Breakfast at Tanaya consisted of a sandwich. They alternated between a muffin + croissant + roll/ sandwich/ chicken sub as part of the package. Not too heavy, it managed to always set the stage for a more elaborate lunch. The breakfast area overlooked the street and we watched the road get ready for a regular day even as we ate our last breakfast in Bali.
We had asked the guide to skip the Sukawati Art Market, so we started out a bit late, straight to Sanur beach, which has played a part in Bali history. We found it quite desolate, save a few tourists and boat operators who tried to take us to Lembongan, with its marine walks (saw something about a unique helmet that allowed to walk under water) and other attractions. We skipped that too, and went ahead with our regular lazing on the beach routine. When we got back and asked the driver/guide about the beach being quiet, we were told that it was mostly popular with the locals on weekends and with older tourists.
Lunch was Babi Guling – suckling pig, whose ads you would see all over Bali. I had this vision of an entire pig brought in front of me and had shared it with D many times. When they said it would be delayed by a few mins, it just seemed to consolidate that vision. D smirked as the dish was brought. It was a normal looking dish – the same rice, sambal, with the pork, fat, and masala replacing the chicken/duck earlier. The best part of the dish was the soup like thing which we weren’t sure whether to drink or mix with the rice. We drank. A grease bomb of a dish, but it was tasty too. The other big blunder was Tehbotol, which I had assumed to be local cola! Should’ve guessed tea, and a rosewater flavour added! Ugh. As always, D got lucky with her Fruit Tea! We had now developed a little bit of an aversion for the rice + combo.
We got back to Kuta to explore the Kuta, Seminyak beaches, but diverted ourselves to finish some last minute shopping! A sling bag, a travel bag, and laughing at the non-telecom simPati possibilities later, we stopped at ‘The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf‘ for some thirst quenching. The very friendly staff also gave us a complimentary berry juice which was a competitor at a Barista championship. The beaches, meanwhile, reminded me of Calangute and Baga for the stretches that just went on and on, and for the fact that these were the tourist favourites, despite incessant hawking of everything from tattoos to pedicure on the beach! The perspective on Starbucks was worth a shot. 😉
Next up was another spa visit, but this one – the Kupu Kupu Mas spa, was extremely good! On the way back, we decided to check the menu of Ketupat, a restaurant that was on our shortlist. Quite an amazing menu – Javan and Sumatran cuisine too, and a wonderful ambiance, but a combination of the rice aversion and distance from our hotel made us decide against it. We got back to the hotel, and walked slowly along Legian, shopping a bit, and gazing for the last time at the Ground Zero monument, a memorial of the 2002 Bali bombing.
We had thought of returning to Batan Waru for dinner, but as D got into yet another shop to do her last minute purchases, I discovered a restaurant that was on our list. Amazingly, we had been walking in front of it all these days, but thanks to it being inside a tiny lane (next to Made’s Warung) we had completely missed Uns! They had some excellent Ravioli with a Bali twist. We also had some house wine, after they served us a complimentary drink and a cutlet! The Ravioli Uns (with a hint of coconut) and the Ravioli Carousel (six kinds of fillings from across the world) were both awesome. We finished the meal with a subtle and smooth Creme Catalane and a delicious Chocolate Mousse. Serly, the lovely girl who took and brought us our order, reminded us of an adorable cartoon character. Uns had a buzz to it that indicated a crowd comfortable with the place. The music, the decor and the ambiance made it seem like a place that had somehow gotten time to stand still. This one is a must visit if you’re in Kuta. (it also has Indonesian food) The perfect last dinner @ Rp.276342
The next day dawned early – another 3.30, and Tanaya also gave us a breakfast box – we just had to tell them the night before. Our driver-guide arrived on time and also brought us a farewell gift! The lethargy of early morning travel was rattled by an adventure that D created. A sad and silly ending was averted by our guide who was extremely helpful and went out of the way to make our experience memorable in the right way! In the rush, I also managed to get a chocolate pedicure, thanks to a half filled cup someone dropped on the floor! The sunrise was the perfect backdrop for our departure from the ‘Island of the Gods’.
A few hours later, we were back at LCCT. This time we got seats and slept in the ‘traditional way’ – legs on the luggage trolley, during a 7 hour wait. Despite some Boost juices, we were massively hungry by lunch and decided to hog at Marry Brown. Fish’n’Chips and Chick-a-Licious with pepper sauce and a Mi Kari Ayam Goreng, that turned out to be slurpy good!
From super cute Japanese babies, we quickly moved to spoiled brats in the boarding area, and had a fair idea of what to expect on the flight. But the kids went even beyond that and several times, I had to give them a piece of my mind as they rattled seats, opened window shutters, and did as much as possible to make everyone around uncomfortable. Air Asia’s tagline is “Now, everyone can fly”. I add “unfortunately” to that, and wish there was a way to transport some kids/people as check-in baggage!
The airline magazine gave us clues on a potential next holiday. Though the flight had taken off close to 5 PM, the sun blazed on and refused to set, as I read Paul Theroux’s consul tales from a geography that used to be part of the empire on which the sun never set. After touching down at Bangalore, as I climbed into the Meru, I mumbled a thanks to Indonesia for maintaining a platonic relationship with us and not screwing us over despite the earthquakes at its other end. We were home!
For those interested, our tour guide was Astrawan. If you are not into reading about the places beforehand, you should ask him for a driver who will be with you and is able to explain landmarks. We customised our tour as described, and without dinner, it came to Rp 4100000 for 2 people. Tanaya cost us close to Rp 3400000 for 6 nights. Despite the Day 1 a/c disaster, I’d recommend it. A rough estimate for the trip, including everything would be Rs.1.5 lakhs.