Warning message

The service having id "facebook_widget" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.


Step back, Step up... on the road to Nusa Dua


Rarely when we travel do we head backwards along an already trodden path, but this time we decided we will.

We've really enjoyed the restful and relaxing time that we've had on the island of Bali, reading, writing, eating good food and drinking refreshing beer.

We've booked a couple of nights in the Swiss Belhotel Bay View hotel in Nusa Dua an area we didn't explore too much 10 days ago. The hotel was great, and although not in the hustle and bustle of the town, free shuttles are provided throughout the day to the beaches, Nusa Dua or Kuta. One slight downside is that the shuttles stop early evening, perhaps to encourage you to eat in the hotel's restaurant, which we did find this over-priced and lacking in flavour. It's not expensive to get a taxi back to the hotel, so we will eat out in the town centres when we return.

The breakfast is a big plus, however, and caters for a range of European, Australian and Asian visitors. One of very few places that we've stayed where they had milk for example.

We loved the infinity pool on the roof overlooking the whole Southern peninsular...simply stunning. 

The room are clean with lots of nice touches. Excellent WiFi service extends across the hotel and into the rooms, so the Airport Express basestation can have a bit of a break too.

Overall, at approx. £30 per night the 4-star Swiss-Belhotel Bay View represents excellent value for money. Check out the deals on agoda.com



To WiFi and beyond...

As I sit and write on the balcony of a Balinese hotel, I recognise the invaluable addition to our 'essential' travel kit. Whilst it might not be part of everyone's kit, it has found a definite use here. Two years ago, I wrote about the 4-way extension which we never fail to bring along with us. Now, there's another piece of kit.

Modern travelling does require use of the Internet particularly if you travel like we do. We don't have an itinary prepared with hotel bookings and travel dates, we tend to go with the flow and move around whenever the feeling takes us. It requires us to have Internet to allow us to do this since nearly all bookings for hotels are made this way. We carry around a Lonely Planet guidebook with some recommendations, but the best deals and availability are found online.

Often reasonably-priced accommodation will promote free WiFi and usually it's usually stated this is hotel-wide and in all the rooms. However, this isn't the case in many places. WiFi is usually available at the front desk and apart from a few seats, that's it. 

The Apple Airport Express is a small brick, approx 10cm x 5cm x 2cm. It is light enough to squeeze into the backpack and with 125V / 240V power supply hooks onto an already available WiFi connection and extends the WiFi coverage. Our Airport Express is dangling over the balcony at the moment and extends the signal into the room. Perfect.


The Airport Express was released by Apple in 2004 and ever since then it's been invaluable. Not only does it support AirPlay at home, but it's become a travelling companion too.

The Balinese Locksmith

Yesterday, we arrived at our hotel close to the town of Ubud called the Lokasari Bungalows Spa and Gallery. It's a busy town and so it's great to arrive at a hotel which lands you in peace and tranquility. In fact, much of Bali is peace and tranquility with it's many statues and constant offerings towards Hinduism through nature-based pallets of offerings.

The view from our hotel balcony is simply stunning which we were almost denied access to since the previous residents had packed up taking the key to the balcony with them. The hotel staff were quick to respond, and no sooner had we mentioned where the key might be, and is there a spare (there wasn't) they had the locksmith pop over.

The little Balinese man arrived with nothing more than a little pouch of tools, in which there were about four or five to choose from.

Within seconds, the lock was picked with a simple pin and basic cut key. He set about dismantling the lock leaving the inner barrel with which his mastery was to about to cut a brand new key. No machines, no template key, just a file and a blank key.

It took him only 2 minutes to make a key, and given the hotel staff were still reassembling the door furniture, he thought he'd make a spare. 2 keys filed and cut within 5 minutes. Amazing.

The Balinese locksmith was curious to know if we had locksmiths in England who could do what he did and manually cut a key from a barrel. I guess we must, but this was nothing short of impressive.

The hotel here is fantastic, one of the best that we've stayed in whilst looking for reasonably priced accommodation (some hotels in Bali can be as much as £1000 a night.) TripAdvisor and other reviews only rate this as 1 star, but what we have here is at least comparable, if not better, than other 2 star places that we've stayed in. I fully recommend this hotel as a place to stay for reaching Ubud town and the sights in middle-Bali.

The staff are friendly, welcoming and very courteous. The modern rooms are airy, spacious and are clean and tidy. Regular (free!) shuttles take you in and out of Ubud town. Perfect.

Lokasari isn't anywhere close to restaurants or cafes so you either need to take the shuttle into the main town or eat at the fairly wide selection of food in it's own cafe. Breakfasts are delicious with fried eggs, toast and the staff even squeezed a rasher or two of bacon onto my plate. Could you ask for much more? I don't think so.

Delicious Delirio Tropical

Travelling gives you great insight into new places that we've never been before, but it is also continually reaffirming of human kindness and thoughtfulness. There are few places where we haven't felt helped or supported.

Earlier on our visit to Rio, we stumbled across Delirio Tropical, a restaurant offering an array of healthy, fresh food along a counter - we knew it must be good judging by the queue of locals outside the restaurant. When in a foreign land, judging whether the locals are eating there is a pretty good indicator.

Last night we found our way back to the Delirio Tropical. It is always friendly and the counter staff patient in helping to choose food. The manager, Ibram, was present and chose to help personally. English wasn't strong, and so he phoned his English speaking sister and we spoke across the phone. He certainly went the extra mile to give us the service he felt we deserved.

The food is simply amazing and 'delicious' which curiously enough almost directly translates into Portuguese. You won't be disappointed by the array of food on offer here.

Anyone visiting Rio de Janeiro, should certainly look out for one of these branches of Delirio Tropical...

Ipanema, Rua Garcia DAvilla, 48

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Rio de Janeiro,Brazil

Subscribe to RSS - travel