Bali 2011


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September 27th 2011
Published: September 27th 2011
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Bali 2011

1/8

After 3 days in Bali, I thought that I should start writing the blog before I forget everything. The flight was ok and getting off the plane was even better. It was lovely and warm and time to take off the layers of clothing. We got a taxi for 120,000 IR to our resort in Sanur (Bali Sanur Beach Hotel). The internet doesn’t do the place justice because it was stunning and huge!!

Our room (480) was on the 4th floor in the quiet end of the resort – perfect! The place had 2 big pools and beautiful gardens. Both Phil and I had a headache from the flight or stress or change of weather but we didn’t care. We ate in at the hotel and had Bebek Guleng – duck with rice and garlic and ginger beans with assorted hot sauces – Yum!!

2/8

After good nights sleep it was time to explore the streets of Sanur and acclimatise to the salesman techniques of the Balinese. We had lunch in one of the restaurants (Swordfish steak for me and Steak for Phil) It was really warm so we went back to the
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Pool at Saur Beach Hotel
resort for a swim. The water was so warm it was divine. Dinner was back out on the streets where we saw a traditional dance from 2 small Balinese girls and organised our taxi for Candidasa on the following day.

3/8

The driver’s name was Diksa and his English was ok to understand and he was very informative about everything. We decided to also book him later to pick us up from Lovina 6 days later. The next resort Bali Shangrila Beach Club was also much better than the internet shows and we got a fabulous room upstairs with a great view of the ocean. The resort was much smaller than the ones in Sanur but had lovely homely feeling with the manager (I think) called Smiley and the bartender called Gooday. They love flirting with the older English women who loved the attention.

4/8

The sea is a bit rough for snorkelling unless you wait until after 4pm when the tide is out. The breeze is great though, and we don’t use the air-conditioning, only the ceiling fan. We spent most of the day in the main street fighting off hawkers and taxi drivers. I read that this doesn’t happen here but they were wrong! There was a very persistent young lad trying to sell me glasses and when he didn’t have the right focal strength, I thought we had got rid of him. He soon showed up later with the right ones which he got off his mate somewhere else. I caved in and bought them for his troubles. We also organised a driver called Ketut to take us to the next resort for the following day.

We had a great lunch at one of the many restaurants and went back to the resort for a swim and some much needed sunbaking. I think that this is the first trip that I have had more than 1 swim in the pool and had time to sunbake – very needed!! By tea time we decided to stay in and watch the evening’s entertainment which was a Legong dance, and the girl did a very good imitation of the Bird of Paradise dance.

Our dinner was accidentally brought out to the wrong couple who then returned it after a couple of mouthfuls. Hoping that we didn’t see, the staff brought it back out to us again. Lucky that we are easygoing Aussies, we pretended not to notice. They gave Phil a free Arac (Bali rice wine) just to make sure we were happy.

5/8

We had a lazy morning and the taxi driver showed up early. On the Way to Amed, we stopped at the water palace which was a lovely place and had the biggest goldfish (Koi) that I had ever seen. I think one of them was about 1m long! The place had a lovely serene feeling about it.

The resort Arya Amed again was stunning! Just when you think it can’t get better – it does. We had our own bungalow complete with four poster bed and with an outdoor bathroom. It looked amazing with all the modern amenities. The restaurant overlooked the beach and swimming pool –just stunning! After a swim, we had another great meal and then another day was over already.

6/8

Phil got an email saying that the course that he had to instruct back in Oz had been cancelled so we decided to stay an extra couple of days to include the next weekend also. We went for a walk up
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Our bungalow
the road to see where it would take us. After haggling with a heap of drivers, we also booked the next ride to Lovina. I thought that it would be harder to get a ride the further up the country you went, but no there’s no chance of being stranded anywhere in Bali I think.

We found a great restaurant on the side of a steep hill which overlooked the Amed bay and we could see our resort from there. The food was delicious and the beer was cold – Bliss! After the long walk, we returned to the resort for a swim and sunbake – I could get used to this lifestyle….. Dinner was divine at a place next to the Arya resort and I can’t believe that you can get food this good for only $4.50.

7/8

Phil had a dive booked at 7.30am but the driver was late. This is unusual for the Balinese as they are normally early. We were amazed to note that there are hardly any Aussies when you leave the main shopping areas. We seem to be overrun by arrogant French and obnoxious Dutch! The dive instructor turned up and
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Sunrise
had made an error with the booking, so turned up 45 mins later. Phil loved the dive and met a couple of nice South Africans, and a French girl.

Our driver, Ketut was waiting for us and then drove us to Lovinia. It was a very long drive and I felt mean that we only paid him 250,000 IR (about $25) for a 3 hour ride and then he had to drive home again. The Melka Hotel was great. It was set in a kind of zoo. Our room was next to the dolphin pool and a couple of monkey cages. The stone bath looked great but I think it would have been uncomfortable on your butt so we stuck to having showers.

We could hear the dolphins playing at night with their tail slapping. It woke us up a couple of times, but we didn’t mind. I had my first cocktail – a Singapore Sling, and they kept giving us plates of salted peanuts. They are grown here and are much smaller than the ones we are used to but just as nice. Phil spent about half an hour trying to explain what a fire station is
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View from the bedroom door - "Dolphins to the left of me, monkeys to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you".
to the guys behind the bar and asked where we could find one.

8/8

After a delicious breakfast, we wandered down the main street for a few kms. There was a small side street which led to the beach lined with shops and restaurants. The beach was full of hawkers which we managed to dodge and we found a nice little Warung right on the beach which served great snapper – Yum! We managed to catch a rare Bemo (mini bus) back to the hotel, and went for a refreshing swim.

I went to visit a monkey in one of the cages which was so cute. She groomed me by looking for bits of flakey skin and fleas I guess. She was very gentle and made these cute noises. She held on to my bangle so I wouldn’t leave. I even let her check my hair. We also saw the dolphin show which was great. The dolphins really are so clever.

We met a lovely Balinese waitress - Era who served us that night and told us a bit about her life. We got her sisters email address so we can send her the photo that we took of her with us. The food is always good and I’m starting to get addicted to the hot Balinese chilli sauces which come with all the meals.

9/8

The driver was waiting for us at 10am and it wasn’t Diksa but a friend of his who took his place because of a ceremony he had to go to. That seems to happen often but they never leave you stranded. He took us to Git Git Falls which was about a half hours walk from the car park to the falls. The driver even came with us all the way which was good because we didn’t get hassled too much along the way by hawkers. We stopped at an amazing place for lunch where the deck was perched on the edge of a very high hill overlooking a beautiful retreat at the bottom, surrounded by rice paddies. The view was stunning.

It was a long but interesting drive to Ubud with the driver explaining as much as he could along the way. Ananda Cottages was another fantastic resort with cottages located all through the small rice paddies. The room was great and the pool was beautiful,
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Pool at Ananda Cottages
perched on the side of a high river bank. The meals here were also awesome.

10/8

The breakfast at this place was probably the best so far with freshly blended pure fruit juice, plenty of bananas and toast and eggs and assorted other cooked foods and pastries. We finally met a couple of older South Australian women, one (Betty) who came from Aldgate.

After breakfast, we walked down to the Ubud market which was quite a long walk but there were people and shops everywhere. We bought a frangipani painting and the guy who painted it was there so we took a photo of him and his family. So many shops and so many people. Phil was worn out, so we stopped for another great meal.

A woman complained about her meal and refused to pay for it. She said that she didn’t like tomato, onion and cucumber but she had ordered a salad – (not sure what she was thinking??) The poor flustered staff took it back but she ended up having it on her bill at the end. I think it was all of about one dollar. She wanted her money back but in
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Getting ready for the cremation of a member of the royal family
the end the staff gave her the salad she didn’t eat in a plastic bag, it was hilarious. Unfortunately, the staff were upset and thought they were doing the right thing but the woman walked off fuming. We continued back around the Monkey Forrest road and caught a taxi back to the cottages in the late afternoon.

11/8

We left Ubud at midday and made our way to Kuta for our next stay, called White Rose Hotel. The place was ok but we were left feeling like a number, and the guy who took our bags to our room wouldn’t leave. He turned on the TV and I’m not sure whether he was waiting for a tip or just wanted to stay in our room. The room had single beds and we said we weren’t happy about that so he just pushed the beds together. This meant that one of the side lights stuck out over the middle of us and we would probably hit our heads during the night if we sat up in a hurry.

We were not impressed, especially as this was our last stay in Bali and all the other places had been perfect. They even forgot our welcome drinks. We turned the TV off, and needed to go to the loo, but our porter turned it back on again. By this time our sense of humour had run out so we stopped talking to him, and after an awkward silence, he finally left, so we turned the TV off again. We had managed to not watch TV the whole time while staying in Bali and wanted to keep it that way!

We had decided that we didn’t like this place as it seemed to be bursting at the seams with loud mouthy Elizabethan Aussies. We would stay one night as it was late already, but then go back the wonderful Sanur Beach Resort. Kuta was loud and energetic, just like the youngsters like it, and it was good to be a part of it for just one night. We did some bargain shopping, had coffee at Starbucks and had another great meal at one of the restaurants in the main drag. We lost our room key that night and had to get a porter to let us into our room.

12/8

Before we checked out, we had to find the key, so we retraced our steps from the previous night and couldn’t believe our luck when it had been handed in at the bar of the place where we had eaten dinner. After another Starbucks coffee, we checked out and caught a taxi back to Sanur – heaven!

13/8

We hired a couple of bikes and rode along the beach where you could see into the back of all the exclusive resorts. The beach went on for several kms and it looked like most of these resorts were full. I think that next time we won’t come in peak season again. I don’t think you could ever get bored in Bali it is such a colourful and vibrant place.


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Sanur

Bebek Guleng


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