Villa G's Travels and Villa Cengkeh Bali

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Plot Preparations 5

Retaining Walls

The major Balinese holidays have finished and the pace of work on the plot preparation has rocketed.  There are 40 persons working there each day now.  The crew working on the retaining walls are working in at least 3 sections simultaneously.   In the photo below you can see Susan and Roland standing where the driveway will run from left to right.  There will be a 3 meter tall wall built there that shall be about one half meter wide which will be a place for plants and vines to grow down on the wall.  As can be seen, there is a lot of earth to be moved from the left side.  It is going into fill west and north retaining walls.

The wall along the southwest side is being completed in places and the earth is being filled in.  It seems we may have more earth than needed, so trucks are taking away loads and moving to a nearby property that needs fill. The photo below in the upper right position shows the zone where water storage tanks will be located.  There will be four tanks, 5500 liters each.  Three for collecting rain water and one for well water.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

An Auspicious Day for Choosing a Name for our Villa - Villa Cengkeh

Today is Kuningan, a very important Balinese holiday when the spirits of ancestors who have been visiting for the past ten days return to their spiritual home.  It is a day of a lot of ceremony and making of offerings at the various temples.

We have been working on finding a name for the new house we are building in Kayuputih village, North Bali.  These seemed like an auspicious time to chose a name which we hope will be enjoyed for a long time and with a lot of happiness.

We chose Villa Cengkeh.  Cengkeh, Indonesian for "clove" has a long and colorful history in Indonesia.  It is not native to Bali, but rather to the Maluku Islands to the far east part of Indonesia.  However, the trees grow extremely well here and have been a source of wealth for at least two centuries.

Cloves are the dried flowers from beautiful tall green trees that grow on the slopes of north Bali.  They are plentiful around our new home and in the photo below you can see them drying on large mats outside of a neighbors home.  The aroma fills the air and is quite heavenly.  The locals tell us that a family with cengkeh trees only has to work two months a year and then relax.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Foundations and Granular Details

We are in Lovina and bouncing from "the big picture" to rather granular details. Today we met with Michael and Anne of Properlines, a small business in Kaliasem (Lovina) that specialize in having linens, staff uniforms and window treatments (curtains). These items are made from materials manufactured in Indonesia, mainly Java, and then prepared in Java for final assembly/installation here in Bali.

Balinese do not use a lot of color as tradition dictates most things are natural and are thus made from wood, bamboo or stone.  The main colors are red, white, yellow and black.  Of course there is more than that, but those are the basic ones.  For our house, the main colors are going to be walnut brown wood, gray, white and since some of the floors will be terracotta, red.

For the draperies in the master bedroom, we have decided to go full out and have red on the windows behind the bed and very light gray on those covering the sliding glass doors.

To the left are examples of the two colors for the master bedroom draperies.

Michael and Anne had a lot of good ideas and I am sure we will enjoy working with them; however it seems odd focusing on curtains and bed linens when we have not got a flat plot to use yet.

Nevertheless, progress is being made on the plot preparation.  The retaining walls will take several months to complete, but the urgent thing is to get the walls on the lower sides finished and the earth filled in to have a flat building plot.  The actual building area/gardens shall not be perfectly flat, but rather have a slight slope varying by one meter from the high side to the low side.

Pictures of one of the walls and the iron going into the walls is shown below.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Plans for House, Part 3

We are back in Lovina and have been to the plot and seen the progress made in the preparations there.  In addition, we have had several meetings with Roland of Tropis Living and are getting the drawings refined so that they can be submitted to the authorities to get a building permit.
View from the East
A two major concerns have been the roof material and the entrance-way.  We have now decided to use sirap ulin (ironwood shingles) on the roof and we are still working on designs for the entrance.  The one shown here is a gate-like entrance with a concrete roof which is needed to catch rain from the valley in the roof overhead and either a Javanese or Balinese hand carved wooden door behind.

Most other things are small details like the electrical outlets, switches, selection of floor materials etc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Back in Bali to work on house plans

Testing for comfort
Sinks carved from small boulders
We were very lucky and our flight from Darwin was not cancelled like so many others due to volcanic ash from Java.  We got to out hotel at 4am, better late than never! After a bit of sleep Roland came and we went to Denpasar to look at things for our new house in Kayuputih (Lovina) such as floor tile and sink faucets.
One of the fun things in Bali is that they make so many things from stone.  Above Susan is testing a stone bath tub for comfort. Also shown are sinks we selected for our bathroom.  Other bathrooms will have different stone sinks.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Plot Preparations 4

The retaining wall for the southwest side of the plot is making great progress.  It has a wider base than we had anticipated, but that is all the better.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Plot Preparations 3

Roland reported on further progress in preparing the lot for construction.  There are two main items: 1) removing the old buildings and leveling the top of the hill for one level area and 2) construction of stone retaining walls around the widened area for the house.

The houses are gone!  And the walls are coming up.  They have removed earth of large rocks which are to be the base for the wall foundation and then have begun building the stone wall re-enforced with steel.