Last week, we told you about a special place to stay in Bali’s central highlands, a village suspended in the island’s quieter days before the tourism boom. The Village Above the Clouds is one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever stayed. As we said in our last post, it’s a place where you feel like you’re a guest of the village not just the hotel, and that point was made clear when a group of sisters invited us into her home. Read more
As soon as I saw the Village Above the Clouds website, I knew we had to go there. I’d found it while searching for eco-hotels in Bali and it was the most charming and visually stunning one I came across. A few weeks later, I chanced across the owner at one of the many workshops I’ve been to in Ubud and he told me some more about the village where the hotel sits, and the school he’d started there. It was the obvious choice for our road trip away from Ubud, and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Read more
A lot of people complain about the tourism in Bali, and it’s fair enough. The proliferation of guesthouses and villas that are quickly filling the rice fields and shorelines of the island is alarming and painful to watch – and the traffic is abominable. Ubud is one of the places that has been hit particularly hard, and what we hear was a quiet town is now teeming with tour buses and endless vendors vying to make a buck from the tourist dollar. We’ve gotten used to it, and managed to carve a life behind the tourism screen in what is still a richly cultural and beautiful town.
However, many visitors to Bali never get past the initial shock of tourism, traffic and touts, and leave believing the island has been ruined. It’s likely these people never got beyond Ubud, Kuta and some of the other “must sees” of the island. We wish they’d ventured to Central Bali… Read more
“You don’t like it there, do you?” said my aunt on the phone one day. I can see why she thought it. My posts on Ubud have been a little heavy on the navel-gazing, which doesn’t always make for lighthearted stories. But our life here has been much more than all the “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” experiments. Here’s a little taste of what it’s like to be a digital nomad in Ubud. And my answer to my aunt: “How could I not?”. Read more
Barcelona can’t help but be a city we love. It’s where we first got together on on fateful trip that started as a couple of friends back in 2008. Since then, we’ve both lived in the city for stretches of time and it’s home to some of our favourite people. We’ll be returning next year for a couple of months when Steve works with our friend’s post-production studio on the final stages of Continuum, but in the meantime, here are some photos from our most recent trip. They’re a little whistle stop tour of the places we love. Read more
Ever since reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, I’ve been fascinated by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Their love story captivated me and I was enthralled by their passion, art and political involvement. It’s the first piece of historical fiction I’ve ever read that made me desperate to know more of the lives depicted.
When earlier this year, on the way home from San Pancho, we had a one-day stopover in Mexico City, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – visit Frida’s La Casa Azul and the Palacio de Bellas Artes, home to Diego Rivera’s famous El Hombre En El Cruce de Caminos (Man at the Crossroads) mural. Here are some photos from our visit. Read more
Today we made a decision. After our time in Ubud, we have two months until we need to be Barcelona where Steve will finish the very final stages of Continuum. The big question on our minds has been where to spend those two months. It has to be Europe so Steve can get to Barcelona if needs be, and we definitely want to be home for Christmas this year. We’ve ummed and ahhed over the options – go to Barcelona early and settle there for a few months, get a taste of Berlin, return to Lisbon, or snuggle up in the mountains? Nothing felt quite right, and then today we found our answer. Read more
With a name and design like ours, it was about time we went up in a hot air balloon, and we were delighted when Vol de Coloms invited us to do just that on a recent trip to Catalonia. Me oh my, what a day. Read more
As you know, San Pancho was a town that surprised us. A month’s stay easily turned into six months and it may well be a place we plant roots. We loved and love it there, and my oh my how much we miss it. In homage to our beloved town, here are some reasons to love the San Francisco you’ve never heard of. Read more
It was disorientating enough, arriving back in England after 14 months away – and matters were intensified by the fact it felt more like November than Spring. The trees were bare and the air had a frosty bite. One week later, and it looks like things are brightening with buds on trees and sun in the sky. I’ve even ventured out of my duffle coat. But that’s enough of the weather report (I am after all English), and after that little interlude, what better excuse for a reminiscing display of San Pancho’s finest flowers. Now that place knows how to do Spring!
We’re not sure of their names so we’ve taken the liberty of assigning our own, including the splendid Peekaboo Player above. Read more