Travel Loving

Surf Goddess Retreat, Seminyak -

 Not having been to the western coast of Bali I was not sure what to expect from Seminyak.  We have previously stayed in Sanur and Ubud fifteen years ago and Candidasa and Ubud again recently, so I was a little concerned about the more developed ennvironment of the region north of Kuta.
 I had heard Seminyak was the new kid on the block in terms of food and fashion and to our delight it was.  It was not as hectic as I had imagined, but very busy just the same. The food everywhere we ate was fresh and delicious. And there was tough competition as the food in the Surf Goddess villa was truly wonderful every meal provided. The lovely ladies in the kitchen lovingly prepared every morsel with the freshest of local produce.
Lanterns at Ku de ta - the lighting and interiors in the restaurants, bars and even retail shops all reflected a sense of relaxation and appreciation of detail.
Orchards at the Colony Hotel - a lovely small boutique hotel where we spent our first night. Quiet and perfect for our wind down before the retreat. 
 Our private villa, little did we know 1 1/2 hours of yoga and 3 hours of surfing a day in addition to afternoon strolling would completely knock us off our feet by bedtime.
 A sample of lunch at the main villa, a welcome sight after a morning of surfing.
A secret door to the villa next door 
 The morning of our 'bliss' day, breakfast overlooking the lake of Mount Batur.
 One thing I have learnt is Bali has great coffee. Not the Lewark coffe though, we tried the Lewark coffee but as most of the proteins and caffiene are removed in the cat's belly, it was much to mild for me. Sounds a little gross I know.

 Some of the wonderful ladies who joined us on our 'bliss' day and 20km bike ride down through villages just outside Ubud.
 Rachel's inspired thinking meant we had a small bag of coloured pencils and scrapbooks for any villages we may stop at.  The cries of glee when we hand over the first pack was such joy and we all had smiles on our faces for the rest of the ride.

Through the Paddys.
The Balinese are such a wonderful people it is hard not to fall for them and their beautiful county. As education spreads there a handfuls of locals and expats working very hard to clean up and preserve what has made it so precious.
We had a fantastic time at the Surf Goddess Retreat. That the owner and founder Chelsea, built this from scratch defies imagination. She has created a wonderful homebase for women travellers looking for similar experiences in Bali. She has also surrounded herself by inspiring women such as Raine, the retreat manager and yoga instructor and Mel, the surf coordinator in addition to her gracious staff at the Villa.
Our experience was only heightened by the warm and generous group of women we shared our time with - Orla, Tisha, Sharon, Rebecca, Suzannah, Letitia, Chris, Marie, Kathryn. Each one contributed something wonderful and I am thankful to them all, especially Rachel, bruises and all.

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