We’re off to Ubud in the mountains today for an overnight stay at Janet deNeefe’s ‘Honeymoon Guest House’
We notice that there are some investment opportunities at Karma Kandara as they develop the next stage of the resort. We’re likely to have a chat with them about the development and see what’s what. Em and I have talked about getting a place here in south Bali, so who knows, a place in Uluwatu, cleaned and maintained regularly, only an hour’s bike ride to Seminyak might be worth it. We’ll see.
We head to Ubud via Seminyak to meet up with our photographer Orly Even. I’min the middle of kicking a sugar addiction (seriously), so taking me to the Bali Catering Company is like being a recovering smack addict walking down Smith St back in the day. We decide to have lunch while chatting with Orly. I launch into a duck (bebek, in Balinese) and mushroom pie. God-damned delicious. orly tells us that the wedding photos should be ready in another day or two and she is really excited about how they’ve come out so far.
I’m indifferent to Ubud. It is a completely different world to the sun, surf and boganism of Kuta/Seminyak/Kerobokan. Ubud itself is an absolutely stunning piece of tropical island beauty, but to me it’s like the Northcote of Bali; plenty of patchouli-smelling-matted hair-soapdodgers , everyone rushing to Yoga classes, lots of art-istes and far too many people ensconced in villas thinking they’re writing ‘the-next-great-novel’. That being said, given the popularity of Ubud, I’m clearly in the minority and the people that I know who LURVE Ubud, truly do love it, and none of them are the patchoulli-smelling, soapdodger type. I think I prefer just prefer the beach vibe – the dickhead factor notwithstanding.
We check in at the Honeymoon Villas and are shown to our room. It is a trip back in time to the pre-tourist boom in Bali. The only concession to modernism here is the air conditioned rooms and modern bathroom fixtures. The bed is a canopy-style king size number complete with mosquito netting. There’s no TV, no internet in the room and I couldn’t be happier!
We’re meant to be meeting Em’s Aunty Judy and our champagne hook-up Deb, as well as Kendall and Adrian for dinner at the knee-tremblingly brilliant Indus restaurant, but around a half-hour before we should leave I get to feeling a bit queasy in the guts. I have some water and feel better.
We meet Jude, Deb and their somewhat flamboyant Priest friend (who I’ll call Gordon) for pre-dinner drinks. Gordon’s Priestly duties involve chaplaincy at hospitals with people who are dying, or consoling the relatives of those who’ve just died – be it suddenly, or after long illnesses. Being confronted with death, suffering and pain as part of your day-to-day job is not for everyone and if a little flamboyancy and ‘fabulousness’ is how Gordon copes with his job, I say go for it, son. I’m not sitting down for more than ten minutes when I almost literally begin to lose my shit. Bali-belly strikes again. Not fun.
I do some math in my head while waiting for my insides to cease feeling like a Napalm bomb is going off in there and deduce that the two instances of Bali-belly I’ve had coincide with seafood consumption (lobster for dinner at DiMare the night before). Fucking great, so not only am I unable to eat anything with excess sugar in it (sweet chilli sauce, jus, just about anything except eggs bacon and sausage at breakfast, not to mention dessert) but we can now strike seafood off the list as well. No prizes for guessing what the majority of Bali/Indonesian meal options are; seafood and mains draped in sweet sauces of some kind. BASTARDS!!!!
Like the troopers they are, Gordon, Jude, Deb, Kendall, Adrian and Em have waited for me to decide if I’m up to dinner or not. The Nepalm flames are subsiding somewhat, so I decide that getting out might be a good thing.
Thankfully, some Immodium and plenty of water see me through the night. The food at Indus is just brilliant, and on this evening, we’re treated to the kind of cooling tropical breeze wafting through the dining room that Ubud is famous for. A good time is had by all and we bed down for the night around midnight, Emma and I eager to experience the third leg of the wedding tour; Candidasa