After two years of sweet family life Rob and I decided it’s a high time to make our belated honeymoon come true. Curiosity for Southeast Asia and love for spicy food shifted the needle of our compass towards the distant lands of Bali and after a 16-hour journey up in the air we arrived in the peaceful Balinese world.
The endless sky, the blossoming green and the welcoming smile of the Balinese people promised well for our vacation. We were soon enjoying morning swimming in our private pool, afternoon walks along the beach, romantic dinning experiences, daily trips in the surrounding and dives in the Balinese cuisine.
The list of pleasures of this journey grew long. Here is a small extract of some Balinese delights:
One of the funniest and most vibrant experiences we went throughout was the Balinese cooking class in Kuta. At 7am that day we were already out and about driving to the local fruit and vegetable market in Kuta. Following a wind-up alley we reached the dim-lighted market hall, where life has been bustling since early dawn.
Walking through a narrow lane we were crossing stands piled with spices bags, tempting fruits, fresh fish and meat, until we reached the stand of a woman whose age was impossible to guess, since it looked she has been staying for so long that nothing could not surprise her anymore. There our host made sure we are aware of all local ingredients we are suppose to use later in the cooking class, providing additional information about their hidden natural powers. (Where we also learned that is not good to confuse candlenut with macadamia if you do not want to spend the rest of the holiday in the restroom.)
A companion of every Balinese dish, the fire-red sauce appears to be what salt is for the westerns. You can find it freshly grinded or cooked with variation of ingredients, but nevertheless the mixture of bird’s-eye chilies, gingerl, galangal, shallots, kafir lime, salam (the Indonesian bay leaf) and shrimp paste deliberately blended in a Balinese mortar is the best way to taste Bali.
Coffee in Bali is good. No surprise since Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee producer in the world. The locals appreciate citrus flavoured blends which taste great, but what is even more interesting is the so called Kopi luwak made of the civet’s poop. We visited a hidden coffee plantation not far from Ubud where we met the little fluffy creature with special ability to differentiate the good from the bad coffee seeds. I found the kopi luwak tastes a bit more pungent in taste, but definitely awakening.
A large part of lifestyle on the splendid island happens on a scooter. While traveling around one sees infants, pets, entire families moving around on two wheels. In Bali they drive on the left, but hey, if you are in a hurry with a scooter all directions are green.
All the sunsets we have witness during our stay in Seminyak were spectacular. For ten minutes beach life was slowing down to admire in silence the descending sun.
Some places we enjoyed so much in Bali
The Tampak Siring or the Holy water temple, not far from Denpasar
We had a wonderful stay in a huge executive villa in Uma Sapna. The place was really nice and clean. Privacy was before all and staff was beyond courteous.
We were getting our daily dose of very good coffee in Anomali coffee
My ultimate favourite restaurant I will continue craving for may be for a long time: Ginger Moon. Excellent selection of Indonesian and Southeast Asian dishes in a homey, but still elegant atmosphere. Their Bali nachos and soft shell crab salad were among the best!
The Coffee House. An interesting blend of a coffee shop and a Thai restaurant! No doubt why we were going there. Not a large choice, but the cook was great enhancing our dishes with mountains of chilies.
Coming from Italy I was afraid we are going to miss one thing. The gelato. Then we found Lello Lello and the drama was over. Gelato there was really nice and servings were more than generous. Mint mandarin and salted caramel. Aww…
In case someone is in the mood for Bloody Sunday Mary, Laca Laca is the place. Colorful. Great patio. Mexican.