Tuesday 4 May - Day 1 in Bali

Tuesday 4 May - Day 1 in Bali
 We did not sleep well on Monday night in anticipation of Tuesdays flight to Bali.  Our flight was leaving at 9:25am and we had booked a shuttle for 7am to transfer us to the airport.  The problem was our room did not have an alarm clock!  We requested a wakeup call but they act so casual when we talk to them we were worried that they wouldn’t wake us up and barely slept.  In the end we needn’t have worried because the wakeup call came through twice!

At the airport we bought a universal travel adaptor which works in most countries for 88 RM.  The box says it is the Swiss Army Knife of travel adaptors!

After a quick 2 ½ hour flight we landed in Denpasar. Visa on Arrival was quick, immigration took forever and customs was easy because we didn’t have anything to  declare. It took about 1 hour to get out of the airport where Nyoman and his son who is training to be a driver were waiting to take us to Saren Indah Hotel in Ubud.  They were both lovely and while their English was not great they still tried to answer all Steve’s questions that were asked with a great deal of Aussie slang.  The only concern was that as the conversation got more in depth Nyoman’s driving got worse!  He told us that he was a wood carver but had gone bankrupt about a year or so ago along with a lot of the other local wood carvers from Ubud.  His driving was a bit hit and miss, he did a lot of driving in the middle of both lanes which attracted road rage and a lot of beeping from other drivers.
Along the road to the hotel we were both amazed at difference between here and home, nearly all the way from the airport to Ubud the road was lined with small shops/stalls and people were everywhere. The streets are narrow and there is not a lot of room like back home.
We arrived at the hotel and Nyoman explained he lived only a few hundred minutes down the road if we needed a driver. On arrival at the Saren Indah hotel we were greeted with welcome cooled towels and drinks to refresh ourselves. Just after we had arrived it started to pour down rain which I believe is typical in the afternoon/night in the rainy season which Nyoman had told us is hanging around for a bit longer this year.
Our room was beautiful, in an amazing surrounding of gardens and rice patties. The room was spotless clean and very very nice. At 4pm we left to go adventure around Ubud and go out for dinner. The hotel shuttle dropped us off in town and we had a walk through some small markets looking at sarongs and that sort of thing. Then down the road and noticed the “Gelato Secrets” stand which we couldn’t go past. We got a 2 scoop cup for 22000RP ($3aud) .. it was delicious.
As we were eating our gelato it started pouring again so we walked around for a bit looking for a shop that sells umbrellas, we found one and she loved us... this was our first purchase in the country and we had no idea how much an umbrella would cost. Well we started and ended at 80 000RP, Rachael though the lady said 8000 which is about 1 AUD...but she had said 80 000 which is actually 10 aud and it was a pretty crappy umbrella,  this highlighted to us that we need more shopping practice.
We left the umbrella shop feeling a little foolish but possibly a little wiser... only time will tell. As it was still pouring down we decided to goto “Tropical” which was a bar and restaurant that we had noticed was packed out.
They offered us a face towel to dry ourselves and sat us on the floor at a low table.  I immediately grabbed my first Bintang (Beeer 27 000RP) (large bottle not small of course) and Rachael grabbed a Cosmic Colada (33 000RP) these were great and we sat down and reflected on our excellent bartering skills and came up with a more organised plan for next time.
Once our drinks were over we asked our lovely waitress if we could walk to Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) restaurant or would it be best to cab it and how much should be expect to pay... she was helpful and we had no trouble getting a cab for close to what she suggested was a good price.  Paying for the cab was a whole other thing.  We only had larger notes on us and the driver didn’t have enough change.  Steve ran into the restaurant and had a note changed down but it was still too large for the driver.  The driver (Wayan) was very nice and suggested he run down to the local store and buy something so we could get some change.  He came back quickly with a drink and our change. We paid our fare and reimbursed him for his drink and all was good again.
On arrival at the restaurant we realised they were under massive renovation. We decided to go anyhow as we had read so many amazing reviews. As you can see from our photos there were still heaps of areas not being renovated and the place was very busy. The atmosphere was fantastic, the furniture was beautiful and the view of the rice fields from the back of the open air restaurant were amazing. 
 We started with appetisers: Snail Stuffed Mushrooms for 45 000rp and Aunt Mitzi’s Chicken Soup for 36 000rp.  Rachael loved the Snail Stuffed Mushrooms – the snails didn’t really have any taste but the mushrooms were beautiful and the sweet chilli type sauce was excellent.  The Chicken Soup was also beautiful. 
For mains we ordered Chicken Sate for 49 000rp and the restaurants signature dish Bebek Bengil which is crispy skin duck for 68 000rp.  Steve loved the Sate.  It wasn’t as spicy as the one from Malaysia but it did have a spicy sauce on the side so he could spice it up to his satisfaction.  The crispy duck was a little dry but very nice.  The dipping sauce on the side was very, very hot so we passed on that.
Unfortunately, after appetisers and mains there was no room left for dessert.  Rachael was a little disappointed by this because she was eyeing off the Coconut Cream Pie on the menu.  All up including 1 tallie and 1 stubbie plus the 15% service charge our dinner cost 316 500rp.
We then went back to the hotel and had another tallie and a juice from the hotel restaurant then it was bedtime...we were exhausted.

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1 Response to "Tuesday 4 May - Day 1 in Bali"

  1. Luke, on May 7, 2010 at 9:53 AM said:

    Sounds fantastic so far. Looking forward to your next posts!

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