Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bali Part 4 - Sanur with 3 swimming pools

We awoke to our last morning on Lembongan to a misty mountain over the Bali straight. The water was as flat as a mill pond, the sun fighting to get up to full speed, burning off the night fog, with Mt Agung looking like a scene from a movie.

Scoot boat had confirmed a pick-up at 9:45 for the 10:30 shuttle back to Sanur. We had our last breakfast with our feet in the sand. J had the local nasi goreng which was good – I stuck to my toast (with that awful sweet bread) and fruit. If I had the time again I would have had an extra day there (not hot water and all). I felt there was more of the island to explore and I would have loved to gone snorkelling... oh well.
We bid farewell to Lembongan and loaded onto the Scoot boat on time. Strangely, the passengers on our boat were the same as the passengers on our way there two days ago. So we chatted briefly about our stays. They had been staying with a friend who had his own private villas on Lembongan the next little bay around from Dream beach. When were on the little minivan being picked up, we were lucky enough to peek in and it was heavenly! The view was to die for with cliffs surrounding a private, white sandy beach. The owner mentioned he may be opening it up for private rental sometime next year. He said to watch the Lembongan villas web site...
On the other end of our smooth 30 min ride over to Sanur, we were quickly dropped to Griyan Santrian by the efficient Scoot boat driver. And wow! To get to the lobby, you walk through a gorgeous Balinese garden with statues, carved doorways, lily ponds and offering alters. Check-in was swift and we were informed we’d been upgraded to a suite. Sweet! We were given a little Santrian passport containing info and discounts for all the Santrian properties, as well as free drink vouchers. Nice!

The porter led us through more lush gardens to the hotel block right on the beach, next to the pool. It was a huge room with sitting area and four-post bed. It is available as a family unit with another bedroom upstairs, but as we were only a couple that was blocked off. Mr J gave the porter a small tip and we set about exploring to hotel. There are a number of different wings, with 3 separate swimming pools. The beach had a number of different lounge areas and sunloungers, with the main pool overlooking the Sanur sands. We were very happy with our choice.
Lunch was on the agenda and after ruling out the hotel’s two restaurants, we walked left on the beach path and only got as far as next door to Batu Bata. I had a seriously delicious roast veggie foccacia with feta and pesto, and J had a great steak sandwich. After eating, we walked a little further along to acquaint ourselves with the area before heading back to Griyan. The Sanur beach path is wonderful. Lots of shade with the beautiful sea and sea breezes making it very comfortable to have a decent stroll without melting. We caught a lot of ‘Massage? Manicure? Look in my shop’, but I smiled friendlily and politely refused. I enjoyed the little chit chat when it wasn’t too intrusive. Without all the hawkers, that beach walk would have to be up there as one of the best in the world. The rest of the afternoon was spent either in the pool(s) or on the pouch reading and relaxing.
That evening, we had arranged to meet our friends Mr A & Mrs M and young B at La Taverna. Mr A had proposed to Mrs M 20 years ago poolside at La Taverna so we decided to meet so they could show us the spot where it all happened. They also recommended the food and were keen to hear about Lembongan. They were going a few days after us and wanted our tips. Around 5, we slipped into a couple of cocktails before heading off to meet our good friends. Oh, and an hour before that, the most wonderful warm shower after the cold ones at Lembongan, much to poor J’s delight...
Over bintangs and bruscheta, we told our Lembongan stories and had a good old catch up. The meal was delicious as promised. Mr J had a Bali tasting plate with many different small dishes and I had a very yummy veggie calzone. We were all very happy with our meals, but the restaurant was pretty empty. A few hours later, we walked back to Griyan to show our friends our wonderful lodgings, where they caught a taxi back to Legian. Mr J and I headed beachside to their bar for another drink. Once again, I tried a local wine, and like my first one on Lembong, I was surprised by how it wasn’t as bad as what everyone had said – sure nothing like a crisp aussie sav. blanc but totally drinkable for the equivalent of $6.
The next morning, I slept in (OMG until 8am) due to the very comfy bed and quietness of the hotel. A leisurely breakfast in the glorious morning sunshine shining in over the sea onto our table followed. The air was moist with the on shore breeze but already warm. The plan was there was no plan – except checking out Sanur. Consulting the map, we decided on turning right up the main street out front of the hotel. Less than 100 metres up was a cafe called something like ‘the glasshouse’, with a sign stating ‘number 1 coffee in Bali as voted by TA’. How could we not go in. (BTW do we TA’ers vote on these things? Maybe I don’t read those emails....). The couple beside us were served their cappuccinos as we sat down, which looked fantastic! Mr J is a bit of a coffee drinker so was excited by the prospect of a decent coffee – the ‘Bali’ coffee was not his favourite. He ordered a large latte which was better than ‘Bali’ coffee, but wasn’t half as good as Mugshots, so he wasn’t impressed. My lemon juice on the other had was sensational –freshly squeezed and just perfectly refreshing.
Onwards up the road. Many stalls and shops were closed (it was after all barely 11am). We passed many restaurants and warangs so noted to come back in the evening for dinner. I browsed through a few stalls but nothing much took my fancy. The only thing we bought was one of the collapsible wooden baskets with the little handle. Ingenious invention these things. From a cute bowl with spiralling wooden layers to totally flat in one second, we liked them – practical and functional... So a quick lap up to the end where McDs is and back to Griyan in about an hour. By now, the sun had well and truly woken up and we were hot and sweaty from the dusty sunbaked sidewalks.
Ok, let’s go the other way now (I also had an ulterior motive of having lunch at the cat & fiddle). Again, lots of window shopping and browsing through most of the stores. But you know, I just wasn’t in the mood for shopping (weird). Not far from the Hyatt, there is a decent size supermarket (can’t remember its name), and we grabbed some cold drinks. On my list (based on tips from the regulars on TA) were the Bali soaps and the satay blocks, both of which I bought here, as well as a single decent quality ‘bintang’ stubby holder (not those fall-a-part six pack ones) and fridge magnets (you should see my fridge – apparently it’s got a white door but I haven’t seen it for a while - it is 100% covered with magnets like a patchwork quilt from all the places I’ve been local and abroad).
After taking a wrong turn at the bottom end of Sanur, we made it to the Cat & Fiddle and found ourselves to be the only customers in there. In fact, the whole time we were in Sanur, many of the shops and restaurants seemed very empty. This was the last week of April, mid week, and Australian school holidays were over – maybe this was why? Not sure. But the food at the Cat & Fiddle was worth the hot trek. The hard part was making a decision from the huge and extensive menu. I settled on satay tofu sticks, and Mr J had pork pies. Both meals were excellent! Still not in the mood for shopping, we strolled all the way back along the beach path, thoroughly enjoying the view, sights, smells and sounds of Sanur. Definitely will be back one day... Tired from the long walk, I jumped into the beach pool, leaving J read and relax, followed by another one of those wonderful, hot showers.

We had decided on walking left from the hotel and first checked out the restaurants along the beach. Funnily enough, there didn’t seem too many veggie options (with all that fresh seafood you can understand why). So we dived through one of the little alleys to the main road. It was significantly more lively than when we walked there earlier that morning. Before long, we came upon ‘Randy’s’ dinner. Randy’s mother was Canadian, and father was from Bali. He had learned to cook both of their favourite recipes and opened his own diner with a menu containing a selection of both cuisines. The wait staff were very friendly and our meals were tasty and so cheap! Definitely worth a look if you’re in the area – its 100 metres down from where the night market is on a little bend in the road. After a little more browsing at the stalls and market we headed back to Griyan for a night cap and sleep. We had a 10am transfer to our last two nights in Ubud and wanted to get a good rest... - k

No comments:

Post a Comment