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Trip Report Bali Trip Report - The Last Resort

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The two bare breasted French girls wiggled their tight little posteriors as they minced their way across the sand on Bali’s beautiful Nusa Dua Beach, again drawing stares from more than 50 or so men - as they had done for the past three days.

By now, some of the men had become smarter and wore sunglasses and remembered to not hold upside down the books they were pretending to read. Others still just openly stared. Their wives and lovers ignored the two shapely girls, but even some of them appeared gob-smacked by the performance.

“Cindy!” several of the Balinese hawkers shouted gleefully as they dashed along the beach and planted themselves at the feet of the slimmer of the girls, and tried to sell her yet more of their trinkets.

Both girls were genuine centre-fold material, and had become the beach’s daily attraction. I enjoyed their presence as much the next bloke – much to my wife’s annoyance. And Cindy and her friend had certainly been a rare bonus for the hawkers, always buying jewellery, sarongs, watches and whatever else they produced from their cases and bags.

I had sworn I would never visit Bali and stay at Nusa Dua – which is luxury enclave and a sort of make-believe Bali. Yet here we were, and I was actually quite liking our resort – the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa - owned by the Sultan of Brunei. We were staying in the sumptuous Palace Club section and it was a complete change to our normal Bali habitats which tended to be more ‘native’.

For starters, we had a suite, which included a beautifully furnished sitting room and a very plush bedroom with a bed so large we almost needed megaphones to communicate. We had more free services than we could poke a stick at - non-alcoholic drinks all day, 24-hour butler service, superb buffet breakfast, a very stylish 2-hour ‘high ‘ tea every afternoon, and an extremely classy 2-hour canapés and cocktail session each evening – all included in our price of $2,000 per person for seven nights including airfare from Australia.

I hated to admit it, but I was becoming rather keen on resort life.

The previous day we had enjoyed sipping beer and cocktails during our first swim-up bar experience and had met Jock, from Perth, who despite his happy demeanor was actually an utter boor after 5 minutes. We had been drinking with four of our newfound friends from Australia (one always finds new friends at a swim-up bar) when Jock suddenly appeared like a submarine rising to the surface.

He was about 60, and somewhat rough around the edges. But he, like me, quickly noticed the rather disdainful glances several drinkers gave him when he mentioned the Perth suburb in which he lived. Obviously it marked Jock as coming from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, but he was quick to act.

As a younger man emerged from the water – he turned out to be Jock’s son – he muttered to him: “Go and get my new hat, son”.

The son dutifully did, and Jock grabbed it, jammed it on his head and beamed. It was a Porsche Boxster cap.

“I’ve just brought myself a Boxster,” Jock exclaimed excitedly, as though owning a brand spanking new Porsche suddenly made him socially acceptable. He then regaled us with appallingly bad taste jokes about everything from Jesus to Prince Charles.

It transpired that Jock and his son were actually meant to be attending a week-long conference in Singapore – or so their wives thought – but had simply enjoyed a 2-hour stopover there before continuing on to Bali.

“The wife would kill me if she ever discovered,” he winked.

But that’s resort life for you. One must take the good with the bad – be it company, activities or shopping.

Staying in the suite next to us was a solo traveler - an Englishman called Peter, from Nottingham – who we met on our second night.

“I’ve been here five days and you are the first people I have talked to,” he told me sadly. “It was a mistake coming here. I can’t stand the heat, and I don’t like the food. All I have eaten so far is a small tube of Pringles chips.”

I nodded sympathetically, and wondered why on earth he has chosen Bali as his destination. Because he seemed so miserable, we invited him to join us for the Palace Club canapés and cocktail session that evening but he declined.

“The food just goes in my top end and makes a rapid exit through my bottom end,” he said gloomily. “I spend all my time in the room, on the toilet or under the shower. Too bloody hot for anything else.”

Two nights later, Peter magically appeared at the Club’s canapés session.

“I decided to give it a try,” he said, “and I would like you both to join me for dinner when we finish here.”

We did, and Peter – despite claiming he had not eaten anything but Pringles chips - appeared to be on first names terms with most of the waiters. Over dinner he told us about his career as a private hotelkeeper and his prowess as a golfer.

“I haven’t played golf here,” he muttered. “Too bloody hot, old chap. Can’t stand the heat.”

I told him about the magnificent Bali Handara Championship Course in the mountains, where it was a lot cooler.

“I might try it,” he said.

Several days later he reported that he had played nine holes there.

“God, it was cold and wet,” he complained, “and cost a bloody bomb.”

That evening – and at his request - I took the photos of Peter wearing a formal Balinese outfit he had purchased – a sarong and an ornately embroidered evening dress shirt - and he was delighted.

“Careful my expensive camera!” he yelled cheekily, as he draped an arm lovingly around the neck of a stoney-faced Balinese princess statue. I noted that his camera was a cheap disposable, and took some decent photos with my digital camera, promising to email them to him.

The next morning I spied, on the low wall separating our terrace from Pete’s, a lidded and empty Pringle chips tube that contained a hand written note: “I have left. Too bloody hot. Have fun. Nice meeting you”. It was signed ‘Pringle Pete’.

One never has to worry what to do in a resort. There are heaps of activities.
Generally, we simply lazed in the sun on the beach, swam in the pool, had cocktails at the swim-up bar, or enjoyed our three ‘freebie’ sessions in the Palace Club. It was actually hard to resist the never-ending parade of people along the beach, especially the local hawkers, while the food at the Club was delicious and matched only by the warm and friendly Balinese service.

On our final night we each decided to have the free 50-minute Balinese-style massage that was included in our holiday price. It was glorious – apart from an ill-timed comment by myself after one of the masseurs finished massaging my hands and fingers. I looked over to my wife on the bench alongside me and murmured in all innocence….”I never knew that a hand job could be so bloody wonderful.”

Needless to say, there was stunned silence before my wife gave a throaty cough and said: “Poor choice of words.”

Seven nights at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa’s Palace Club is luxury at its best, and people like Jock, ‘Pringle Pete’, semi-naked French girls and Italian nights simply add to the fun.