After our absolutely amazing journey through the jungles of Borneo, the girls and I headed to beautiful Bali where we met up with Miss Maggie (recently escaped from Hurricane Sandy's wrath in NYC) and Tim (recently escaped from the perils of Jakarta traffic).
After sleeping on a klotok for 3 nights with minimal showering and maximum sweating, we would have been jazzed to sleep in any bed and thus were particularly overwhelmed with joy to be sleeping at the East Bali villa I picked online, as evidenced by Eileen's running leap:
Advertised as "the real Bali" online, this villa is set in an area in East Bali (near Candi Dasa) that is not overrun with tourist like most of southern Bali. The villa was pretty amazing, set in the rice paddies with a view of and breezes from the ocean.
We spent a good deal of time just chilling at the villa, lounging by the pool, listening to the palm trees rustle and watching the local townies ride or walk by on their bikes, going about their business.
This scarecrow in the adjacent rice paddies succeeded in freaking all of us out at some point:
The villa was also home to 2 cute cats (Cheech and Chong) and myriad other creatures, including about a thousand cicak and these nighttime frogs that sounded exactly like goats or sheep to me:
Some large-and-in-charge spiders were also residents of Villa Surya... this colorful guy liked the pool-side view, whereas the one below was in my open-air bathroom when I went to brush my teeth. I have included a shot of him next to the light fixture as a size reference. Um, yeah. He's that big.
The rice paddy out front was quite pretty when a much-needed storm rolled in:
The staff at Villa Surya was awesome. Ketut, the chef/housekeeper/organizer was the best, as well as the rest of the staff. They made us some seriously awesome meals... we particularly liked Ketut's urab Bali, a salad with green beans, bean sprouts and all sorts of other goodies. She also made a mean gado-gado.
We wandered around near the villa a bit in search of the nearby black sand beach and we accidentally stumbled onto the property of neighbor Rob Cohen, a Hollywood director and producer (we were promptly ushered off the property):
As we were walking around, we crossed a stream in which half of the local village was bathing (thanks, Eileen, for the artsy photo):
Sigh, I wish we had a pool like this in Jakarta. It just wouldn't be the same, though: