The Travel Lab’s Jacquie Burnside hadn’t been back to Bali for 13 years, but she finally put that right last week! It took Bali Bootcamp to get her there, but now she can’t believe she left it so long…
“The minute I stepped off the plane I had a smile a mile wide recalling all the fun times spent on previous trips, the warm and inviting Balinese hospitality and the shy but playful local characters. I was greeted by that very Balinese smell of kretek, clove cigarettes, and air thick with the fragrance of recent rain and there was Made, the cheerful driver sent by the guesthouse to transfer me from the airport.
Ah Bali, beautiful Bali! Where culture, religion and daily life are as one. Where the rice paddies are impossibly green, where the people are so friendly and welcoming you feel immediately at home and where I could happily hang my hat and never leave! The pace of life slows, the head clears and that smile…well, it stays a mile wide for the duration of my stay.
I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t here to sit around drinking Bali Kopi, watching life go by and chatting with the locals. I was here for Bali Bootcamp!
Located in a traditional farming village in the hills to the north of Ubud, Bali’s art and cultural capital, Bali Bootcamp is a mix of fitness camp and an introduction to Balinese village life. Each morning and late afternoon there’s a strenuous work-out – runs, interval training, sprints, exercise sets (don’t make me tell you about the squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and other unmentionable contortions), jungle treks, volcano hikes, yoga and Battle PT.
In between the training sessions there’s lots of time to relax and appreciate local life and culture. Maybe read that book you’ve been desperate to sit down with for ages, have a cooking lesson form Gusti, goddess of the kitchen, learn to play Gamelan, Balinese musical instruments, or just kick back and totally unwind. Our hosts are very happy to assist with other activities outside the village and some of our Bootcamp recruits during free time have been white-water rafting and elephant riding whilst the rest of us, have taken the opportunity to go into Ubud for a wee massage and spa treatment. Definitely a must during ‘Bali Bootcamp’!
If you are looking to kick start your way to a healthier life, want to freshen up your fitness regime, enjoy working out with others in a supportive group environment whilst learning about other people and cultures, then look no further. If you are like me and have a love of all things Balinese, are prone to boredom after a day lying on the beach and need to exercise to justify indulging in lots of Balinese treats like gado gado, satay, babi guling, tempeh goreng and black rice budding, it sounds like Bali Bootcamp is for you!”