bye bye lovina, hello again sanur.

Posted in bali, indonesia, lovina, sanur by moonwire on July 12, 2009

My last week in Lovina was really fantastic. I met a Dutch guy at the Angsoka hotel,  Paul. He will stay in Lovina for 2 months and work as a teacher at a local school. When I met him at the pool, we started talking and we hung out for the rest of the week and it was a lot of fun. One morning we went into the village in the mountains on the motorbike and it was amazing. No tourists there, just local people. The views were stunning and the smell of dried cloves was all around. That’s what the real Bali is about, though Lovina was really pretty quiet the whole time I was there.

Roasting ‘babi guling’ (suckling pig) on Lovina Beach.

That night we went back into the village because some dude by the name of ‘Jimi Hendrix’ swindled us into going to a song and dance performance by a bunch of local kids. It sounded really good. He even let us read a testimonial by some woman who had been there before. Well, when they started I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes. It was so out of tune and void of any consistent rhythm and LOUD. The girls were yawning away and well, we were laughing away. Especially when they invited the guests to join in with the dancing. Only one woman hit the dance floor. Oh my god! She was wearing a longish yellow t-shirt, that resembled a bad nighty at best. You could see her big white underwear riding up her ass right through it. It was like a car crash. Didn’t want to look, but also couldn’t look away. Though the performance itself was pretty chaotic, it was great to see the kids from the village watching from the sidelines. And well, it was an evening I’ll never forget.

Sunset at Lovina Beach.

On Friday morning I had to leave Lovina in order to go to Sanur. I didn’t want to make the entire journey from Lovina to Denpasar airport in one stretch. As it turned out, it only took 3.5 hours to get to Sanur. The same amount of time it took me to get to Lovina from Ubud. So I got here really early. I had booked a room at the Swastika bungalows again. I couldn’t get the cheapo room I had before so I had to shell out for the privilege of having A/C (prefer a fan, actually), hot water, a telly with 13 horrible, cheesy channels.

It’s amazing how different Sanur is compared to 3 weeks ago. Three weeks ago it was very quiet. Hardly any people and now the place is packed. My neighbours, Australians, have 2 small kids and they scream and throw things and they all speak loud. I can hear every single word. Australian tourists are definitely not my faves in general. I never thought I would say it but the Dutch people are the least annoying in general. I must say I’m glad to leave Sanur tomorrow. I cannot imagine staying here for more than 2 days. I really think Lovina is a gem and I hope it will never become anything like Sanur in high season.

View from my balcony at the Swastika bungalows in Sanur.

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Posted in bali, indonesia, sanur by moonwire on June 20, 2009

This is now my third time that I’ve entered Bali and this feeling of happiness hasn’t faded one bit as soon as I smell the air. Because Bali is Hindu and the ritual of the offerings (baskets made out of woven leaves, filled with rice, flowers, crackers and incense)  is very important, you’ll see and smell those little offerings everywhere. The dogs must be happy here, because on numerous occasions I’ve seen those manky little things rummaging through the baskets to get the crackers out. The Balinese don’t mind. To them, the gods have already received the offering, what’s left is just… left.

The Balinese are such beautiful people. Despite the poverty (and it’s hard to imagine when you spend time at lovely places surrounded by palm trees, flowers and swimming pools, the reality is that many live on $150 a month or even less), they move with so much grace, always smiling, polite and well dressed.

I got to the airport late at night and had already booked my hotel in advance. No matter how much I liked Legian, I wanted something a bit more quiet. Well, more quiet I got. I’m in Sanur, on the coast opposite of  Kuta/Legian, only a 20 minute ride from the airport. Lonely Planet has given it the moniker ‘snore’ and it’s right on. It’s very sleepy. Most tourists here are couples in their 40s and up. No partying at night, actually nothing going on at night, at all. It suits me fine.

I have a lovely room at the Swastika Bungalows, right off the main street. I have an outdoors bathroom with a tub/shower, a separate cold water shower, sink and toilet and a private patio with 2 chairs and a table. Though the room itself isn’t as charming as my gecko bungalow in Gili Meno, it’s big, comfy and kept very clean. Their ‘library’ even amazed me. I found a book by one of the most popular Indonesian writers, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. They had several books I was interested in, but okay, you take one, you leave one.

I don’t have much to write because I’ not doing much. I basically spend my morning at the pool, then go for lunch (and I’ve had some of the best Indo food here so far; satay ayam (bbq’d chicken on bamboo skewers), with rice cakes and veggies, served with peanut sauce and super delicious kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) with fresh hot chillies in it. Another good one was at an organic restaurant; a chickpea pizza with tomato and arugula. Not to mention the ‘nasi campur’ I had, from a little warung (stall with a few tables). I’m eating really well here and it’s yummy. The portions are generally small (according to American standards), which is perfect. I’ve lost a good amount of weight here, without depriving myself of anything.

Kids holding a kitten I found in the street.

After lunch I go to the beach, hang out for a while, or go for a walk. The beach in Sanur is great. In certain places even better than in Legian/Seminyak. However, swimming sucks in almost all places. If the tide is low, there’s barely any swimming possible as there’s the reef. In high tide, you can go about waist deep, because the reef is still there. There’s no waves. Nothing going on. Luckily, the Swastika Bungalows has 2 pools and it’s really nice. Not many people go ever in there, and the water is not heavily chlorinated and it gets warm as soon as the sun hits it.

I’m afraid there’s no stories to tell (or photos to show, as the only time I actually intended on taking some, I discovered I didn’t have an SD card in my camera). I am really just chilling out and enjoying every single bit of it. I’m off to Ubud tomorrow. I booked a flight out of Bali for July 11 so I’ll still have lots of time here. Tomorrow morning I’m leaving for Ubud, stay there for a day and see if I can get into the mountains easily, if not, I’ll continue on to the North and spend some time in Singaraja and Lovina. Ahh….This island is magic. And oh yes, I have a tan.

(Sanur: June 15 – June 21)

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