Sunday, August 28, 2011
Bali: JUne 2011 (Part One)
Sunset at Tanah Lot
Photo: Myself and Thel outside a silver and gold store near Ubud. We did some bartering and bought ourselves an anklet and ring each in silver, though Thel's preference is gold and I like both but lean towards silver (just as well because it is less expensive
Bali is an amazing place to visit. I am an avid sunlover so Bali is a great spot to visit if you love the sun! It is also quite casual which suits me on a holiday. The people were friendly and despite the occasional annoyance by street hawkers, I have no complaints at all. One has to remember that selling your wares and being persistent can sometimes pay off and this may mean extra cash in the pocket. One can hardly blame anyone for doing that. Cannot be any worse than people here in Australia ringing on my home phone trying to sell me goods I have no interest in buying. I do recommend that if you are not interested DO NOT engage eye contact or conversation or even look or touch goods. If you are interested be prepared to barter. This can be fun for both you and the seller and everyone should be happy with the outcome! Decide when you get in a cab whether you want to go with the meter or set a price before heading off, either way it wont take you long to work out which is the best way to go once you have been in Bali a few days.
I went to Bali with husband Kim and good friends Rog and Thel. Our friends had been there before some years previously. This was our first visit to Bali and certainly wont be our last. I cannot wait to go again! It was my first time flying out of the country on a budget airline. I have flown on Qantas, United, Emirates etc but never Jetstar outside of the country. The down side was one has to buy any drinks/food on board and luggage is only moved to the next stop. It cannot be put through to the final destination as is done with other airlines. We left Hobart, stopping at Sydney for some hours. I had planned to visit my cousin who lives in inner city Sydney but she was bedridden with a bad flu. My cousin Elizabeth and her husband Stephen are just beautiful people, love them to bits as I do Rog and Thel.
We arrived in Bali and at our fantastic villa. This was in Seminyak and we were able to get it half price. http://www.amadeabali.com/ We were in one of the 2 bedroom villas. Absolutely gorgeous with our own pool and private courtyard plus shared kitchen, dining and lounge rooms. Each couple had their own bedroom and very well appointed bathroom. My only comment was I would have liked to have spent half my holiday here and perhaps half in a larger resort where one gets to meet and talk to other people. Next time we are thinking of staying in Legian.
We hired a driver and would highly recommend Wayan (a common name there as it refers to the first born son). He was polite and considerate, spoke English well, knew the area and made good suggestions for us and was willing to answer questions. Wayan ended up taking us to his village and we met his family. Photos show his family, a couple of pigs on their farm, his village and Kim with Thel and Wayan walking in the village. It cost us on average of $30 (Aus dollars) a day for Wayan in an air conditioned van. We paid him extra and shouted a meal for one day as it was a very long day and quite late when we got back to the villa. Unfortunately, whilst on this particular day trip when walking round Tanah Lot, Thel slipped and sprained her ankle. If you wish to contact Wayun please leave me a message and can pass on details.
A highlight for me was visiting Bali Safari Park. It took around two or so hours to get there from Seminyak. On arrival we paid for entry and Wayan, our driver, waited around for us. We spent at least four hours in the park and had a fantastic time. I loved the opportunity of holding a baby oran-utang. We saw many other animals including the most beautiful macaws.
The day after we arrived Thel and I went and had our hair braided which included hair extensions. It took around 4hrs. Here are some pics of us having it done in a Tshirt shop! Whilst having our hair braided the girls encouraged us to buy some goods and we nursed their children and learnt more about the culture of the Balinese.
As Rog is a musician he ended up being invited on stage at two different restaurants we went to which had live music. We all had a great time and Rog's rendition of Johnny Be Good and Mustang Sally are now famous in Seminyak!
We had some good days and evenings out in Bali. Loved the food, music, people and the weather!
We went to the Bali arts festival in Denpasar http://www.baliartsfestival.com/ and found ourselves directed to sit in the VIP section. It seems not many westerners come to the festival. Kim had a great long chat with a police chief. The costumes were colourful and the festival was most entertaining. I wish I had been more dressed up as I just went casual, not expecting it to be such a large event, nor did I expect to be moved from the side of the street to the VIP seating!
More good times in Bali: At the beach, eating, drinking, good conversation with friends, babysitting for Aussies at a restaurant so they could eat (no, we did not know them!!)Going to different markets, did I mention eating and drinking!
Part Two coming soon!!!