Although we had a not so relaxing trip over from Gili Air (we thought our fast boat was leaving at 11am, when we arrived we told it would be 12pm… it arrived at 12:45!), when we arrived in Sidemen I was floored. Our base for the next two nights was set in one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever stayed in. Although there are only one and a half pages dedicated to Sidemen in the Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok book, I had decided on Sidemen as I wanted to get a feel for the Bali countryside with the rice paddies and luscious green landscape. It didn’t disappoint! We had the most amazing infinity pool overlooking the perfect view.
As we arrived at 4pm, we spent a couple of hours by the pool and then went for a short walk to the local shop. We had a lovely dinner in the villa, again overlooking the countryside, and decided to once again to treat ourselves to a massage (we were getting used to this massage thing… who wouldn’t for maximum £7 for an hour!).
The next day we went on a two hour guided walk around the rice fields and countryside, which was fantastic. We had a great guide called Wayan (pretty much everyone we met was called Wayan in Bali as most Balinese people have one of 4 names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut for both men and women depending on what number child you were in your family) who was really informative and willing to answer all our questions.
Wayan showed us everything that was being grown in the fields where no land is wasted e.g. rice (takes about 3 or 4 months to grow), peanuts (they grow in the ground – who knew!), chillis (they take a long time to grow, around 5 or 6 months), food for cows (who are used by farmers who can’t afford machines to help them harvest) etc. I was particularly surprised at how hard it is to grow rice considering people in Asia eat it everyday. The farmers work so hard and it looks like backbreaking work.
Wayan also told us about growing up in the Balinese countryside and how he would go out to the fields with his father but he thought of them more as a playground than a place to help his dad. Wayan was really interested in England and was shocked that we didn’t eat rice everyday! Needless to say our surroundings were beautiful the whole time.
That afternoon we hung out by pool and went for a walk around Sidemen Centre (which was nothing to report!). That evening we went for dinner at a local restaurant, a father and son duo who produced some very good food in their make-shift kitchen.
Although we only really had 1.5 days in Sidemen, I’m so glad we went. This post is short as we were quite lazy while we were there and just took time to enjoy the scenery and relax.pp