We chilled in the afternoon before Paul took me to the ______ area to once again go drinking, the plan being to meet up with a friend of his whose birthday it was. Pete, his friend, it transpired, was enjoying an eight course meal with his wife and parents, so we would not meet him till much later.
We started at another beach bar which, at about 5pm, was full of Ozzies sunning themselves. As Paul now regards himself as a local, he’s not so keen on the Ozzies.
We had a couple of drinks, including cocktails, before heading on to the main strip in _____
Here there were seemingly endless bars, very few of which, it appeared, Paul had not tried out. However, bars come and go quite quickly, so Paul also pointed out the bars that were new to him.
We stopped at one new bar called Cha Cha. This had steps leading up with tables where people were eating and drinking so that there was the appearance that customers were part of a peculiar window display. It was a good vantage point from which to watch passers by.
Paul was quite keen to show me a place called Red Carpet just a little further up. This was a bit cheesy in appearance, with brash fittings and staff kitted out as bellboys/girls, but the best thing about this place was that, as we drank, we kept being supplied with free food in the form of little morsels of meat in sauce. This kept us from going hungry at least. Paul did also order sushi, although this was slightly unnecessary as we were getting a similar type of food for free!
Time passed quite quickly as we chatted away and before long it was time to head to a bar called _______ which had more of a nightclub feel to it. Most of the punters were probably half our age, but this didn’t put Paul off! We stayed here for a couple of hours before, just as we were leaving, Paul had a text from Pete to say he’d finally finished his meal and could meet us at the club, so of course, this meant we’d be staying a little longer. Before long, Paul had a tap on his shoulder, and there was Pete, very tall and dressed in a paisley shirt.
Apparently, Pete is renowned for his loud shirts. I gathered that he was a Tottenham fan so we chatted about football a little.
We had a couple more rounds, but just as it would have been Pete’s round (obviously not expected given that it was his birthday), we called it a night and moved on.
By this stage, Paul was quite merry, but he was now a bit concerned about leaving his driver’s bike, which we’d driven down on, overnight in a slightly remote location. We got a taxi to where he’d left the bike and now Paul took the decision to ride it back to the villa. Understandably, I was a little concerned, but Paul knew the streets very well and drove carefully and before long we were back home.
It was a bit of a struggle getting up the following morning, but I was lured out of bed by a hangover hamburger courtesy of Mr Bartlett.
We met Shinta and her friends at a nearby shack before heading back for the arrival of guests staying in the cottage for the night. These turned out to be a lovely American couple named John and Mandy who invited us all out for the evening.
We had sunset beers at another beach resort as well as some tasty local cuisine. The girls, with Tulus, then headed back to the villa while, at Paul’s suggestion, Paul, John, Mandy and I made a stop off at a little place up the road where Bartlett promised us excellent banoffee pie. The portion sizes were large and it was indeed delicious, the more so as John got the bill for the four of us. Our American friends were honeymooning and clearly caring little for spending.
John came back for one final beer with Paul and I by the pool before we all retired for an early night.
There is a special day in Bali known as Nyepi or Quiet Day, a day when no one goes out, or indeed, is even allowed to go out. After the festivities of the previous couple of days, the whole island literally grinds to a halt, and the idea is to simply do nothing! It’s a bit like New Year’s Day only far more strictly observed. The locals will even fast on Nyepi.
Paul was here to experience it, but this was partly because the year before he had guests staying, but there were no staff on hand to help out. So this year, as Paul was staying in the villa himself, he did not need to worry about attending staff.