Ahh.. I like the title. Reminds me of one of skippintroupe members’ heritage. hihihi…
After having the best time at the Pandawa beach yesterday, we moved to a countryside, Sidemen (read: see-the-mund). And I blame all the fun we had to Rika for successfully fumed my jealousy over her family trip there.
The drive from Uluwatu to Sidemen took 1.5 hours. Probably because they were exhausted from building sandcastle, the kids slept almost all the way. It was a smooth drive as the roads in Bali were amazingly good. I really enjoyed driving there. And again, thanks to GPS I didn’t get lost at all and arrived in Sidemen without scratching asphalt road. (jadi gak lucu ya ekspresinya kalo di enggrisin.. qiqiqik)
Our accommodation, Lihat Sawah homestay is easy to find once we got to Banjar Tabola. The owner and his family actually owns several accommodations in Sidemen, such as Sawah Indah Villa, Kubu Tani, and I don’t know what are the rest. Lihat Sawah is actually the oldest establishment they run and as a little bird told me, the third oldest hotel in Sidemen. So yea.. it’s rather old and I honestly think they need to upgrade the rooms a bit. But, what they lack of in term of charming room, they made it up with a nice swimming pool, as advertised on their sign post.
Their swimming pool won our hearts. It’s all about a pool for us. The weather at Sidemen was mildly cool. It’s not as cold as Ubud but definitely not as hot as in Kuta. We just didn’t sweat here. The air was just perfect and so did the water in the pool. On the first day, the girls enjoyed swimming until 6:30 p.m. without feeling cold. The only reason they agreed to get out of the water was because it got dark and they got hungry too.
There were not many dining options there. Visitors can go to restaurant at different hotels or to even more limited option of small local joints. Do bring enough cash as most of them do not accept other form of payment. Fortunately, BRI bank has an atm near the accommodations.
Day 2 at Sidemen, we again followed Rika’s suggestion to go sawah trekking. At 7:30 a.m. our guide, Komang, came to our bungalow to pick us up. Raissa was not too excited with the thought that she was going to walk on a somewhat tough terrain again after Bingin beach. She said she would prefer to just sleep at the hotel. I did feel sorry for her, a teeny bit, but since I wanted the kids to fully experience village life and got all muddy at paddy field (sawah), I tricked her to agree do the trekking because at the end of the tour there’s a river where she can splash water. She gave in.
The trekking was supposedly to sawah but since paddy plantation was not in season, we went to rows of chili, and some sporadic planting of water spinach (kangkung), passion fruits, long beans, and cassava leaves (singkong). There were even wild coffee trees which flowers exuded heady smell I love. Done with the vegetation stuff, we went to the river.
The water at the river was clean but co-cooo-ccooolldd. None of us wanted to get wet more than just dipped our feet up to the ankle. I noticed that there were feathers in the water though so I asked our guide from what animal the feather came from. He said it’s from wild geese. Usually slightly after 1 p.m., a flock of wild geese would fly over the river. It would be a wow sight but… we didn’t want to give up the chance to use the pool before check-out just to see flying geese. Ummmm… maybe next time. Maaaaybee. From the river, we headed back to the homestay. We booked 1-hour trekking tour and ended up did 2 hours. A lovely morning exercise for Raissa and myself, while Fiamma slept the whole time. Booo..so much for kampung experience idea.
We really enjoyed the stay at Sidemen. Raissa even said that she wants to come back with PapaKris. Just like Raissa, I also feel sorry that Kris had missed a wonderful experience staying at Bali countryside so I wouldn’t mind coming back again too. But only if Kris comes along. On the accommodation though, while the staff at Lihat Sawah were attentive and friendly but for the next visit, I think I’ll opt for newer accommodation. Unless Lihat Sawah completely upgrades their rooms or half their rates.
Last day at Sidemen was also our last day in Bali. We headed back to Kuta in the afternoon and spent the last hours of our holiday strolling around Kuta/Legian eating gelatos and sipping yummy, cold fruit juices. The girls’ first trip to Bali showed me many new angles about my favorite island. This awesome holiday could only be better if Kris had been a part of it. That’s a very good reason to come back next year, right?
Today is our last day staying at Arana Suite, and we will certainly will not waste a chance savoring the pool for the last time. Slightly after 6:30 am, we were already in the water and stayed until about 10 a.m. It rained for a bit and instead of calling it quit, we just waited until the rain subsided before jumped back in to the pool. That’s how much we really love the pool at Arana.
Then it was time to pack our back, check-out, and head to a secret beach before going to the countryside.
The secret beach we went to actually is not a secret anymore. Pandawa beach, a name given by the local government, used to be called Secret Beach. It’s a 30-mins drive from Seminyak, going to direction of Ungasan, Uluwatu. It was very easy to get there with the help of GPS from my mobile phone, and this time I didn’t get lost at all. Woohooo.. I’m finally “localized” Btw, if you want to use GPS as well, to find location, do input: Bali Cliff. Once you reach Jalan Bali Cliff, just follow the sign to Pandawa beach.
The beauty of Pandawa beach is difficult to describe. Although, there are quite a number of tourists there but it was still rather an empty beach. This was simply the best beach we visited during this holiday. I’ll just let the pictures speak on behalf of this white and soft sand beach. Heavenly.