Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bali June 2013 - Day 8 - So much wax, in my ears !

Bali June 2013 - Day 8 - So much wax, in my ears !

Sorry for the belated report. We had to leave early yesterday to get to Uluwatu (report to come) so I am a day late with the trip blog. Sometimes you just don’t get enough alone time to get into the frame of mind you need to put this together.

Scotty once again offered to cook us all some breakfast in the Villa, and he lavished us all with bacon, scrambled eggs, toast etc etc. He’ll be on the invite list for next time :)

As Jodie had yet to go get a scooter, Litsa, Jodes and I hopped into a cab and headed down towards Merry leather in Legian. I found it easily from directions taken from Tripadvisor. That part of town, is quite easy for me to get around now, thanks to Mick and the scooters. We have been up and down Padma Utara a dozen times already, using it to avoid the hectic traffic on JL Seminyak and JL Legian. The others joined us at the Leather shop, and Litsa and Karen ordered some jackets. From memory they were just on AUS$100 a piece. We have to come back after 4pm on Thursday to get them. After the leather, we then headed back to Miss Debbies as a larger group and all grabbed more big bags of clothes and trinkets. I managed to find a Maroons State of Origin Jumper for $13, so I was smiling from ear to ear. Apparently, ‘Blues’ Jumpers are half price at the moment :)
Someones happy at Merrys Leather !
But not so happy later in the week !

Then, as a group, we shot off to Bali Brasco on Sunset for some more clothes shopping. The girls once again said ‘MEH’... not much for them, but us fellas, we ran around upstairs and spent a good 45 mins trying stuff on. There didn’t seems to be the choice there was last year though, and I only managed to spend $85 on a few t-shirts and a couple of pairs of shorts.

We then dropped Jodie off at Warung Murah again on Double 6 so she could join the others for her first authentic Indo meal. Litsa and I went back to the Villa, grabbed the bike and went one street North to go eat at Santa Fe Bar and Grill. I felt like a burger for lunch, and this place looked like it would more than likely serve them. I was right :)  In fact, even though the meal sizes were not huge, it was perhaps the nicest burger in a decade ! I think from memory it was about $4 inc chips. On the way home, I spotted Santai Spa opposite the little alley we go home through. I knew Litsa wanted a pedicure and I had always wondered what an ‘ear candle’ would be like. I have shocking hearing, so I figured sucking at least a portion of any accumulated wax out of my earholes, couldnt be a bad thing.
It was really weird. An openly gay Balinese chap, wearing a face mask, due to his abhorent cough, spent 10 minutes each ear holding a lit piece of paper shoved into my ear canal. The noise the candle made was like ‘crackling’, and you could hear the hiss of the suction. At the end of each session, he unrolled the candle and showed me all the gunk. HIGHLIGHT OF THE HOLIDAY !!   I can attest that your hearing does improve. The drawback is, I have zero reason to act like I am ignoring Litsa any more. 

Santa Fe grill for a lunch alone - just 2 of us

Ear Candling !

Jodie needed a bike to be able to keep up with us all, so she hopped onto the back of my Scoopy and we headed off to find her one for the week. The traffic on JL Seminyak was just awful, so my first 2 options were out. We weaved in and out of the alleys, had a few back and forth negotiations with some obstinate rental places, and settled on a Vario at $4 a day. Its BLACK, and its FAST !  Apparently though its not fuel efficient !

Its been a bit overcast today, and raining on and off. The usual opportunity to head down the beach for sunset wasnt going to happen. So we all hopped onto the mopeds, Easy Rider style, in a light sprinkle, to go to Legian so the girls could have a ‘Fish Spa’. They set themselves up and us boys walked upstairs to a really horribly noisy bar. These places that blare out Aussie sport on the big screen TV’s to try and attract punters really annoy me. I am sure I am not alone with this, but seeing as Bali is extremely quiet, I guess they need to try ANYTHING to get people in. The type of people this bar attracted though... I dunno. REALLY ?  There really are ‘zones’ that attract a certain type of holiday maker - and we were in the middle of one. That probably sounds snobby, but, I have always made fun of loud obnoxious Americans all around the globe, but the loud Aussie, WOW, they leave them for dead !

Back to the Villa to get ready for dinner.

NOW... and you always know something bad is going to happen when I start a paragraph with NOW right ?

NOW.... Litsa has all week, been hassling me to STOP trying to organise my whole holiday around food. Last year, it was a full on gourmet experience. This year, due to austerity measures, and the fact that currently, I am technically ‘unemployed’ (even though I run 3 businesses - you tell me how THAT works !!) we have had to put the brakes on the 5 star dinners. I have of course been guided by mates who have been here before, and numerous reviews on food websites and Tripadvisor.

NOW..... Naught Nuris has always caught my eye. We missed it last year, and I wasnt going to miss it this year. I told Litsa, that I was going there, and anyone else, was welcome to follow me. So, all of a sudden, EVERYONE wanted to go. So once again, the worlds biggest responsibility, GOOD FOOD, has fallen on my shoulders. I checked the maps, and sure, I knew exactly where it was. With the traffic on JL Seminyak absolutely a disaster (at 7pm), the call was made to weave our way through as many back streets as possible, even going down Laksmana and up past the Oberoi and Potato head and turn right onto JL Pettinget.  When we got to Drupadi, with its limited street lighting, I almost lost it on the bike with Litsa on the back. The road is in a terrible state of repair, and its muddy with the rain. Mick behind me, says I recovered well, but geez, it sent the fear of all things unholy through my body for a while. The traffic along Laksmana was horrid. But it gave me a chance to wave at places we’d visited last year and show the rest of the crew the area we spent most of our time in. A massive new hotel now adorns the top of Gang Bugis, so I am not so sure our little 2 bedder from last year would be so private these days ?

When we turned right onto Pettinget.. we got as far as Sardine before I had realised we must have passed Nuris. Once you stop, and pull over, looking perplexed, the rest of your crew start showing signs of annoyance. We had travelled around 20 mins already. In this area, thats a MASSIVE distance on a scooter, and in some cases, can cause mild chaffing. Asking the lovely man with the traffic wand where Nuris is, he pointed BACK the way we came and said... ONE MINUTE. Trying to turn 5 bikes around on the busiest road in the area, was amusing. Its took 2 of the staff from Sardine to stop the traffic for us, so that none of us got run over by taxis or trucks. We headed West, back PAST the intersection with the road to Oberoi and kept going... for 4 minutes. About now, Litsa, who is holding onto my back for dear life, is starting to swear at me again... loud enough for me to hear over the scream of the bike motor. I then hear, “ Wayne, where the %$#& are we going ? “ from around 3-4 people....loud enough to hear of the scream of the bike. Screeeech..... pull up at one of the Circle K’s, run in and ask the man behind the counter. He waves down the road, ONE MINUTE..... well at least were going in the right direction.

We are, at this point, in what I can only describe as, THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Then like, Xanadu arising from the mist, I see the PIG SIGN !

We are HERE. WOW.. its packed !  There literally is a queue out of the door.  This better be good !

We park the bikes around the back, near the huge steaming kettle of bubbling masterstock, and head back to the door to queue. We are a table of 9, so we always have to wait. I had rung them earlier, but they only accept walkins unless you have 12 or more in your party. This is a big restaurant too. Did I mention it was packed ?  The guys have the grill setup next to the road, so you can see them finishing off the ribs. Pretty impressive amounts of smoke eminate from the setup, and the smells.... WOW !

We are finally seated, order jugs of Mojitos (30% off tonight) and everyone orders the pork ribs, corn and the wedges.  Thats it.. thats all you need. I can die happy now. Why go to Bali and eat ribs ?  I hear you say ?  These are NOT USA style ribs. These are genuine BALI style ribs. If you boiled ribs in the US, they would crucify you. These one are boiled in the most amazing tasting masterstock. Star anise, chinese 5 spices, you can taste them all. They are then lashed in a mixture of ketchup, Kecap Manis and assorted other goodies, including the runny honey thats on the shelves. We were drizzling that stuff all over the wedges too. Yum Yum !  The Ribs are finished on the grill.  These ribs are hot huge, but they are very meaty. The meats tasty, super tasty. 

I could not possibly eat all mine. The shrapnel bowl was full of bones, and everyone had that happy look.  Redeemed again for the adventure getting here.  I’d come back and eat here again.. and again... and again !

On the way home, we stopped at Flapjacks for dessert. A newish chain specialising in Waffles and crepes. It was nice, big sized servings and was cheap. Nothing special, but if you have a sweet tooth give it a go. I saw and ‘express’ version on Laksmana too. 
Flapjacks.... Plastic food !  Was OK though

The trip home was a lot quicker thanks to a more direct route, and way less traffic.

Bed and food coma !

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