We left Sidemen with mixed emotions and many a backward glance, happy to be one step closer to the wedding, yet loathe to leave a place of such beauty and serenity.
The drive to Candidasa took us fewer than two hours. If we had been travelling alone I would have made a few stops to take pictures, but we were travelling in convoy. Travelling on bikes would have been better, though it would have also required knowledge of the area and where we were going.
Candidasa (the 'c' pronounced 'ch') is an odd place. Along with Kuta and Ubud, it is one of the oldest tourist spots on the island and it hasn't done well for itself. It consists mostly of a road flanked on both sides by shops and accommodation. Beyond one flank is the beach, the main attraction of the area.
The light when we arrived as incredible bright, so the next two pictures look awful. There is too much light, everyhting looks washed out and the sky cannot be seen.
This inconspicuous wall is what hid our accommodation from the road. It's name is Relax Beach Resort and it's a terrible place.
The place consists of a reception room and a series of small rooms that all open onto a central pathway. The rooms are tiny. The beds just fit in, with no room to swing a cat.
The obligatory mosquito nets were there, though I considered them unnecessary at that time of year. I may have been bothered by one mosquito all trip and that was during the day.
This was the bathroom, an endless source of consternation and the reason for my low opinion of the place. It has nothing to do with the fact that there is no door separating it from the bedroom. My frustration came from the so-called shower, for any shower worthy of the name would, by default, allow water to pass through it in a manner representing - on the most fundamental level - a consistent spray. This contraption did not. Droplets trickled from three points on it, with "trickle" being a generous hyperbole.
We took it upon ourselves to use an empty water bottle to aid in the task of cleaning, filling the bottle with water from the tap in order to rinse our hair. This brought about the second revalation: there were tiny fly-like creatures in the tap water. We were faced with a new decision - rinse our hair with bug water, keep soap in our hair or go swim in the pool, thus defeating the idea of washing. We opted for bugs and turned to bottled-water to brush our teeth.
The place was pretty enough, as coastal places go, but the charm came from the natural landscape itself; a landscape slowly being overrun.
View from the end, looking right down the coast.
View from the end, looking left down the coast.
A temporary ironing table I used before the wedding. At least our hosts were friendly and able to lend me an iron when I asked for one. An ironing board however...
Slightly disappointed by the course of events, I decided to go for a walk around the town and I came to the conclusion that I had been generous in naming it such. Within twenty minutes I had walked the length of its sole road and become bored again.
One of the well-established (and slightly pricey) places bore testement to the origin of Bali's largest tourist group.
Kangaroos not being enough, the restaurant also boasted a statue of a women trying to manage at least seven toddlers. I'm unsure of the reason a restaurant would choose this specifically, unless it was trying to point out that the children who don't get enough attention cry... and so ...you should eat here rather than cook at home?
Statues of gods are a big part of Bali culture. These figures are seen everywhere. I noticed that every bridge I passed had a statue on either end of it, often one of each side landing one with a total of four guardians.
More scenes from wandering the street:
The gate announcing one's entry into a new town/district. They can be seen all over the island.
I love this statue. It's from the base of the gate above. Someone had made a welcome sign and then it had deliberately been corrected incorrectly to two Ls.
This is how chickens (or perhaps just roosters) are transported in Bali.
Of course we weren't far from the farmland of Bali by any means. The opposite side of the road, just inland from the sea, still boasted the beautifully tilled fields.
One tired of Candidasa as quickly, if not sooner, than one grows tired of wearing a pair of socks. One day is enough. Possibly even just a few hours. I left the street that was reminding me more and more of a mini version of Margate (South African east coast) which is little more than a dump for tourists. I escaped with my camera to see what I could capture.
I'm toying with the idea of using one of these stone beach pictures as my new phone background.
These boats can be hired. A guide will gladly take a party out to sail around, go snorkling, go fishing or a combination.