Last night I arrived back in Bali from my 5 days in Singapore. I am very happy & relieved to add that I had absolutely no trouble getting back into Indonesia with my new visa and was actually the first passenger to get my bag and so got through customs and immigration in half an hour!
I headed straight to the Sanur Plaza Suite Hotel where the Turleys are staying and found them all by the pool! It was fantastic to see them all again. We made plans to catch up again the following day as they enjoyed their first dinner in Bali sitting by the pool.
This morning I moved to a new hotel for various reasons but the main one was so that I could be in walking distance to the Turleys. This hotel (Kesari Rooms) that I am staying in today is more like a home stay but also has a pool and a laundry! Both greatly appreciated! My room only cost $24 a night which is amazing for Sanur however before you all jump up and book to stay here too, I should point out that I have a room with a fan and there isn’t an ensuite. The bathroom and toilet are around the corner however as I am the only one here at the moment, I have it all to myself! After several weeks of hotels with air conditioners, it is marvelous to have again a room with a fan.
Once my move was all finalised and my washing was given to the laundry, I headed back to the Turleys to see what they felt like doing. As it was lunch time and the youngest in the Turley family group is just 2.5 years old, it was decided that it would be best if we found somewhere close so that poor Zac could eat reasonably soon! He was coping amazingly for such a young one! We headed out the back gate of their hotel and walked towards the beach along beautifully kept lanes lined with palms, ferns and draping vines. We emerged onto Jalan Danau Tamblingan, the main street that runs along the Sanur coast line and right across the road was a restaurant which looked lovely. The restaurant obviously catered for a western clientele and the menu included food that Zac would eat, so 2 tables were put end to end for our group of 11 (7 adults & 3 youngsters & 1 teenager), We ordered our food & drink after sending an express order to the kitchen for Zac’s quesadilla. I ordered vegetarian nasi campur (rice with a selection of vegetable dishes) and it was the nicest nasi campur I have EVER eaten at a restaurant. Usually Indonesian food for westerners is so disappointing because they reduce or even omit the spices for the western palate however this place didn’t and the result was amazing. Apparently the rendang, the sate and the various mexican dishes ordered were all delicious too. We also enjoyed a variety of fruit juices with our meal including a berry juice, mango juice, watermelon juice and pineapple juice!
After lunch, everyone revived and felt up to a walk to the beach. Cutting through a beautiful old hotel, we discovered the beach. The beach unfortunately was littered with rubbish and high tide debris so we turned right following a local’s advice.to find a cleaner spot to relax. It was beautiful just strolling along the path that runs parallel to Sanur Beach. Maddie went beach combing for shells and found a good selection including some cowries and 2 sawah (rice field) snail shells. Sawah snails are a delicacy here so the shell would be the result of a meal enjoyed on the beach.
We eventually found a lovely spot where the sand was reasonably clean and there was a shaded area on the sand under a huge tree. Some of us sat in the shade and watched the others head for the water which is significantly warmer than the sea is at home at any time of year!
When it became clear that the younger ones needed to return to the hotel for a rest, we made our way back to Jalan Danau Tamblingan by again cutting through one of the hotels. Along the way, I introduced them all to my favourite ice block here in Bali. The mango ice block manufactured by Walls. For about AUD50c, it is a bargain on all counts.
Later that evening, we met up again for dinner. We hired 2 vehicles to take us to the night market. Kathy was keen to replicate the warung crawl I had done in Lovina with Penny and Kaitlyn! There I introduced them to a variety of yummy foods including the one they most wanted to try; martabak! Unfortunately the kaki lima’s there were mostly Javanese, so we couldn’t find any babi guling (spit roasted suckling pig), so maybe in Ubud we might be able to tick that box! One interesting thing we did find at the Sanur night market was a dandut singer. She was right at the back singing into a microphone connected to speakers that were cranked up as loud as they could possibly go! She was wearing the typical dress of a female dandut singer which is a real shock when you realise that she is Moslem! Her black skirt was far too short and far too tight, her red shirt was sleeveless and this was teemed with black lacy stockings and high heeled boots! A small crowd of young Javanese were enjoying her performance!
We luckily found a seat right away from her because anywhere near the stage, it was impossible to have a conversation! It was a lovely evening. I wandered around ordering food to be delivered to our table and then would explain what it was as it arrived. The food I found included chicken sate, soto ayam (chicken soup), martabak (pastry covered omelet), tum babi (spiced pork), a selection of fried foods including lumpia (Indonesian spring rolls), filled tofu & tempeh. We finished up with es campur (shaved ice over a selection of fruits and jellies) and some traditional jajan (market sweets) including lak lak (little pancakes).
All up, it was a feast of just a small selection of the foods I have been enjoying in Indonesia and hopefully helps to show that Indonesian food is not all rice and noodles! While rice and noodles are the main staple here, anyone who says that Indonesian food is boring because it is only fried rice or noodles has sadly not discovered even a little of the variety that is readily available and totally delicious whether vegetarian or carnivore!