Heading North, or south? / by tina gonsalves


We left our beautiful house swap. I really recommend this house for a great chill out, very low key - check out http://www.paradisebytheseabali.com/ Robin and Dianne staid in our treehouse in Port Douglas a couple of years back. Everyday, at sunset I had a massage on the deck. Lazy days in the pool, a few drives about the country side with Wayan, walks to the beach. Dinner and breakfast cooked each day. Beautiful spacious rooms and furnishings. It was indulgent, and just what we needed after so much work.

Yesterday we got another request of a swap in Bali, a huge house in Seminyak - so all the sudden our plans of traveling Bali seem to have changed. Why not live in a bit of luxury for a while? Its not free till the 11th and we will have it till we leave to Cambodia on the 19th. The owners, Anita and Tom, only lived half an hour away from our current swap, so we did a quick dash to meet them and saw their wonderful new house just north of Tanah Lot.  

We asked Wayan to drop us off at Medewi. We hadn’t researched it at all, or booked anything - I just thought it looked like a nice place to go. The plan was Medewi for a few nights then upto Pemutaran,  Lovina, etc. We get dropped off, and as I see the accommodation, which sort of suits young surfers, i thought. mmmm. maybe not so great. We walked the street, everything booked out, except a single room, that matt checked out. He came back saying, ‘No way’...  Not a fluid start to the day - it all seems like a struggle. The kids are hungry, we are getting frustrated. Then I get an email saying that a lovely villa in Sanur can do a houseswap starting today. I thought brilliant! but my phone data just ran out as I was trying to organize it… And Medewi's internet service had been down for a few days, or they didn't want to share their internet - so I couldn’t organize the house swap. We both said, “lets get out of here!’, we start to organize a car, 500K for an hour drive north… which then went up to 600K, 700K and every time a car drove by the touts would organize a higher price and sniggle. Not fun. We headed to the highway, and tried to jump on a bus north, all packed out - but then Matt said - 'lets head south', so we ended up jumping on the local bus back to Balian. The bus was packed. Matt’s bag kept squashing a womans’ eggs, and Hugo thought it quite fun to start singing at the top of his lungs and try to throw his bottle out the window. Atleast he amused the locals. If you haven’t got a toddler, I would really recommend the local buses for getting around Bali. We got dropped off at the highway, and walked in and checked into a really lovely hotel call Istana balian, where we still are. Balian is pretty wonderful, so why rush off? We feel a bit lazy to move. 

Now Pablo is playing with the owner’s kids, and they have lent some toys to hugo, so happykids too. Our days a spent walking, swimming, and meeting people. Balian is tiny, so you just seem to run into the same people.