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Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 10

May 6th, 2016.
Our last day here in Bali. I think I sweated up the last of whatever has been giving me grief overnight, waking up dripping wet with sweat a couple of times during the night. I ended up using the room towels as sheets to get back to sleep, but in the morning I woke up feeling 100% better. I was even able to have bacon and eggs on toast for breakfast today.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/400 @ f/9, 15.1 mm (ISO 320)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 118, near Gang Penjor Agung, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After breakfast, we took a last walk down Jl. Danau Tamblingan, where I snapped the above photo of a little excitement for the workers building the new Popular Express outlet, part of the Pepito group. (The new store opened around 3 weeks after we got home from Bali)

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/9, 15.1 mm (ISO 320)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan, near Gang Penjor Agung, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We kept walking south to the roundabout at the intersection with Jl. Danau Poso in South Sanur. The walk takes you through the main restaurant and shopping strip in Sanur, past Hardy's, past the local village lands and the old Hyatt Resort, one of the original hotels in Sanur, but now undergoing major renovations, something has has been going on for a couple of years, and looks to have a few more to go. Further south you come upon another shopping and restaurant strip, which includes one of the more well known restaurants in Sanur, Massimo's, said to be one of the best Italian restaurants on the island. We stopped in here to grab some gelato for the walk back. I was blown away by the lemon sorbet, and also rather impressed by the strawberry sorbet and mango frozen yoghurt.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/7.1, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 97, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We ate our treats from Massimo's on the walk north, and stopped in at Grocer & Grind, the new Sanur location we'd read about while at their Seminyak location. This time we both ordered the chicken Caesar salad and a smoothie to wash it down.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/8 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 152, Kota Denpasar, Bali

By now we were running a little short on time, so hightailed it back to the hotel to pack our bags. Lori had mostly finished packing hers, but I had yet to start. We gave the remaining 1/3 of a bottle of the Gilbey's Gin I'd picked up at Hardy's shortly after we arrived in Sanur, and the remaining cans of tonic water to the first hotel guest to walk past while we were packing. I never did find a shop in Bali that sold anything bigger than a 300mL can of tonic water.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/2000 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 152, Kota Denpasar, Bali

Lori had arranged a pre-arranged a driver to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the airport for 150k rp, leaving at 4pm, and it was now about quarter to 4, so we locked up our bags and headed out to reception, where we paid our bar tab, said goodbye to the wonderful staff here, and checked out. We hopped in the car and got on our way, but before long we were making a stop of the service station I'd had to make an emergency visit to the other day. Back out on the bypass and it wasn't long before we hit some heavy traffic, but thankfully, we made it to the new toll road without too much trouble. The toll road takes you from the bypass, almost directly to the airport, and for 11k rp, it shaves about half an hour off the trip on an average day, probably at least an hour on todays journey.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/5 @ f/6.3, 15.888 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Terminal Internasional, Ngurah Rai Airport, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

At the airport we made our way through the first security check, check in, another security check in case you've acquired anything you shouldn't have since the last security check (make you wonder how secure the place actually is) and on to the passport and departure tax check (although departure tax is included in your ticket price now) and made our way to "Last Wave" for a bite to eat. Like most airport food, it's a little overpriced, but still cheaper than home, and they do brag about having beer as cold as your ex-girfriends heart. I wouldn't know if that's true, as I had a luke warm Coke Zero instead.

The flight home was a little bumpy, but otherwise pretty uneventful. Even the trip through Perth airport was pretty quick this time, with the Quarantine counters fully staffed tonight, and due to the poor weather, and not many people wanting to be in the CBD tonight, most of the Uber drivers in Perth were hanging out at the airport when we walked outside, so our ride home arrived as soon as I booked it.

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 9

May 5th, 2016.
Today was a much better day. Lori brought me some toast and juice from the restaurant for breakfast and I popped an immodium just in case. I stayed at the room for a few hours while Lori went down to Hardy's looking at DVD's, and by the time that she was back, I was feeling well enough to go for a walk.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/500 @ f/4.5, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Sanur Beach Grove, Beachwalk, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We decided to try to find the "Sanur Beach Grove", a relatively new group of food stalls on an otherwise vacant parcel of land between Jl. Danau Tamblingan and the beach. While there is a fairly large sign on Jl. Danau Tamblingan, apparently you can walk past it pretty much every day for 4 or 5 days and still miss it. According to Google Maps, we would need to walk south and turn down Jl. Pantai Karang, which takes you past the German Consulate and down to the beach before heading north again to the Sanur Beach Grove, which is how we got there. The way back was a lot shorter, as there is a path all the way through from the beach to the road. The beach grove didn't exist when we were here last around 12 months ago, and is still growing as more tourists and locals find out about it.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/1250 @ f/8, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Sanur Beach Grove, Beachwalk, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

At the Sanur Beach Grove, we ordered a beef rendang and a butter chicken masala from the Indian Cuisine hut for 115k rp, and I even managed to finish a Bintang for the first time in a few days. Over lunch we had a chat with a Californian woman who now resides about as permanantly as you can, in Sanur. We discussed the current state of the US, politics, the cost of living in Bali versus our own countries, the ins and outs of residency and visa's in Bali and the dog situtation in Bali. Our conversation actually started over her rescued Bali stray dog, a very well cared for and well behaved young pup.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/640 @ f/11, 24.984 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: near Sanur Beach Grove, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After lunch we took the much shorter route back to Jl. Danau Tamblingan and the hotel through the remainder of the vacant lot where the Sanur Beach Grove stands, which functions as their carpark and access to the main road. It was then that we realised we'd been walking past the sign on the street all the time we'd been in Sanur.

Back at the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, we took a quick dip in the plunge pool before heading to the pool bar for the last couple of Crazy Loris and Uncle Phils for the trip. While there, we chatted to a young couple from Croatia and a whole bunch of Aussies, including a few from the Bunbury and Margaret River areas of South Western Australia.
Left - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/250 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Right - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/320 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We had been quite interested in the roof top temple here at the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar for some time, and Lori asked one of the pool bar staff if she could go up there with him when he went up there to pray. This is one of those things that, even as a very non-religous person myself, I really love about Bali. Not only are the temples absolutely beautiful, regardless of whether they're large or small, the daily routines are quite interesting, from the regular offerings to the gods outside houses and businesses to the daily prayer sessions.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/250 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

Before long it was time to head back to the room and get ready for dinner. Tonight we headed to one of our old haunts, 3 Monkeys. Tonight we had an avocado salad entree, followed by a lamb rack and a pork belly for the mains and, of course, pannacotta for dessert. Once again the food here was amazing and we had an amazing night. Tonights food and (non-alcoholic) drink bill came to 660k rp.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/8 @ f/3.5, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: 3 Monkeys, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 114-116, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We had planned to head to Casablancas, the restaurant / nightclub between 3 Monkeys and the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, but we were both well and truly ready for bed, so instead we headed back to the hotel where we crashed pretty early on our last night in Bali. We have most of the day here tomorrow, but need to be at the airport around 5pm.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 8

May 4th, 2016.
Not the best day for me today. After breakfast, I ended up mostly shifting between the toilet, shower and bed for the rest of the day. I guess something I ate last night didn't agree with me. I put it down to either the goat kebabs or the iced tea, as Lori and I shared the rest of our food. Personally, I'm leaning towards the iced tea, served in a recycled bottle that I failed to notice a decent sized crack in until it was too late. At lunch time I was feeling confident enough to head out to the pool bar for lunch with Lori, nothing alcoholic today though, just a chicken caesar salad and a lemon and ginger iced tea. After Lunch I went back to the room and stayed there until dinner. We had already booked for satay night here at the Swiss-Bel, which was only 98,800rp anyway, so Lori ate a normal meal, and I had a Balinese chicken soup that reminded me of chicken noodle soup.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/13 @ f/4.5, 15.1 mm (ISO 3200)
Approximate location: Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

Lori meanwhile, had a fairly relaxing day, going and getting her nails re-done in the morning, and then in the afternoon heading to a place just north of the hotel that offered Chakra alignments and had a massage and alignment. The full treatment was a 480k rp deal, but Lori swears this was the best massage she's ever had in Bali, and the Chakra alignment was something that had been interesting her since we'd first stumbled upon this shop a year ago.

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 7

May 3rd, 2016.
This morning started with our usual breakfast at the Swiss-Bel, followed by a dip in the plunge pool before heading off on one of our daily walks. Today we headed up to Warung Little Bird, just along Jl. Danau Tamblingan. We had heard a lot about Warung Little Bird before coming here, and it certainly didn't dissapoint, with some of the best and also the cheapest food we'd had on the trip so far. Lori and I shared a plate of Mie Goreng Chicken, Cap Cay Pork and 6 Chicken Satay Skewers with rice and vegetables. Any of those selections would have been a meal in itself, but we just had to try them all. Our drinks with this meal were an iced mocha, a latte and a chocolate milkshake, and we got change from 200k rp. The food here was amazing, and during the day it was a nice relaxed place to hangout. We walked past on the way home around 9pm though, and the place was pumping. Packed to the rafters, the food and drinks were flowing and the house band was keeping the crowd entertained.

Left - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/5 @ f/5.6, 26.833 mm (ISO 640)
Right - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/160 @ f/5.6, 40.232 mm (ISO 320)
Approximate location: Warung Little Bird, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 110, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

From Warung Little Bird, we walked further along Jl. Danau Tamblingan, which of course meant we stopped at every silver shop along the way. We also stopped in at the Bali Animal Welfare Association's shop. BAWA work to better the lives of animals in Bali, with a particular focus on the stray dogs of Bali. Their programs include sterilisation and rabies vaccination programs for the stray dogs of the island.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/5.6, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Warung Little Bird, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 110, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We then walked on past the Pasar Sindhu Night Markets and made our way out onto "the bypass", Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, one of the busiest roads in Bali. We then headed south along the bypass, and heading back towards the beach opposite the Griya Sanur. Along the way we stopped in to a local supermarket called Boca's, which reminded me of an IGA back home. For most of their products, they were also a lot cheaper than Hardy's on Jl. Danau Tamblingan. Not far from here, I had to duck into a service station, and found out the hard way, how to use the 'hygiene hose'.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/500 @ f/7.1, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Jalan Bumi Ayu IV, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

We explored a few of Sanur's back streets on the way back to the hotel, where we made our way to the back entrance, at the restaurant deck, and thankfully the restaurant staff recognised us and let us in.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/13 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Pasar Sindhu Night Market, Jalan Pungutan 49-53, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

A quick change into our bathers, and it was time to visit the pool bar again before heading out to dinner. Tonight we took a walk down to the Pasar Sindhu Night Markets, at the northern end of Jl. Danau Tamblingan. These markets are fairly small, but also quite busy, with half the square set aside for a clothing market, while the remainder of the square formed a vibrant food market filled with small carts.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/13 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Pasar Sindhu Night Market, Jalan Pungutan 49-53, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

Here we had chicken and goat satay skewers, smoothies with durian and mango, a chicken martabak and a sweet pancake about an inch thick, filled with all sorts of dessert goodness. A bottle of sweat tea and a couple of bottles of water completed the meal, all for around 120k rp, or approximately A$12. The martabak in particular was worth more than the whole nights bill, just to see it made. Mind you, something from tonights dinner would come back to haunt me, but that's a story for another post.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/13 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Pasar Sindhu Night Market, Jalan Pungutan 49-53, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After dinner, we walked back down Jl. Danau Tamblingan, past the now pumping Warung Little Bird and back to the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, had a few gin and tonics in the room and then fell asleep happy and fill of food.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/13 @ f/3.5, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Pasar Sindhu Night Market, Jalan Pungutan 49-53, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

Make sure you check out the video of the guy making the martabak below.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 6

May 2nd, 2016.
Another lovely morning here at the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar. After a delicious breakfast, we took a walk. First stop was the laundry up the road, that we had used last year, to drop off our dirty washing from the last week in Kuta. The price was 20k rp per kilogram, with another 10k rp express service fee on top to get it back the same day. All up less than it would have cost to wash it ourselves in a laundromat back home. After dropping off the laundry, we wandered down to Hardy's to do a bit of shopping.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: 3 Monkeys, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 114-116, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

A couple of hours later, having bought everything from a 2.5k rp pack of cardboard dominoes and some more fountain pen ink to a pile of clothes for Mikah and about 6 small steel and brass sculptures, both for our house and for gifts, we made our way back out onto Jl. Danau Tamblingan, and started walking back to the hotel. Along the way, we checked out a few more silver shops and dropped in to 3 Monkeys for lunch. This was one of our favourite dining spots last time we'd been in Sanur. Todays lunch was a selection of Lamb Briouat with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce, Balinese Spiced Duck Fried Spring Rolls and Goat Cheese Fried Ravioli accompanied by a couple of smoothies and followed by a Pannacotta with Broken Baklava for dessert. The pannacotta here is amazing and it won Lori over last time we'd been in Sanur, to the extent that we came back several times just for pannacotta and coffee.

Hero3-Black Edition - 1/120 @ f/2.8, 2.77 mm (ISO 232)
Approximate location: Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 114-116, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After lunch, we returned to the hotel room, where I had a couple of gin and tonics in the plunge pool while chatting to our neighbours, a couple in their 70's from Rockingham who hadn't been to Sanur for at least 20 years and were pleasantly surprised by what they'd found. We then headed off to the pool bar for some Crazy Lori's and Uncle Phil's during the 3 hour long happy hour. At the end of happy hour, we headed back to the room, got dressed for dinner and made the short walk to pick up our laundry.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/5.6, 22.06 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 114-116, Sanur, Kota Denpasar, Bali

On returning with our now freshly washed and pressed laundry, we called Mikah for a chat before heading to the hotels dining area for the Balinese Buffet, one of the regular (and well priced) offerings at the Swiss-Bel, this one being a huge spread of good local dishes, which sets you back only 98,800rp per head.

Over dinner we had a chat to a couple of sisters who were here on holiday from Sydney, swapping stories of our experiences so far in Sanur and Seminyak, before we decided to call it a night.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 5

May 1st, 2016.
Today's the day we move out of the Satriya Cottages and leave the hustle and bustle of Kuta for the more relaxed pace of Sanur and the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar. As usual, we started the day with breakfast at the Satriya, then we headed back to the room, packed our bags and checked out, leaving our bags with the staff at reception. We headed west on Poppies II to Jl. Pantai Kuta and headed south via Kuta Square to Jl. Kartika Plaza. We headed to the Discovery shopping centre for the first time this trip, and spent a good couple of hours wandering the shops before heading to Burger King for a bite. I think this was the first time Lori and I have ever gone to Burger King in Bali, and certainly not something we're planning on making a habit out of. After lunch we flagged down a taxi to take us back to the hotel and ended up negotiating a deal to take us back to the hotel, load up our bags and run us out to Sanur all for 120k rp.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/250 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 42, Kota Denpasar, Bali

On arrival at the Swiss-Belresort Watu-Jimbar on Jl. Danau Tamblingan in Sanur, we found the room we'd requested wasn't available, however the hotel were happy to work out a room upgrade to a plunge pool room with what they referred to as a Hollywood bed, being 2 twin beds pushed together into a super sized king bed, which worked out really well for us. However, to make this happen, we would need to give them an hour or so to rearrange our room, which we were certainly able to work with. We took a walk along Jl. Danau Tamblingan, checking our a few silver shops along the way, and stopped at The Glass House, intending to grab a coffee each. Once we got inside and checked out the menu, we instead ended up having a slice of lemon meringue pie and a smoothie each, and we were both very happy with our selection.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/800 @ f/5, 35.208 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 25, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After leaving The Glass House, we headed back to the hotel where our room was now ready, and finished checking in. We headed to the pool bar where Lori and I taught the bar staff how to make our favourite cocktails, a modified Toblerone with vodka, Baileys, Kahlua and hazelnut liqueur and ice, in a blender and given the name Crazy Lori, and my twist on a White Russian, simply a traditional White Russian with a shot of Malibu, that was given the name Uncle Phil for the week. While we were hanging out at the pool bar we met up with a a couple of travellers from Perth, who also ended up knocking back a few of our signature drinks.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/100 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan 47, Kota Denpasar, Bali

After happy hour wound up at the pool bar, we headed back to the room, got dressed and headed out to Barb's Sports Bar, just a short walk down the road from the hotel, to watch the Formula 1 from Russia. A Nasi Goreng each and a fair few Bintangs over the next couple of hours only set us back 300k rp (around A$30 at the rate on the day), a fraction of what the same would cost back home. We walked back to the hotel, poured a gin and tonic and hit the plunge pool before bed. It surprised me that despite the plunge pool rooms being highly desired here, hardly any of the pools actually seemed to be getting a lot of use while we were at the hotel.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 4

April 30th, 2016.
This morning we headed out of the Satriya Cottages and headed westward on Poppies II, then south along Jl. Pantai Kuta. A little way along, we stopped in to Starbucks for a coffee, as the hotel coffee just wasn't doing it for us. However a quad shot hazelnut latte from Starbucks certainly did the deal this morning. We walked the length of Jl. Pantai Kuta this morning, through the craziness of the tourist areas in the western parts of Kuta, across Bemo Corner, past a number of local warungs and into what appears to be Kuta's motorbike workshop district. Here we crossed the local river and headed to Toko Central, where I was on the lookout for a new plastic buckle to replace one I'd stolen off my old Tamrac Expedition 8 backpack to repair my Oakley luggage. This was not a problem, it turned out there were quite a few different options on offer, at only 15k rp, and with a gift of a bag of local fruits and treats thrown in from the store manager.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/1600 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 100)
Approximate location: Outside Satriya Cottages, Jl. Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

From Toko Central, we headed a little north and then east again and out to Jl. Sunset, where a short walk south brought us to the surf brand outlet shops. And, you probably guessed it, but Lori found some stuff for Mikah here too, shoes this time. We were ready to take a little break from walking by now, so when we were done here, we hailed a taxi to take us up the road to Carrefour.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/640 @ f/5.6, 44.042 mm (ISO 100)
Approximate location: Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai 120 AB, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

By this time we were getting a little hungry, so before heading upstairs to do our shopping, we dropped in to the A&W in the basement where we shared a mango chicken pocket and fries, with a root beer float (apparently I'm a little weird for liking these) all to myself. Upstairs at Carrefour, we picked up a few basics, things like a cheap pair of thongs for me, some water to chuck in the fridge at the hotel and some small cans of tonic water to go with the Mansion House gin. I'd been hopeful that perhaps a large international chain like Carrefour may have actual bottles of tonic water, but no such luck unfortunately.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/40 @ f/5.6, 40.786 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After Carrefour, we hopped into another taxi, heading straight back to the the hotel to drop our shopping at the room before heading back out and next door to Fat Chow for an afternoon snack. We opted to again go with the two entrees from the other night, Tokyo prawns and chicken in pandan leaf. After a bite to eat and a gin and tonic here, we headed back to the Satriya, dropping in to reception to check up on our pool bar tab. It was pretty reasonable, so we decided to go back for another session. Just a quiet one here today, catching up with our fellow travellers and swapping stories about our days before heading back to the room to get ready to go out for dinner.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/15 @ f/3.5, 18.047 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Lori and I decided to walk down Poppies II and see what we could find that grabbed our interest. We ended up at Kori's, a Japanese restaurant with a serious Aussie twist, in a secluded setting just metres from the craziness of Poppies Lane II. The restaurant has a very Japanese feel to it, but with a very healthy dose of Australian items on the menu, including Western Australian beef and Tasmanian salmon.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/50 @ f/4.5, 24.541 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

We had a lovely meal here, highlighted by the half shell scallops (pictured above), and accompanied by a drink each. The meal was a bit on the pricey side for Bali, but still a very respectable price at 550k rp for the night. Value for money wise, probably on a par with Fat Chow, and outstripping Sardinia Cafe by a fair margin.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/3 @ f/2.8, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's,Jalan Poppies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

By now, we were both pretty tired, so headed back to the hotel to wind down with a drink, hit the shower and head for bed.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/20 @ f/2.8, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Kori's, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 3

29th April, 2016.
This morning, we decided to head to Seminyak. Knowing full well that we would require a taxi at some point, we started walking east along Poppies II. Not far from the hotel, we stumbled upon one of those things we always keep an eye out for while travelling, an awesome little coffee spot. Nebula is a cool little cafe and restaurant, serving good coffee and offering up free wifi for their customers. This is definitely recommended for a caffeine fix if you're in the area. In our case, we ended up heading to the coast in the morning instead of inland, so we didn't walk past in the morning again before we headed off to Sanur a few days later.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/200 @ f/10, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Approximate location: Jalan Popies II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After a short stop for a coffee break, we kept walking along Poppies II and out onto Jl. Legian, turning north towards Seminyak. We made a few stops on Jl. Legian, picking up a few supplies, including some of the best bug spray we've come across, Balinese company Utama Spice's Bug Begone and some Stop Cold to put a hold on the colds we'd both brought from home with us. A little further on we stopped again to check out a silver shop, although we prefer to do our silver shopping in Sanur, which has a pretty high concentration of silver shops for a sleepy coastal village. Another little walk and we were at the Legian Paradiso, where we grabbed a drink, although 43k rp is a little on the high side for a Bintang. A little way north of here we stopped in to a small supermarket to grab a soft drink, and found more coiled incense burners here, this time for 143k rp, the best price we would find them for on the whole trip. Leaving here, we flagged down a taxi for the rest of the trip to Seminyak.

Left - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/160 @ f/10, 15.1 mm (ISO 640)
Right - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/5.6, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Popies II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

At Seminyak, we headed to Grocer & Grind, an Australian owned restaurant, who have recently opened a Sanur location as well. We opened our account here with a coffee each and ordered lunch. A chicken Caesar salad for Lori and a GG Melt (a chicken and bacon burger with melted cheese) for myself. When the food arrived, we ordered a couple of smoothies to accompany it.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/8, 15.1 mm (ISO 160)
Approximate location: Jalan Kayu Jati 8, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

After lunch, we took a short walk to the fairly new looking Seminyak Village Shopping Centre, but left empty handed, finding it just a little too fancy for our tastes. We continued to the smaller of the Seminyak square markets, where Lori picked up a few nice dresses for Mikah. We walked a little further to the larger market area, the Seminyak Flea Markets. Next to the Flea Markets, we stopped at a bar boasting the "coldest beer ever". While they were pretty close (the outside of the bottle was frosted), there weren't any ice crystals in the beer, so the 'coldest ever' claim is still in dispute. Regardless, it was still a good, cold, refreshing beer, and we were now ready to continue on to the Flea Markets. Here we found yet more cool clothes for Mikah before finding a taxi to get us back to Poppies II, where we would walk from Jl. Legian back to the Satriya Cottages.

Both - Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/640 @ f/8, 15.1 mm (ISO 320)
Approximate location: Jalan Kayu Jati 8, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Back at the hotel, we made our way to the pool bar for a few drinks with our fellow travellers before heading back to our room to get ready for a banquet the hotel was putting on that night. Apparently they do this 3 times a year, and the cost of 200k rp per head (plus drinks), we were assured, would be money well spent.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/80 @ f/4, 15.1 mm (ISO 1600)
Approximate location: Satriya Cottages, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Dinner was a feast, set around the pool area, featuring Babi Guling (suckling pig) and a huge range of chicken, fish, salads and soup. This was followed by an equally impressive array of desserts. Everyone ate well, and the pool bar was kept busy ferrying drinks to the tables all night. Traditional Balinese dancers and a local cover band entertained us throughout the evening before we wound the night up with a late night dip in the pool.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 2

28th April, 2016.
We must have been still on Perth time, as we were up around 7am this morning, although we forced ourselves to laze around the room for a while before showering and heading to the breakfast area, upstairs of the Ninety Degree's restaurant here at the Satriya Cottages. I'd be lying if I said the breakfast here was the best in Bali, but you could certainly find something to keep you happy each day.

After breakfast we made the short walk west to Jl. Pantai Kuta, and this time we turned left, to head south. After a few stops along the way, we made our way to Matahari at Kuta Square. Before we could get in the door, Lori was bailed up by a timeshare salesman offering scratch tickets to anyone that would stand still long enough. When we finally got clear, we headed inside and were instantly set upon by perfume salesmen and women. However, we were able to shake them fairly easily and headed upstairs, where I picked up a pile of new shirts and trousers and some toys for Mikah, while Lori found piles of new clothes for Mikah.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/125 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Satriya Cottages, Jalan Popies II, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
By the time we were done shopping at Matahari, we were getting pretty hungry, and we both knew exactly where we wanted to go for lunch. We made the short walk to Gabah at the Ramayana Hotel and found ourselves a table by the pool. For me, I was hanging out for some Balinese food, and I opted for an Ayam Betutu, a local spicy chicken dish, accompanied by a Martini (real this time) with a Bintang chaser. Meanwhile Lori opted for a Gabah special Nasi Goreng and a couple of their 'Very Berry' smoothies. The food here has never disappointed us, and the view by the pool is certainly very relaxing.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/320 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 400)
Approximate location: Jalan Raya Kuta 1, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
After lunch we walked back up to a CocoMart bottle shop we'd checked out on the way to Matahari, where I picked up a bottle of Mansion House, a locally distilled gin. Indonesian spirits can be a bit hit and miss, however at less than a quarter of the cost of an imported bottle of Gordon's Gin, I figured it was worth a try. It was only after I returned home I found that a bottle of Mansion House had been implicated in a methanol poisoning case several years ago (I'm happy to report I did not end up blind or in hospital as a result of drinking this gin). From here, we flagged down a passing Bluebird Taxi for the short trip back to our hotel, dropped our shopping at the room and headed to the pool bar. Lori proceeded to educated the barman on the correct way (in her book anyway) to make a Toblerone, and I ordered a Bintang.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/60 @ f/11, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Gabah @ Ramayana Hotel, Jalan Bakung Sari 81, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
While we were drinking at the pool bar, we met up with a few fellow travellers, also from Perth, who had flown across on the Jetstar flight that left Perth half an hour before our Garuda flight. Craig, Gavin, Wade and their families had come to Bali for a couple of weeks away together. As it turned out, Gavin crews for an east coast Super Stock racer, Steve Norman, when he's racing in Perth, and Craig's wife, Michelle, works for the same company as Lori.

After a few hours exchanging stories, we decided it was time to think about dinner, so we headed back to our room, got changed, and worked out a plan for dinner.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/100 @ f/5.6, 15.1 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Gabah @ Ramayana Hotel, Jalan Bakung Sari 81, Kabupaten Badung, Bali


We walked back out to Jl. Pantai Kuta, and up to the Beachwalk Shops. We'd spotted a few places here we were interested in eating at, and the Sardinia Cafe was at the top of that list. We managed to snag a table out on the balcony and ordered a selection of tapas including salt and pepper calamari, cut like french fries, mushroom arancini, salmon skewers, grilled prawn skewers and soft shell crab. Of course we had to wash this all down with something, and for me that was a gin and tonic or two, while Lori found a smoothie more to her liking. We were pretty full by the time the desert menu came around, but we managed to make room to share a pannacotta, which Lori has spotted on the menu when we'd been here the day before.

We headed back to the room for a night cap before bed and I broke out the Mansion House. It turns out that while it may not be the best gin in the world, it's perfectly serviceable for a lazy gin and tonic. What's more an issue than finding a suitable bottle of gin, is finding tonic water in anything bigger than a 300mL can here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Phil and Lori Go to Bali - 2016 - Day 1

April 27th, 2016
So now that we're back and things are kind of back to normal, it's time for me to type up some of my notes and upload a few photos from the trip. We flew out early on a Garuda flight that leaves Perth at 7:50am, we prefer this flight out, despite the early start, as it sees us landing at Ngurah Rai airport in Bali around lunch time, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day.

Canon PowerShot G1 X - 1/1000 @ f/11, 47.621 mm (ISO 800)
Approximate location: Jalan Airport Ngurah Rai 12, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
 
After a fairly uneventful flight from Perth to Bali, we made our way through customs and immigration, heading out of the airport terminal with the intention of heading upstairs to the drop off area and hopping into a newly empty Bluebird taxi, however before we could get up there we managed to negotiate a deal with a local driver with a Suzuki APV to get us to our hotel on Poppies Lane II in Kuta for 100,000 rupiah.  Given that this is at least 50,000 rp less than the usual price from the "official" taxi stand at the airport, we figured it wasn't worth lugging our bags upstairs to try to get a better deal and away we went.


SM-N910G - 1/25 @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm (ISO 250)
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia


After checking in to our hotel, the Satriya Cottages, which are pretty much at the beach end of Poppies II, we decided to go for a walk, heading north along Jl. Pantai Kuta, past Kuta Beach and into Legian.  On the way we checked out the Beachwalk shopping centre, which is another Discovery / Lippo Mall type of shopping mall, with mostly well known western retailers.  One of Bali's handful of genuine Oakley stores is here, with a pretty decent range of gear, and equipped to make Oakley Custom sunglasses while you wait, as are most of the Vault stores.

From the Beachwalk, it was back out on Jl. Pantai Kuta, and further north till we got to Jl. Melasti and turned right. A little way up the street here is Sheppy's Bar, where we stopped for lunch.  For me that meant a Nasi Goreng and a couple of Bintangs, while Lori opted for the healthier Chicken Caesar Salad accompanied by a Toblerone cocktail or two.

SM-N910G - @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm ()
Approximate location: Fat Chow, 
Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
From Sheppy's, we kept on walking, eventually ending up on Jl. Padma Utara at a little salon that Lori remembered from a previous visit.  In we went for a foot massage and a pedicure each.  After that I needed a drink, so we wandered back to the Y-Bar, which was only about 50 metres away, and found a spot at the bar.  This was the first lesson of the trip. Just because the menu says 'martini', you shouldn't really take that at face value in Bali.  At the Y-Bar, it turns out a martini is just a shot of vermouth on the rocks.

By now, we were thinking about heading back to the hotel and making plans for dinner, so we made our way to Jl. Legian and started walking south.  Along the way, we popped into a fixed price shop to see if they had any coil incense burners, they didn't but of course "my brother does", so we do a little shopping and sure enough, in a few minutes someone turns up with a couple of options.  We end up negotiating a deal involving some clothes and the burner, and end up paying around 150k rp for this burner, which turns out to be a pretty decent price at the moment.  We found a general store selling them at 143k rp later in the trip, but no one else came close.  Hardy's, who are normally pretty good, were chasing more than twice that amount.

We kept on walking down Jl. Legian and around 500 metres from the intersection with Poppies II, we flagged down a Bluebird taxi, trying to explain to the driver that we were happy to go the long way around to the hotel (Poppies II is one way, and you have to enter from the coast end), but somewhere in the translation this got lost and when he got to the corner of Poppies II and Legian he dropped us off and said 'it's a short walk', well, we knew it wasn't that long a walk, and it was a walk we ended up doing quite a few times, but myself being new to the area had heard a few bad stories at night, and wasn't sure what time the lane went from just plain busy to a place you want to hold onto your belongings tight.  As it turned out we never had any problems at all, but the latest we walked home down the lane would have been around 9pm.

This evening, we were still pretty early, and trying to work out what to do for dinner.  As we walked past Fat Chow, a small Asian fusion restaruant we'd heard good things about, we decided to drop in and see if we could book a table for later on that night, as it turned out, we could, and did.  We headed back to the hotel, dropped our shopping and hit the shower.  Freshly showered and dressed a little better than we had been during the day, we made the short walk back to Fat Chow for dinner.

SM-N910G - @ f/2.2, 4.8 mm ()
Approximate location: Fat Chow, Poppies Lane II, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Tonights meal was one of the best on the trip, starting out with entrees of Chicken in Pandan leaf and Tokyo prawns, prawn wrapped in egg noodle and then deep fried.  We followed this up with Nasi Campur (my pick) and Pataya Pork Ribs (Lori's pick).  Dinner was accompanied by a couple of gin and tonics for me, and a couple of Pink Geishas for Lori.  For desert we shared a sweet martabak with what Fat Chow call the Choco Crunch topping, basically a mix of muesli, Nutella and chocolate.  The whole meal and drinks worked out just shy of 700k rp, a pretty good price for a big meal and drinks, although you can certainly do cheaper in Bali if your budget dictates.  By the time we'd headed back to the hotel for an early night, we'd already made plans to come back to Fat Chow again before leaving Kuta in a couple of days.

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