I’ve spent the last 3 days just chilling in Seminyak, Bali. Before I came I had a long list of things I wanted to do in Seminyak and surrounds – parasailing, horse riding on the beach, surfing – everything. Then I arrived and I was exhausted. The last week of 4am bed times and 7am wake up calls on the Tao Expedition along with a 6am flight from Manila to Singapore and that night’s ‘sleep’ on the floor at Singapore airport had really taken it out of me.
I’m getting old.
So I have ‘pottered’ my way around Seminyak catching up with work and just generally having a lovely time. Here’s what went down…
Day 1: window shopping, pork, pools and sleep
I got to my accommodation, Villa Chandra to find it was an absolute delight for my £8 a night. It’s rated 6/10 on Booking.com, and as I was welcomed by the sight of a pool and my own Balinese style bedroom for my pennies I wondered what exactly those moaning reviewers were expecting in life. They’d certainly never be happy.
I spent my first day chilling in the Villa Chandra pool, wandering the home and clothes shops (some ber-utiful things here), trekking down to the Echo beach (awoke on my sunbed dribbling) and scoffing a pulled pork butty at the Texas Smokehouse where they smoke the pork in huge tunnels in front of you.
I’d been confused by the exchange rate all day and it wasn’t till I sat down with a spa menu after getting stuck into the pork that I realised that an hour-long Balinese massage was just £3. A few minutes later and I was sprawled on the table at Bali Spa. I started off confident asking the petite masseuse for a strong massage, three strokes in and I felt like her fingers were running up my bare spinal cord she was that tough, I downgraded to medium, vowing my next time would be a soft.
After I pretty much sleepwalked home I collapsed into bed. It was 8:30pm and it wasn’t until exactly 12 hours later that I woke, with no interruption. Needed that.
Day 2: work, work, sleep
Next to the pork bar I’d noticed one of those hipster coffee shops inviting me in, the Pison Coffee Bar. So after an hour lie in debating what I’d do today I gathered up my laptop and made my way there. The Sunrise Breakfast – poached egg, mushrooms, toast and spinach – was just what I needed. I was feeling strong. Strong enough to start some of the work I’d gotten so behind on thanks to a week offline.
Getting the balance between ‘travel’ and ‘blogger’ can be difficult sometimes and just lately the scales have been touching the floor on the ‘travel’ side. Seminyak in Bali seemed like the perfect place to restore the equilibrium. It helped that it was raining and that I’ve got a slight cold, which left me feeling like I’d rather be in a hipster café in Seminyak than battling the Aussie teenagers that frequent the surfer area of Kuta in Bali.
I spent the afternoon in another coffee shop, after I felt like 4 hours was outstaying my welcome in Pison. I did space out a smoothie and a coffee to extend my time there, as well as the breakfast. The Fat Turtle was my new home and a pressed juice was my way in. I lasted 5 hours here, and enjoyed a Nasi Goreng Indonesian lunch/dinner to pay my stay. The weather didn’t get any better – perfect working conditions – and as the night fell I decided to forgo the spa and go to bed. Again, out like a light.
Day 3: Kuta, bike, beach
I rented a great little bike from over the road of Villa Chandra and made my way into Kuta. Kuta is the Australian area of Bali, I’m guessing a bit like Benidorm – pretty much everything you read with any credibility will recommend you steer clear, obviously that made me want to go even more. It was a 30-minute drive from my hotel, past lovely shops, nice looking coffee bars and some great restaurants. I love being on a scooter – I can’t believe I’ve only just started to realise how great they are. The feeling as you’re driving to your destination and being out and open to the elements is impossible to beat. I spent the day in and out of the shops, lying on the beach for two hours, eating noodles at a beach side cafe and wandering round the markets of Kuta.
I decided to stop at Seminyak Square on the way back for a look round the boutique shops there. Obviously I forgot where I’d parked my bike and it took me an hour to find, and then when I got to it, it wouldn’t start. Taxi!
Day 4: work, food, Ubud
I went to fetch my bike with a guy from the shop in the morning. Turns out it was because I had the kickstand down and it actually worked perfectly, not the petrol like I thought. Oops.
Lots of work to do so I found a café in Seminyak to settle for the morning. Turned out to be the best café ever – 3three – lovely staff, delicious menu and the waitress even asked if I’d like a charger for my laptop. That’s never happened before! Over the three hours I had an iced coffee, a very berry smoothie and, it was a difficult choice, but again I went for the Nasi Goreng. All delicious.
After lunch it was time to leave for Ubud. The Bali that was made famous in Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve spent the last year on the eating part, maybe it’s time I progressed through the Pray to be eligible for the Love. Hopefully visiting the temples in Ubud will be enough for whoever decides this progression.
It’s been a relaxing and productive few days – Seminyak is my kind of office.