On Wednesday we decided to hire a car. Staying just outside Ubud for 3 weeks has us a little far from anything. To get into town is costing AUD$8 return. The driver is nice, but with driving everyone else around is busy and booking him is not only inconvenient, but with kids who sleep any time during the day also had to stick to a time schedule.
The manager at Bali T Houses Wayan, knows just the people and we manage to barter the car hire to 155,000 rupiah a day for 18 days. That’s roughly AUD$16 per day. It’s a big 7 seater car, so that when our friends arrive next week we can drive them around too. It’s practically new and we paid 150,000 rupiah for a full tank, which so far has not gone down much at all.
I have many concerns also. I am worried about the crazy driving, no road signs, no road rules. I am worried about the dodgy police and I am worried about the dodgy villages, which can blame you for anything and demand payment in return.
But we do it anyway.
Our first trip is to Sanur. Sanur is on the East side of the island, opposite to Kuta and via Denpasar. It took us about 40 minutes from Ubud, with no fuel usage at all.
So let’s address the first concern, crazy drivers: We never really got above 40km/hour. Everyone is slow and actually quite courteous. The roads are bumpy and windy and so the speed is actually negligible. Secondly the no road signs, well the iPhone GPS helped us just fine. We managed fairly easily to get from ubud to Sanur with only one time going around a round about the wrong way and entering a few one way only streets. It’s true the street signs are limited, but most tourist attractions are easily billboarded and the GPS was great.
Thirdly, the dodgy police. So I’ve heard many stories of police pulling you over, charging you for no reason and having to attempt a 50,000 – 100,000 bribe ($5 - $10). So, of course, my heart dropped when one road was manned with police waving people on, but of course pulling us over.
However they were more than courteous. They simply asked for our international driver’s license (which if I’m not mistaken is usually the cause of most tourists bribes for not having one). Josh and I both have an international license and once he saw it, he said ok no problems and waved us on. Brush with law, done.
As for worry 4: well we have been out every day with no accidents yet. Except for the man Josh hit with his side mirror during a relatively tight squeeze – he was all good.
Anyway back to Sanur, we had head that the Sanur Plaza Hotel had a great Camp Splash playground. We pulled up to it, had a walk around, got a Sanur map and then realized there are two in the area and we were at the wrong one haha.
By then it was lunch time so we decided to visit the famous Massimo Italian restaurant. The area was beautiful and parking was relatively easy and free of charge. The restaurant was beautiful, as most are and the menu extensive.
They brought out a little bowl of pizza dough balls before our lunch arrived and there was a lot of food. You can check out the pictures and you will see a pizza, pasta, salad, French fries plus drinks set us back $30. This is expensive for Bali, but not for Perth and the food some of the best Italian I have had in a long time. We took half the pizza home for dinner that night. Even Massimo himself came out and introduced himself to us.
After being thoroughly full we made our way to the beach where they charge you 3000 rupiah ($3) to park. The beach was actually lovely, stalls all along, restaurants and mountains of deck chairs to hire. Josh and the kids went for a swim, checked out the crabs and watched a little boy fly his kite.
After this the kids were exhausted and once we hit the car, both were fast asleep. Which is a shame, because we passed a giant indoor playground on the main road of Sanur… we may come back.
I’d like to stay in Sanur, it looked a bit like a slower paced Kuta with lots of markets and restaurants. Nothing like our little arty/nature Ubud location. Would love to hear if there are other places worth visiting in Sanur with kids.