Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bali Marathon Race Report And Then Some - Day 2

Happy Birthday Phui Tin! May you be 18 Forever!
This blog entry is dedicated to Phui Tin that celebrated her 18th birthday in Bali with a bunch of us.
All I Want For My Birthday Is To Qualify For Boston
As most of you would know, we were in Bali over the weekend for the Bali Marathon. Read about what we did on Day 1 here. For myself and wifey, our last trip to Bali was years ago for our honeymoon (exactly 6 years ago and stayed in Kuta and Ubud) and the island has it's gentle charms that makes you want to come back again.
Lodging in Bali is not exactly affordable for many unless bunking in with backpackers and strangers is your cup of tea. With anything ranging from USD10  (and that is on the "affordable backpacker's rate) to USD25/per night for a 3-star accommodation. Basically, with promises of  "all things Authentic Bali", we can sometimes make the wrong choices - bearing in mind many accommodation based on old and existing Balinese houses could be, well, old. If vintage is your cup of tea, then i supposed there is no harm with it.
Second day in Bali (or Sanur to be exact) was spent lazing around the Villa.
Unassuming On The Outside. Human comes in from the left, vehicle, on right.
Villa owners are particularly very choosy when they are screening potential group or individual and rent it out on a short term basis. That is understandable as these Villa are their home away from home - somewhere they will seek time off from their home country and perhaps even making it their retirement home.
The moment I suggested this premise as the group's home for Bali Marathon, it was a thumping "AYE". Thanks to Karen which linked me up with the owner of the Villa, permission and the subsequent "token" sum payment were made to secure the Villa. Be reminded that the owner reserves every right to reject your booking even though you have paid. It is their prerogative and their right as these places aren't meant for "commercial rental".
Good Morning Birthday Girl!
The day started with some of us waking up on our normal usual hours (for wifey, it is 6.30am with the alarm alerting every 10minutes). By then, Lynn has woken up to her morning ritual of having half-boiled eggs. From how i observed, she is actually eating way healthier than i am. Which most probably explained her fast timing on the triathlon races and also her sub 5:00 marathon timing. Impressive. Goes to show just how changing and managing one's diet can give and create positive effect to your health.
lounging in the outdoor lounge with music playing in the air and breakfast in hand
As we are there for the race, eating sensibly and safely is important. Since the race organiser gave us the cereal, most of us had that for breakfast. Fresh milk were purchased from Hardy's the night before.
And i brought my own hazelnuts and walnuts with raisins. :)
Bananas, gourmet bread, light crackers, avocado. Chips were an excuse for..err..sodium?
 The Villa caretaker, Suzanne, helped the girls arranged for a massage. Two of the girls took up the offer and if you have not been massaged OUTDOOR in a garden setting, this is most probably the best you can come close to.
Stupe NOT allowed behind these curtains. Massage tables and open air dining area!
Myself being the only male, were forbidden from looking beyond the sheer curtains, so i had made used of this opportunity to capture as many features of the Villa as possible.
The inner side of the main door. Additional separator  wall perhaps for privacy.
Love the lens' flare. No photoshop. *proud*
The entrance to the Villa.
Inside the Villa, looking out from the side  full length window
Walking into the space between the main door and the Villa entrance is a car porch and a garden filled with trees, flowers, small ponds and an outdoor patio. Perfect for an easy morning cup of coffee with paper in hand.
And an extra sundeck if you want to just lie there to soak up the sun
weathered stone carving. Many tried to imitate this kind of weathering in Malaysia, not many could pull it off
Kong or pots that hold water were at certain places, adding to the simple charm of the place
Weathering on the stones around the main porch door
small ferns growing out from the tiny crevices of the weathered stones
 Going into the Villa, you will be greeted by a large daybed which is actually super-queen (is there such size?) size and fits 3 person comfortably - we tested it as we lied there watching DVD on the projector TV.
Villa owner arranged for extra mattresses for us. This is the living hall. Behind is the outdoor living hall or patio, to the left (out of frame) is the master bedroom. right is the kitchen.
and this is the super-queen sized daybed. Kitchen in the background
Sufficient to cook up a storm. We used it for boiling eggs and light frying of mushroom. Kitchen comes with potable water (drinking water from dispenser), toaster, coffee machine, orange juicer and everything else you might actually have at home.
 The villa comes with an entertainment centre. DVD (HDMI) player with sufficient DVD for you to watch for weeks. CD player with really decent amplifier, JBL and Bose speakers that allows you to listen to light beach type (think Buddha Bar, Cafe Del Mar, Jazz) inside and outside the Villa and the overhead projector TV that beams to the wall where the owner, Rene's portrait is. Made (the male helper) took it down so we can watch the DVD.
I would love a portrait of myself in my room! By the way, the DVDs and CDs belongs to the Villa owner. Do not take home ;-)
Comedies to Romance to Action. Choice is yours.
For those of you that do not want to watch DVD, there are some books (travel books mostly) that you can read as well. I believe some were left by previous travellers. And if you are travelling and staying at this Villa, the owner has a few international plugs/adapters for you to use to charge you phones or laptop.
A quirky door stopper in the shape of a mouse...complete with tail.
 Moving to the back of the living hall is the outdoor patio. It receives sunlight from both sides. Nicely furnished and it is a place you will spend most of your time while in the Villa. We know we did.
A 3 seater sofa and superb hardwood tabletop. To the left is outdoor dining table and to the right is the pool
Lounge chair next to the swimming pool

The door at the far end leads to a more private bedroom
Outdoor Dining is possible. The table double up as massage table as well
The pool is large enough to hold up to 8 adults. It has a depth of 4 feet at it's shallowest to 6 feet at it's deepest end. One can dive in when they feels like it.
Deck chair on full timber flooring. Authentically resort style. 
Pool is a 15m by 5m size. adequate to do a few laps if you don't mind flipping over every 5 strokes.
How to resist when it gets warmer into the day?
She definitely did not resist going in
so, quickly run into the room to change
But i jumped right time to waste
Some place for everyone. Chit very comfy on the bench next to the Sleeping Buddha
Which has nice stone motives over it. Peaceful definitely!
How the second bedroom looked like from the end of the pool.
We celebrated Phui Tin's birthday by the pool side. Some cheese, light crackers, good wine and great company. I have to *censor* the poolside photos as they have nothing but women in two piece swimming suit (aka bikinis) and they are all runners and triathletes with hot bods.
When that many hot bods are around the water and in the presence of the only man (me), i have to make a promise NOT to show those photos.
Happy Birthday Phui Tin. 18 crackers to celebrate 18th Birthday.
 And here is the topless photo. And this is all you all will get. :D
The water did not have too much chlorine and you could open your eyes without feeling as if it will pop out during and after the swim.
Again, Happy birthday Phui Tin!
As we were staying in the second bedroom (myself and wifey) and the rest decided to take the larger master bedroom and the living hall, i managed to take more photos of the second bedroom, which was fantastic even if this was the smaller room. I will start the pictorial with the toilet photos, as we are all creature of comfort and having a clean functioning toilet is always main priority, second only to a clean bed.
The toilet, looking into the room
Toilet, looking out. Semi-open with a bathtub. No one uses the bathtub because there is a bigger tub known as swimming pool!
Shower Stall that opens up to the garden, if you have some exhibitionist in you ;-)
 The entrance of the bedroom is framed by a bi-opening door
Like Peekaboo like that...
Another angle. Impressive and simple, isn't it?
Close up of the bi-folding door
The 4-poster bed. Kinky.
The painting on canvas that is the headboard of the bed.
The room open up to the swimming pool
Here are some photos of other features around the Villa. I believe i explored it quite a bit to know what is at every corner. This place is truly a gem.
Buddha hiding in the shrubs
Sidewalk to the kitchen and addtional toilet

We then decided to prepare the race kit by ensuring the timing chip, the race bib and all the needed items are placed out and prepared. We will have the transport coming at about 3.15am and there is certainly no time or chance to forget anything. For many seasoned amateur, this portion running up to race day is like a ritual and some even have their do's and don't's. For me, it is really making sure i have everything i need and that usually meant a bottle, some REAL food, my camera and last to be packed, the phone.
Running with Teddy? 
Timing chip DONE!
The mess and to think they are all girls!
Nice touch to the name. :)
Timing chip supplier came from Thailand. The print out was a recycled paper from some hotel booking. Well done on being sustainable! 
All lined up and ready to roll. Note the compulsory sunglasses stuck in the shoe
Soon after the preparation and a quick shower, we decided to go out for a Birthday Lunch in Sanur town.
We were the only guests at 2pm
There was a Gallery that double up as a food place and we decided to give it a try. At 2pm and race day is the next day, we have to make sure we eat appropriately and correctly. If any mistakes are done here, it will cost the race tomorrow. Many learn it the hard way.
Water for constant hydration. Don't forget to drink them!
Birthday girl!
While waiting for the food, i went sightseeing
Lotus flower in a small pot.
The adjoining Gallery
Wifey's order - Mamasita Steak. One thing i like about Sanur is that the fries are made from real potatoes like how my mum would made it back when fastfood was expensive. You will not get french fries like texture but potato chips that are always nicely prepared.
My order - sirloin steak with loads of vege.
Price of this outlet is cheaper than the Cafe Batujimbar. However the food was very salty. Must make mental note not to come here again when we return to Sanur. The quality was good if not for the saltiness. So, do take note - and no, we can't remember the outlet's name. But the Gallery will serve as a good landmark if you are looking. 
After lunch, we walked to Hardy's to load up on some Pocari Sweat and to get last minute item for dinner. It has been decided that we will have an early dinner, cooked in the Villa's kitchen and watch a DVD, then sleep early. Sound like a plan.
flowers blooming along the roadside
 We could not resist and wanted to have some cakes and coffees to celebrate Phui Tin's birthday, so we went back to the place we know we can trust the quality of the food - Cafe Batujimbar.
You never thought that we had bodyguards ain't it?
Another Cappucino for me and wifey. Strong coffee with nice milky taste of the fresh milk
By the time we are done, the sun was already setting. it gets dark starting at 5.30pm in Bali.
Money changer????like can trust or not?
Rates changes everyday, sometimes twice a day
We went back to the Villa. Rested a bit, lazed around, showered and prepared dinner. it was already 7pm by then. On the menu is sourdough bread wth hardboiled eggs and baby tomato with sauteed mushrooms. Everyone had their share. Divya cooked the mushrooms.
With no sauce????BORING lah you STUPE!
Wat to do..jaga body!
Meet The Fockers. You can see there is space to line everyone up in the living hall and still have space!
We all went to bed, calling it a day at 9.30pm. Transporter (his name is...KUM KUM) has been reminded to come at 3.15am. Some of us will wake up at 2am for the final preparation aka breakfast and taking a dump before the race. As the race time for full, 21 and 10 were all within an hour, we decided that everyone should just go together. Bali Safari and Marine Park is a good 30minutes or 20km from where we stayed.
I took a photo earlier of the usual offering in Bali, within the compound of the Villa. I took it as a sign that we will have a good run the next day.
M - for Marathon
With that, i wrap up Part 2. I will be in Jakarta today (Wednesday) and looked like the official Race Report will only be made available by this Friday. Again, bear with me on this - Blogging is a passion and it doesn't help me pay my bills or feed the family (though we do get free food sometimes). There are more photos to be shared and i promise you that the race day photos will be worth waiting.
This blog entry serves as a real experience and sharing of Rene Thiel and Maria's beautiful Villa in Sanur, Bali. If you are interested to rent the Villa for your holiday, you can make a booking at this website here. The owner reserves the full right to accept or reject your booking. Advance payment is required but will be refunded if your booking is rejected. This Villa, like many others in Bali, are owned by private owners willing to share their more personal space with you. Care should be taken and one should always remember to respect the owner and their properties.
The caretaker of the Villa, Suzanne lives a few streets away and always ready to help and assist. She makes jewelries to supplement her income. If you see what you like, you can always purchase it.
There is two person living in the Villa constantly. Wayan, which is the maid and Made, which is the security and also the gardener. There is another man, Gede, which cleans the pool and surrounding, assisting both Wayan and Made. They all could speak Bahasa Indonesia and very little or no English. But because Balinese are typically gentle people, your need and messages will always get through. 
Many thanks for the hospitality to Rene, Maria, Suzanne, Wayan, Made, Gede, Kum and Che.
And many thanks to Karen Loh, for introducing Rene to me and my group for this stay to happen.
Next : Bali Marathon Race Report And Then Some - Day 3


  1. wwwwwwwee!! another good right up ee-van!!! :) super like!

  2. That villa is one majestic and amazing place! I love how the square columns complemented the overall grandeur of the living room and the garden. Magnifique!

  3. Oh man... I so want to go do Bali Marathon.

    I read it's set on Apr 28th but now awaiting the authorities approval for it?

    Kena wait for 2014 lah for me. hu~

    1. I am still waiting for the announcement too Lina. Fingers crossed!

  4. I read this article, which is very informative and interesting. I refer your blog to many of my friends as well.Thanks for sharing knowledge..