Our new home in Bali…The story begins to unfold…Many more photos to come…

Buddha statue by the pool is a fountain that runs continually.

In the dark, at the culmination of the harrowing four hour drive, our driver made the ascent down a narrow single lane road toward the sea. The road was so narrow, he had to get out to ask a neighbor to move a vehicle to allow us access.

As soon as we exited the van, both Ketuts greeted us with this tray with ice-cold washcloths, fresh flowers, a lit candle, and two glasses of sweet tea.

Moments later he pulled up to the house, lights illuminating an exquisite scene and for the next two months, we were home. With a sense of trepidation, I exited the car, legs cramped from sitting so long, took a deep breathe and smelled the fresh ocean air as a sense of relief washed over me.

Greeted by two lovely Balinese women, coincidentally, both named Ketut, one held a tray with  fresh flowers, ice-cold washcloths, and two wine glasses filled with sweet tea. Sadly, I declined the sweet tea but instead requested water. The spring water is safe to drink here.

The infinity pool is more beautiful than we imagined, the surface like glass, clear and cleaned daily.

During the four hour drive, we never stopped for water or a bathroom break, both of which were of my immediate concern, although I graciously held back to allow them their usual ritual of showing off the house. 

We’ll continue to have our coffee here on these chaise lounges each morning.

Our house man, Gede, (sounds like ga-day, the popular Australian greeting over which we all giggled when he explained) wanted to ensure we had a full tour including the opportunity to decide which of the two floors we preferred for our primary living quarters. There were four bedrooms from which to choose, two on each level.

It wasn’t the easiest decision even after we narrowed it down to two of the four, each with ocean views, all with en suite bathrooms. The only question, when the upstairs was slightly more appealing than the main level, was, “did we want to manage the oversized risers for the flight of stairs to the upper level?”

The covered huts and cabana poolside.

After careful consideration, we decided to stay on the main floor in the bedroom with the pool and ocean views.  With no railing on the open side of the staircase and only partial railing for the remainder, these factors contributed to our decision to opt for safety (old-timers that we are) to stay on the master bedroom on the main floor.

Doing so was no sacrifice, by any means. The sound of the surf, the views of the pool, Jacuzzi, and raging surf hardly are a sacrifice. Both floors had a separate living rooms and although a single house, we are free to use the other living room at any time if we so chose. There’s AC in that living room which when its especially hot at night, we may use.

We considered using the Jacuzzi last night but it was raining. We have plenty of clear nights ahead of us.

After the tour and room decision dinner was served by both Ketuts including a small whole roasted chicken coated in delicious gluten/starch/sugar free seasonings and a platter of the most delicious vegetable dish either of us had ever eaten. We asked for the same veggies at each dinner.

They cleared and washed the dishes leaving us to unpack and settle in. In no time at all, we were mostly unpacked, saving the remainder for the morning since we were anxious to let the family know we’d arrived. 

Peering across the pool to the ocean is a breathtaking scene.

As expected in this remote area, the wifi is slow and unpredictable, although not anywhere near as inconsistent as on the ship. In the next few days we’ll decide if we do in fact have to order the delivery of a hotspot device which we’d investigated months ago.

The rest? Heavenly. Oh I know, I’ve said this in the past. And yes, we’ve lived in some magical places, each with its own unique offerings. But, I must admit, this may be the most beautiful vacation home we’ve rented in to date and the setting…directly on the ocean with an infinity pool as the preface to the sprawling sea only steps from our door.

We’re located in the following area as described in Wikipedia.

“Bali Strait is a stretch of water separating Java and Bali while connecting the Indian Ocean and the Bali Sea. At its narrowest it is 2.4-kilometre (1.5 mi) wide. The Bali Strait is one of the five bodies of water surrounding the island of Bali: Lombok Strait to the east, the Badung Strait to the southeast, the Bali …”

Tom’s foot as we had a short stint in the sun yesterday afternoon. No sunburns for either of us.  We’ll move over to the cabana for shade.

At night we can see the lights of Java, Indonesia across the bay. On a clear night in the near future we’ll share photos of that view.  Amazing.

The household staff includes four; two Ketuts, Gede, Ribud (the pool guy) plus a driver on call (for a small fee). With several beautifully prepared instruction booklets available, we have most answers to our questions at our disposal. Yesterday, we made a list of questions for Gede who helped us in every way.

No, it’s not perfect. As is the case for each property, there are nuances to which we’ve already begun to adapt including; no English speaking news or any channels on the TV; Ketuts don’t speak much English (one, only a little); it’s hot and humid during the day (no AC in the main floor living areas except in the bedroom); there are ants, spiders, mozzies, flies with no screens (we keep doors wide open all day) and again, no coffee pot. 

The cabana is quite appealing where surely we’ll spend time reading and relaxing while in Bali.

Thank goodness for that silly little coffee filter we purchased long ago and had yet to use. Tom, as always, is masterful in ensuring we have the perfect coffee each morning.

After dinner we’ll use the Jacuzzi, swim in the lighted pool and lounge for the balance of the evening to watch our favorite downloaded shows using our HDMI cord for the TV while relaxing on the comfy leather sectional with an appropriate coffee table on which to set our beverages.

There are endless nuances which we’ll continue to share in days to come including the monetary exchange which requires a bit of a learning curve. Tomorrow, we’ll share a funny story of our first foray to an ATM in Indonesia and a trip to a grocery store in Denpasar. There’s always a learning curve to some extent, most of which makes us smile.

May your day find you learning something new that makes you smile!

Tomorrow, we’ll be starting a new feature to our site that we can hardly wait to share, all about our Bali experience. Please check back!

Photo from one year ago today, May 2, 2015:

View along the highway to Hanalei, Kauai. For more photos, please click here.

Comments and responses Our new home in Bali…The story begins to unfold…Many more photos to come…

  1. Jessica Reply

    Liz, it is more beautiful than we expected. We couldn't be more thrilled with the house, the pool, the beach and the staff. They're all amazing. We feel very fortunate to be here now and returning again in September.

    Thanks for commenting! Its wonderful hearing from you!

    Lots of hugs,
    Jess & Tom

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