With Neil Case

The night of January 26 (Australia Day), I went to Pantai Sindhu to dine at the Beach Café. Later than night, further north along the beach, many fireworks were set off. While it was not like New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbor, the display lasted for 2-3 hours.

Somebody was celebrating our National Day in style.

Two nights later, I was at the same spot – a beautiful night, with the half-moon high in the sky. Over the mountains, particularly over Gunung Agung, a violent electrical storm was raging. Every type of lightning was to be seen: sheet, forked, chain, even the occasional fireball. The storm continued for at least two hours.

It made me think that the gods and goddesses, who are said to live on the peak of Agung, had determined to show us puny humans what a real fireworks display should look like.

Eventually the elder gods decided that enough was enough. With a negligent wave of the hand, the clouds and lightning were dismissed to wander over the sea towards Sumbawa, where they began to peter out.

The younger gods (muttering discontentedly, as is often the wont of the young) continued with a few half-hearted attempts to keep the show rolling, but soon thereafter, they too tired of the sport.

Some of the high cloud drifted towards Sanur, transformed into fluffy, white cumulus on the way. By now they were not thick enough to obscure the moon, but rather bound the moon’s zone “with a girdle of pearl.”

Bali …  island of exciting days, followed by enchantingly beautiful nights.


Jimmy’s Bar and Café, on the crossroads where Jl. Danau Toba, Tamblingan and Pantai Sindhu intersect, is well worth a visit. Clean premises, fresh food, friendly staff, great ambience, reasonable prices, Western and Indonesian food.  Made, their chief cook, is a treasure.

Try their french fries – double or treble the quantity from the fast food outlets and superbly cooked. Golden crisp on the outside – soft and fluffy within – always cooked in clean oil.

Their rijstafel, at Rp90,000 for two people, is the best value in town. It is really a sampling of all the Indonesian dishes on the menu. You’ll get up from the table absolutely replete. Live music every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.

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The Island

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