I wrote part of this a few weeks ago while in North Bali. But I wanted to do a bit more research before finishing it…so let’s go back in time …
I’ll be honest, I thought Umeanyar or Seririt would be exactly like Lovina. Wrong. Lovina has a restaurant street in the main part of town and is far more touristy – by North Bali standards that is. Where I am in Umeanyar, the closest town is Seririt, and it’s blissfully quiet, peaceful and the ‘old Bali’ I crave when I’ve had enough of ‘new Bali’.
In fact it’s the perfect place to completely shut down, switch off and tune out the hectic pace of wherever life normally has you placed. I’m sitting at breakfast watching fishermen fish, cows (yes cows) wander freely on the black sand beach, and the only sounds are the birds and the coffee machine making me another cup of wake up juice.
I’m staying at the Mayo Resort North Bali which is right on the beautiful black sand beach. It’s a small private resort with only 5 rooms plus the villa, all with views out over the pool and across to the beach. There is a restaurant with a small but really well put together menu, the food is fabulous and so is the wine list. Breakfast was the biggest omelette full of capsicum, cheese and tomato with a delicious home made potato cake. Worth the drive just for breakfast in my opinion.
So the drive is about 3 hours from Sanur or Seminyak. Which might seem long in Bali but you can choose various routes and make stops along the way. We went up through the mountains and Bedugal, stopped cliff-side for lunch and then had a little nap and woke up at the resort. The views are spectacular the whole way.
The Mayo Resort North Bali ( http://www.mayoresort.com/ ) means time spent relaxing, however you choose to relax. You can snorkel or dive, walk and explore, have massages in your room or by the pool, and at night you can enjoy a wine by candlelight at the restaurant and listen to the ocean. We sat in the restaurant drinking wine and playing chess. Actually The American played chess and tried to teach me, I just moved the pieces around the board and occasionally got accidentally lucky and took a piece. I lost more pieces than I took.
We spent a day exploring the area. Nearby Seririt is famous for it’s market stalls selling all the bits and pieces required to make the daily Hindu offerings and each market stall is covered in thousands of brightly coloured and heady perfumed flowers. Seririt is historically the third town of Bali and in my opinion is often mistaken as just being a stopover or junction spot. If you treat it this way you will miss gorgeous villas and resorts on the stunning and quiet beaches. You will miss seeing ‘old Bali’ and how villages used to be. You will miss incredible temples set in rice fields and for me, you will miss that sense of history that you don’t get in bustling Bali anymore. And I’m a big believer that in order to appreciate a place, I like to understand as much of it as I can – the bustling, the quiet, the old and the new. One thing I can say for ‘old Bali’ Seririt – seriously good Wi Fi!
At this point that weekend, I was about to down pencils and go explore when the lovely resort manager Putu delivered the body treatment menu. I should probably go relax some more before exploring. An aromatherapy massage, body scrub and facial for 375k should do it!
You could quite easily stay in the resort and not venture out at all – from the pool to the beach to the gorgeous restaurant, it offers everything you need. But if you want to explore, try diving with Padi located just up the road, or walk the beach and head to one of the local warungs for lunch, take a drive into the nearby mountains or head to Hatten Wines for a wine tasting – conveniently located just a quick drive from the resort! We stayed for a 3 day weekend but actually ran out of time to do everything. I did a lot of reading, napping, swimming and eating. So I missed the Hattens wine tasting and only got in one massage – but I plan to rectify that on my next visit!