We had just arrived and spotted this at Kupu Kupu Hotel Jimbaran. Little did we know there was another one around the corner...
Luckily, most of the day we had the pool to ourselves. The hotel seemed rather quiet, in low season.
The little pool in our room... Certainly kept the airco struggling.
Moved on to Seminyak where we stayed in Bali Dream Villa's nr. 1. Due to airco failure we only stayed in this particular villa for one night.
New day, new pool; at Bali Dream Villa's nr. 2, just up the road from the other one, and turned out to be a lot quieter.
Bali Dream Villa's are nice in themselves, but are slightly distant from the hustle and bustle of Seminyak.
Next stop: Ubud. After a chance meeting in Café Wayan with the owner of Lily Lane Villas our decision of where to stay in Ubud was quickly made. Another private pool...
Bye bye Lily Lane Villa's. Sanur, here we come!
Arrived at our favourite hotel on Bali, the Tandjung Sari, one of the first hotels on the Sanur coast and has been successfully running since the sixties. Visited by famous guests such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, to name a few (and us, of course...).
Then and now.
One last look as we left the Tandjung Sari, but not for the last time!
We started the day with the most important meal: breakfast.
Time for tea before heading off to Uluwatu.
Arrived in Uluwatu but not really sure what to make of it. Walked around, met some monkeys and watched the Kecak & Fire dancing at six, before we made ourselves scarce.
Had dinner in vintage restaurant Balique.
Next morning we had breakfast and we asked about booking a boat back to Bali after our stay here. They said best for us was to go to one of the travel agents on the strip. We arranged a boat for the last day and headed to the beach for a change of scenery. Our hotel had its own private beach but the only problem was you couldn't get in the sea for sharp coral. The beach itself had lovely white sand and the feel of a Robinson Crusoe island. After an hour or so we decided to cycle around the island and see if there were better beaches. The island is quite small and you can get around it all easily but we never found a beach with access without coral.
Time for a dip in the pool or so we thought, we walked into reception and they asked us if we had booked a boat in a few days. They then informed us that due to a storm between Lombok and Bali all boat services were cancelled for the next days. Why we weren’t told this in the first case I don’t know. So back on our bikes to the travel agent, we explained that we needed to leave on the day we had booked the tickets for and as services were cancelled could we have our money back; we would have to get alternative transport. He wasn't happy; in fact he made it quite plain: no, he would not give us back our money. We insisted and at that moment he flew to the back of his shop, grabbed a knife, jumped over the counter and pointed it at us. We immediately left and backed out onto the Main Street but he followed us, still pointing the knife at us but by now a group of people including locals were asking him what he was doing.
We grabbed our bikes and fled back to the hotel where we explained what had just happened. The hotel owner looked shocked as much as we did, he asked what travel agent it was and with that we went to our room to have a swim and to calm down. We asked reception about flights and after a few phone calls it became very obvious that most were already full with very few options. The only one suitable for us was business class on Garuda, from Lombok to Bali, so we took it.
That evening we went to the restaurant we had earmarked for my partner’s birthday which was by far the best restaurant on that strip. So after a lovely meal time for a beer in one of the bars, we saw one of the other couples from the hotel though they didn't see us. After a very eventful day time to go back to the hotel. The owner of the hotel was waiting for us and handed us the money for our cancelled boat, someone from the travel agency had heard what had happened and delivered the money to the hotel. We thanked him and he explained that there are no police on Gili Trawangan but the law is upheld by the elders of the island, and when any such thing as this happens it means the person would have to leave the island and not come back. If that happened in this case we don't know, but all’s well that ends well again (so we thought!).
Next morning we see our neighbour, fully dressed lying on the sun bed outside his room asleep. We had breakfast and when we got back he was still there alone. Something felt wrong so eventually we went and woke him up and asked if he was ok, obviously not. He said that they had been in the same bar as us last night and got into a conversation with another man who he thought was also a traveller, but not long after that he couldn't remember anything; not how he got back, how long he'd been back, but worst of all his girlfriend wasn't back. What on earth do you do on an island with no police. After about thirty minutes his girlfriend appeared, looking absolutely dreadful, saying she had no idea what had happened to her. We could see she was positively frightened. Obviously, that other man had spiked their drinks but what had he done to her? We could see the horror in her face. It turned out that they were also on the same flight as us from Lombok to Bali but on the whole journey from Gili Trawangan around Lombok in the airport I never heard her speak a word. The pain in her face spoke volumes. After the flight we never saw them again but lessons need to be learnt: never leave your drinks unattended but also should you accept drinks from strangers. But then again, you’re on holiday, you never think this is going to happen to you, bit it can! Would I return to Gili Trawangan? I don't think so.
Born in Chiswick West London, grew up in Royal Berkshire, currently living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands