I only slept in bits & pieces overnight. I’m not sure why. My bladder was overactive. I did not feel refreshed when I woke up. On my way to breakfast, I dropped off my laundry at reception. It will l cost me $3.75 to launder 2 dresses, a pair of shorts, a top, a nightie & some bras & knickers. Ridiculous really. And they’ll be returned ironed as well.
There were a few new faces in the restaurant for breakfast. I ate my usual fare with a glass of water. Said g’day to the security guard as he waved me through the hotel entrance with great ceremony again. I’m thinking he might find his job a tad boring. He secretly wants to be the ringmaster at a circus for odd fellows & curious creatures. Just a guess. As I walk down the path to my room, one of the gardeners was watering the garden. Like we didn’t have any rain all day yesterday! Bless. Another was rhythmically sweeping up the leaves with his broom & long-handled dust pan. I do love that noise. It epitomises early morning Bali to me, minus the crowing of roosters. I’ve not heard one yet and I’m not sorry in the least.
I have an appointment at Koa Boutique Spa again this morning. I’ve booked in for another Balinese massage and a facial. Before I go there, I need to top up the coffers. Taking some cash from my safety deposit box at reception, I walk down to the money changer, hoping they open at 9am. I’d checked the sky before I left. It looked overcast but not ominous, so no need for the umbrella. I walked past a very full & bustling Smorgas restaurant. I’ve only had breakfast there once years ago. It is certainly doing a roaring trade. It is well patronised by Europeans. A bit further down I see Divine Divas – a shop I searched for on a long trek from Kuta to Seminyak with poor results many years ago. They sell plus size clothing. I wondered if they’d moved or simply expanded? Note to self – drop in there one day & check out their clothes.
Hooray, the money changer is open. The exchange rate is now 10,150Rp to the dollar, which is negligible – an extra $1.50 per $100. Money sorted, I step back out onto the street. The sky now looks ominous. Black clouds are swooping in quickly. I’d planned to walk to the spa in the 30 mins I had spare until my appointment. Stuff that! I cross the road & hail a taxi. The driver is unfamiliar with the spa. No problem, I’ll direct you. One minute after we took off, it started to spit. Five minutes later it was seriously raining & he pulled into the car park next to the front door of the spa. The meter hadn’t ticked over. I paid, tipped & departed only without getting too wet.
I apologised to the receptionist for arriving early. No problem, they can take me straight away. Up the staircase outside (covered, fortunately) & I am directed to go behind curtain no. 1. I know the drill, so throw off all my clothes into the basket with my bag, pop it under the table & lie face down on the table. And I had the forethought to wear a decent pair of black knickers today too. My masseur ‘M’ is an older lady today. Her style was slightly different to M last time. Better, I think. Seriously good massage. My only reservation was in the lack of modesty covering over my boobs once I rolled onto my back. Oh well, I’m sure she’s seen it all & nothing to envy there. Once the massage was finished, M asked me to stay put & returned with the facial products and a bowl of hot water. Sooo good. Really good. We hold a lot of tension in our faces. It was lovely having them massaged out with scrubs, mists, creams & oils. I was advised that they use Australian organic products by Sukin. I hope I don’t have an allergic reaction. My skin is a bugger for doing that. A few times, M’s finger strokes blocked my nostrils & I had to mouth breath. At least there wasn’t a steamy hot face washer draped over my face or a claustrophobic steam mask. I hate those. So far so good. I felt glowing. I went to the bathroom before I left to see what state my hair was in. Oh Lordy, thankfully I didn’t go out in the street looking like a surprised blonde rooster! I found my hair bush & was able to coax my hair from standing upright into some semblance of order then plonked on my hat for good measure. M was waiting with another sealed cup of water for me which I opened & drank without mishap & a wrapped mint. Is that a hint? Down the stairs slowly and back inside to pay and to book another treatment. I’m going to have a 90 minute basalt stone massage in a few days. Hope it’s good! Their price list says ‘Enhance your energy with the flowing strokes of warm basalt stones. Relieving tension & sore aching muscles.’ Yes please! I’m just going to look up what basalt stones look like on the internet. Ooooh. This going to be goooood!
Back out on the street, the rain has stopped and most of the ground is dry. I cross the road and walk down to Warung Bali Bagus for lunch. I take a table near the front. There is only one other patron. I chose their Sate Lilitlanguan which was positively delicious. Aside from the creme brûlée which is also theirs, is the best meal I’ve eaten so far this week. Flat skewers of minced white fish mixed with Balinese spices, lying atop finely shredded vegetables with chilli running through them, and steamed rice. My oh my it went down so well. My taste buds were singing praises. I can’t wait to have this dish again in the very near future. And not expensive either – $7.
I walked back to the hotel, avoided the driver touts & walked back to my room. The pool was busy. Blessed AC. Bliss. I lay down for awhile & finished reading my 2nd trashy novel. It was part of a series, so I bought the other two online & downloaded them to my Kobo Reader App. Technology is marvellous. I remember going to a book exchange shop in Ubud many a time for new reading material back in the olden days. You know – pre mobile phones days. I’d forgotten about that until now. It was always a bonus if the hotel you were staying had a decent library of fiction donated by past guests. Reading was a staple when on holidays. So lost in my novel, dinner time crept up on me. You wouldn’t think I’d be hungry again after that feast I had for lunch. You’d be dead wrong. I’m always up for my next meal, especially if I don’t have to cook it. I love eating out. I love eating. You can tell just by looking at me. There goes someone who enjoys eating. Yep. I certainly do!
Because it was dark already, I couldn’t judge whether it was going to rain. I had my little fold-up travel umbrella, which is ok in normal rain, but useless in a deluge. I’ll risk it, but not stray too far. I hope I don’t have to wade back to my room if it does rain. I decide to go to The Village. It’s one of the Griya Santrian Hotel restaurants. I’ve been there a couple of times in the past & enjoyed it. This time, not so much. I elected to sit inside in the AC. The wait staff were attentive. I really enjoyed the complimentary focaccia with a tomato dipping sauce. I ordered the chicken breast stuffed with ham & sage. It was in front of me in 10 minutes. There’s no way that dish was freshly cooked in that timeframe. It was accompanied by an unevenly cooked potato galette that had too much nutmeg in it and a generous (not) 3 slices of grilled zucchini & a few cherry tomatoes. Very disappointing. To compensate, I chose the crêpe suzette for dessert which had a jackfruit compote & orange sauce. The crepes were swimming in a thin sticky sauce with small chunks of fruit inside their triangular folds. It tasted like marmalade. I’m not a fan of marmalade. I was given a knife & fork to eat it, so inevitably some of it ended up on the table cloth. And a little on my chest also. So two misses tonight. I’m feeling ripped off & I want a re-do except I am no longer hungry. I pay & leave. I’m crossing this place off my list.
There was no rain. During the rest of the evening in my room (thankfully) I made frequent visits to kindy-loo. I stayed up watching a couple of episodes of House of Lies before going to bed. Trying to go to bed. Is that thing outside a frog or a cricket? It’s so loud. It stops eventually & I manage to fall asleep. G’night.
Caio for now