We slept soundly until 8.00 a.m. it being extremely quiet despite the airport’s close proximity. Breakfast was again a peaceful affair as, apart from our first morning (Saturday), few guests seemed to be around. JetStar cabin crew arrive daily on overnight stopovers and appeared friendly enjoying their mini-breaks in beautiful Bali.
For our morning trip out, we ordered a Grab Car to the fishing village of Jimbaran, located just south of the airport. There must be a large number of Grab vehicles around as we never had to wait more than three minutes for one to arrive, and on this occasion it was less than that.
It took approximately 20 minutes to reach the quiet fishing village, stopping briefly at a petrol station. Our driver politely enquired if we minded stopping to re-fuel and as we weren’t in any hurry, we didn’t mind at all. I never thought that I could build up any enthusiasm for a visit to a petrol station but it certainly differed from our experiences in the U.K. as Indonesia has yet to embrace card transactions there was no opportunity to pay at the pump and add fuel yourself. As we drew up at the pump an attendant placed a pole with a stop sign in front of the car (in the style of a Formula One pit stop). Next, an attendant re-fuelled the car to the driver’s instructions and after our taxi driver handed over a wad of low value notes, the stop sign was removed and we were on our way.
We got out of the taxi along a narrow road leading to the village fish market, paid our driver IDR 35,000 (£1.95) and bid him farewell. Entering the fish market through a small opening the stench of the fish in the unventilated market hall hit us straightaway but fortunately we soon adjusted to the pungent aroma enabling us to have a walk around the stalls. Fish of every variety was on offer from prawns to large fish of which we were unfamiliar.
None of the stalls appeared to be doing much business with several of the stall holders sprawled out sleeping and the remainder looking at their phones. After wandering up and down the aisles awhile it was a relief to return outdoors and to take a breath of fresh air. Further along the quayside we came across a second fish market, very similar to the first and again almost deserted with little or no activity taking place.
Our tour of the village continued to the end of the jetty where one or two fishermen were successfully landing a catch and we watched small fishing boats bob gently up and down tied to their moorings in the harbour.
Jimbaran was such a peaceful village we were pleased we had decided to take a look. Unlike anywhere else on the island that we had visited it was virtually unspoilt by tourism and we only came across a handful of other visitors strolling around.
The seafront is lined with several unpretentious fish restaurants all charging very little for cooking and serving purchases made at the local fish markets. One or two had tanks outside where presumably diners could select their preferred fish for dinner.
Another aspect of the village that was pleasing was that there were not so many scooters causing mayhem for pedestrians. We wandered along the shoreline where the beach was clean but deserted. There were several dead fish that must have been washed up on big waves which was so sad to see. A little further along we spotted a snake which wasn’t moving but appeared to be still alive although we couldn’t understand what it was doing on the beach.
Making our way back inland, we reached the village centre where a morning fruit and vegetable market takes place. The time had now reached 12.45 and as we glanced indoors, it was all but closed with the floors and counters being washed down.
Near the market, on a busier main road we came across a small Hindu temple but as its gates were locked we were unable to look inside. There wasn’t much else of note to see around there but a supermarket further down the road offered free Wi-Fi and from there we ordered a Grab Car back to our hotel IDR 41,000 (£2.30) which was very reasonable as we were in quite a remote spot.
After a refreshing cup of tea back in our hotel room we decided to go for a walk along the promenade in the direction of the airport as we hadn’t been that way before. Along the seafront we passed a few upscale resort hotels each with immaculate gardens, the only thing missing seemed to be guests but possibly they were all out exploring other parts of the island.
The footpath extended as far as the airport perimeter fence where we paused a few minutes to watch a couple of planes take off and fortunately due to their flight path there was little noise. Around the edge of the airport were numerous food stalls which appeared to be serving the needs of airport workers.
Retracing our steps, a small dog decided to follow us part of the way back. I’m not sure if it was a stray but there was no-one looking after it. Finally back at our hotel (minus the dog) we picked up our swimwear, newspaper and iPads and spent the next couple of hours relaxing beside the rooftop pool. It was blissfully quiet, sipping glasses of local beer and chatting to more Australians enjoying a few days on the island.
Later in the evening when the temperature had dropped we found a small restaurant for dinner on Kuta’s main thoroughfare then settled down with drinks at the Avenue of the Stars stage to watch a band perform which was quite entertaining.
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