Day 2: Got stood up and was rescued
Bali Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
I woke up at 8am to find the other guests outside, enjoying their breakfast. So I got ready as quickly as I could to join them, but by the time I got there, they were done. :(
I joined the Seoane brothers at their table. They were busy blogging about their trip so far on their laptops. Ron's wife, Irma, then took my order for breakfast, which was a delicious omellette and two slices of toast served with butter and strawberry jam, plus a small pot of coffee, exactly what I needed as I was too exhausted to wake up for dinner the night before.
While enjoying breakfast, the guys and I discussed my itinerary for my 4 day stay. I had made plans to go on a day's tour with Cheppi, the personal tour guide I booked prior to leaving KL for Bali.
By the time I was done with breakfast, it was already 920am, but no sign of Cheppi. I head back to my room to get my cellphone and find a message from him, saying that he was at the wrong location and will be by shortly. So I wait a further 15 minutes, and then decide to call him. Cheppi then apologised to me for not being able to find the place, which I found surprising. So I tried moving the tour to Friday - Aug 1, but he already had a booking to take a group of tourists around for the next day.
Explaining my dilemma to Ron and the brothers from Spain, they happily offered to take me to Kuta with them as they were headed that way to collect the suits they had ordered to be tailored at a grand steal. I had initially made reservations to stay at a hotel in Kuta on Friday night, but after being discouraged by Ron and his friends - Heather and Barney, whom I had met the night before and are seasoned Bali travellers - I decided against it and extended my stay in Sanur.
So I hopped in the 2 door 4WD the brothers had rented and off we went to Kuta. I really enjoyed hanging out with Adrian and Bruno, as they seemed really laid back and very accommodating. They also never hesitated to share their travel experiences. They also seemed amazed that I was a Malaysian who sounded so American, and up until we said goodbye, were not so sure that I was being truthful about where I was from (until I showed them my national ID card)!! :P
Upon reaching Kuta, we parked in the basement of the Matahari shopping mall, but not before being stopped by security so they could scan our vehicle for explosives.
Entering the mall, I tagged along with the brothers as they shopped for a luggage that they could fit the many souvenirs they had accummulated throughout their time in Bali to take home for family and friends. Finding nothing that was reasonably priced, we made our way out to the shops along the streets on the way to the tailor's where they found a bag store and haggled for the price of what seemed like a low end quality luggage. Boy, could Adrian haggle! :P Still the proprietor wouldn't budge on the price, so we walk away (the tricks of getting a bargain you want) only to be called back by the proprietor who reluctantly agrees to the price that was asked, IDR200,000.
I could already feel the heat getting to me as we continued our walk. As windy as it was, it was also really hot and I was dehydrated. It was a good thing that we were near our destination because I was about to pass out!! Patricia and I find respite from the heat in a cafe nearby with cool drinks, while Adrian and Bruno head to the tailor's to find out the status of their suits. Half an hour later, they come back to get us so we can get lunch at Made's Warung, the famous restaurant chain in Bali. Since Patricia didn't have any plans for the rest of the day, I asked her to come back with me to Sanur to check out the villa that I'd been raving about, and the guys were nice enough to offer to drop her off at her guesthouse on the way to the airport later in the day.
I was curious to see what the restoraunt had to offer, in particular the Nasi Campur (mixed rice), which was definitely different from the Nasi Campur we have here in Malaysia. We get a table at the top of the stairs of this two-storey restaurant, which seemed to attract a healthy crowd of locals and tourists alike. Patricia was on a diet and opted for a salad, while Bruno and Adrian played it safe and ordered Nasi Goreng, or fried rice (which they let me try and I honestly found it left a lot to be desired!) while I tried the Nasi Campur. When our meals arrived, it was so obvious how different the Bali version of my lunch was from that of Malaysia.
Allow me to provide a brief summary of the Malaysian Nasi Campur: It is a meal which consists of rice with accompanying dishes that include chicken, beef, lamb and seafood, cooked in the usual Malaysian style (Chinese, Indian or Malay) plus stir fried vegetables, all of which you choose by scooping these onto your plate of rice and paying for what you've taken. The Nasi Campur of Bali consisted of rice, served with a tiny piece of fried beef, a tiny piece of fried fish, a small amount of fried vegetables, and served with a side order of sambal (spicy chilli gravy). It was interesting to say the least. I thought I'd also add that if you've had satay in Bali, and then tasted the Malaysian version, you'll notice the difference in the taste of the skewered meat as the Balinese version is milder and less spicy, while the satay sauce is a blended peanut sauce that is more like a paste, while the Malaysian version is more chunky and is a lot spicier. Unfortunately I have no illustrations to back up my review, but trust me, the difference is obvious and interesting.
After lunch, we headed back to Kuta Street where the guys offered to pick us up to save us the trouble of walking back to the car. They split up to collect the car, luggage and suits, while Patricia and I hung out on Kuta beach. It didn't take long before we were approached by locals hawking all kinds of paraphernilia, from sunglasses to beach mats, sarungs and towels as well as piercing and tattoo services. I was strictly warned by Adrian NOT to buy anything from any of them, for good reason. Patricia and I tried to look disinterested as we stood under a shady tree, exchanging our travel stories. We also couldn't help but notice how beautiful Kuta beach is, and the waves were great for surfing. Unfortunately, it really was crowded with tourists and touts, and I really wasn't looking to disappear in the crowd.
Fifteen minutes later, Adrian arrives to pick us up, and Patricia and I shoved ourselves into the back seat of the rental with the luggage taking up a lot of space in that tiny 4WD!! Next, we picked up Bruno and his suits and headed back to Sanur. Drama unfolded on our way back, when at one of the cross junction traffic lights, the rental began to jerk and it was then Adrian realised we'd run out of gas!! But the quick thinking of Bruno got him out of the jeep as he got Adrian to turn the steering wheel to the right while he pushed the rental and we were parked out of the way of peak hour traffic. Right behind us came two traffic cops, whom the guys had a hell of time trying to explain the reason our car stalled in the middle of the street. Luckily, there was a gas station about 300 meters across the street and Bruno was tasked with getting enough gas to get us back to the hotel and for them to get to the airport to return the rental.
We arrived back at the villa to be greeted by Ron and the "gang" - his group of friends who were also guests staying at his villa. After introducing Patricia to everyone, I take her back to my room to show her just how cool it was, especially the bathroom!! :) Then we head back out and were not allowed to leave again until we each finished at least a bottle of beer... and got a good roasting from those group of middle-aged Aussies and their adorable sense of humor!
Half an hour later, at 530pm, Patricia and I headed out to the beach, which was about 250 meters from the villas. We passed one of the oldest temples in Bali and got to the beach, which we found out was not much of a beach. It was low tide, and there really was no beach, only a 500 meter long row of cafes and massage houses. We found out later that the best of Sanur's beach was a further kilometer away.
It was here also that I finally found the source of the whooping noise that could be heard from the villa throughout the day and sometimes at night. A long pole about 20ft high had what looked like a propeller at the top, which spun when blown by the wind. There were a few placed in a row in front of the shops, and the whooping noises were apparently meant to keep the evil spirits away.
Soon, it was time for Patricia to leave with the Spanish brothers, so we walk back to the villas. We exchange email addresses and promise to keep in touch. Adrian and Bruno's next stop was Singapore, before they head to Bangkok and then back to Spain.
I then made plans to join Ron, Irma, Heather and Barney for dinner. Heather and I left later as she had been trying to sleep off a terrible headache. At 830pm, we get one of Ron's staff to call a cab for us to go to a pub in Sanur town where the rest were expecting us. I was starving, and ordered a plate of Nasi Goreng with chicken satay and a bottle of local favourite, Bintang beer. It was a very short night, as ROn and Irma were dead tired and left first, but not before secretly paying for our meal! Half an hour later, Heather was anxious to leave as well, as Barney had way too much to drink and become a little bit obnoxious, which is he is not when sober, the poor guy! LOL!
We arrived 5 minutes later, at 10pm, and everyone was in their rooms, getting ready for bed, while I, the only guest still in her early 30s, was wide awake but had nowhere to go! :( Ho hum, couldn't really complain, so I walked over to Ron's room to borrow some DVDs from Irma, who was still up. ABout an hour into Shawshank Redemption, I dozed off, and woke up to find the movie had finished without me, three hours later! So I washed up and was trying to decide what to do the next day. Maybe I'll head to Kuta beach to get some surfing lessons! :P