We’d had a couple of busy days, so we decided to take it easy in Seminyak. After a sleep in, we had a swim in the pool and were surprised when someone knocked on the gate! It was the maid who was looking after our villa. She asked if we needed her to do anything extra for us, such as prepare food, but we thanked her and said we would be fine. She left us at that point, and came back later in the day to do her general housekeeping.
Having woken up with the water, it was time to seek out breakfast. We packed our beach towels, then walked out of the villa past a small rice paddy and down the lane way towards the beach. Having walked the main road last night, we already knew what we would find there and we were hopeful of finding food overlooking the beach so we could follow it up with a swim. The path we took brought us out near Kudeta, a large resort right on the ocean. There were quite a few security guards there, and we weren’t sure if we could walk through. We asked, and after checking our bags they let us down the driveway.
As we approached the bar and beach we were stopped again and told we couldn’t take our water or snacks in with us. Explaining we just wanted to get to the beach, they pointed us to a path beside the building. Glad to have finally reached the ocean, we made our way along the sand in the direction of Kuta.
The walk was longer than we had anticipated, and despite being around 10.30am it was already starting to warm up. That, combined with an empty stomach, made it a tough walk! I think I had already become accustomed to having breakfast delivered by the pool… As soon as we came across a small group of cafes on the sand, we stopped for breakfast.
Satisfied and ready to take on the day, we wandered down to some banana lounges on the sand to relax for the rest of the morning. We lay there watching the world go by, and splashing our feet in the water. A lady came by selling fresh fruit, and I couldn’t resist a pineapple. It was a very relaxing start to the day.
We had planned to watch the sun set over Tanah Lot that evening, so after a couple of hours on the beach, we made a move towards Kuta to sort out transport. We found a tour guy who had good prices, and arranged to be picked up at the Villa at 4.30pm. It was an hour drive to Tanah Lot, so that would get us there in perfect time for the sunset.
Having organised that, we continued along and checked out the shops and stalls as we slowly made our way back towards the villa (with a stop for lunch on the way). Some of the shops looked familiar to me, and then we passed the hotel were Mark and I stayed several years before! I remembered a couple of the restaurants and the supermarket where we went for supplies. It was interesting to see how some of the places had not changed, but also some new developments in the area.
Legs tired from the walk back, we hung out at the villa for a bit before our transport arrived for Tanah Lot.
Tanah Lot is a well organised tourist attraction, with a big entrance gate and large car park. We had to pay entry per person and also for parking, then our driver went to socialise with other drivers while he waited for us.
It was still reasonably light when we arrived, so we had some time to explore the rocks before settling on the cliff to watch the sun go down. I don’t remember seeing the water out so far before, and we could actually walk right up to the rock that the temple sits on. There were lots of people taking photos from different angles, and a long queue waiting to climb up into the temple. We decided to pass, because it would have taken us beyond sunset and we were more interested in the view.
As it started to get a bit darker, we made our way up to the cliff to get a good view. It wasn’t as busy up there, and there are plenty of seats. Finding a restaurant with a good view towards the temple, we took a seat right on the fence line and ordered a fresh coconut with diced fruit inside. It came with complimentary crisps, and we spent the next 30 minutes testing different angles and taking way too many photos.
It was nice just sitting there, enjoying a cool breeze, watching the crowds below and seeing the light change as the sun set. There was a bamboo water feature nearby playing a rhythmic tune, and a soft murmur as the groups sitting around us talked quietly. Compared to the busy-ness of the past few days, it was nice to just stop and take some time to relax.
Once the sun had set and the temple was in darkness, we made our way back to the car. As with all good tourist attractions in Bali, Tanah Lot is surrounded by a market with stalls selling all sorts of things. Close to the temple were brightly lit shops selling various clothing, while further out and closer to the car park there was a more traditional market selling carvings, batik and other souvenirs. A lot of the items were similar to what we had seen at other markets, and we weren’t really tempted to make any purchases.
That afternoon, Ilona had arrived from East Timor so we were excited to catch up with her and some of her friends for dinner. They were already at La Laguna, a really nice bar and restaurant back in Seminyak, so we went straight there to meet them. The drive was just under an hour, being slightly shorter than our trip from the villa, and by 8pm we were settling down with cocktails.
It was a beautiful restaurant, open air and taking full advantage of its surrounds. There were lots of trees, and a windy path lined with gypsy caravans and lit by fairy lights connected different sections of the venue. It was dark when we arrived, but apparently there is also a view out over the ocean facing the sunset.
It was really good to see Ilona and meet her friends, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Compared to our standards so far on the trip the meal was expensive, but compared to prices back home it was definitely cheaper than what we would pay for the equivalent in Melbourne. For Ilona, Bali was a chance to indulge and get as close as possible to life back home, having spent so long in East Timor. We were at La Laguna for a few hours, then, feeling sleepy from full tummies and a few cocktails, we all shared a couple of cabs back to our different accommodations. We were all staying separately that night, and coming together the next night in Canggu for the official birthday celebrations.