The last week has been crazy. Get ready for a long but interesting read my friends!

Since I posted last Ollie, Nik, Bec, Josh (Ollie’s cousin) and I travelled down to the Bukit, Uluwatu. We went down on a Sunday, of course for Single Fin. Single Fin is a 3-4 story high bar that overlooks Ulu - the most ideal location and it absolutely goes off on a Sunday. We got there in the afternoon and headed to Padang Padang, a small bay down from Ulu’s and a popular surf spot. To get there you walk through a temple and down 200 metres of small stairs curved around the rock formations. At the bottom it opens to a big beach, Warung’s, surf schools and places to sit and swim. It’s a beautiful spot when it’s not overpopulated with tourists but unfortunately that is most days. Anyway, the waves were huge this day! Double overhead and barrels, too big for Ollie and I so Josh was the only one that headed in. He body boards and got 10 – 12 solid waves, it was epic just to watch. After chilling on the beach we headed back to the villa and began getting ready for the night ahead. This involved Jack Daniel’s in the pool and drinking games to follow.

We eventually got to Single Fin and my goodness it was packed! Every level was full with people, a live DJ that was playing funky beats and good vibes all round. By the end of the night we were all in fine form and when we all woke up the next morning it was quite the opposite. We all regrouped to reconnect the dots and fondly enough Nik ended up back in Canggu, Bec ended up Seminyak, they had lost their scooter and we had lost Josh! We didn’t find Nik and Bec’s scooter until the following day (It had been stolen or taken mistakenly and parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere) however it was an amazing night out with friends and I would highly recommend going if you love having a good time!

The next few days we hung out in the villa, chilled on the beaches, ate at Single Fin, walked down through the caves to the café’s overlooking Ulu’s and surfed Padang Padang a few times – It was a great trip with memories made before heading back to Canggu.

Since then I’ve began learning Bahasa Indonesian at a little school nearby. I’m up to my 3rd class and my Teacher Magdalena is amazing! I’m taking 1 hour sessions, 4 times a week for 3 weeks. Every class I have seems to feel like it goes for 5 minutes – I guess because I am enjoying it so much! This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I already know basic words and phrases from previous travel however I’m really keen to learn the language properly. Magdalena teaches the informal use of Bahasa (how the locals talk on a day-to-day basis). She’s super quirky and keeps it fun and I have to say I am absolutely loving it. She is also going to sponsor me for my 6-month VISA which is amazing. I have to fly out on the 29th to Singapore for it to get approved but after that I don’t need to leave again for 6 months… This makes me a very happy girl.

I’m still living with Ollie here in Canggu. He has completely scooped me up under his wing and taken me in with open arms. I am so thankful for the friendship we have and I couldn’t be happier nothing has changed since I saw him last. I’m the little annoying Aussie sister he never had and it’s the best.

Over the weekend I got asked to do a shoot for an editorial company online. I travelled across the other side of Bali to a placed called Ketewel, just north of Sanur. An hour and a half each way so a bit of a mission although I was privileged enough to shoot a young Indonesian mum and her bubs in a big open plan villa overlooking the beach. She was gorgeous and her and her husband were very welcoming. I am very excited to sort through all the images and share them with you all! They will be on the website soon.

Clarice, Andy and his fam also arrived in Bali this week – I told you it’s been a little crazy! They were all staying close by here in Canggu at a ginormous villa about 4 minutes away from my place so super close. Last time I saw Andy’s family was in Uluwatu, before I headed to Lombok in July last year. They are like my Indo Aussie family and they always treat me like one of their own whenever I bump into them in Indo. Another friend Pat arrived 2 days ago and now they’ve all headed over to Lombok for 5 days... Before you ask, yes I am jealous!

If you know me, you’ll know how much I absolutely love Lombok. It’s home for me here... It stole my heart in February last year and it still hasn’t given it back. I didn’t go with them because I’m now studying Bahasa here in Canggu and I really want to commit and learn the language as well as get to know Canggu and the people here. It’s not a place I have spent much time in the past and now going into my third week I am really starting to settle in and see the beauty of it all. I think you need to be in a place for a solid 4 weeks (if not more) to really get to know it.

Clarice and I got up at sunrise Sunday morning to shoot. We headed to the short cut road that overlooks the rice patties (classic iconic spot in Canggu). The lighting was perfect and Clarice worked her magic like she always does. Clarice and I grew up together in Metung, we’ve been friends since the early age of 3 and we’ve both been taking photos since roughly the age of 5. I’m a year older than her, so growing up I was always in the year level above but this made no difference. She lived a block away from me and we spent most days together. Whether it be running to the beach until dark or trying to find a new place to shoot and play, it was always an adventure. Now that I am taking photography to the next level as well as her taking Modelling more seriously, we are the ultimate duo. You can see it on our faces how much we love and enjoy getting creative. It makes me sad to think I won’t see her for however long I’ll be here but nothing will get in the way of friendship. It’s as solid as a hard-boiled egg in Indo haha!

Shortly after we finished shooting, I already had another shoot organised with a girl called Rose. Rose is from Holland, living and working in Canggu. We got chatting before I left Australia and we caught up for coffee earlier in the week to meet and talk about what we were going to do and where we were going to go. Rose is so beautiful, inside and out. I was immediately excited and our coffee date that was supposed to be about work quickly turned into day to day conversations about our lives and what we did. One of the amazing things about the creative industry is the unique people you meet along the way. Rose is definitely one of them and a new friend here in Canggu. I shot Rose after I’d finished shooting Clarice at the next beach down from Echo, I’m not sure of the name. It was such a success and I again can’t wait to show you all the finished images. Be sure to follow my Instagram @theninetymile to keep updated.

Yesterday I bumped into my friend Teresse who I met at the homestay earlier on in the week. Her and her boy were about to go for a surf so I tagged along and can I just say, I am so so glad I did. We went to a place called Gangga beach, about a 30-40 minute scooter drive up the West coast. The surf was small and crowded, the clouds were rolling over and the wind had picked up. It wasn’t looking to good so we took the scooters along the beach and drove down further. This was a surreal moment… to drive along an open ended black sand beach, with no one in sight but us, heading towards the storm, really was an epic feeling. Regardless of the waves not being ideal I raced and jumped in anyway. It started pouring with rain not long after and again, an amazing moment. At this point I was out there alone, taking in my surroundings, feeling every droplet while grasping the fact that this is my life now. Feeling forever fortunate to be here doing what I love and sharing it with like-minded souls along the way.

This morning I got up early and went for a run. I usually run in the morning or the late afternoon as its way too hot during the day. I always run down to the different surf spots to check it out so this morning I ran to Echo beach and back. Once I got back Ollie and I went for a surf at Old Mans; it was small but fun. We got out after about an hour of party wave lovin’ and decided to treat ourselves to some Nalu Bowls. Ah heaven on earth; that’s what they are. Ollie actually has a little smoothie bullet at home I’ve recently discovered, so I’ve decided I’m going to start heading to the local market to buy a bunch of fresh fruits so I can make my own. I’ll get some granola too and this will be how I start my day. I’m getting a little sick of eating Nasi Campur 2-3 times a day and eating rice for breakfast is not ideal. I’m also going to go out and buy coffee and other home based cooking products to save money. It’s not cheap here in Canggu and I need to remind myself sometimes that I’m not rich nor on a holiday, I’m living here now so it’s a little different this time.

Tonight is coming up to be my third BBQ night. This means I’ve been here for 3 weeks! Can someone please tell me where on earth the last 3 weeks have gone?! It honestly feels like I’ve been here for 3 days. It’s crazy how time just falls away, loosing track of the days and getting totally captivated by Bali’s culture and beauty.

I think that’s more than enough for now! I’ll be back soon with some photos to share.

Lots of love!

- Nella x