Two seaplanes in a week seems excessive, but someone’s got to do it.
Leaving the Obama-Pad in Ubud is a wrench but it helps that it’s pissing it down. Central Bali is damper than a squid’s knickers and we’re quite glad of the bone dry air of Moyo Island when we land. The staff are waiting on the jetty like we’re Jay-Z and Beyoncé rather than Ad-D and Libbé (actually I like that and I think that’s going to have to be our official titles from now on – I will notify all relevant authorities – please update your devices) and one of them immediately grabs Johnny the Juice and starts frantically chucking bread off the pier and pointing with a big smug island grin. ‘Fish!’ ‘Look!’
To be fair, he’s packing: the fish are blockbuster. There’s a black and yellow and white stripey fish practically climbs out and shakes John’s hand (batfish) and then tonnes of smaller, rounder, black and white hotties.
Moyo is almost entirely jungle but pretty big. How to explain size? Ah yes, google the fecker. It’s 135sqmi which is equivalent to about 36 Wembley Stadiums. Totally made that last line up. It has 12 villages but only one employer of any size and that’s our hotel, Amanwana. The ‘rooms’ are essentially tents but with solid walls and canvas roofs, which is frankly cheating and makes ‘glamping’ (wait whilst I reach for my revolver) look hardcore. We’re such dilettantes we even need our tents to have plantation shutters. Otherwise it’s a weirdly deserted, quite run down and scrubby ‘luxury’ resort.
HOWEVER… the non-homosapiens residents, as usual, prove worthy of that fifth star in and of themselves. Here come the DEERS. They’re stunning and shy and look freakishly like Princess Di. One of the cheery groundsmen says the deers like fruit, so the kids take the complimentary fruit bowl from the rooms (sorry, TENTS) and immediately start hacking away at them with the complimentary cutlery and then the deers feast on chunks of orange and apple with the sort of enthusiasm I’m pretty sure they reserve for tourists. All in all I’m quite determined to find this place the absolute finest spot on Earth. Instagram-Bustlingly so.
The trouble in paradise starts at lunchtime. We’re served by a guy with what can only be described as murder behind his eyes. He is so surly he actually makes me order something I don’t even want to eat. And yet when we’re tucking in (the food is amazing here, which almost annoys me given what happens next) I see him chatting with a colleague and he’s not just smiling, he’s radiating joy and mirth and beaming like Barry Chuckle on his birthday. Then he comes back over to get our plates and it’s like we were mortal enemies again. Weird.
Then another weirdness. We’re told we can’t sit on the bit of beach in front our room (tent!) because it’s reserved for the OceanFront™ Suites (tents!) which have to have their privacy. We’ve only got a Jungle™ Suite you see. EVEN THOUGH OUR ROOM (TENT!) IS ONLY 5M BEHIND THE BLOODY OCEANFRONT SUITES AND STILL HAS DIRECT VIEW OF THE OCEAN. I can see you’re feeling my First World Pain: just you wait until I tell you how many blisters my diamond flip-flops gave me. But seriously – you fly half way round the world for a deserted island experience and pay through your fat rich nose for it and someone that looks like they want to kill you tells you you have to move down the end of the beach to a patch of concrete, cheek by jowl with a load of other cheapskate Jungle Suite residents, so that some enormous Dutch children can have privacy while they wash their bits in the sea.
OK and breathe.
It got better when we went fishing and we got our anger out on some innocent, Indonesian seafood. Admittedly the trip was a mixture of enjoyment and sheer, white-knuckled terror given the way that little John-John – the, as yet, non-swimmer -cantilevered himself over the side of the boat to try to ‘touch the sea’. But! Look!
Eddie caught what can only be described as a large goldfish and Alice caught a grey one. And after leaving them to gasp and pant at the bottom of a basket for about 10 minutes, they threw them back. As all parents know, the line between ‘animal-lover’ and ‘Get me the RSPCA’ can sometimes be wafer-thin.