Category

Indonesia

Category

News and notes from our final week in Bali, split between two relatively upscale beaches – Seminyak: Ye of the Sunset, and Sanur: Ye of Impressive Sunrises, Should Ye Ever Manage to Get Out of Thine Bed Early Enough. See also: The Lovely Janet Guide to Penestanan Seminyak Splurged for a haircut in Seminyak at a place called The Billionaire’s Cut – a surprising choice for the filthy rich, considering a haircut costs just $3.50 and includes a complimentary desultory shoulder massage for 8-10 seconds at the end. Quick, easy and cheap, although I’ll probably live to regret passing on the “Bill Gates’ Wife’s Personal Trainer” in favour of the “Warren Buffett”. Got involved in a local soccer game on the beach one day – was drafted to “Skins”, which, in my case, was probably unnecessary, considering I was the one guy in 25 that nobody was going to mistake…

After our long spell in Penestanan near Ubud the time finally came to start moving around again. Spending a month in Bali without a glimpse of the beach seems like it should almost be impossible, never mind wholly unnecessary. So, after a last few days enjoying our rice field villa we finally uprooted and moved the whole clan plus a large bag of all our unfinished groceries off to the small, dry peninsula of Uluwatu that juts spectacularly out of the southwestern corner of Bali, another must-see addition to any great Bali itinerary. We would be staying in another 2 bedroom house with great views and a heavy emphasis on outdoor living, except in this case the spectacular views were from halfway up a steep cliff overlooking the ocean, the rugged surf and the fascinating rock formations scattered along the beach in both directions. And the outdoor living was a…

Laynni’s parents, Lyle and Nadine, who you may remember from such prior adventures as Getting Pruned in the Galapagos Islands, Ring Shopping in Turkey, and The Hunt for Decent Coffee in Guatemala, arrived here in Bali last week. They have joined us in our villa (the previously discussed “Grouse House”), one of many great villas with a pool in the Ubud area, and seem to have taken to the area as much, or more, than we have, intermittent rain storms and lack of gluten-free options aside, and will be with us throughout our last couple weeks in Ubud, Bali, then the first week or so in New Zealand before they will branch off for some Australian road-trippin on their own. So, while their arrival could theoretically be considered a significant change for us, in reality the only real differences have been increased jockeying for lounging areas, longer discussions about where…

Ubud is known far and wide as both the cultural heart of Bali and the most reliable producer of frighteningly large penis key chains (most vendors also sell comically large penis bottle openers, but that’s a whole different discussion). Penestanan, on the other hand, is merely a sleepy little suburb of its much more brazenly templed neighbour, the kind of place where you fall asleep to a chorus of contented frog croaking, where all three streets have numerous shops selling bananas, and where another duck-filled field of mud and feces is always lurking just around the corner. All of which make it a perfect addition to the Ubud portion of a comprehensive 10-day Bali itinerary. Behold, your strange and enlightening guide to Penestanan. Why Stay in Penestanan instead of Ubud? Penestanan is the perfect place for those who love the way ripe rice looks in photos, but hate to be…

On to the next stage of our Balinese adventure, renting a villa in Penestanan, where we can cut our daily restaurant visits down from 3+ to a more palatable 1.5. Other than not moving around as much, really our only other goal here is to do a lot of walking to prepare our feet and legs for the obscene amount of hiking we expect to be taking on in New Zealand next month. Penestanan is more or less a suburb of the ever-growing and sprawling city of Ubud (pop. 30,000). Ubud is famously known as the cultural and artistic heart of Bali – filled with temples, art galleries, craft shops, yoga centres, organic cafes and meditation spas (with hour-long massages for just $10 – real massages, I assume, the kind where you are not at risk of contracting chlamydia). There are also loads of what appear to be  middle-aged divorcees…

After several days of soaking up the relaxed, almost sluggish, atmosphere of Ceningan it was time for a slight change of pace. So we packed up and embarked on the epic journey across the island, over the bridge, to the far west side of Lembongan to Mushroom Bay – an all-encompassing motorbike journey of roughly 7-8 minutes. Like a whole new world! Well, not really, although there was an actual beach, with actual sand. And the day-trippers were still fully grouped and life-jacketed, having yet to disperse throughout the islands teetering uncertainly on small motorbikes far beyond their realistic ability levels. Other than that, things were pretty similar. Sure, there were small differences: Mola Mola House Our hut at Mola Mola House was right on the beach, so instead of at Da Fish, where we gazed placidly out over a nice pool devoid of swimmers, the distant ocean and the…

Pin It