The first two days in Bali were spent coddling in the lap of luxury at The Bale. My heart was breaking when it came to leaving the hotel. We hadn’t seen much of Seminyak in the first two days (the heart of the city and the party district), so I was a little sceptical if we were making the right choice picking up a resort in the middle of nowhere. We dragged our suitcases to the car sent by the resort, The Menjangan. I had decided not to enjoy the four-hour ride and crib about leaving our beautiful hotel behind. My decision withered in the wake of our smiling driver, the nuts and the coke and the neck pillows, and the Wi-fi in the car. The idea of being disconnected from the world for four hours had been making me anxious. It was hard to remain sullen anymore.
It started to drizzle as we drove out of the city. The gloominess and the aggressive architecture of the city made it look like it had jumped out of a graphic novel. We stopped scores of times to click pictures of houses, temples and even roundabouts, all of them littered with beautiful stone sculptures. The view kept improving the further we drove away from the city – terraced rice fields, coffee plantations, valleys, undulating blues and greens. We stopped over at a coffee plantation and tasted types of coffee we didn’t know existed. We even tried the famous and the super expensive Lupwak Coffee which I first heard about in the move The Bucket List. Lupwak is the animal which ingests the coffee beans and whose half-digested feces are the source of the beans used to make this coffee. Despite the awkward process, the coffee tastes quite smooth. We left the plantation with a packet of every type of coffee we had tasted.
I spent the entirety of the drive with my bunched up against the window. By the time we reached the resort, it was already nightfall. It was really in the middle of nowhere. Can you hear silence? Because I’m sure that’s what I heard. Any quieter and I would have heard my heart thumping. We had been upgraded to an Ocean Villa which was exactly what it sounds. It opened into the ocean. It was ridiculously beautiful to be surrounded by water on one side and a forest on the other. The room itself was mammoth, the washroom open to the elements, and the porch just a few yards away from where the waves washed up sea shells.
After a sea-side, beautiful candle lit dinner (real candles, not the Chinese candles with electric bulbs) which despite the romantic setting of the Pantai Restaurant was anything but. We exchanged angry glares for having to share our food. Welcome to married life.
We lounged about in the hammocks outside for a couple of hours and then slept off. When we woke up, it was drizzling. We opened the doors and window and lay there for quite some time. When it stopped raining, we ordered ourselves a scrumptious breakfast. We shared it with little monkeys who pounced on it the second we got up from our tables which they had set up outside.
After a lazy breakfast and a long shower, we headed to the stables where we met the beautiful horses. God. Are these magnificent creatures. No wonder men have sought to control them, breed them like we are wont to do. Nevertheless, they were gorgeous to look at it.
The safari later was even more fun. The National Park is almost untouched. Driving through it was like going back in time. The entire safari had a Jurassic Park feel to it what with a double decker bus we drove around in.
Later, we enjoyed a couple of drinks at the Bali Tower – a five storey bistro made entirely out of wood. We watched the sun set from the fifth floor. The sky turned fiery red. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t capture it on our cameras. We gave up and started at it with our mouth agape. The bistro has a select menu – mostly Mediterranean and Indonesian – and we ordered the suggested dishes. We do tend to eat a lot during our holidays, don’t we?
The next day we got ourselves booked for the little Monsoon spa, a tiny hut which overlooked the ocean and pampered ourselves to head and shoulder massages.
There were other things to do as well – snorkelling, scuba diving, Kayaking etc. but since Avantika was in her second trimester, we chose to skip them. We got to know from the others that it was fun. Maybe, next time.
We spent a few hours just walking around the West Bali National Park taking in the good air. We ate at Pantai again which offers freshly caught seafood cooked wonderfully. Twice, we sent compliments for the chef. Could you ask for anything more?
The trip to The Menjangan had started on a sullen note and it ended on one too. We were sad to leave but we promised ourselves that we would be back!