The image above nicely summarises my impression of Canggu – slow paced, relaxed and close to the beach. It’s way quieter compared with Seminyak, and we had a very relaxing day there today. After a bit of a sleep in, Ron and I emerged to find the others had already had breakfast. We walked down to the beach in search of food, and were surprised by the lack of shops and cafes along the way.
Down at the beach we found a large restaurant with a strong Australian vibe, from the decorations to the menu to people sitting at the other tables. The food here was very Western and kid friendly, giving the impression that Canggu is probably quite popular with Australian families who holiday in Bali.
Compared with the beach at Seminyak and Pantai Pandawa, Canggu is less for the casual swimmer and more for surfers. There were banana lounges set out, but less people in general compared with our previous days on the sand. The waves were also more rough and didn’t look particularly inviting for a swim.
After breakfast, we made our way back to the villa to see what the others were up to. The vibe was very chilled, with some people out for a walk and others just relaxing in the villa. They had made a booking for a massage in the afternoon, and Ron had chosen a yoga class to do later in the day. We hung out at the villa, chilling in the pool and chatting, then went to grab some food before the massage. We found a very popular place that had fresh fruit juices and a nice range of local cuisine, with tables upstairs overlooking the main road. As always, we ate too much, but it was delicious.
Well fed, we wandered back to the spa only to find they were overbooked and there was a bit of a wait for our massage. The four of us who had planned for yoga afterwards went first so we would have time to get there. The massage was good, but not as nice as our experience in Ubud. Rather than separate rooms, the massage tables were curtained off so there was a lot of background noise and distractions, and knowing we needed to be at yoga by a certain time made it a little harder to relax. Still, it was enjoyable overall.
The massage finished just in time for us to hurry up the road for yoga at The Practice. We signed in as visitors, and followed the curving path upstairs to the yoga room. The instructor noticed us looking a little lost and suggested the equipment we should get, including a lavender scented eye mask for the end of the session. I’m really glad we had that, because it was soothing lying there with eyes closed and the cool scented lavender beads covering our eyes. The pavilion was a beautiful space with open walls looking out over rice paddies and the village. The ceiling was made of bamboo, and was mesmerising to look at as we lay on the floor. Partway through I noticed a gecko climbing between the bamboo.
I had only done one or two yoga classes before, and was a bit unsure about it but didn’t want to miss out. I enjoyed it, and found it very relaxing although I did have trouble stretching into some of the poses. I emerged at the end feeling quite sleepy. As soon as the class ended, it bucketed with rain so we sat downstairs enjoying herbal tea and watching the rain pour down. We were in no hurry.
Once the rain had cleared we started back towards the villa, but decided to stop for a snack. Dinner wasn’t going to be for another hour or two and even though we hadn’t been very active that day, we were still hungry. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a quick bite, then went back to the villa to find the others.
We came home to a lot of activity in the kitchen. The maid who was looking after the villa was preparing a feast for us, and had enlisted the help of a friend. The two were very busy preparing fresh local dishes, and were entertaining to watch. I think they found us equally as entertaining as we sat talking over glasses of beer and wine.
I’d have to say this was once of the best meals we had all trip. The ladies served a range of dishes, and everything was delicious. There was nasi campur (a little spicy), babi guling (way more fragrant than the version we had in Ubud), delicious sate chicken, grilled fish, gado gado and some sort of fried soy bean cakes. They had done such a wonderful job in the space of a couple of hours. What I found so interesting was how much more flavour these dishes had compared with versions we had eaten earlier in the trip. For example, after our morning of cycling the lunch we ate was quite bland when I had expected the food to be spicy. The same dishes here, however, had much more flavour and were a bit on the spicy side. It was great to taste food which was so authentic. There was so much food we couldn’t eat it all, and even after sending some home with the ladies we had leftovers for breakfast the next day.
Initially we had thought we might go out to party afterwards, but we were so content after dinner that we just drank and socialised at home, migrating to the pool at one point just because we could (the nights were very warm). It was a really nice evening, and we were glad we made the decision to stay in rather than going out for dinner. Crawling in to bed that night I felt a little sad that tomorrow would be our last day.