A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

A jaunt to Jimbaran

Eager to escape Kuta we managed to dodge the 'taxi touts' outside our hotel that would clearly rip us off and much to their annoyance we flagged down a bluebird taxi to take us south to Jimbaran. By going with the metred taxi we only had to pay just over 50,000 rather than the 150,000 we had been quoted elsewhere! Such a difference!

We were heading south to be reunited with Sam and Adnan who we had met on the cycle tour in Ubud, they had been kind enough to invite us to spend some time with them at the hotel they were staying at and we would also be closer to Ulawatu which was recommended by them as a great place to see some traditional dance.

As we came into Jimbaran we drove passed their hotel and got a first glimpse through the gates of the Intercontinental hotel...its was massive and looked very impressive (we weren't too sure if security would let us in).

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We had chosen a hotel that we thought was just a bit further down the road but started to get a bit worried when our taxi driver had to stop several times for directions. We found ourselves taking a small turning down a dirt track which got narrower and bumpier, surely this was the wrong way but soon enough we turned a corner and saw the hotel. It was a new build and very nicely finished with a small pool area and all the mod cons (including a bin with a sensor so it automatically opens when you stand in front of it...I think one of them will go on our wedding gift list if we have one :) ), but it seemed totally out of place with its more rustic surroundings. Although we didn't mind as it was great to be seeing more of the local life compared to OTT Kuta.

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We settled in and popped put to a local Warung for some lunch of Nasi Goreng and Cap Cay for less than a quid each. So yummy and a bargain!

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On the way back to the hotel I spotted a hairdresser and decided it was about time I had mine cut. After all the sun, salt & pool water and just general travelling wear and tear it had got into a bit of a state! Despite the potential for a language barrier disaster which could have resulted in it all being chopped off, the hairdresser did a good job. Although they did blow dry my hair so it was poofier than a poodle! Definitely felt a bit conspicuous as we walked back down the dirt track to our hotel with this bouncy hairdo!

We d arranged to meet the 'British contingent' for a few drinks in the afternoon and to use their pool. It was great to catch up over a few Bintangs and Mix Max! Although Dan ended up turning his tongue red and Sams went blue, not sure that's normal!

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They had been to the Gilli islands for a few days and we were excited to hear how much they had loved it and diving there too, we definitely would be making a stop there too.

It was time to check out the pool before the sun went down. It was such a treat to be able to experience this hotel, which was insanely big and luxurious. Each statue is given a fresh flower every day, there are fountains, candles are put out each night around the pool and path ways to create a romantic atmosphere...

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and this is the pool!! Which is impossible to swim from one side to the other on one breath underwater, despite our many attempts!

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The hotel backs onto the beach and here are our first views of it.

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In the distance you could also see planes landing at Dempesar airport, the runway juts out into the sea and it wasn't until later that night that we found out after receiving some concerned messages from home that a plane had missed the runway and crashed into the sea that afternoon and we were none the wiser! Fortunately no one was killed but it was a bit scary to know it had happened so close by.

News report here...

Sam and Adnan had already booked in for a special dinner being put on by their hotel so as the sun went down we said our goodbyes. Some lanterns by the beach had caught my eye and it turned out to be one of the hotel bars so we went for another drink before finding somewhere for dinner.

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This turned out to be a good shout as it started to rain and we had planned to eat alfresco on the beach with Jimbaran is famous for.

We waited for the rain to stop and then had a nice stroll on the beach under the stars, directed by all the flickering candles in the distance to where all the dining areas on the beach were. We had a lovely meal of squid and rice before heading back to our hotel.

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A huge thanks to Sam and Adnan for such a great time, looking forward to catching up with you both when we head back to the UK.

Sxxx

Posted by doyledan 04:35 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

What a load of Kuta!

Kuta, Bali.

With a fondness for Ubud we knew it would be tricky to top but going to Kuta really was not the best place for our next destination.

Imagine every place you have been too off Spain that caters for the booze trips and you're getting close. Don't get me wrong, parts of it are perfectly fine to hang out and there is even a classy side to the area with boutique cocktail bars edging the coast. Its just it had no charm, no substance and coming from Ubud where Balinese culture surrounds you it was a difficult to get enthused. We had decided to treat ourselves to a nice hotel with a pool using our trusty Agoda.com and were pleased with our choice, apart from the room we got was a twin and we'd asked for a double. They had pushed the twin beds together with double sheets to try to disguise this but the huge gap in between the mattresses was a bit of a give away.

Sarah was on a mission, so calling up the reception she made it clear she was not happy and chucked in the 'I'm with my husband' and we would prefer a double and bobs your uncle the hotel suddenly changed their stance from "sorry we re fully booked" to an offer to move us to another room. What we got was far better, a suite in the newer building with a bath (we hadn't seen a bath in 7 months!). Result!

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From then on we enjoyed being by the pool and getting some sun and decided we would venture out round Kuta later in day.

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I had an idea that we should check out the shopping in case we needed to come back here to buy stuff for when we go to Australia so we went to look around. The first thing you realise is that the market stalls all sell the same thing and all sell stuff for the huge influx of Aussie "sicko's" (Chris & Nicole you would love it :) ). So it was the choice of vests with great sayings like ' I'm not a gynaecologist, but I'll have look', sunglasses, Trucker hats, Bintang stubby holders, magnets etc, basically tat!

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The mall however has a selection of high street stores like Topman and New Look which would serve if we decided to buy from here.

We thought this was pretty smart idea in the mall.

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We walked around the mall for a while and then thought to make it a trip to the beach would be a good idea but by the time we got to it it was overcast so not a spectacular scenery, but it was fun to be near the sea for the first time in a while. Making our way off the beach we had to dive into a bar as it started to pour down and enjoyed an ok dinner before calling it a night. We had noticed that the usual "do you need transport" had now changed to "do you need drugs brother? viagra? ladies?", and they were persistent too, following you down the street which got a bit frustrating. Another example of the negative affects of tourism in this area.

The next morning it was our goal to go to the beach and enjoy some sun. As we walked through town to the beach we passed a memorial to the people who died in the bombings back in 2002, which killed over 200 people. It was a sobering site and there were several people there clearly upset and remembering loved ones. We had noticed in the mall that you had to walk through detectors and have bags inspected and I can only imagine that this is a result from this to try to prevent this happening again in a busy tourist area.

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The sun was shining and we were ready for a good day until we were stopped by a local man who was handing out flyers which he in turn asked us to open. It turned out that we had won one of three possibilities which was either a 7 night holiday in Bali , an IPAD2 or a phone. All we had to do to claim the prize was go to their new hotel that had just opened, see a presentation about their hotels so we could recommend them to others. Listening to him we thought it was going to have a catch but we decided it would be ok to go with by taxi to look at a hotel for an hour and then we could claim our prize. In hindsight its one of those things you think you won't get drawn into doing but unfortunately because we thought it was just viewing a new hotel we succumbed to the lure of winning a prize.

And you guessed it, it was a lie! Even though Sarah continually asked what it was in the car journey we ended up having to listen to a guy try to sell to us into buying a kind of timeshare which allows you to visit different resorts. We weren't going to have any of it and were completely upfront with the guy and told him that we had been mis-sold on the street and we wanted to return to the beach.

Fortunately, there was no issue with us leaving but unfortunately we couldn't claim our prize because the rules stated that I would have to be 30 or over to claim it within the year! ......so it was all for nothing!!! C'est la vie.

After that debacle we got driven back to the other end of Kuta beach and started walking back to where we planned to chill out. As we walked the beach we got to see what really draws a lot of people to the area. The Surf Dude!!

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The drawbacks of this beach is that you are hounded by hawkers and guys wanting you to use their sun loungers and on another day we would have put up with it but after the morning we had we just thought lets ditch it and head back to a bar. It turned out that the bar we chose was a decent one, and gave us a nice view overlooking the bay. So far Kuta had not impressed us and we had seen why a lot of our friends had said not to bother, and with that mindset we were glad that our plans to move on to Jimbaran and Uluwatu were imminent.

We did enjoy a nice meal on our last evening but were happy to see the back of Kuta as we picked up a Bluebird taxi to Jimbaran.

Stay tuned for more tales

Dan

Posted by doyledan 00:42 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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