Helen Harvey-Bennett

Joined January 2018Living in: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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  • Day32

    U paasha hotel seminyak

    March 23, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    This is the hotel which literally calmed me down as it’s on high floors & has no garden area & no outside bathrooms , it’s also right in the middle of the main road of night life but still so very quiet inside .
    It’s quite unusual as the serve breakfast which is excellent all day up till 23.00 & you can have it either in the restaurant or anywhere you choose ! ... no charge , plus it’s very western style food they even have Heinz beans & brown sauce ! 😂 which suits me & my extreme fussiness !
    They also have a no check out time policy. Their motto is you should check out when convenient for you as long as it’s
    within the 24 hours you have paid for ! ..I can’t compliment this hotel enough, it’s not got any of the charm the pretty Bali bungalows, however as I have discovered these come with a problem so I will always elect to come here in future ...it’s around £70 a night compared to £50 for the bungalows but so worth it ....I’m suppose I’m lucky I haven’t had an issue before now .

    So today is the day jules arrives ! ....he doesn’t land until 22.00.

    However I’m feeling manic again now as We are booked in to another bungalow with gardens & outside bathroom 😱😱😱there’s no way I’m using the pool there or sitting outside as it quite rural !
    So I’ll be staying here in safety until 5 ish as it’s only 10 mins away by taxi to the other place & I’ll go to the airport to collect him as I’m not staying in there alone ! 😂😂😂😂
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  • Day29

    Puri madawi

    March 20, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    So after the debacle with the green snake in the private villa, I hot footed it to where I felt safe as I have stayed at puri madawi hotel around 6 times before ...it’s where we spent my 50 th birthday ...plus I’ve stayed there alone & felt safe it’s very authentic Balinese style accommodation but very reasonable at around £50 a night & as only around 14 rooms in a maisonette cul de sac style ( you go upstairs to the bedroom ) I felt much safer here after the green snake incident and the isolation of the other place.
    The first day was a bit noisy as there was a family with children so I had to put my earphones in, however they checked out this morning & I was delighted at how very quiet it was...in fact I was the only one around the pool ! It was so lovely ...I was reading & just looking forward to the next few days ahead with Jules joining me on Friday , I had been sat at the shallow end of the pool reading my kindle for quite some time then went back over to my sun bed, few mins later a movement caught my eye to where I had just been sitting & a very large thick brown snake was sliding along the edge of the pool ! ....I thought I was hallucinating ! I jumped up & looked around & Sod’s law there was no one ...at all around ...no staff ... No one ! I was trapped as I was the wrong side of the pool to go anywhere ...I started shouting really loudly “ hello “ I need some help .... no one responded ! ....I was desperate ....it was going towards my left at the other side of the pool ...I had no choice but to jump in to the right and swim over to the other side well out of its way & run to get help ... needless to say by the time I found someone it had disappeared !
    2 men came armed with a stick & poked around but they didn’t seem too concerned ....I went to reception & the girl said she had never heard of a snake in the hotel grounds ....my front door to where I had last seen it was about 10 feet away ... I was terrified.... I went & got dressed & went up to the Main Street to try & calm down ...by now I’m sobbing ...I really can’t bear them ....after an hour & a few what’s app messages from jules etc calming me down I decided to go back & see if they had caught it .....as I arrived there was more commotion as another guest had just said it was in the pool ...literally only 5 mins before swimming around !!! It had then slithered down the overflow type hole in the shallow end ...exactly where I had been sitting all morning ! ...more men came with sticks etc but to no avail ....it’s quite elevated so there’s plenty of hide holes for it to disappear down, ...I sat in my room more tears .... I’m shaking by now, went back to reception & asked if they were going to call a snake man or some pest control etc ... nope ... they were not very interested , by now it’s 4 pm & the day staff are packing up to go home....it’s very green & lots of foliage around the rooms.... I got my iPad out & searched for roof top swimming pool & booked myself in to somewhere else where I’m currently on the 2 nd floor in a modern building ...it’s totally spoilt my experience & im now terrified as jules & I are booked in to a rural private villa for a week on Friday when he arrives & an outdoor bathroom .... I don’t think I’ll ever come back to Bali again ... such a shame as it was always my go to place ...everyone is saying it’s so unlucky to see 2 snakes in 3 days ...which I believe ...but things come in 3’s & I’m seriously freaked out !
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  • Day27

    Meanwhile ....Back in bali

    March 18, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    So flew back to Bali via Brisbane, made an error with the Brisbane hotel as it was just an ibis budget hotel for one night & it’s was miles out of the city & as I had to be back at the airport for 7 am I didn’t get the opportunity to see any of Brisbane really ....arrived in to Bali on Thursday 15 th March, booked a beautiful one bed private villa with my own pool as I knew that on Saturday 17th it was Nyepi day ( Bali silent day for the Hindu new year ) . The airport is closed for 24 hours and no lights are allowed on at all, there is a strict curfew from 6 am sat to 6 am sun, not allowed to leave the hotel , not allowed to talk or make any noise , police roam the streets to enforce this ...I was looking forward to experiencing this, the first night & build up to this was lovely ...it’s so private & quiet as the Balinese were preparing all the rituals & ceremonies for the day before silent day ...lighting loads of incense & building effigies called Ogah Ogah which are scary looking monsters which they burn like our guy fawkes & they believe any evil spirits will be warded off for the next 12months.
    The children are all in traditional dress etc, so when I awoke on Saturday morning I settled down at my pool for 24 hours of silence & solitude ....around midday something caught my eye in the tree directly opposite my sun bed & to my horror I realised it was a bright green long skinny snake ! I flew in to my room & dialled reception, no one answered (as it’s their day of silence & not supposed to talk )..... I ran up to the security guard at the entrance & was shaking & told him , he was very good as he was not supposed to talk for 24 hours & summoned up 3 young blokes with sticks who were climbing up the trees & shaking them etc but in the time it took for me to summon help the snake was no where to be seen !

    By now I’m on the verge of tears, there are massive gaps under my doors & I was terrified ..... they left me to it in the end & just said it’s gone !
    As you can imagine my day was ruined, I couldn’t relax, I had a few large vodkas & sat with my back to the wall where I had a view of everywhere ! ...as the day went on I was getting more confident that it had gone ( or that could have been the vodka ! )
    But as night drew in & it got dark this was the worst bit as they turned off all the hotel lights in the gardens ...everywhere ...I’ve never known such dark the whole of the island is pitch black ...all I was allowed was the bedside lamp on providing I kept my curtains drawn tight ....this is where my mind started to work overtime ...I watched tv on iPad until midnight then took sleeping pills ...slept until 6 am ....& somehow got through a terrifying evening !
    I was due to check out of the villa on Monday 19 th but I have just booked a room for tonight in the hotel I am going to tomorrow until Friday where I have stayed before & I feel a lot happier as no outside bathroom there & the beds are up some stairs etc.....this could have only happened to me ! All the time I’ve been to Australia & have only seen one dead snake on the road....I’m off to pack now ....& being very careful what I pick up from where 😱🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍
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  • Day23

    Last day in fiji

    March 14, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Leaving Fiji today, very much enjoyed it & a pinch yourself I’m here kind of place ! .....only downside is it’s so very expensive ! ....probably the most expensive place I’ve ever been to , so I am glad to be leaving as feeling very guilty over spending too much money ! ( see jules I do have a conscience , ) ...stayed at the airport hotel last night as it was considerably cheaper ...downside is I now have loads of bugs in my suitcase & cant stop scratching ! 😱....off to Brisbane today .

    Fiji has the best sunsets I have ever seen !
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  • Day21

    Mamanuca islands

    March 12, 2018 in Fiji ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Went on a full day cruise to Mamanuca Islands on Saturday , the sky was black but it was still very hot . It was about £85 for the full day which included lunch & a free bar on the island 😂😂😂😂
    The crew were lovely & serenaded us with Fijian songs with guitars all the way there.
    Plenty of fish in the coral reef around the island ....and finally got to have a yip with some other people. 😂
    One crew bloke in particular looked after me as could see I was alone & I was grateful for that, he was telling me he had 3 sons who were desperate to try McDonald’s which had just opened on the mainland so he was working extra shifts to pay for a treat for them ....I asked how much it is & he said 45 Fijian dollars ...£17 , he then told me he only earned 10 dollars a day !
    On the way back he went around around the boat playing a song befitting to each persons country ....they played waltzy Matilda for the Ozzie’s and when it came to my turn they played the full rendition of swing low sweet chariot !! I was fuming 😂😂😂😂😂they couldn’t differentiate between English & Welsh even though they seemed to understand the 6 nations rugby etc ...so you can picture the scene out in the middle of the South Pacific sea having the English rugby anthem played to me . 😂

    Burnt my face so have to keep out of the sun for a few days as I’m beginning to look like David Dickinson .

    As we got off the ship I shook his hand & discreetly gave him 45 Fijian dollars & told him to take his sons for a Mac Donald’s ....he was totally overwhelmed .

    Just having breakfast overlooking the beautiful lagoon now it’s Monday morning here 12 th March ...bittersweet day here yesterday as my first Mother’s Day without pat.
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