Charlie’s Bali Chocolate Factory

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Four years ago we happened upon a chocolate factory north of Candidasa, just outside Jasri village. I told you about it here.

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The creation of an expat named Charlie, the location inspired me- to the extent that it became one of the key settings in Big Girls Don’t Cry. Charlie’s story is very different to that of my character, Roger, but it made me think that if ever I wanted to drop out of the everyday, this wouldn’t be a bad spot to do it in.

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Since we last visited, much has changed about Charlie’s place.

His old house has gone and more of the strange gnome-ish buildings have been built- with more on the way.

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One now even offers a (very) limited menu. By the way, the last item on the menu is French Fries…I’m not quite sure how that works with chocolate, pancakes and french toast…

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The chocolate nut paste he was working on last time we were here has been perfected and takes nutella to a whole different level (in fact, I shouldn’t even use the word nutella in the same breath).

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The swings have also multiplied and, I’m pretty sure it’s just my imagination, but the beach seems to have shrunk.

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Of course, when I created this setting for the book, I used (a lot of) artistic license. I conveniently forgot about the narrow black, sandy beach and instead pictured something much wider and whiter. I also airbrushed out the weird buildings and built upon Charlie’s original shack. Finally, the resort that Abby stayed at in Candidasa doesn’t exist- nor does Roger’s pub…although I’m sure that if you look hard enough you’ll find something quite similar that sells amazing nasi campor and icy cold bintang beer!

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One thing that hasn’t changed is how difficult it is to find this place. The website is no more- and takes you to a different chocolate factory. The closest I could find was this Facebook page.