Better and better

Bali just keeps throwing up surprises. It gets better too.

I waited around all morning for Dedey to contact me about the Emerald Villa, but nothing happened. Nor did I hear from the Emerald management. Uh oh, guys, you’re going to lose me.

OK, so I was browsing the web and realised that the Mercure Hotel Sanur is far better than the Puri Dalem I’m booked into on Monday 3 January for not much more money (4 star vs 2 star for $40/night more, and a much nicer location). I don’t really want to be in Denpasar, so I looked at cancellations but it seems I’m stuck with DPS due to the New Year’s Eve thing. (I wish they’d hold New Year at a differnt time of the year.)

I’m paying $188 for Friday night! and I don’t even want to be there. But I just can’t find another hotel on that night. My credit card has already been charged, so I’m stuck with it. It’s a pretty spiffy hotel, even so.

I’m booked into the Puri Dalem on Monday 3 January, but having seen it on Saturday, I think I’ll pass. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be (Sam Goldwyn).

The Mercure looked excellent, but I was amazed to find that the web site said internet payable. What??!! So I taxied over there with the intention of saying, “This is a deal breaker. I want to book, but internet has to be included.”

It turned out that it’s payable extra if you want a computer provided! Er, sudah, guys. I already got one. So I’m going to cancel Puri Dalem and book into the Mercure from Monday through to the following Wednesday when I fly back to Perth. Wow, what a beautiful hotel. All the rooms are bures, thatched roof cottages and the grounds are just gardens leading down to the beach. I felt good about it. Better than the Besakih, but at $96 a night, it should be.

That doesn’t include breakfast! That’s $15 extra. No thank you, but straight across the street is a beautiful little restaurant that serves, wait for it, breakfast! They’ll be seeing me.

OK, that sorted, I set off jalan-jalan along Jalan Mertasari. What should catch my eye but this:

I walked up the lane (a good 1.5 car widths, meant for vehicle access) and found this:

Hibiscus Villa, garages

There are three villas, all vacant, each with a 2 car garage.

 This is the smallest of them, which is the one I’d be happy with. There’s a cheaper one, but it’s two storey and I can’t handle stairs. I couldn’t see much, but they looked pretty nice through the fences. These are villas for sale, but again, the location is terrific and I loved the look of them. All are different but all are 4 bed, 4 bath, with pool and two car garage. Each is on about 500 sq.m. of land with its own bore and freehold. Modern, recently built. Magnificent design.

So with a new spring in my step I grabbed the brochures and found they’d already been reduced in price by about $20,000 each from the sign price. Wow.

So I just walked around there and loved the street, it being full of nice restaurants and other villas and swish houses and hotels. This is a nice area!

I walked and walked, in the rain and the cool wind, feeling very mellow. This is getting better all the time.

The path I followed, above, was about 1.5Km and I was pretty tired, so taxi back to the hotel about 4pm, where I looked up the web site for the villas and found they have a huge range for sale and for rental, starting as low as $220 pw and going up to $1,000 per night and more.

Anyway I’ve left an email asking them to contact me in Denpasar tomorrow and I hope to view the villas asap.

Daring men? This is a real photo, not altered.

Meanwhile, the Ray White agency has just phoned me and it’s the other guy who was there last Thursday, Lucky. He informs me that Emerald Villa management will charge me $700-$800 per month management fees (an extra $8,400 pa) and he can get me a special deal of about $32,000 on these villas!

Ha! If it wasn’t so pathetic I’d wring his neck. My friend Len in Perth, who’s an old Bali hand, says, “Walk away, fast as you can!” and that’s what I’m doing. It looks like Emerald Villas are not going to work after all.

Makan.

Later: I had my final meal in this hotel’s restaurant and it was another farce. The guys are really nice and try to get it right, but they just don’t. The Nasi campur was described as coming with peanuts on the menu, and I pointed it out to emphasise that I was looking forward to them. He nodded enthusiastically.

But 5 mins later he’s back saying “Sorry, sorry, we have no peanuts.” No peanuts in a restaurant/bar?? OK, too bad. But when the dish arrived, there were two hard boiled eggs instead of one, and then they brought out a bowl of krupuk, the prawn crackers, adding to the ones already on the plate. Not just any bowl, a large soup bowl full of the things. It was way over the top and far more than I wanted or could eat.

They try, but too often the reality doesn’t match the menu. Last night I ordered fried fish with a green chili sauce. “No bones?” I asked. No bones sir. I expected a fillet of fish. But it turned out to be three small pieces of fish in a batter, but with the tough texture of chicken, and tasting nothing like fish.

I ordered a small bowl of sambal, soy sauce with chopped chilis in it, and I couldn’t help noticing the endorphins flooding through my head as I ate it. It’s both pain and pleasure at once.

Next morning’s all pain and no pleasure though! Malam.

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