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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bali

March 2011


I got an email late one night, from Jetstar. Cheap airfares to Bali! ; )
Both Miss C and Miss G had been pestering to go back, and deep down. I wanted to go as well. We all love Bali .It’s such a magical and mythical place, and a truly genuine cultural experience . Bali is such a diverse country It can be relaxing or Party Central , touristy or just cultural . We had to go back.
I booked tickets for March. Which I thought, will be a nice way to spend my birthday. Bintangs , satay , a silly idea and Bali . What more could I want .
Plane tickets, hotel and insurance all arranged within an hour.Thank god for the internet and credit/debit cards. To easy . But I do wonder about the small fortune in paper and ink , that I need to print out . Their has to be a better way .
We fly from Sydney via Darwin to Bali and we will spend 7 days in Bali before our return home via Darwin. I hate the Darwin stop overs , but with the cheap priced Jetstar tickets . It's worth it .
This will be my 7th trip , Miss C 4th and Miss G 2nd.

And time to learn a bit more Indonesian and to brush up on the little I know already . Saya Mau Minum Bintang Bir(I want to drink bintang beer) Dan Makan Sate (And Eat satay) .Selamat minum! (Cheers!). And I will probably drink to much and fall over Tolong tolong saya! (Please help me!) and I hope the hotel don't panggil polisi! (call the police!)

You might also want to check my earlier Bali trips out here



1st

Oh shit my lift is here, I’m not ready. Panic!!!
We arrived at Sydney airport and booked in sat down to feast while waiting for our flight to take off . The flight from Sydney to Darwin was great left on time and arrived 5 minutes early . On the plane was a lady from my local area who knows my boss , talk about a small world . Now it's a 2 hour wait at Darwin airport . Where they charge like a wounded bull for food and drinks . Met a nice family also from our local area heading to Vietnam it was great to chat about Vietnam and it helped kill time . Final call for jetstar to Bali , Yipeeeeee. We set out for Bali a few minutes late , but arrived on time .
Touch down Bali and made it past immigration with a song from the immigration officer which made us all giggle and towards the exit we went . We travel with backpacks, I find it a lot easier and a 40 kilo pack is ok for hand luggage and plenty big enough to carry my gear. I changed $50 on the way out of the airport.
As soon as I stepped out the airport doors I could feel the humidity and the smell of the air , hit me like a charging bull . I faced a sea of people some with signs others yelling taxi , transport and you have program .

Om Swasti Astu!

The Island of the Gods has welcomed us back.

Right turn to the taxi counter and organised a taxi . Not bad 10 minutes from the plane to the taxi counter .Within moments we are In the taxi , and off we go on a suicide mission to reach our hotel. Horns honking swerving around cars and scooters. But we made it ! A ride of a life time with sights to see and of course a few near accidents and all this for 55 000 rupiah . Money well spent . Ha .
We booked into the Melasti Beach Resort we had a suite room ground floor very close to the pool . It wasn't long before we hit the streets and ended up at the bounty night club , happy hour 2 drinks for the price of 1 . Had me walking around like a true drunk with 2 bintangs in hand and a bounty head band wrapped around my arm . My girls loved it and so did I , I met a great couple from Romania and even got chatted up by a women , nice to see the old boy still has it , lol .


Melasti web site

More photo's of the Melasti suite room 116here


Bounty Night Club

2nd

Regurgitator – Don't Go to Sleep blasted from my mobile phone, 7am. Bloody hell. I still haven’t changed that. I swore in Vietnam I would change it.
It was time to get ready and have breaky. I have organised a dolphin encounter for us this morning off the coast of Sanur. Miss G did this last trip in 2009 and loved it. Miss C and I are keen to experience the encounter ourselves.
We got picked up at 9am by the dolphin lodge and off we went to Sanur , had a quick talk about what you can do and what you can't do and a cold bottle of water . Into the boat and off we went to a pontoon and begun our encounter . Pluto was our dolphins name, a boy . This is a truly amazing experience , the interaction was wonderful and the trainer/carer Andy and Pluto had us all giggling . Andy was great he explained a lot about the dolphins and told us how Pluto was let loose for a swim in the ocean but always returned . We spent about 40 minutes in the water with Pluto . And upon our return to shore they gave us a towel so we could shower and another free drink , either tea , coffee , fizzy drink or water . This was well worth the money , but book before you arrive as this is very popular and they only put on a limited number of tours a day .
It was time to get some shopping done , off to Turika’s shop in Melasti art market . It was shut , I found out she had a ceramony to attend today , so we grabbed a cab and headed towards Kuta and to Jenny’s shop . Which can be found just past Bali Rani Hotel same side , just lookout for a shop with No Bullshit Bargaining on the front door . Fixed price and air conditioned , my kind of shopping quick and easy.
Dinner was across the road from the hotel and upstairs above a shop and Internet cafe . Nasi goreng and chicken Satay , very yummy and great service as always . And cheap 30 to 40 000 rp for the meal and about the same for 2 bintangs .
Ummmmm 8pm better get to sleep , my ride will be here at 130 am to pick me up . Selamat malam (good night)


Dolphin lodge web site


pontoon






3rd

12:45 am and that darn alarm is going off again.
Happy birthday to me, hip hip hooray, who‘s silly idea was it to climb Mt Batur . We slowly zombie walked up to the hotel reception, to wait for our transport. Pick up time 130 am . Gede (pronounced like g'day) meet us from Bali Sunrise Trekking and Tours, and soon we are on our way . Gede was great guy we chatted along the way . But at Ubud Miss G didn't feel well . And we should of turned back , but we thought it was just car sickness but we pressed on . Silly move on my behalf , after 13 years of being a single parent I should of listened to that little voice who knows better . We managed to walk around a kilometer or two up Mt Batur and had to turn back . Miss G was getting worse . The drive back was a true shocker we had to stop constantly . Poor bugger , I would of given anything to change places with her . Gede was great , a very kind and professional man . The little bit of the trek I did was good so dark and still just ahead of us was 2 torches of a few more adventurers . It's a shame we didn't manage to reach the top . The weather was nice as well and I think it would of been an excellent view . Next trip to Bali I will email Gede and organise another trip .
Back at the hotel 730am , I got Miss G into the shower and bed she went off to sleep straight away , I hope she is fine when she wakes up . She slept for hours and felt alot better . I guess my birthday will be a bit more relaxed than I thought . Which doesn't matter as long as Miss G was feeling better . She woke up around lunch time feeling 90% better .
Later in the day we got a taxi to see Turika and buy some goods from her shop . It was great catching up , we keep in contact with txt and email . I visit Turika every visit as her shop is fixed price and its just so easy to shop that way instead of bargaining for hours and hours to get around the same price . She is a lovely women and so helpful and trustworthy .
I bumped into a fellow traveller and blogger (lets call her Miss R)on the corner of Jalan Padma and Jalan Padma Utara , had a bit of a chat before we went on our own ways .
We then stopped into the DVD shop which was kind of closed up as the police have been raiding them . But we managed a buy a few . Here's hoping we have no problems leaving Bali .
Back to the hotel and rest for a few hours by the pool and check out facebook and my blog .
By 6 pm we got ready for dinner at Seaside . When the heavens opened up in a big way . We all looked at each other , OMG we all said . We hitched a ride under a staff members umbrella to grab a cad at the front of the hotel . Most of the streets looked like rivers . Just up the road from seaside restaurant our cab came to a holt as another cab was trying to turn around and couldn't . We spent a good 5 or 10 minutes waiting for him when we decided to make a run for it . Stupid idea , all 3 of us running in ankle deep water , along a sidewalk that resembles a goat track . That has holes and drain lids either missing or sticking up in the dark was just madness . Soaked to the bone at seaside what a way to spend a birthday dinner . Seconds after we ordered a bolt of lightning hit something at one end of the restaurant and made everyone jump , and me say a word that started with f and ended with k and it wasn't firetruck . It was so loud . Power went out for a while , great this day was getting worse . I am pleased to say the power came back on and we had a wonderful dinner .
We grabbed a cab to Monica's collection on Garlic lane to pick up our doona covers . We are very pleased with her work again . And we found out Monica is having a baby , so we gave her our blessings .
Then we passed the Rama Garden reflexology on garlic lane , which was recommended by Miss R , as we usually head to Chill . She was right they did a great job we selected the 1 hour foot reflexology aromatherapy , excellent job and only 75000 rp .
Now its time to relax and sip a few bintangs . Selamat minum! (Cheers!).


Hotel Reception 130 am


Miss G , Turika and me at Turika's shop


Seaside Restaurant





Monica Collection

4th

I awoke at 630 am this morning to the bogan alarm from upstairs . The thoughtless loud inconsiderate bastards running up and down steps yelling . A wonderful way to start a day .
It's raining again , it's just an annoying drizzle . Time to go for Makan pagi (breakfast).
After breaky I chilled out the front of our room for a while listening to a few chilled out Australian folk/blues tunes and got up to date with my diary .
We spent some time with Turika and her daughter Putu and picked up a few more t shirts . Before we headed to Carrefour a huge shopping centre to grab a few supplies for Nyepi day . As the hotel had a set menu of food that I and my girls really didn't want to eat and at a silly price of 180 000 rupiah each . It was my first time at Carrefour , OMG what a place . I bought so much stuff for cooking and a kitchen knife set . God I sound like a girl , but I love to cook and it is so cheap .
Back to the hotel for a swim to cool down before we join in the ogoh ogoh festival and have dinner .
After dinner we headed along Legian st , towards Bemo corner to view the parade . All the ogoh ogoh statues were lined up and ready to go , a great time to get a few photos of these works of art . We found a spot to watch along the over crowded street , just up the road from Bemo corner . About 730 pm the parade started we could hear traditional music and see blazing bamboo torches followed by the mythical statues . The parade oozed pure culture on so many levels .It was such an enchanting atmosphere . And to see so many children take part was great . It wasn't long before we had made new friend from Bali , UK and of course Australia we all loved the shot of culture we had just been given . The only other time I have ever felt apart of this much culture was the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand which was fantastic , but I think the ogoh ogoh festival was even better . I'm glad we came to Bali at this time it really felt like the Island of the Gods .
Bingtang time ! Selamat minum!



Ogoh ogoh festival








5th

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh be still ..........















Ha Ha , did you really think I could shut up on Nyepi day .
A day of silence and stillness for the hindu Balinese .
The morning started off great , so quiet and peaceful until 8am when the neighbours woke me up with the kids running and yelling and mum yelling shut up , wonderful . I like the Melasti , but I think it's time for a change to somewhere a bit quieter and smaller .
Breaky was served and we ate while a tropical rain storm hit , but it finished as quick as it started . It really heated the day up even more . The girls hit the pool , while I chilled in front of the room and watched Luke Nguyens Vietnam season 2 a cooking show , on my netbook .
The hotel put on an la carte lunch and a buffet style dinner , but at an expensive price . So as I mentioned above we got supplies from Carrefour the day before , and so did everybody else in Bali with a 1/2 hour wait to pay . I had a fruit feast for lunch , I really enjoy my fruit and in Bali , salak and mangosteen are my favorites they are so yummy and so cheap .
I got myself a Indosat sim card very cheap calls to and txt to Australia . And had a great message today displayed on my phone , Selamat hari Nyepi .
Time to be a bit social and cool of in the pool , I spoke to a couple from Brisbane Australia and another guy who likes to travel from Austria lets call him Mr R a great guy , we shared a few beers and a great chat about travelling .
Me and the girls made a small dinner in our room and settled in a watched a few movies .
About 1130pm I stepped out side of my room . The total darkness and stillness was very strange the only noise I could hear was the hum of the air conditioner .
It wasn't to bad being stuck in the hotel for 1 day and night . I suppose we got our moneys worth for a change . And I can only imagine the money the hotel has made with everyone eating and drinking all day . The pool was a popular place with everyone toasting their flesh in the hot Bali sun .



Salak


Mangosteen

6th

Seems my upstairs alarm clock woke me early this morning , which I didn't mind as I want to head up to Kuta beach and be apart of the Balinese holiday markets . We left the hotel and walked along the beach for something different . It seemed strange shopping side by side at the markets with the Balinese . A truly fantastic atmosphere on the beach and so cool with the ocean breeze . I wonder why they don't do more of it . Most of the stalls we visit had great prices and I was happy not to bargain . I bought a corn cooked over hot charcoal brushed with chili so yummy , but my lips were still burning for ages after .
A bit later in the afternoon we stopped in to a pizza shop out the front of a hotel in Jalan Padma just down and across the road from Indo-national , a very yummy pizza . Well worth a stop if you like pizza .
Back to the hotel for an afternoon swim and to cool off . A girl around 18 -20 walked past with the back of her bikini pants pulled down showing her lilly white butt off , omg . I was in shock . Good to see my fellow Australians demonstrating our clean cut culture and caring nature .
Out for dinner at Indo-national . Who run a fantastic restaurant and the food is always great . I had cap cay with chicken , vegetables and chicken in broth about 35 000 rp and 2 bintangs 30 000 rp . My first time eating cap cay talk about yummy . I will be trying to make this when I'm back home . A perfect food for winter .
After dinner we went back to Rama Garden reflexology . My choice was the 1 hour foot reflexology while Miss C went with the half hour neck and shoulders and Miss G had the hour facial . We all walked out over the moon and feeling a little special and very relaxed and all this for around 275 000 rp . Until half way back to the hotel when the heavens opened up again . One guy tried to sell me 3 umberelas for 200 000 rp , ha ha , stick that buddy I'm in that cab for 5000 rp . Just as well rushed into the cab the rain stopped , just our luck again .
Bintang time . Selamet malam (good night)






7th

Selamet pagi (good morning) , our last day in Bali . And you guessed it the upstairs family woke me up at 7 am again . Try imagine a heard of elephants running around with a child demanding he wear green short at the top of his voice . And the father running up and down the stairs banging his feet as loud as he can also tapping the key down the wall all the way . And to top it all off some clown rings the phone at 715 am .
Now my bitch session is over .
Makan pagi was also over we chilled out the front of the room for a while . Before venturing out for a walk towards Kuta . Today was waterbom park day and what a fantastic day for it .
It's been a few years since Miss C and I have been waterbom park , things sure have changed and I must be honest I think its all good . I like the wrist band and no cash great idea . And few new rides . We had a ball of a time , but all those steps soon take it out of you .
We had late check out of 7 pm , which is always great as we can shower and change before our flight . During dinner it started raining so we decided to have 1 last spa visit before we headed toward the airport .
Our flight left on time and we arrived in Darwin on time . We cleared customs quick and easy and headed towards the domestic departure lounge .






8th

We all settled in on a over sized stool , as we had a 4 hour wait between flights . I woke up spooning my backpack probably not the best way to be seen in a terminal full of people . I have only slept 2 hours since yesterday morning .
Time to board , the heavens opened up and they told we had to walk 300 -500 meters in the rain and the water on the ground was 2 or 3 cm in some spots . Crazy , even the Jetstar ground crew girl had no raincoat , poor girl was soaked . Not very professinal .
Made it to Sydney grabbed a box of krispy kreme donuts . Then I couldn't find the bus driver and he couldn't find me . We had a little panic session , but all was good in the end . Back to unpacking and washing , arrrrhhhhhhhh....................................



Sydney from the air

More photos here

I'm missing my time in Bali already , but I'm already thinking

"What's next"

Bali Maps











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13 comments:

IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY said...

great read,I enjoyed your trip LOL planning one for us in about 18 months.

Clare said...

Very enjoyable read. We were next-door to you for a couple of days at the Puri Raja - probably passed you on the street.

Andrew said...

Thanx , I'm glad you guys enjoyed our adventure

suzannestreat said...

I flew to Bali on the 1st and returned on the 10th...Bris to Darwin to Bali...so we probably shared a line up or two at some stage.

This was my 7th trip also...and the Bali Blues are hitting harder than ever. Happy to have a December trip to look forward to but miserable that December is so far away!

Great read and great pics, thanks for sharing. :)

Andrew said...

Thanks , Glad you enjoyed it .
We would of shared the Darwin Bali leg , I was at the front of the plane . I can't believe how easy and quick immigration was .
I'm not quite sure when I will be back . I'm still deciding where I will go towards the end of the year .

suzannestreat said...

Yea quick immigration...made up for the freaky noises coming from under the plane on the way over lol. We were right near the wing. :/

Have bookmarked your blog, look forward to reading more about your travels.

I'm stuck on seeing more of Bali for now. Did a Bali trip every year for five years then skipped one year to go to the US. Loved my time there but missed my time in Bali more.

100% addicted. :)

Off to read through your blog archives...

Andrew said...

I must admit I love Bali as well . But I'm in 2 minds , not sure which way to go . It's been a few years since I have visited Thailand . But also want to revisit Bali , Lomok and on the Flores and maybe a trip to Komodo island .

suzannestreat said...

Go Bali. Always Bali lol

Have you been to Nusa Lembongan?

I'd done the day trips each year but this year did an overnight stay...and loved it. We hired scooters and explored Lembongan and Ceningan then took a boat ride the next day and got some great pics of the Penida coast and back of Ceningan.

Looking forward to exploring more of these...and doing a Penida overnighter.

Good luck with your decision...

:o)

Andrew said...

No ! It's on my to do list . I have read and heard some good reports about Nusa Lembongan . I will Have to get myself there next visit .
I hope you guys have a blast .

Anonymous said...

great read i enjoyed it greatly.Longing for the months to pass as we head off in July well done you had a ball and good posative feedback.

Andrew Bennett said...

G'day I hope you have a wonder trip in July.

Nicole S said...

great blog :) i cant wait until it's my turn to go!! :) 85 days.... :)

Andrew Bennett said...

G'day Nicole I have just returned from another trip to Bali. I will be adding a few more posts very soon. I hope you have a great time in Bali I bet its getting very close now.

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