we had travelled south to check out some of the spots that are so popular with the Australians. When M and I had visited Bali in 2010 we had no interest in checking out Kuta or Seminyak because it seemed that they were the popular spots for a. the surfie crowd and b. the general Australian public. We wanted to be with and experience the Balinese people. But this time we thought well, we’ll go with the flow and some of our group did want to visit Seminyak in particular for the shopping. I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again, but I do not like shopping. Particularly if I don’t need anything and it’s just a “spend money cos I can” sort of affair. Anyway, we loaded into the car and headed south. Putu dropped us at the main shopping drag and we split into two groups, serious shoppers and lookers. Well, was I impressed? NO! I could have been in any Australian tropical town, with shops aplenty and bars advertising the weekend’s coming AFL matches to watch with a huge plasma screen in the bar. I don’t watch football at home, never mind when I’m on holiday on a beautiful island. So I dragged myself around, and I’m sorry to say I wasn’t being that gracious about it, and finally stopped at a cafe for a drink where we met up with the serious shoppers.
We called Putu and he picked us up and took us to another beach at Sanur. This is known as “the old people’s beach”. Yes, we did see quite a few more mature people there but it was a pleasant place to stop for lunch, almost on the beach and enjoy the sea breezes. I would say that there are a number of Australians living there as we saw quite a few with dogs walking, jogging (yes they must have been crazy) and generally being ignored by the usual Balinese hawkers. We wandered the beach, enjoyed watching the local families having a good time and chatted and just enjoyed being there.
The next stop was to be Jimbaran for our evening meal. All along the beach there are seafood restaurants, on the beach itself. What a magical spot. The waves were coming in, the sun was setting and the menu was amazing. Putu had told us to order the “family bucket” (shades of KFC I thought) but it was just a translation malfunction. I can’t remember the term now but it definitely wasn’t bucket.
We ordered drinks and decided to try the local Arak, which mixed with orange juice was called an Arak Attack. This is not a drink that I could honestly say yum to. There seemed to be an underlying taste of diesel somewhere in there. However, four Arak Attacks later I was probably enjoying them no end!
When the food came it was unbelievable. There was lobster, snapper, mussels, calamari and prawns, accompanied by rice and spicy vegetables. We ate and ate and ate. And all the time we were eating we were aware of the musical group that was visiting each table to sing a song.
The musical groups at bars and restaurants all seem to know the same songs and perform them very well. We were serenaded with an assortment, from Cold Chisel to Johnny Cash.
The photographs cannot do justice to the evening. If I had the choice, I would love to dine there every night. Not for the food so much but the sensation of being connected to the beach, sea and sky. When the stars came out and we were able to watch the twinkling lights of the planes coming into land at the airport, and at the same time dig our feet into the sand and listen to the children frolicking in the sea, ah bliss.
But we had to leave as it’s an hour’s trip back up to Ubud so we called for the bill. I have never had a bill that cost over 2 million before. The rupiah is crazy, there are a huge amount of noughts to worry about. About one million of the bill was for the drinks, that’s about $4 per drink for 5 people and the meal was $21 per head. For so much seafood that was wonderfully cooked and presented, there were no complaints.
We all slept well that night.