The Enduring MINI

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As a showpiece for British engineering, the Mini outsold its competitors based on its functionality. But the new MINIs are showing a German discipline that heightens the fun.

With the outriders wailing their annoyance at those ubiquitous motorcycles and cleaving a path through the congestion, the convoy of MINIs trickled its way through the treacle-like traffic of Denpasar.

In the methodical madness that is city driving in Indonesia, the need for patience is no longer just a virtue, it’s probably coded into the DNA of the locals, who are hence forgiving, though no less adept at finding the narrowest of passages between cars and hurtling through. Less so the interlopers who are unashamedly keen to blast their squeaky horns and raise an angry digit; a reflection of their own inability to adapt?

The MINIs make their way through this hustle and bustle, pulling away past the rows of shop houses along dusty roads and roundabouts with elaborate statuary. At this point, the MINI cabriolet drops its top, letting in some of that global warming we’ve been reading about. Stinging, blinding sunshine speckles through the low trees that line the narrow roads, creating a dizzying light-and-shade effect that can verge from hypnotic to annoying.

If you’d prefer, the sliding roof on the soft top might be a better option, limiting the penetration of the rays, and allowing the air-con a fighting chance at keeping things cool in the cabin.

But, with the right shades on, sunblock and maybe a cap, you’re on your way, the go-kart feel of the MINI and the sputtering of the Cooper S engine as it nimbly negotiates the twists and turns of the mountainous terrain delivering an assured and enjoyable performance.

It’s often the case that Bali is less about the journey than the destination. And that’s quite often the villa you’ve chosen, the beach you’re going to surf at and the choice restaurants on the island you’ve decided to pick for your holiday.

RELATED ARTICLE: A Taste For The Island

Seldom is it about the journey within the island, which is viewed as functional more than anything else.

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