Dates of Travel: Spring Break April 2-8, 2015
Bali was gorgeous. Lush. Humid. Sunny. Rainy.
We arrived after a grueling day of travel. The first flight was delayed by two hours which could be seen as a blessing because instead of a six hour layover, we had a four hour layover in Jakarta. I do not recommend a two a.m. arrival to Jakarta. Almost all the places for eating are closed and the few that are open specialize in coffee and sweets. I did manage to eat a single piece of fish. It was tasty.
The flight from Jakarta to Bali was brief, ninety minutes. I do not recommend Garuda Indonesia airlines. They have planes that are not yet modernized. That is polite for old planes with uncomfortable seats.
We landed and were met by our driver. This was excellent, but he was two hours early because we were arriving in a staggered schedule and he was forced to wait another ninety minutes for the last two members of our party to arrive.
The drive was uneventful, but exciting to us as everything was new. He stopped at the store so we could stock our bar. We spent over six million rupiah. That converts to over four hundred US dollars. One of my friends worked as a bartender and she knew exactly what to buy and how much. Please know, she kept us in excellently made, tasty, strong cocktails the entire trip.
I am not a busy tourist. When I vacation, I want to lounge. Some of my friends however, were all about touring. Day one for everyone was spent lounging in our pool at the gorgeous, amazing Villa Gembira. When I say it is a hidden jewel, I mean it. Behind a seven foot wall, with a pool, canopied pool bed and lounge chairs as its centerpiece, this villa was more than we could have imagined.
The bathroom had an open roof! It was sexy. Unfortunately, it allowed mosquitoes, but that is what the netting is for, so I only got two bites the whole trip and slept peacefully every night. I highly recommend you go to www.airbnb.com and rent this villa for a holiday with a group of friends.
That night we explored Seminyak a little and had cocktails and a late meal at The Haven. We enjoyed ourselves, immensely. On the way back to the villa, we stopped to watch a drag show and saw a man showering in a little glassed in cubicle over the bar.
Day two, some of us went on an ATV tour of the Bali countryside. They all came back with great stories and fully satisfied with the experience. Me? Oh. I was in the pool. That night we went to Potato Head Beach Club and had a truly excellent meal at Lilin. That Blue Margarita was great and so were the golden prawn balls. We took pictures with the ocean roaring in the background.
Day three, I finally ventured away from the beloved pool. I saw a traditional Balinese fable come to life in play form. There were tigers, monkeys, a prime minister and a servant. The play told the story of every human, the good, the bad and the in-between. I visited a farm and tasted locally farmed coffee, cocoa, and tea. I bought some of each. I bought handmade, silver dangling earrings made by a local jeweler. I went to an artist's enclave. I posed with an active volcano at my back. I walked many steps into a temple where I saw a holy spring that promises eternal youth and beauty to all who bathe there.
We ate at Kendi Kuning for our much delayed dinner meal. Let me tell you, the lobster, prawn, clams, and everything else they grilled was beyond wonderful. It was so good, we ate there for lunch the next day. The first night I had the clams. The next day I had the lobster. If ever I return, I will have the prawn.
Day four, many of my travel friends went white water rafting and on an elephant safari. I stayed behind and went to the spa after a leisurely breakfast, some pool time and a nice walk in the rain. Yes, it rained on our heads! I loved it. I haven't been caught in the rain in years. It hardly ever rains where I currently live. I, along with two friends, went to Spa Venus at The Villas. It was a very lovely experience. The lady massaged away all my cares. If ever I return to Bali, I will have a massage every day. Unless, of course, I am unable to leave the pool.
Our meal for the night was grilled by our friendly, talented team of chefs at the villa. We had chosen our menu the day before and they did a great job on the grill! We had a little party with our very own bartender, dj, and chef team. Let me tell you, if you don't have a travel friend who can tend bar, you better make one! One of the younger ladies on the trip kept the music going all week. Thank God for the young people and all their electronics. Messing with me, you will be listening to Spotify or iTunes Radio! I am not making a play list.
Day five, everybody hit the streets of Seminyak. We looked, haggled, and shopped. I bought all manner of souvenirs for my nieces, nephews and family. I bought myself a bag. When it got to be too hot, we snagged a Blue Bird Group taxi and headed for Potato Head Beach Club where we had lunch and lounged by the pool and played in the sea until it was dark.
That night, we had one last party in our villa and some of us went skinny dipping in the pool. I will never tell who because sometimes, you just have to be there!
Oak Cliff Ambassador, Out!