’ system (equivalent to a village or community center) and learn about the way of life directly from the local people themselves. We will meet Balinese teachers and practitioners of traditional Balinese arts such as gamelan music, legong dance, woodcarving and the making of Balinese offerings, which are presented to the gods at temples each day. Each of you will have a chance to participate in these activities.
We will return to Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Spa for lunch and relax at the resort, enjoying a spa or other resort facilities at your leisure. It’ s also an opportunity to head into the main town of Ubud and have a look around the shops and the local art market with our tour guide to show you the way.
Tonight you will dress in special Balinese attire (supplied) to attend an exclusive Royal Palace Tour and Dinner at the Peliatan palace, where you will be hosted by Prince Cokorda Krisha Dalem, an influential member of the Ubud Royal Family. We will spend the night in lively discussion and team about issues facing Bali and its culture in the 2lst century.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Today we will journey into the hinterland of Bali to explore some of the island’s cultural, spiritual and geological gems.
Enjoy a guided walk through the jungle and lush terraced rice fields that Bali is so renowned for, learning about the ancient ‘subak’ irrigation system and about Bali’s native plants and how they are used by the local people for food and medicine.
Visit Tirta Empul, a holy spring temple, where you will have a chance to immerse yourself in the purifying waters. Considered a sacred site to purify the soul and mind by the Balinese people, all 33 of the fountains are fed from a natural underground spring which can be seen bubbling up from deep beneath the earth behind the main temple. In Bali, it is believed that the main fountains bless or purify the body for specific ailments or life challenges.
After this, we will drive north through the lush highlands of Bali to Kintamani, a small town that sits on the rim of Mt Batur, an active volcano that sits in the middle of a massive caldera right at the heart of the island. Here we will have a Balinese lunch on the crater edge as we take in this breath-taking vista.
Return to Ubud for a late afternoon of relaxing by the pool or at the spa.
This evening we will dine together at Casa Luna Restaurant, an Ubud landmark serving authentic Balinese food for more than 25 years.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Today you will be stepping aboard your beautiful boat, the Katharina.
After an early breakfast, we will leave the resort at about Barn for the drive to the airport drive to the airport to catch your flight to Komodo. Arriving at 12.30, you will be taken directly to the boat which will be waiting at anchor in the bay.
After settling in, we will have a buffet lunch as we head out into the Komodo National Park for our first snorkel on the wonderful coral reefs of Indonesia.
Just before dusk with cocktails in hand, we will anchor up off Kalong Islands to see a wonder of nature, as thousands upon thousands of giant flying foxes fly out from their mangrove homes to forage. We will then set off to Rinca Island for a quiet night at anchor.
We will wake up early and go ashore by tender to Rinca Island, one of the three island homes of the Komodo Dragons. We have the option of a one-or two-hour walk trek through exploring the island habitat on our lookout for these mythical beasts. We will also see monkeys, deer, pigs,
buffalo, and myriad birds as we walk through the forests and savannahs of this large island.
Back on the boat and depending on the tides, we will head out into the Park as we have lunch to snorkel with manta rays as they feed on the current and circle ‘cleaning stations’, where small fish remove parasites from their skin.*
Snorkel at Siaba Island, a favorite hangout of many sea turtles, where we will have a chance to swim with these gentle reptiles as the cruise along the shallow water of the reef.*
This evening we will spend a quiet night at anchor in a sheltered bay at Gili Lawa Darat in the north of the park.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
* If the tides are not in our favor, we will do the manta and turtle stops in reverse.
After our breakfast, we will go for a fantastic drift snorkel through the narrow channel between Komodo Island and Gili Lawa Darat. Here in the moderately flowing waters are much large fish, sea turtles, soft corals, reef sharks, and occasionally manta rays.
We will then head to a secluded bay in the north-western tip of Komodo Island, where we can snorkel, paddle, kayak. Later in the afternoon, we may have the chance to go ashore on the island for a private viewing of the dragons. The ranger here is a good friend/family of our tour leader, Arie, so this is very much a special Event. Note, this is dependent upon Komodo island being open in 2020, and a bit of luck.
This evening we will have a beach BBQ at sunset and then head off overnight in a westerly direction towards a beautifully secluded desert island.
We will spend the morning on Gili Banta, a deserted island with beautiful white sand beaches and great reefs. We will make camp on the beach and explore the magnificent coral gardens,
hike to the crest of the surrounding hills for a view of the surrounding islands, swim, paddle, kayak,and play. Sometimes manta Rays come into the bay to feed, so another encounter is a slight possibility.
During lunch, we will raise sail and head across to a looming and active island volcano, where local villagers are in the process of building a fifty-plus meter, traditional wooden pinisi boat, with the same pedigree and history of our very own ship. Walking around this small village, get a feel for their simple way of life, chat with the locals and maybe buy some handmade textiles as a memento.
Later in the afternoon, we will snorkel on a vibrant coral reef just off the shore filled with fish and marine creatures from all shades of the color spectrum, including a meadow of hundreds of glass eels.
At cocktail hour we will head west to our next destination as we cruise through the night.
We will wake up off a very unique forest-covered island, an extinct volcano with a deep brackish lake at its heart, where we will swim, snorkel, kayak, paddle-board and explore the surrounding forest. The lake was created when the crater was flooded by a tsunami caused by a massive volcanic event from the nearby Tambora Volcano, which in 1815, was the largest eruption in recorded history.
During lunch, we will set sail southwest to another jungled island Island and take a walk through a village to a jungle waterfall and play with local kids as they take the lead on a rope swing above a cool, deep jungle pool to show us how it’s done.
At sunset, we will start cruising to our next destination, where we will have a very early 6 am start the next morning.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Sunrise finds us in a large enclosed bay, where we will be looking to swim with a school of whale sharks that congregate off fishing platforms, where local fishermen catch small baitfish and keep them suspended in nets, which attract the sharks. Swimming with whale sharks is an extraordinary experience and one that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Spend the afternoon on a nearby beach where we will snorkel, paddle, kayak and explore our jungle surroundings.
We will cruise through the night to our next destination.
After breakfast, we will visit a village of the famous Bajao ‘Sea Gypsies of Southeast Asia, and see how they live their lives so close to, on and in the water.
Another relaxing afternoon awaits as we land on a nearby uninhabited island, where once again we will relax and enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle-boarding.
Enjoy Indonesian hospitality as your crew hosts a beach barbeque in your honor this evening. On offer is plenty of good food, music, cocktails dancing and frivolity as we dance and sing the night away next to a bonfire under a clear tropical night sky.
We will head off later that night for the overnight crossing to Bali.
We wake up at anchor off the coast of Bali under in the shadow of Balis active volcano Mt Agung, the mother mountain of all Balinese people, and the most imposing figure on the whole landscape of Bali. Enjoy an early morning swim or snorkel before we say goodbye to the crew and start our tour back to the south of Bali.
Along the way, experience the best that East Bali can offer a tour of East Bali with its deep culture and glorious landscapes. Visit water palaces, ancient villages, see lush rice terraces and jungles and the islands volcanic peaks, and dine on some of Bali’ s freshest and most delicious traditional cuisine.
Overnight at Puri Santrian Hotel in Sanur
After a leisurely breakfast at the resort, you are free to explore the local shops and village, or simply enjoy the facilities of the resort.
Later that day we will arrange onward transfers to the airport for your departure.
August 5, 2020
August 16, 2020
Rich Jepsen and Cecilia Trost
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