Perfectly sandwiching my arrival at Dell three and a half years prior, Yuyin and I decided to swap one Pacific island for another.
Ostensibly to celebrate the wedding of Nelson and Christina, it was also a great opportunity to catch up with old friend Rich and plot some serious R&R time. Opting to stay in the heart of teeming Seminyak, it landed us within striking distance of some fantastic beaches, beautiful tourist spots and great food.
Anyway, here are some of my highlights:
This trip to Bali was a professional inspiration for two reasons; one, an eye-opening trip to the extravagant new bar ‘Potato Head Beach Club’, and second a trip to the motorcycle custom shop, Deus Ex Machina (more of that later).
Utilising authentically used shutters from around the island, they have constructed an egg-shaped cocoon structure, wrapping up a little slice of Malibu from the other side of the Pacific ocean. Locating ourselves at the back, huge waves were framed by the building on the sides, and an infinity pool at the base. The sense of occasion upon arrival was matched well with the prices of the drinks – we opted for a ‘cocktail to share’ and could barely scrape ourselves off the sofa by the time we reached the bottom of the glass.
A very nicely executed aesthetic (which looked fabulous at night, by the way) but amazingly only sporting a single set of toilets for the entire bar, and apparently everyone gets wet when it rains; not so cool.
Padang Padang Beach
Away from the main tourist drag in Kuta and Seminyak, there are some fabulous beaches. Jimbaran to the south is littered with the things and we pretty much had to flip a coin to pick one. Padang Padang won out, and after a little while looking for it, it revealed itself as a charming little cove with light surf, tucked away at the base of a cliff and beyond a dramatic walk down via a seam in the rock.
Some of my most memorable food on my last trip here with Rich, was at Menega Cafe, down in Jimbaran. Clams and shrimp doused in a deliciously tangy sauce were washed down perfectly with a couple of Bintangs, another gorgeous sunset, and gawping at the tourists taking embarrassing photographs of each other.
Tanah Lot Temple
Since both Yuyin and I had been to Bali before and ticked off many of the main tourist tick boxes, we were able to focus on some lesser-known attractions. One that had escaped my net last time was Tanah Lot – an extraordinary outcrop of rock populated with decorations and religious ornament. While fully detached at high-tide, at low tide one is able to wander around it with hundreds of other like-minded individuals. As is often the case though, step a few metres away from the obvious main path, and you are rewarded with near solitude.
Deus Ex Machina
There was no struggle. They caught me hook, line and sinker. Custom motorbikes. Custom surf and skateboards. Custom bicycles. Great food. Cute girls. Fantastic architecture. Impeccable story. I stood no hope, and bought what Deus Ex Machina really wanted my there for; their booming t-shirt and clothing business. But my oh my, such fantastic concept and execution. Please let me work here. I want to be you.
And on to their surf boards and other toys…
Canggu beach makes for a more rugged experience than most of the other locations. Bigger surf, more aggressive waves in-shore and less cover meant it was limited to us, some pro-surfers, and some local horse riders. No trinket peddlers and a more raw atmosphere was a refreshing change from the manicured spots on the rest of the island.
So that’s it … came, saw … and bought the t-shirt (willingly I might add).