Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bali - June 2013 Day 5, Glasses, shopping, beach bars

Bali - June 2013 Day 5, Glasses, shopping, beach bars

(Apologies fo delay.... 4 of us just got massages around the pool in the villa.. I am all groggy from the bliss of it all)

Awake early (again), walking out of the aircon bedroom into the stunning gardens of the Vill Kampung into the humidity reminded once I’d peered through the bleary eyes that our first full day in Seminyak awaited.

Breakfast is not included in the Villa price. This is probably the only drawback of staying here. Everywhere else we have stayed or considered booking threw in breakfast each day. And for the rental price, the owner would probably do well to reconsider that position to attract more people to stay. In saying that, it seems this place is booked out for much of the year anyways. 
To fix our hunger, all of us headed the 2 mins around the corner to Seminyak Cafe for breakfast. Litsa and I both had the SUPER ELIXIR, which is a drink of lime, ginger and sugar over ice with dry ginger ale, and then tucked into English breakfasts. A suggestion for anyone eating at the cafe, do not try and make any changes to the ‘set meals’ as it will only end in tears of frustration and lots of time between courses. For some reason, everyone else’s meals came in at around $15 inc drinks and ours jumped to $25. We can only put this down to me shaking my head 15 times at the mistakes made. Truly, unless I have my allotted hours of sleep every night, I am an intolerant individual. The makeshift roosters rocking in late must be to blame !

6 of us then headed over to Supernova to go see Hendri at Winna Optical. Thanks again to TripAdvisor individuals who take the time to post reports, or reply to the myriad of questions people ask for this info. I managed to order 2 new sunglasses and one plain glasses all with prescription lenses for less than AUS$200. Litsa got 2 pairs for just over $100. Pretty stoked with making that trip over. We’ll go get the completed items on Thursday before we go home. I will update on how the process goes later for those interested. Hendri and his staff we able to organise 4 of us with multiple pairs within 45 minutes. Well done !

We then headed off towards Kuta Square - which we were told 2 or 3 times was only 5 minutes away. Of course these were Bali minutes, which like Bali meters are way bigger than anything we are used too. We had to stop at numerous shops for the girls to look into and Hugo found a Harley Davidson shop, so he simply had to turn some Rupiah into Harley products he couldnt get at home (for even close to the same price). A quick refreshment stop at Segodo (I think thats its name) for some $2 Bintangs and a sit down and I opened up google maps for it to tell me we were only 600 feet from Kuta Plaza. Glad we did stop there though, because as soon as we got into the plaza, the shiny shiny of a shoe shop had the girls attention............ Now as anyone who followed our exploits last year will attest, if there is anything that will bring Litsa and I to arguments, its the price paid for shoes in Bali. I have learnt my lesson, I simply walk out of the shop, feigning complete disinterest and go look for nice toilets in case anyone should need one in the next 30 mins. For everyones info, the one in Burger King is quite nice and well kept, but there is generally a short queue to use it.

BAGUS WATCHES. Here we are again. I had recently sold my ‘TAG’ watch to a mate, who desperately needed the clasp to fix his genuine one. So I was a dress watch down. All I wanted was to replace that watch, quite a simple task you would think right ? Nah.. I am not sure if the model I had is outdated ? But it wasn’t there. I can only hope that the new stock they get in every day will mean that it arrives whilst we are here. Litsa picked up another nice blingy chronometre, and some more Tiffany, but I walked out watch-less. 
By now, the heat of the day had intensified. We’d all just been in Bagus wandering for 30+ minutes, and we needed somewhere to eat and drink...... it gets messy now.

For those that don’t like domestic issues in foreign countries, please skip the next couple of paragraphs.

I’m a control freak. No arguments here. In fact, sometimes, I should seek help for it. Luckily I have friends who generally cater to this flaw, and are happy to follow me around, enjoying whatever adventure I take them on. Today, they, and particularly my wife, had that level of commitment tested severly.

I guess my love of different foods is pretty obvious to most ? And for some weird reason, probably to do with my assorted trips to the USA in a previous life, I love eating Buffalo Wings. Those are deliciously deep fried chicken wings covered in a spicy vinegar sauce made famous by the city of Buffalo in Upstate New York. Dip these into blue cheese dressing and BAM...if made well, I am in heaven. Whilst cruising Facebook one day, as if by magic, an advert popped up for BUFFALO WINGS AND RINGS in Kuta, Bali. This was a new restaurant in Beachwalk, up the beach road in Kuta. I made THIS our destination for lunch. So with the other 5 in tow, we hoofed it North under the guidance of Google Maps, who told me quite clearly, we were only 4 minutes away. Once again, these were Bali minutes. Did you know, that between Kuta Plaza and the Beachwalk centre, its actually 700m? thats 700m with little or no shade. You also pass, conservatively, around 50 more more accesible and probably better places to eat, that are also air-conditioned.

When you do arrive at the Beachwalk, with your wife, who by now is starting to look sweaty and bothered, and has pointed out the 40-50 OTHER places to eat, you have an issue of actually finding the restaurant. There are absolutely NO signs for it. The 2 escalators are strategically placed at the points most likely to cause even more annoyance for the rest of your travellers as well. By now, Litsa is starting to openly swear at me. I start yelling that I am simply trying my best, and I start running in circles trying to find this stupid restaurant. 

Its on the 2nd floor, on the Southern end... and... has no toilets !

We sit down, in the non-aircoditioned restaurant and we are the only ones there. Below us on level one, there are around a dozen more famous eateries, all well attended by happy diners, but by God.. we are here now, and we will enjoy it........... or then again we wont.

Litsa went looking for a toilet, but gave up 20 mins later, when she could’nt find it. She came back to the table, about ready to punch me. Long suffering wife.... I can hear my mates mumbling this under their breaths.

We ordered food. Only to find, 3 of the hottest sellers, are out of stock (On a Friday at lunch - you are kidding me). When the orders did come out, and at staggered times, with Scottys last, just to add insult to injury for him, the comments varied from Great to Average. My wings, were overcooked, but the sauce was great. The Blue cheese not so good. Litsas salad was, in her words, crap, and Hugos burger was lovely. The prices didn’t justify the effort to get here though. When we left, I felt very very dissapointed. Its going to take a lot to get the trust back of my fellow adventurers. I have already posted a review on TA to warn other people about the shortcomings on the place.

When we made our way back to the Beach Road, and walked past the other food places (all full), I could feel the daggers in my back from my lovely lovely wife. Eeeeeek

I got us into a minivan, with a negotiated rate of 50000 Rupiah for 6 of us to the Villa, and it was time for a quick swim then a nanna nap.

Around 5pm, it was decided we’d take the girls on the back of the Scooters down to the beach for a drink. We ended up at Crystal Palace just South of La Plancha. We’d spent some time there last year, and knew they had half price cocktails till 8pm. We found some beanbags, a table and ordered. The sunset was going to be a corker again for us. Ahhhh, yes, I was back in the good books again, with Litsa all smiles.

Hugo caught the eye of some Hawkers, and within 30 mins, was getting a foot massage, having his ears ‘de-forested’ and was buying a ‘genuine Rolex’. Karin also had a manicure, and was busy fending off calls of ‘ Rhonda’ from all and sundry. Litsa broke my rule of NEVER buying stuff on the beach and bought not one but TWO art prints that will never adorn the walls of my house if I have anything to do with it.... arguing about this point, brought much mirth and merriment to the other 6 in the group though, and if by some slim chance I am ever incapacitated, and Litsa does manage to sneak the art past me, I will forever remember this trip to Seminyak and curse individually the name of each and everyone one of the buggers who sat with us when she made the purchase.

The drinks kept flowing and it started to get dark. Crystal Palace doesnt really do good snack food so we made a call to head back up to Seminyak for something to eat. We ended up at Pantarei just near Bintang Supermarket with Greek Food. Litsa has some Cypriot heritage so the call was made for her to take charge and order the food. Beers and cocktails ordered for the 8 of us, she then chose a large Meze plate, mixed dips and 2 large grilled meat platters. The food was quite nice, but as we find everywhere thats not 5 star here, the meat generally gets a little overcooked. The dips were great, genuinely Greek, and the flat bread oustanding. It was great to sit down as a group of 8 around a large square table and finish the day off together. One small negative about the restaurant, is that there are a few ponds in the place, and for some reason, the water doesnt move and we all got mozzie bites. keep this in mind. The bill worked out at $35 a couple for food and drinks. I’d go back.

Back at the villa, a few nightcaps were poured and we all sat around or in the pool until one by one, we wandered off to bed before midnight.


p.s. Awoke in the middle of the night to what sounded like 5 shotgun rounds going off.

p.p.s. Poured with rain this morning too. First time I have seen serious rain in Bali. I don’t like it very much

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