My friend Toby is out here in Bali from Oregon. I’m pretty much his tour guide (my bill comes later!) and with that in mind chose where we went. Having Ika & Jevon along, meant our range of options was somewhat limited. I don’t want to spend a ton on accommodation, Toby wants and AC room, with a pool if possible and the kids of course don’t care to visit cultural places. My strategy was, jump on the Kusamba Bypass and head straight to Candi Dasa. The 3 main things that everybody wants (a toilet, food and a place to sleep) can be found there in abundance.
The places down Forest Rd at the end of the main strip offer a quiet beach and wee checked out the Puri Bagus Candi Dasa. They wanted $115 per night so that wasn’t an option. I’m not really into looking at every hotel in town when I have a car full of kids, so I took the easy option again and headed for was place I knew was good, the Pondok Bambu, on the main street. This place has cute little bungalows, a restaurant, pool that the kids went nuts over and cost 350,000rp. I got her down to 300,000rp, breakfast included. From there we were able to access the small white sand beach in front of the hotel and the selection of restaurants down the street. I’m learning fast as a dad and tour guide, that making life easy for myself is job #1.
Toby & Maya have not been to Bali before, so Candi Dasa is exciting to them. That whole part of Bali is less busy than Kuta, is on the ocean with plenty of tall waving palm trees and friendly locals. Candi Dasa never seems busy, so even for an expat wanting a break, its an okay option. Later that night we strolled 20 meters from our hotel and hit the first place, a small warung to the west, which had a Balinese dance performance. The 11 other diners included a family from Australia and another from Holland. The Dutch folks could not take their eyes off of Jevon and Maya, and they were equally entertained.
When the Balinese dancers came out and performed, it became obvious that the male diners would be invited to join. Toby was sweating, having the coordination of an African elephant, rather than a Balinese dancer. To tell the truth, I have the coordination of a drunken stick insect, so am no better, however I did know the Balinese are very forgiving, and take it all in good heart. Toby escaped being hauled up on stage, but I had to get up there, and try my best not to step on the dancer. It was part of the East Bali night out and fun.
Breakfast at Pondok Bambu was great. We had a selection of juices, plus hot drinks, plus savoury items, plus fruit tray. I was pleasantly surprised after suffering many of the ‘free breakfasts’ other places knock out. Pondok Bambu had a pleasant garden, the steps weren’t too high for Jevon to get around and staff were nice. The porch area had comfortable chairs, plus tea. Mosquitoes didn’t seem to be around due to the proximity to the ocean.