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Bondalem is a small fishing village nestled on the north coast of Bali.

Here, we were happy to find fishermen living a traditional life, like we did in Pemuteran, and enjoyed chatting to them alongside their fishing boats lined up on the beaches.

There were so many things we loved about this tranquil place, so we’re just going to do a list for you…

…swimming in the sea and snorkelling over the reef just off shore. Lola even saw a ray and sea snake…

…walking around the village, talking to local school children…

…watching the locals make and decorate pottery, to be sold in the south…

…admiring the locals cleverly making roofs…

…having a laugh with and observing the locals generally going about their daily lives…

…gasping at men high up in coconut trees, collecting coconut palm sap that they use to make a local alcoholic drink (arak/tusk)…

…trying local foods like Nasi Campur…

…wearing Balinese hats..!

…learning about Balinese dancing from local school children…

…finding out about offerings rituals and ceremonies…

We stayed, with a local family, in a place called Villa Selina that overlooks the Bali Sea. They are working with the local community to develop programmes such as waste management, protecting the natural environment, and also fostering eco-friendly tourism. This is truly a special place filled with kind and generously-hearted people.

It was lovely for Lola and Albie to befriend our host’s children, and learn about their lives, and also what school is like here.

We also met some incredible people here: a group of 3 Canadians who are touring Bali by bike (and who gave Tash two glasses of wine, her first in 3 months!!), and 2 Australian friends who shared their Aussie knowledge to help us plan our upcoming trip to their country. We are loving the fact that Lola and Albie are getting so super confident at chatting to people, old or young, English or other, who we meet along the way, and conversing maturely whilst asking astute questions.

Indulgently, Lola and Tash tried a new Balinese seaweed face mask…

The icing on the cake was our early morning boat trip. We left before sunrise, and sailed on a small fishing boat out onto a calm still sea.

Surrounded by inky black water, we were, at times, the only boat for miles around. As the sun came up, we scanned the horizon for dolphins, and watched Mount Agung come into view  back on land. Absolutely stunning.

All of sudden, a pod of around 15 dolphins leapt in front of us. With squeals of delight, we watched them play before our very eyes! It was a special moment of our trip in such a tranquil place.

Feeling incredibly happy and lucky, we chugged back to shore.

Next stop, the foot of Mount Agung…(for those of you reading this post after the ash emissions, we visited the area when the first emission occurred and are no longer staying there!).