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  • Day4

    From calm to chaos

    November 12, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After my early night last night, I was wide awake at 4am and starving but breakfast wasn’t until 7 so I made myself go back to sleep. Waking up with the reality of it being our last day at the villa was a little depressing and luckily we didn’t have to be out until 12 so we had a bit of time to enjoy it.

    We were at breakfast at 7 and The Aussie Battler (TAB) was on fire with his Indo by this stage and the locals love it. We both had scrambled eggs this mor which was good and I’d tried to top up with Weet Bix beforehand so I wouldn’t get hungry but they gave me three Weet Bix with enough milk to have with one so it dried up very quickly. The eggs ended up filling me up anyway so all was good

    After breakfast we went for a walk and followed the road past the retreat heading the opposite way to when we’d walked the other night. The road got very narrow and was surrounded by thick jungle. Not one bike or car passed us and we only saw one or two houses - this was as remote as you can get. We passed some small huts that had cows in them but mostly it was rainforest with steep valleys and we could hear running water from a river or waterfall.

    In the middle of nowhere was a man and lady sitting on the ground having coffee and I asked to take a photo and straight away the lady pulled a towel from her shoulders to make sure she looked her best for the photo - funny! We saw some wild puppies from one of the millions of stray dogs in this country.....they were cute though. And then we came to the end of the road which had steps leading down to a temple. It was fairly small but still impressive although we didn’t walk through the gates as I had shorts on and thought I should have had a sarong to go in.

    So we turned around and headed back and the man and lady I’d taken a photo of were out on the road talking to another guy who had arrived. They couldn’t speak a word of English but were very happy and friendly. As we walked past the lady ran up to me and pointed at my phone as she wanted to see the photo I’d taken of them earlier. I showed her and she loved it and started cracking up. She called the man over to take a look and he laughed to. She just kept laughing and as we continued to walk she walked with us. It was such a great experience and I wish I could have somehow given her a copy of the photo.

    She stayed with us for some time and all of a sudden TAB jumped and we’d just walked over a dead snake. I thought he was joking as it was thin, bright green and there was a leaf at the end of it so I just thought he made a mistake and it was a leaf with a long stalk. But looking at it closely you could see it was a snake - a viper says TAB - that had been squashed.

    As soon as the lady noticed it she started screaming and ran to grab a thick piece of wood. TAB picked it up and she yelled at him and went towards him with the wood. TAB was trying to explain to her that it was dead but she wasn’t convinced. It was quite a funny episode and clearly those snakes are very dangerous if she was acting like that so I just thank god it was dead as the colour of it completely camouflages them into the foliage....scary.

    We continued past the retreat back into the village we’d walked through the other night. We’ve since found out that it is called Buahan. There was more activity going on than when we were out the other night and everyone is just so friendly. We went into another resort to take a look, it was called Hanging Gardens and the concierge showed us photos of it - it looks absolutely amazing but the prices were out of control - way out of our price range.

    The rest of the morning was enjoying the serenity of the villa until our pick up arrived at 12. Komah was right on time and he took us to a local cafe Tahrir served suckling pig as promised. There was a big chunk of pork in a cabinet at the front of the shop and you don’t need to order as there’s only one dish on the menu. It consisted of a bowl of soup, steamed rice and a bowl with pork and some green vegetables. We asked for spicy like the locals which luckily they put on the side as I only ate a little bit and my mouth was burning through the rest of the meal. I don’t really know what I was eating and I couldn’t taste a great deal with the level of burning going on in my mouth. TAB got through all his food and all the spice which is impressive as even Komah didn’t use all his spicy stuff as he said it was even hot for him. We had a beer with it and it wasn’t helping with the burning either - this was some serious shit.

    We hit the road and drove past so many furniture and homewares places. It was killing me as everything looked amazing and I just wanted to stop and shop but getting stuff home just seems like too much hard work to contemplate - it’s a damn shame. The traffic began to hit and I was already starting to regret leaving our sanctuary. The roads were crazy and I needed the toilet but I knew that stopping wasn’t an option as we were barely moving in some instances so it was just a matter of getting there. At one stage I asked Komah how long to get there and he said 20 minutes but after about 40 minutes we still weren’t there and he had to stop and ask someone if we were going the right way as he though his GPS was playing up! Thank god TAB spotted a convenience store that had a toilet symbol on its sign so we pulled over and although it was my first bad toilet experience, he had literally saved the day.

    Feeling a little more relaxed with an empty bladder, I was happy to finally see the ocean and knew we weren’t far away. Komah finally got us to the Legian Beach Hotel and I paid him 40k instead of the 35k he quoted as it had been a big effort and he had to turn around and go all the way back to Ubud.

    When we got to our room I was disappointed as it was such a stretch from what we’d just come from. I was wondering what the hell we’d done leaving that place to come here.

    So after about 15 minutes of us both contemplating that we decided to get out for a wander to see where we were. On seeing the pool and outdoor eating areas our mood changed a little. Then we crossed over to the beach and were surprised and very happy to see how beautiful it was and what a great location the resort was, even if our room was only average.

    Last time we were at Bali we travelled so much that we didn’t really spend much time in this area, especially at the beach. But my memory of the beach isn’t that great anyway, I’m sure it was rubbishy and not that nice. The beach at Phuket was definitely like that and so it was what I was expecting here. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sand is clean and fine, the beach is wide, there’s no sea weed and the water temperature is beautiful. I can see why so many people come here and why they keep coming back.

    We went for a short walk to just take it all in and the beach and umbrellas from beach clubs and beach bars stretched for miles. Right out the entrance of the resort onto the beach is the Kangaroo Bar which Jack had told us that he’d spent most of the time at with the crew he came to Bali with. He said we should have a beer there to meet the guys that run it so on the way back from our walk we stopped there and told them who we were and they remembered Jack. He visited with the Riddell crew who come here multiple times per year and have been for many years. So the Kangaroo Bar guys know them all very well. In fact, one of the guys, Rudi, was wearing the singlet that was made for the trip Jack came on and it had his and his mates name on the back - too funny!

    They told us Mel and Deb Tobin from Riddell from here and not long after, Mel showed up so he sat and had a beer with us. He said that when they checked last week that got some special membership because they’d stayed here 30 times - OMG!! Three of the guys Mel was travelling with showed up and sat for beers. Two live in Darwin and one in Diggers Rest and there were a lot of people that we all knew - small world. All the wives had been out for lunch and eventually ended up with us. It’s obviously where they all end up at the end of each day.

    Four or five beers later we decided to head off for something to eat. The Legian Beach Festival was on which was a big stage just up from us playing live music and there were street stalls all along the beach road. We set out looking for some satay being cooked on the grill which took us a little bit to find but persistence paid and we found what we were looking for and it was worth the wait....bloody beautiful!

    Even though it was reasonably early we were ready to call it a night as it had been a big day. Walking back in the room was a bit of a downer again as we’d had such a big, beautiful, luxurious space and bed. This all just looked so small and drab in comparison but I needed to get over it. Shower, bed and start again tomorrow.
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