Natural Bali


Sanur dawn.  (C) PJ Croft 2016

Aaah, back at the nooooooood  resort, and what a pleasure it is. Cool pools, nice people, lush gardens, coconut palms, butterflies, dragonflies. They remembered us from August when we were here last, which is nice, but I suppose my odd bod is pretty memorable!

There are a few more guests this time, and we have the middle room of the upper group of three. We have an American guy from New Jersey via Bogor where he teaches English, and the other guy seems to be an Aussie but we haven’t met yet. Only one other woman here, and we’ve said good morning but that’s all. V has gone snorkelling off the beach with the US guy. I’ve just been for a swim in this upper, semi-private pool, and I’m sitting here starkers drying off slowly, no towel, no nothing. Aaaah.


The US guy is only 27 but has a degree in English Literature and an advanced certificate in English teaching from Cambridge University. Impressive. He says he’s the only “white” face for miles around in Bogor, Java, and feels as if everyone is staring at him. He’s just not used to it yet, I think. It’s a very Muslim area, of course. Bali is so much more tolerant and cosmopolitan. With so many tourists, English is widely spoken and is taught to children at school from the beginning.


Unfortunately V was forced to evade a truck the other day and damaged the left rear tyre. We took it to a repair place (bengkel) on the way here and he tried to plug the hole, but it was too big. The tyre is a write off, I’m afraid, but the car’s insurance covers anything that happens, seemingly, so it should be covered.*

In the process at the bengkel, at first he was going to fit a tube and did all the preparation, using a pneumatic press to push the tyre off the rim. But we decided to stop there until we sort the insurance out, so I paid him for his work. Can you believe, Rp20,000?  That’s A$2! I gave him another Rp5,000 and I wish I’d given more now. They are so friendly and nice.

But it means we’re driving without a spare tyre at the moment. Uh uh.

*Update:  insurance won’t pay, unfortunately, but the cost of a new tyre was A$40, I think. Pretty good.


The car is a Daihatsu Ayla, a very small four door with a liftback, big enough for the two of us but too small for four, which we’ll be from Saturday. V is renting this one from a friend, but we’re going to exchange it for another Daihatsu, a Xenia, a much bigger people mover. Still small enough to be manouverable, but big enough for four. Hope it’s an automatic.

This bigger car has become available because it belongs to a guy who has lost his job, and the rent from this vehicle will give him at least some income for him, his wife and two small children. No dole here.


Slept like a log the last few nights, thank goodness. My insomnia is improved here, but I still need the mild sedative otherwise it takes an hour or more to get to sleep. I suppose I’ll develop a tolerance for these tablets, but I need them. I stay asleep, that’s the point. Phenergan 10mg, available without prescription, an anti-histamine, but listed as a sedative on the box.


I have a massage booked at 2pm (it’s 1pm as I write) and I’m a bit nervous. I hope it’s not the same guy who “did me” last visit. Hoooboy, he was brutal. I was yelling with the pain. I asked him to tone it down but he seemed deaf, or he was taking delight in torturing this strange body. He’s built like a weight lifter and can climb a coconut palm with bare hands and feet, and bring down coconuts.

Update: I had the massage yesterday and although it was a different guy, younger, and he asked at the beginning, “Strong, medium or smooth” and I chose smooth, he was still determined to make every stroke count. I was yelling with pain a fair bit. Incredibly strong thumbs. I kept asking him to tone it down and it worked for a minute or so, but it was soon back to full strength.


V loves the milk and the soft flesh of young coconut, kelapa muda. I’m not so keen. I prefer the hard flesh of older nuts, the type we buy at home, all brown and hairy, that you crack with a hammer.

I have a possible UTI, (yooow when I pee), and sirsac fruit is recommended. We bought some yesterday and I had one this morning. Quite nice. I like it.


Rambutan fruit ripening. In the background the guys are sawing the base off the new wardrobe so as to fit it through the doors of the house.


Sawing the base off the wardrobe. Luckily Superman was there to help.


Taking a break. They are always ready for a photo.


It’s been a beautiful cloudless blue-sky morning, the first I’ve had since I’ve been here, but the sky is getting dark with rain clouds from the south over the mountains. Let’s hope it rains; I love tropical rain, warm, wet and cooling.

There was a beautiful soft sea breeze off the ocean as we ate breakfast, lulled by the soothing sounds of the angle grinder from the property next door. And the chain saw. Wonderful.


Wednesday morning: it’s been raining overnight and is beautifully cool and damp now. The bloody angle grinder! It never seems to stop.

Do I need a raincoat or umbrella? I do not. I’m naked. Getting wet is half the fun.