Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


I’ve never seen so many sunrises as I have in this country.  I used to stay up partying in Kuta until 5am, now I wake at the time because my jetlagged babies are raring to go at dawn. It’s fair to say traveling with our 2.5yr and 7 month girls has been a beautiful yet exhausting week so far.

7 years ago fell in love with Ubud after a daytrip here. I’ve always hankered to come back to do a silversmith workshop, check out vegan cafes, browse for Balinese cushions, be almost be convinced I don’t hate yoga….

Obviously this is all still on the wish list as my babies allowed me to do non of this.

Instead we experienced travel from a toddlers agenda; lots of time in the pool and eating our own weight in tropical fruit. They have life sussed. Every other picture in my camera roll is us posing with coconut juice or smoothies. We also discovered the joy of acai bowls, which we ate Udud style in a plush cushioned swing.

My top tips for Ubud with kids under two…..

1) Avoid the famous monkey forest, and 1/2 km radius of monkey forest Rd. Wild monkey vs wild toddler….i’m not sure who my money would be on.

2) Scooter traffic and South East Asian pavements (or lack of.) Negotiating the manic roads with my two little ones scared the s#!t out of me. The only time we actually got to use our double pram was for our 5am walks to the local fruit market when the streets were less crowded. During the daytime our baby hiking carriers were a travel essential. It felt much safer and more nimble negotiating the narrow streets. Plus they slept happily cocooned on us as we browsed the busy flee markets and snuck in cheeky Bintangs.

3) Discover all of the tiny ramshackle warongs and the more quiet places to grab an evening meal where kids will be welcomed with open arms. Literally, a team of nice Indonesian women were happy to grab our baby from my lap and entertain her in a rice field whilst I ate. You know what they say; It takes a village.

 

4) I’m going to pretend I loved adopting a “if you can’t beat them join” attitude of being woken by babies louder than roosters for a three hour walk before breakfast. We experiencing the beauty of silent rice fields at sunrise, the traditionalists of the fruit market, and saw Ubud from a rarer perceptive….Who am I kidding, I value sleep! Although one of the nicest benefits of such an early start was being in bed by 7pm which i secretly loved. What a difference 7 years makes :)

Where we ate….
http://theseedsoflifecafe.com/

http://cafepomegranate.org/

https://acaiqueenbar.com/welcome

Where we stayed….

http://bucuviewubudbali.com/

 

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A long weekend in Launceston….

Since Launceston is home to our daughter’s Grandma, it was the perfect location for an Anzac weekend family trip. As i’ve blogged before, Launceston is a great fix for any faint homesickness, since, as one of the first settlements, it’s architecture reminds me so much of England. It’s also one of the rare cities in Australia where the distances are nice enough to walk, as long as you can brave a few San Francisco-esq steep hills.

img_20160424_151622.jpgFresh off the 50 min Saturday morning flight from Melbourne, we headed straight to Harvest Community Farmer’s Market in the centre of town, where we stock up on Kombucha, organic sourdough and quite possible the best salted caramel brownies in the world. This was followed by Evendale Sunday market. Here I picked up classic 80’s toys in mint condition for under $5 and a Nepalese yak bell, whose sound will forever fondly remind me of my Everest Base Camp adventures.

Amazingly (for parents of a 13 month old) we managed to time our weekend (and our baby’s afternoon nap) to coincide with the Fresh Hop Beer Festival. The rest of the time was spent visiting the fantastic Launceston Aquatic Centre, with it’s awesome toddler pool and water slides. Finally, a must do for anyone visiting Launy with kids; the macaque monkey enclosure at City Park. Again, coincidentally, next to the lovely Victoria Cafe where we sampled Tasmanian white wines and lounged on comfy beanbags in the Autumn sunshine.

 

Wilsons Promontory National Park, Australia

Tidal River is just a 3 hour drive out of Melbourne CBD (I’m thinking like an Australian now with my new attitude to distances!) It’s a perfect family campsite in the beautiful Victorian National Park that is Wilsons Prom. As well as great hiking and the shallow tide river for kids to play in, it has the best feature I’ve heard of in any campsite; an open air cinema! I also got to see my first wombat (although the kangaroo silhouette is steeling it’s limelight in above gallery photo, as its so much more photographic.)

We loved the nearby Squeaky Beach – named due to the sound of the sand squeaking under your feet. Our 11 month old loved every second of having dirt, water & sand to crawl around in. She looked beside herself with excitement when she realised we’d be sleeping outside under the stars. A true happy camper.

 

 

 

Travel with an 8 month old baby…

One of my favorite pictures. 8 months old, 30 degree heat, first holiday and she's happily asleep on a loud, choppy speedboat traveling to the islands from Belize city...

One of my favorite pictures. Our 8 month old daughter fast asleep on the back of a loud, choppy speedboat traveling to the islands from Belize city.

‘You’re traveling to Central America and Asia with an 8 month old?’ ‘You’re traveling by bus overland across the Mexico Chetumal border?’ ‘You’re taking a baby away for 6 weeks?’ were all questions people asked even more than ‘You’re eloping in Belize?!’

To anyone that knows us (my visit list is up to 65 countries now, hubby’s 35) the answer was ‘of course we are – our 8 month old will love it!’ And she did.

Our route was AustraliaLA – Belize – Mexico – UK – Singapore – Australia. 45 days, 8 different beds in 5 countries, 52 hours of flights, hundreds of new faces and experiences.

I’ve honestly never seen her more curious, more happy, or more adaptable. What surprised me the most is how natural it comes to them. She got more sleep on our long haul flights & dealt with jet-lag quicker than both of us! Watching her dip her toes in the Caribbean, charm Singaporean strangers on the MRT and scoff Mexican tacos till her heart is content was utterly worth it.

We found 6 weeks away with a baby a crazy, exhausting adventure, but most of all a huge bonding experience. Our daughter relished having both mum & dad (and grandparents) around her, as well as the overwhelming kindness of doting strangers. Everyone loves a baby. I’d of had one long ago if I knew how useful they are for nabbing the best seats on buses and cutting boat queues :)

There’s so much written about the negatives of travel with children, about baby routines, about jet-lag adjustment schedules etc. People often stress about whether such young babies will miss home or feel secure.

Before we left a friend gave me the following advice, which I absolutely love (in the context of travel and just motherhood in general); “You are their home. You are their safe place. Make all the lists you want of tips, advice, things to pack. All they really need is you. “

Beautiful. Simple. True.

 

Pic of the week; Tickhill, England…

Winter carols by Tickhill Buttercross for baby's first English Christmas. On our 21 day trip we squeezed in; wine & cheese in a tee-pee in a very flooded York, breakfast at the Tetley with old colleagues in Leeds, some baby cuddles in Ipswich, family fun at Centre Parks Sherwood Forest, New Years Eve in the Scarbs, and a spot of world domination over the board game Risk. Classic English family Christmas.

Winter carols by Tickhill Buttercross for baby’s first English Christmas. On our 21 day trip we squeezed in; wine & cheese in a tee-pee in a very flooded York, breakfast at the Tetley with old colleagues in Leeds, family fun at Centre Parks Sherwood Forest, New Years Eve in the Scarbs, a spot of world domination over the board game Risk, and some baby cuddles with English grandad.

Previous Older Entries

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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