Finally I have had to resign myself to the fact that today I can only squeeze in a massage and snorkel at most.
As Western though patterns and chasing leaving my body, so does stress.
I feel myself decompressing like a tension chamber that has become unaccustomed to it’s own internal pressure – in actual fact using it for fuel to chase down more business. I need to step back and I have.
Yesterday I jumped on a plane to Bali with a small back pack, some face masks to deliver to Solemen ( A charity I support here) and little else. I had a sense that escaping to Nusa Lembogan would provide me with my next life lessons, poignant and gentle as Mother Bali delivers, so headed for Sanur to catch a ferry.
There are plenty of ferry companies that cross the 45 minute stretch all day. No need to book ahead and it shouldn’t cost more than 400 rupiah return.
I had to wait a while for mine, but I have learned that the waiting is part of Bali unravelling you from what you know, to where you need to be.
I relish in the wait.
With no accommodation booked, I figure that I could do something about it while the ferry is coming. Incredibly I secure a room in a hut that is truly magic and I feel so incredibly grateful to have been directed here.
A generous local drove me to the villas and would not accept any money for the trip. It sounds naive but I know the favour will be returned one day.
My digs for the night are out of this world – incredible views, and I feel I have arrived at the cusp of heaven and earth.
I settle in, have some mandatory spring rolls, a gin and tonic then go exploring.
It is a full moon and the night light makes for easy walking to Dream Bay.
Today i will explore more and post more tomorrow.
My creative flow is back and I feel alive again. Thank you Mother Bali.
Reclining back, watching the last of another magic Balinese day, I giggle at the outlook of The Lawn. It is like a piece of Seminyak in Canggu. A little piece of glamour in the surf village. I don’t mind it for a change but I know it wont’ become my local. I am still an “Old Man’s” gal!
The Lawn is impressive though.
Perched on the beach, tastefully hidden, and discrete, you can chill on reef mats, watching the sun set.
It is pseudo kid friendly with an infinity pool, chez lounges and a couple of bar areas.
The cocktails are fairly standard for Bali – good, still cheaper than most parts of the world. I was a little disappointed with the menu and food but that might because I had been spoilt for organic raw choice all day, and gorging on pizza really didn’t tick my fancy. I am sure many would love their American quasi global menu.
The Lawn in summary is definitely worth a sunset visit – it maybe your thing, but you won’t know until you have been there at least once!
My friend asked today ” Why don’t you have your own villa in Bali?” seeing as I travel there all the time and lately have been heading over monthly.
I have looked into it, but while the ease of staying at a place such as Exotica Bali (Bed and Breakfast) is available I can’t justify the debate in my head.
Last night is the first time I have stayed there and I shall be booking ahead of time for my next visit. It books out quick!
The villa is about a ten minute walk to the beach – something that always deterred me but this is becoming the more ” hip part” of town anyway. Funky cafes, organic eats, warungs and great shops line the upper part of Jl Batu Bolong.
The entrance to the villa is lovely, the pool perfect and the staff great.
The rooms are luxurious, very well priced and have everything you need while staying away from home.
There is even a drying area for laundry and a “relaxation” space on the first floor over looking the rice fields.
I can highly recommend this place and the tariff includes breakfast!
I am eagerly waiting to return to Bali this weekend where I can surf, eat organic food and catch up with friends.
Bali has become a second home of sorts, with me traveling there 9-10 times in the past 3 years.
Bali had never been high on my travel bucket list but after doing a food documentary pilot for a TV show in Ubud, I fell in love.
The people are spiritually sound and grateful. Very caring and gentle despite the harrassment that sometimes occurs on the more popular beaches and tourist stretches of Kuta and Seminyak.
I like to stay in Canggu. It is the beach area further around from Seminyak and was the old surfie part but like most of Bali has been a little over run by hipsters and families.
If you ask anyone where Old Man’s Pub is you will find Batu Balong.
The place is very laid back. Sports a little temple, which commands a big crowd on Sunday with worshipping from the local Balinese.
I like going surfing here. It is a reef so can get gnarlly on low tide. Actually the beach is quite steep so getting out of the surf can be precarious.
There are a couple of surf board hire places in the car park and both are friendly establishments. You can leave your valuables in a basket and the guys will look after them. Boards cost $5 for 1-2 hours.. no one really runs a clock. You can organise a coach easily enough, on the spot – usually $35 which includes board hire.
Regardless of whether you have surfed before or not, Batu Balong is a great place to catch some waves. If you have surfed a bit you might find it a bit crowded but for novices it is easy!
Since a child I can recall art, drawing and painting. Maybe it had been due in part to having a grandma who is an artist, or maybe it’s because I find it nourishes me. Either way I love art and the knack it has of allowing one to relax and get totally lost in the moment.
It’s a chance for one’s inner child to play.
So recently when I held my Nourishment Retreat in Ubud, an art class was an obvious activity.
Ubud is a very ” arty” place and there’s no shortage of artist teaching classes.
There was no need to fret though, as I knew I would be guided to the best teacher, and so I was.
Nyoman is a local artist and has a great vision to one day have a cafe where people can go and pick up some paints and have a puddle on the canvas.
On this day I took a group for some fun on the canvas. Some were a little trepid and worried that they would be doing it wrong. But soon realised that there was no “wrong” and everything was fun.
Nyoman is a wonderful teacher and gently encourages your inner child to play. He picks you up from your hotel and drops you back. To contact him directly send him an email here.
When you arrive you can chose what style of painting you would like to do. He has batik drawing out the back and next time I will be doing batik for something different.
We all chose a different style and easily and effortless Nyoman helped us bring our tiny vision to reality.
All our art pieces could be hung on a wall and it’s not often when you do something so pleasurable and get to take a memory and souvenir with you.
Thanks Nyoman! If you are interested in coming to Ubud with me, check out here for my next retreat.
There is so much to visually feast on in Bali and the art scene is stimulating and exciting. I have captured some market art, some street art and some artists.
Bali Street Art
Wandering through the streets of Bali, passing rice paddies, cows, children playing, men working, there is so much to see and take in but it would be a shame not to notice the street art. It is beautiful and far from “grafetti” in a vandolism sense.
It is beautiful, heart felt art.
Funky wall art at Lacalita
I am not too sure if it the Balinese Hinduism that comes across so eloquently in the many signs, but all of them seem like little positive affirmation messages from the universe.
These are but a handful from this visit.
Bali is predominantly Hindu and signs express their witty, poignant interpretation of a beautiful faith. I love keeping an eye out for signs.
The many markets can offer some incredible art and are definitely worth a look if you are considering taking home a piece.
Bali is a creative hub and draws in world class artists. Some have their own galleries, others sell on-line and others sell into larger galleries.
I discovered Harry Holiday this trip around in Canguu (his exhibition room is at Deus). With many original funky pieces I found it really hard to settle on three to bring home. Priced really well, you can take home a print or an original lacquered treasure.
Doors and Openings
What can I say? Only a trippy space cadet or architect would notice doors and arch ways and I DO!
Bali has an incredible array of door sizes, door ways, hinges, styles and arches. I am so fascinated with many that I photograph them. Some of them really capture my imagination and I drift off wondering what is behind the door… a fantasy world, a cloud, maybe it’s a door to another dimension. HA, you can see, I am a pixie and love doors. Here are a few from last visit.
Canguu is a region in Bali, west of the more popular beaches of Kuta, Legion and Seminyak. Canguu is a very laid back area of rice fields, farms, coast line and beaches. It is famous for its surf breaks of Canguu, Batu Balong and Echo Beach (far away in time… sorry couldn’t resist).
The coast consistently caters for all sorts of surfers: long board riders, short board riders, kite surfers, beginners and big wave junkies and draws people from around the world. It’s not a “shopping mall” crowd, it is a down to earth “I-dig-surf-and-life” kinda crowd.
Aside from chasing the perfect wave along Canguu, you can also find eclectic organic, hipster restaurants, funky music venues, a healthy art scene and a plethora of yoga and health venues. Hence why I love the region so much: i t has everything I need.
These are my top three restaurants and cafes in Canguu
Breakfast at the Shady Shack
For breakfast (either before or after your morning surf), is the Shady Shack.
It’s sister cafe, Betelnut is really well known and on the other side of the paddy field, but Shady isn’t far behind it in popularity and the times that I go there it is packed.
Both cafes offer local and organic produce, turned into inspired creations. The vegetarian options are amazing and really well priced.
I meet Gypsy the owner briefly and we discuss the diverse menu, her use of medicinal plants and even bee pollen in her shakes. Being an avid subscriber to Hippocrate’s advice of “let food be your medicine” I am an instant fan of the Shady Shack.
The menu is extensive and caters for vegans to meat eaters but it is predominantly a plant based food fest.
The creations are beyond my imagination and I love the way each meal is it’s own art display and visual orgasmic delight. Nourishing one’s soul and body is so important with food and Gypsy and Shady Shack have nailed it, 10/10.
Today I have the Haloumi Bowl at Shady Shack and it is sensational: rocket, zucchini spaghetti, roasted capsicum, pickled beetroot, quinoa, chick peas, and a couple of devine sauces. A tasteorgasm!
At Betelnut my favorite would be their big salad bowl with 4 different salads. But the last two days I have had the fish burger, with chippies and salad. Also yummy.
Lunch at Old Man’s
If you haven’t already, go for a late morning surf at Batu Bolong then head to Old Man’s for lunch.
Old Man’s is the communal meeting place for locals and travellers and I don’t think a day goes past when I am not there .
You can literally come out from a surf, rinse off the Indian Ocean in a shower at the back of the pub and order a chilled bintang while still dripping wet.
Sean the owner is a great guy, known by many and very hospitable. It’s laid back atmosphere is accepting and there’s usually a band playing most nights of the week.
Batu Balong Beach is at the end of the street and is an awesome place to watch life slip by or roll by, with the many hypnotic waves. Grab a coconut and make yourself at home. No one is in a rush around here.
I usually have the snapper and chips but the menu, for a pub, is very accommodating even offering vegetarian options.
Every day has a happy hour, but my advice would be to head there for lunch and or an early dinner. Which brings me to my favourite dinner dine in place Lacalitas.
Dinner at Lacalita
Chef and Aussie ex-pat owner, Will, opened up Lacalitas after his Seminyak sensation, Lacalaca was rated a winner by trip advisor. Both restaurants boast mexican flavours but both have their own individual flare and style.
Lacalita is an infusion of contemporary and mexican foods. I love Lacalita’s menu and have eaten here nearly every night for the past week!
La Taqueria Tostaditas and the Ahi Poke are delicious for starters and the soft crab is my favourite for mains. The menu is worth drooling over and whatever you do don’t rush .
The BEST thing on the menu (in my humble opinion) is the chilli margarita. I am not sure if I am going back any more for the food, the chilli margaritas or the fantastic atmosphere and decor.
The walls have lots of interesting items to check out, wonderful photos and memorabilia. It all comes together to be one of my favourite restaurants, quite possibly in the world.
The smiling friendly staff really do make you feel at home and Putu, who I have got to know reasonably well, will remember your name so by your second visit you will feel like Lacalita is home.
Will and Lacalita it’s a big 10/10.
Congratulations for producing a world class restaurant with the best trimmings in the humble, laid back region of Canguu.