Yesterday was our last full day here in Bali. It was just our family of 6 so much quieter than we had become accustomed to.
The kids especially were missing the others. James and I just arent the same company but I think they still had a good day.
We had a few last minute things to but. Gifts mainly. Bali has so much you could buy but much of it is the same and I don’t want to fall into the trap of buying things, for myself or others, that we just won’t use at home.
Those 10 sarongs or brightly coloured dresses or baggy pants can seem like such a good idea while you are in Bali. You think you can’t live without them but really when you get home all those purchases look a little different!!!
We set off with the intention of going to Poppies 2, in hindsight I wish we had going to Garlic Lane as we didn’t get to that area. Next time!!!
It much have been about 8.30 and the streets were pretty quite.
We hadn’t walked far when we decided to get a taxi there and walk back. The traffic traveling back into kuta is always horrendous and it takes so much longer to get back to the hotel that walking is often quicker.
We grabbed a Blue Bird, made sure the meter was on and then preceded to make a very common, I should of known better, Bali mistake.
The driver asked us why we wanted to go to Poppies Two to which we answered shopping.
Oh you need to go to Krishna Markets (I think that is what he called it). He said it wasn’t far and that it had all the things we would want but at local prices. He pointed to James’ Rip Curl and said like that for $2.
We ummed and arred and then thought why not. We have shopped a lot but in the same places so why not start something different. He kept assuring us it was the place to go.
He confidently dropped us at a ‘market’.
As you can see it was called Agung Bali and during our brief look it was overpriced and not at all what we were looking for or what the driver described.
I know, I know, I should have known!!!!
We ended up on a busy road with no taxis to get us to Poppies, in the heat. Not fun.
But no one died and you live and learn. I smile now when I think of my silly mistake.
Have about 10 minutes we found another Blue Bird and headed to Poppies.
It was fairly quiet at this time of the morning and there were many calls of “morning price”.
It didn’t take long to work our morning price meant our first chance to rip you off. Most of what we were looking for we had bought previously so had a fair idea of price.
We responded to the stated ‘morning price’ with a laugh and would turned to walk away. Then we pull be asked the price we want to pay and we would then come back with the price we were willingly to pay and that we knew we had paid before.
They would always laugh or huff and puff at us. Telling us that all that will buy us is an Aqua or empty plastic bag. We would so thank you, smile and walk away.
9 times out of 10 they would then call out “ok ok ok”, when we turned back the shop they would then ask for more, we would again walk away and then they would agree to our price.
It is the way it works here but it is a game I tire of. Some days more than others. Yesterday was one of those days. We knew what we wanted, we knew what we should and had paid and I just wanted to get it done!!
We had a couple of insurances yesterday when looking for a particular bag they would get annoyed when we didn’t like theirs. “You asked for a big Mimco bag and I give you one now you don’t want it.” This was sometimes followed by swearing.
That starts to annoy me. We aren’t going to buy everything we look at and we aren’t going to buy things we don’t like.
Overall the shopping experience is fun though. You do have to be in the right frame of mind.
we we’re all happy to feel the breeze of the beach as we got to the end of the lane.
As we walked along the beach it was once again the small things that struck me.
The blue of the ocean, the sound of the waves, the laughter and chatter of the locals, the men and woman placing their offerings, right in the middle of the busyness of this area.
The connection the locals have with each other really stands out to me. The feeling of community, whether that is the connection with their culture, their family, their village or those they work with. Community is so important here. Connection is valued and nurtured. This is something I think we are often missing. Connection with community, with others and even with ourselves.
We reached the hotel and went straight for a swim. The grounds of the Bali Garden really are lovely.
We went back to the Bali Bill for lunch. We have walked past quite a few times and it is always empty. We enjoyed our first meal there and the owner was so friendly and happy to have us there. His smile really touches your heart. We had all decided this is where we wanted to have our last lunch.
When we arrived he let us know his cook wasn’t yet there but he would call and see where she was. He then informed us, very apologetically, that she wouldn’t be there for about 20 minutes. We said that was fine and we would start with drinks. The twinkle was back in his eye, the smile on his face and the spring in his step.
The food took a while to come and two of us ordered pizza and it was not very nice. Everything else was lovely and we just love supporting him!!!
Mitch and Madi both gave him a 100,000 tip. He was so happy. Mitch and Madi were thrilled their small gesture had made a difference to his day.
After lunch we returned to the hotel to pack. Jetstar worries me with their strict baggage allowances and with all the shopping I wasn’t overly confident of is being under the allowed weights.
After a bit of rearranging it seemed to work. Fingers were crossed that it would all work!!!
After another quick swim we walked back down the beach bath to Bobs Bar once again. We have really enjoyed sitting here and the local ladies now come and sit and chat. Sure they want to sell to us as well but they also know we have already bought things and happy to sit and talk about their families. It was really relaxed and just like catching up with friends.
The kids had a final play with small fireworks. We watched families and groups of kids playing on the beach, surfers returning on local boats, fishermen brining in their catch and we enjoyed the sunset. Even though the sunset wasn’t as good as other nights it was still lovely. It was also a bit cooler than other nights due to the cloud cover which was actually nice.
Mitch have Bob a 100,000 tip to thank him for his hospitality and he was quite shocked. We saw him later in the night and he came up to mitch to thank him properly.
After dark we walked the very small distance to the Warung we had been eating at Boga Paste. The food and hospitality was once again fabulous. I can highly recommend the Pepes Ikan, grilled fish with local spices served in a banana leaf. Yum!!!!
Mitch had the Babi Guling and said it was his second best meal in Bali. His favourite is Mie Goreng. I’m not sure where his favourite came from this trip!
After we paid the bill we stood to leave. We started talking to the owner about how long he had owned his Warung and what he had done previously. He was a chef in 4 and 5 star hotels for what must have been about 20 years. He had worked in about 3 different countries. And here he is on Kuta beach selling meals for around $5. He really loves what he does and I think you taste that in his food. Truly amazing when you think about it. As we left mitch and madi each handed him 100,000.
He said no, we had paid enough. Both Madi and mitch insisted and said he was worth that and more. He was shocked and so very thankful. He called out his wife from the kitchen. They seemed to bless us all. I may be imagining it but I think I saw the glistening of a tear in his eye.
Once again Bali strikes.
It is the small things that have the greatest impact.
With dinner over we couldn’t put it off much longer. We still had some packing to do and mitch and James were being picked up at 5.45am so after a quick swim and one more drink in the hotels lounge it was time for bed and our holiday in Bali came to an end all too quickly.
Tomorrow we all fly out. Mitch and James a few hours before the rest of us.
No more days to look forward to but certainly a lot of memories to cherish forever.
And maybe, just maybe, another trip to plan!!!!!