Holidays… When you’re booking them you never really think it will happen. Yet here I am on the way to the airport in a taxi..squished up against the door by all my luggage next to me on the back seat. Why is it next to me ? Here’s how the conversation went when the taxi arrived.
Me: “Shall I put this big bag in the boot?” I say moving towards the back of car..
Taxi Guy: “NO! I mean, let’s put your luggage next to you in the back seat where its nice and clean.”
Okaayyy. So I’m either on my way to the airport or out into the middle of nowhere to be left for dead at best. Or to join whatever is in the trunk at worst. Either way I’ve never felt more alive. For now.
PS – It’s not unusual to name your taxi “slice of life ” is it ?
PPS – What the hell am I doing.
After a fairly uneventful stopover in Singapore to see my friend, Laramy. And inhale some dumplings from Din Tai Fung. It was back on a plane to Bali. I was still feeling a bit nonplussed by the whole holiday thing however the ratio of incredibly old guys with unbelievably young companions on the plane started to give me hope until I realized I don’t have that kinda cash. Hope – Easy come easy go.
Some context.. A couple of years ago I spent a considerable amount of time in Jakarta for work. Staying at The Mulia. A great hotel and an oasis in the middle of the heat and dust storm that is Jakarta. Anyway somehow I had the foresight to register for their reward program and so ended up with a truckload of points which until recently could only be redeemed at the Jakarta Mulia. My points were expiring at the end of the year so it was a race against time for the Mulia Bali to open. And open they did. Sort of.
Morning came and the good news was the gym was fully operational. Great. No excuses there then. After a token workout headed down to the one (of 4) pools. 50 meters looks a lot longer over a span of water but managed to grind out a few laps. The pool boy said 3, but i’m pretty sure it was 5.
When you’re practically the only person staying in a fully staffed 30 hectare resort you tend to be the focus of attention. Every 10 meters there is another staff member wanting to say hello and welcome. Sounds nice. And it is. For awhile. But eventually you start maneuvering around like you’re on the walking dead. Trying not to make any sudden movement or loud noises that might trigger a zombie like cluster of concierges and pool side staff zeroing in on your position.After a buffet breakfast I headed down to the beach. Remember when you were a kid playing with toy trucks in the sand ? Well thats kids stuff to the Mulia. Just when you don’t think you’ve got enough sand to finish that moat, not only do you have enough sand.. you can no longer see the ocean.
It must have been 35 degrees on the first day. (Although I suspect most of the heat was reflecting off the earth moving machinery.) And I thought that Asia still had an ozone layer. However the red glow from my legs later that day suggests otherwise. [My legs! The ozone does nuss-ing!]
The infamous CJ’s at Mulia Jakarta has been reincarnated here as ZJ’s. I’m sure it’s everything CJ’s is and more but given it doesn’t really heat up until 10:30 ..and that’s past my bed time ..I can’t say for certain.
Buffet at the cafe that was open was very good. And at about AU$25 pretty good value. I especially like the dessert bar where the hostess behind the counter says “and then?” after you select something. Warning: she won’t stop until you do.
After lunch I thought I’d arrange some golf with the concierge. After all there are 3 golf courses in nusa dua alone. What’s that? They’re all closed for renovations? Heheh.. C’mon, stop bullshitting me. Oh, you’re serious. So what is there to do around here ? Turns out not much. Luckily the mulia has or will eventually have most of your needs covered.
It was strange to see a small old temple sitting somewhat awkwardly in the middle of the Mulia grounds. I imagined the conversation went something like this..
Mulia Incorporated: So you see this last remaining stretch of beautiful, untouched bali coast line ? We want to level it to build the biggest resort in Asia.
Bali Govt Official: “Absolutely not !”
Mulia Incorporated: “Ok.. what if we leave that tiny temple there and build around it ?”
Bali Govt Official: “Hmmm.. I don’t know. What about the other 23 temples here ?”
Mulia Incorporated: “Aaaand we also leave this large bag of let’s say.. cash ..right here”
Bali Govt Official: “OK. But I insist on that little temple thing staying.”
Mulia Incorporated: “Sure. You bet.”
I haven’t done much [read any] research but The Mulia Bali must be the largest resort in Bali, if not Asia. Having said that it doesnt really feel like it. Due in part to a good design with discrete sections. And also to the friendliness of the staff. Hopefully that’s a feeling that will continue once its overrun with hoards of people. Which I’m sure will be soon. After all Adam lambert is playing here on new years eve. [chirp.. chirp.]
The following shots were taken at “The Blow Hole” at the end of the Nusa Dua peninsula. Not a lot of blowing going on that morning unfortunately. It’s about a 20 min run along the beach from the Mulia. Took me 45. Probably looks nicer when the tide is in.