My approach to travelling with children has always been to trade off something they want to do against something I and/or DH wants to do. Last time we were in Bali the kids were 7 & 3 and their time was spent in the pool. This time they’re almost 12 and 16 and although very happy to visit the occasional temple, they also wanted to do some adventure activities so we found ourselves white water rafting, riding elephants in the jungle and I still got to see temples 😉
With the heat of the day peaking at noon to three every day, the mornings work best for any activity, but even I drew the line at bike riding in Ubud! I love to cycle but it would have to be predawn and over by 10am to suit me in that weather!
We visited Tirta Empul, the holy springs or water Temple where hot water bubbles out of springs and is a favourite place to come and bathe. A ceremony was taking place and we were able to quietly observe the beautiful offerings and see the prayers. The holy man, dressed in white, was ringing the bell and sprinking holy water just as had happened in the dance the night before so it was great for the boys to see how that part of the dance was real life.
The racing Sungai Ayung is close to Ubud and a great river for white water rafting. It had rained the day before we took our trip so the river was rushing and we had a ball. In one quiet stretch of the river an artist had carved out about 25 metres of sculpture into the rocky river bank. Unfortunately we didn’t have the camera with us!
As The Lad wanted to go rafting, we asked Boy Wonder what he wanted to do and he said, ‘Ride an elephant.’ We headed to Taro to the Elephant Safari park which is a fantastic place.
The boys rode an elephant while DH and I strolled around gazing at big elephants, small elephants and gorgeous baby elephants. The ride was through the jungle and so much prettier than the one I did in Thailand years ago in blazing sun. We were unexpectedly taken by this beautiful place which started out as a refuge for 10 Samatrian Elephants the owner, an Australian, rescued. Today there are 30 elephants.