Sunday, 19 April 2015

The best street in Kuta-Legian?

Jalan Lebak Bene leading into Jalan Bene Sari (between Jalan Melasti and Poppies Lane 2) is full of cheap and cheerful bars, warungs, cafes, massage salons (starting at 45000 rupiah for full body 1 hour) and accommodation. It's narrow and full of colourful street art.
Recommended cheap eateries for Balinese food and cheap beer:
  • Warung Kampung (new kid on the block)  Off Jalan Melasti. Down first lane after Pullman Hotel (Gang Intan) well signposted. Limited but delicious Indonesian menu. Eat like a king. 4 dishes for under $10 Australia (including 15% tip) e.g. Nasi Goreng $A 1.80
  • Legian Snacks (Jalan Padma Utara, behind Padma Resort)
  • Gong Corner (near Kuta Town Houses) Best Gado Gado in town 12000 rupiah, goes down well with large Bali Hai beer 28000, Big American breakfast 30000 rupiah (A$3)
Best value massage: 
Green Beauty Salon, full body massage 1 hour 60 000 IDR - "Mardi" (she's the best masseuse, in my opinion) can be flexible with the price if business is slow. 
Location: off Jalan Lebak Bene (10 metres down Senen Lane, No 3). Nearest hotels: Pullman, Hotel Puri Tanah Lot, Senen Beach Inn.

Tip: Want the best (budget, not 5 star hotel) Balinese massage? Get an older woman or a guy - stronger and more proficient). At around 55 000 IDR an hour, this is too good to be true.

Does Bali have the best body surfing? How long can you travel? And a word about Bali dogs...

I have body surfed (over a 35 year period) the east and west coast of Australia, Mexico, South Africa but the waves in Kuta Beach, Bali, take some beating. Why else have tourists been flocking there since the 60's?

Legian Beach

On a good day you can travel 50 metres on a wave (sometimes one wave piggy-backs another for extra distance). You body surf until you:
(a) eat sand because you have reached the shallows;
(b) run out of breath;
(c) both.

Go where the surf schools go. These little waves are great for beginners and have maximum distance. Just watch you don't get too close when you body surf.
Legian is also good. I am writing this mid April, the end of the wet season. Seminyak body surfing okay but I can't go as far.

Tips (these might be obvious)
  • Wait until the wave is about to break.
  • Launch yourself by swimming strongly (freestyle) in front of the wave.
  • Streamline your body (hands one on top of the other, fingers together, feet overlapping together, tuck your head under your arms, suck your gut in if you have a bit of 'middle age spread').
  • Keep your head DOWN.
  • I don't use fins, that's cheatin'
  • Wear trunk style bathers, a zip is good for room key, etc. Speedos, second preference. Board shorts take too long to dry and can slow you down in the water.

A word about beach dogs
It is amazing the number of dogs on Bali beaches.  I didn't see so many last year. Legian has packs of stray dogs roaming from dawn 'til dusk. There are also a great dogs with owners (locals and ex pats), walking, playing with balls and paddling in the surf. Labradors are popular. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The cheap bastard's guide to cycling. Cycling on the cheap

Unlike the MAMILS (middle age men in lycra) who fly past me, I cycle on a shoestring.

  • Bike $50 (garage sale)
  • Backpack (freebie)
  • Helmet ($20)
  • Media player/e-reader ($19 at K-Mart). Stored in old pencil case, elegantly worn around my neck. I might look like a dick, but it's convenient.
  • Lights, front and rear ($8 K-Mart)
  • Clothing  Summer: shorts and tee shirt/ Winter: trackie dacks, in case of rain: plastic poncho (freebie from long past Teachers' Union Stop Work rally)