Starting out the day exploring Seminyak’s glitzy shopping boutiques, I am enthralled by the collection of clothes designed by the locals. Some of the dresses are exquisite and the diva in me cannot help but indulge. Seminyak is amazing for jewellery, clothes, and dresses that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. My kind of heaven.
A quick splurge on a couple of dresses, a bite at The Junction – a restaurant which is meant to be a faux French restaurant serving up crepes and galettes, and then we are off to meet Sachin and Deepa for a trip down to Pura Tanah Lot, the most photographed sea temple in Bali.
Traffic is back to an all-time high, I suppose the New Year festivities are over and so life must return to normal, for the Balinese at least. The tourists however are still clearly on holiday, as Tanah Lot, is jam packed.
The temple itself is perched on a rock in the middle of the sea, with waves crashing against it. At low tide it is possible to get into the Temple but since non Balinese are not allowed to enter, and the rock looked so slippery we thought we’d give it a miss and enjoy the view from the edge of the cliff face instead. Sans the throng of tourists, this could be a really serene place…you are supposed to be able to see the silhouette of Pura Ulu Watu in the distance, but again the recent rain and clouds means the view is clouded.
Bali being an island, legends are nigh. The legend at Pura Tanah Lot is that if you come to the temple with a partner before you marry then you will end up as split as the temple. Probably explains the lack of courting couples in what is pretty much an incredibly romantic setting! Again, we had no chance of seeing a postcard sunset at Tanah Lot – so we ambled through the souvenir shops back up to the car, to drive to Seminyak. By the by, Tanah Lot is a great place to get all the souvenirs of Bali that your heart desires – from the frangipani hair clips sold en masse to shot glasses, magnets, etc. And watch out for the guy with a big, fat, yellow python round his neck…..ughh!
As luck would have it, the skies cleared up in time for us to witness one of Bali’s legendary sunsets, perched on the lawn at Ku De Ta. The concierge at The Oberoi had told us that it was incredibly difficult to get a spot on the lawn, and I could see why. It may be cliché, but the setting is perfect. A lawn strewn with beanbags, the beach, the sea and an uninterrupted panoramic view (except the pesky vendors and their damn kites), it really is the perfect stage to watch the sun go down, with Ku De Ta’s signature sundowners and bites. With great company and a laugh, you realise this is what life is all about – the moments spent with great friends that make a lifetime of memories.
Ku De Ta was our last evening with Sachin and Deepa, sadly. They were off to Ubud the next day (lucky sods) and M and I had one more day in Seminyak before getting on the looooooong flight back to Nairobi, without stopping in Thailand as originally anticipated.
We had read about the Turtle Farm in some brochures at the hotel, so on our last day thought we’d take a trip up to Nusa Dua and see for ourselves. The glass bottom boat that took us out to the farm was nothing to write home about, and there are no colourful fish to see en route. The farm itself is incredibly commercialised, but I suppose you do get to see and hold and pet a turtle up close, though I would much rather be seeing these glorious creatures from a boat in the sea. They say some money goes towards the conservation of turtles, so I suppose it is not all bad. The farm also has iguana’s and komodo dragons, and the mandatory snakes though these are sadly (not for me though) kept in wooden crates and taken out when asked to be seen. Just the thought of snakes makes my skin crawl.
Potatohead, made up from old wooden shutters is where we indulge in our last meal in Bali. I always wonder why we discover such great places that make me wish I had one more day to soak up the place some more. Potatohead is the kind of place where you can spend the whole day, lounging on one of their sun loungers or in the infinity pool overlooking the beach, listening to some beach tunes and sipping your cocktail. The food is fantastic – beach fare, nothing Indonesian about it but burgers and chips are just the perfect holiday food and the burgers at Potatohead leave nothing to be desired. Except maybe another day in Bali, to indulge some more…