Last month I spent two weeks in South Africa where I visited Johannesburg, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve which sits alongside Kruger National Park and then Cape Town. The highlight was being in the bush and photographing lots of amazing creatures in the wild. Below are just a few of my photos.
Last week my family and I stayed at an amazing secluded villa in Canggu (pronounced Changgu), Bali. We were in Bali to attend the wedding of a family friend, I flew in from Melbourne, my parents flew in from Perth and my sister managed to make a short visit from Hong Kong. My brother and his wife stayed with the wedding party at another nearby villa and visited frequently. It was the perfect venue for a rare family catch up.
We arrived in the wee hours of Sunday morning 19 May and could not believe that this entire place was just for us. There are two villas at the top of the compound and a third down by the pool, each with a large bedroom, balcony/verandah with day bed and a large bathroom with a very private outdoor courtyard garden shower. Towards the top of the villa compound is a media room with couches, tv, boardgames etc. Above this, accessible by a steep ladder is a loft with a double bed. After walking past a fish pond you enter the large living area pavilion with bathroom, comfortable chairs and a large dining table which seats up to 10 people. Further down the stairs takes you down to the pool area with 5 sunbeds and a pool bale with 2 daybeds. The staff clean the pool several times a day to ensure it is free from leaves. Next to the pool is the lower villa. The gardens at Villa Bunga Wangi are lush and add to the serene nature of the location. Bunga Wangi is Indonesian for fragrant flowers, this is particularly evident early in the morning when the smell of frangipanis permeates the air. The addition of ponds, carvings and lighting help create a peaceful ambiance.
Throughout our stay we were visited by a large number of friendly creatures including an array of butterflies, gecko’s, skinks, squirrels and birds.
The chef, Ketut, prepared amazing meals. The highlight was the seafood barbeque. He had no problems accommodating our varying dietary requirements and tastes. We would discuss our plans with him each morning and decide what dishes we would like prepared that day. Ketut would then go to the shops and bring us back the receipts to be reimbursed. Ketut and the staff Kadek, Ngurah and Parwati were always there with a friendly smile to assist us with music, a gin and tonic or to call a taxi or organise massages by the pool. We found we rarely needed to leave the villa as everything was taken care of for us. This meant we completely lost track of what day or time it was and completely unwound and relaxed.
We are already talking about our next stay at Villa Bunga Wangi! Here are some of the pictures I took during my stay there.
As the weather here in Melbourne is getting colder and colder I am missing the sun even more. People are starting to talk about snow trips, whilst I am planning my next dose of sunshine. I did enjoy a walk in the botanic gardens last weekend where I was able to test out my new Canon 5D MKIII. I have it set up to save the raw file save to the compact flash card and a small jpeg to be saved on the eye-fi card in the SD slot. This allows the photo to be sent instamagically to my iPhone where I am then able to email, facebook or instagram the photo straight away. This will be a very useful feature in my upcoming travels. This is how I posted the photo attached to this post.
Tomorrow night I am heading to Bali via Perth. I have always enjoyed visiting Bali for its sunshine and many photo opportunities. So stay tuned for updates and photos following my trip.