Kaz and The Aussie Battler looking for new adventures in our own backyard and around the world
  • Day11

    This really is the last day

    November 19, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    After our big night out we managed to sleep the latest we have all day, getting up at 8.45am. I thought it was only around 6ish when I got up for the toilet but I was completely out of whack.

    Breakfast was straight up and it was a struggle to face the buffet for one more day after I’d had closure with it yesterday but I found my favourites dumplings and the vegies were back so that’s what I went with, followed by fruit.

    TAB wanted to go straight to the beach for a walk but I wasn’t prepared with sunscreen on, hat or any other bits and pieces that I usually take with me so I asked him how long because I didn’t have any of that he said not long and gave me his cap to wear. Well I don’t know why I believed him as of course we we gone for long and it was bloody hot. There was still heaps of rubbish on the beach but the locals had been working hard to clean it up and there were lots of piles along the way.

    We were getting close to the Discovery Shopping Mall so I suggested we get there ASAP as I was needing the toilet and jumping into the water wasn’t going to cut it. I didn’t think TAB had his wallet on him and when I mentioned that of course I desperately needed to go when we didn’t have any money to pop into a bar for a drink, he said that he did have it. We were walking past the Boardwalk Hotel as he said it so I made a beeline for it and was close to running when he asked me what I wanted to drink. I couldn’t think and didn’t care so just said to get me whatever he was getting. And I just made it....what a relief!

    The seating area overlooking the water is really nice and we enjoyed a pineapple juice each while just taking it all in. It was close to 11am when we started heading back and walked back most of the way under the shade of the trees on the beach as TAB was struggling in the sun without his hat and I was struggling in general as I’m sure the sun was burning me, even though the wind didn’t make it feel that hot, I could still feel the heat of the sun on my skin.

    Back at the hotel TAB went for a quick workout in the gym and I went to the room to get bathers on and pack as I had shit everywhere. I met TAB at the pool and he was in the water chatting to people but unusually no drink in hand. We ordered lunch at the pool which we hadn’t done since we’d been here and TAB got satay and I got chicken quesadillas, I think that’s the first none Indo meal I’ve had since being here. It was really good and there were so many satay sticks on TABs plate that he struggled to get through it. We had a Bintang with lunch but didn’t get anything else to drink.

    At 3pm we left the pool to shower and I noticed that I was really sunburned from our walk this morning as I had markings from the singlet I was wearing. I was so pissed off as I hadn’t been burnt the whole time I was here as I’d been really careful. Up until now I just had some nice even colour and I can’t believe that I got this burnt on the last day and I’m pissed off that I agreed to go on that bloody walk without any sunscreen. Not happy TAB.

    We left for the tattooist and the walk was further than we remembered but we still made it in time. On the way I started to regret doing this as I was getting it done on my ribs instead of my leg where I had first planned, and I knew it was going to hurt and I was scared. But I went through with it and the pain was excruciating and I never want to do that again - EVER.

    TAB decided to get the same, the kids names listed on his ribs, but he got fancier and thicker writing than me. I am so glad I got simple and thin writing, I don’t think I could have bared the pain to get what he did. And I had to pop out to the ATM while he was getting done but I got caught up doing a bit of shopping on the way back and of course he was finished and waiting for me to get back....bugger.

    We walked straight to the beach from there to have a last beer at Kangaroo Bar and Nyoman and Rasta were there. Nyoman arranged transport to the airport for us with a guy call Lindsey and he was only going to charge us $20 as compared to $37 if we used the hotel transport. The sun was setting and we had a bit of time to spare so had two Bintangs each before saying our goodbyes. There were quite a few schoolies around so hopefully they’ll get a bit of business out of them as otherwise I think it is looking to be pretty quiet.

    We drove through central Kuta on the way to the airport and we hadn’t ventured that far. There were lots of clubs and we drove past The Sari Club memorial. We had loosely planned to go see it while we were here and now I’m disappointed we didn’t try harder to get there to pay our respects.

    Got to the airport without any trouble, had something to eat, got through customs with ease and now we’re here just waiting. I’m not looking forward to the uncomfortable trip home at this shitty time - we depart at 11.15pm - as I won’t be able to sleep. I felt like going to sleep when we got here so I had a coke with dinner which has perked me up a bit but don’t think it will be enough to keep me going all night. I’ve got another Netflix series downloaded (The Staircase) so fingers crossed it will keep me going until we get to Melbourne.

    Can’t wait to get home to see the kids and little Archie....
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  • Day10

    Hot tip: check flight details early

    November 18, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Waking up this morning reality hit that it was all over and this was the last time we’d be waking up in this room. We had to check out by 12 and it was going to be a pain as our flight wasn’t until 11.15pm but we figured we’d be able to store our bags and still use the pool.

    We went to brekkie and the housekeeper asked if he could make up our room but TAB told him there was no point as we were checking out today. He asked what time and TAB said 12 and the guy looked a little confused but said he’d wait until after we left.

    I was undecided what to have at breakfast as it was the last chance to have anything. I think I was feeling a little hungover so I started with vegemite on toast then had a little bowl of Bircher muesli coz I love that stuff.

    Straight after breakfast we went to the beach for a walk and to see Rudi and Rasta. We asked Rudi if he knew anyone who could drive us to the airport and he was going to get back to us. We looked over at the water and the beautiful pristine beach was littered with rubbish everywhere along the waters edge. It was terrible and so sad to see the beach looking so uninviting after how beautiful it has been each day. Apparently it is common at this time of year and more so in December/January.

    We went for a short walk on the soft sand which I guess gave us a little bit of a workout. There was just too much rubbish to walk down along the water and there was also a fishing comp and the waters edge was lined with fisherman who I think were catching more rubbish than fish.

    Our laundry lady was meeting us across the road from the hotel at 9am so we turned back to go meet her. Just working through our day while walking to her we thought we’d go back to the room to check the flight details to get the exact time so we could work back from that. I wanted to get some shopping done this afternoon and we needed to work out what access we had to faculties at the hotel after we’d checked out.

    Sarah the laundry lady was there waiting for us and we received all our washing beautifully cleaned, folded and packed for just over $5. As per Asian prices, this was a bargain and definitely worth every cent. On getting back to the room TAB started to pack and I got up the flight itinerary and noticed it said departure was Monday night and arrival to Melbourne was Tuesday morning. I was confused as it wasn’t what we’d been working towards.

    I asked TAB what the date was and showed him what I was looking at and it seemed that we were a day ahead of ourselves and we were actually going home tomorrow, not today #whoops. Well that really put us out of sorts and we needed a bit of time to process it so we sat and thought about what our options were.

    The first option we looked at was trying to get an earlier flight home tomorrow but that was a fizzer as it was going to cost $570 to alter our flights. So we thought we’d try and book our room for longer so we didn’t have to check out at midday and TAB said he’d go shopping with me seeing as we had a full day that we hadn’t planned for.

    We went via the beach to tell Rudi that the day was wrong and we weren’t leaving today as we didn’t know if he’d gone ahead to make arrangements for us to get to the airport. Then we headed up one of the main streets and turned down a road we hadn’t walked before. There was a shop that had ladies clothing with fixed prices and it had a dress for $13 that I’d seen around and was planning to buy. $13 seemed cheaper than what I reason I would have got it bartering and I didn’t have to do anything to get that price, I was wrapt!

    I ended spending a fair bit of time in that shop and got everything I wanted for me, Steph, Ti and Sam and I spent $80. It was worth it instead of having to go from shop to shop bartering for a decent price and the same skirt and dress I’d bought for $10 each were in there for $8 so they were cheaper anyway. She can prob afford to put her prices down as people like me prob go in there and buy up big to avoid the market stalls. There were two other ladies in their doing the same thing.

    We went past a shoe place and I got a couple of pairs of slides I’d had my eye on for $10 each and a fake pair of Adidas for Archie for $15. There isn’t really much here that’s worth buying him so I was happy to pay that, although they prob won’t fit him for another 12 months. I got Jack a tshirt and I finally got a couple of dream catchers at a price I was happy although I had to work had for them. I think TAB had had enough and I was done so we stopped at a bar for some beers and the toilet. We realised we didn’t have enough cash to pay as I’d spent it all so I had to go and find a mini mart to use the ATM.

    When we left there TAB stopped at a barber as he wanted to get his hair cut and there wasn’t a very long wait. We walked in and AC/DC was blasting from the stereo and there were three seats, all full with guys getting funky cuts or shaves. A cut was only $12.50 compared to $50 I think he paid for his last one at home. We had a Bintang while we waited, which was quite a while. Once TAB got into the chair I decided to go for a pedicure as my feet were disgusting and I hadn’t had one since I’d been here. It would fill in time while he was getting his do.

    I just stopped at the first one on the street and it was only $5 and it still surprises me how primitive their process is compared to home, but of course it works and they obviously don’t know any other way. And a pedicure at home is around $35-$40 so the cost is a huge difference. She hand-fanned my nail polish dry instead of me putting my feet under a UV light.

    TAB had popped in but kept going to get back to the hotel for the toilet and I was going to meet him at the pool. I really needed the toilet to after that earlier Bintang and I had to stop at the disgusting paid one at the beach as I didn’t think I’d make it back to the hotel. TAB was chilling by the pool and I went to the room to change into my togs and join him.

    We went to the beach to have a couple of beers and lunch at Kangaroo Bar and it was quite windy which wasn’t overly pleasant. I went to give the water a go but there was rubbish everywhere in the water and even letting the water lap at my feet ended up with plastic wrapping around my feet, it was really, really bad.

    After two beers we decided to go back to the pool as it was so hot at the beach and without being able to swim it really wasn’t the best place to be. Besides Emmy was hanging around and we didn’t want any massages and all the other sellers continued to come past. But I did end up buying three more pairs of sunnies from Harry Potter and we bargained him down to lower than last time so it wasn’t too bad. We’d said good bye to Rudi as he wasn’t going to around tomorrow.

    Back at the pool we caught some rays, swam and drank a couple of cocktails. It was getting late in the day so moved to the front bar to watch the sunset but it was only half a sunset as the cloud cover blocked the last part of it. On the way back to the room we stopped at reception to ask whether we could keep the room longer tomorrow and he said we could book it til 6pm for AUD$122 which I reason is expensive but it as going to make our day much easier so we did it.

    After showers we headed out to find a tattooist as a couple of days ago I decided to get a tattoo while we were here. I was planning to get the kids names and it would be much cheaper here than at home. Although this was a rash decision, it wasn’t something I’d been planning to do at any time before a few days ago. I don’t know why, but why not.

    We found one on the road heading to Kuta, but not to far away from the hotel. The guy ran through some options and gave me a quote of AUD$70 which TAB thought was reasonable so I booked for 4pm tomorrow as if I got it then and there I’d have to stay out of the sun and water tomorrow. TAB mentioned that the kids would give him a ribbing if I went home with their names and he didn’t - I hadn’t even considered this. So he’s thinking about getting one too but didn’t book, he said he’d decide on the day.

    A beer stop was in order across the road but it was a really busy area. And we’ve noticed that schoolies are starting to arrive and we’ve already heard a few tragics on microphones as we walked past bars! So we headed back to Legian and I really. Ended the toilet so ended up back at the same bar we stopped at earlier in the day (Moo Moos Steakhouse) and the live music was cringeworthy. I’d read a review about Summer Queen having good whisky sours and TAB is always on a mission to find one so we planned to go there. But as we got closer we could hear a terrible live rendition of a Bon Jovi song and it was so loud that we didn’t think it was going to work for us. The guy at the front saw us going past and stoped us for a hello and a hug but we still didn’t go in - it was too much.

    We decided Uncle Norm’s would be the best bet but TAB looked at the time on the way there and it was already 10pm. I don’t know how that happened and we must be getting old as everywhere that had live music was blaring and too loud to entice us in. And really, I think we were Bintanged out as the thought of another beer wasn’t really appealing.

    There was a restaurant right cross the road from the hotel entrance so we stopped there for a bite to eat and called it a night, for what really was our last night.
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  • Day9

    Shopping was no go

    November 17, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    I don’t know what happened this morning but we were both awake at 6.15am then fell back asleep until just after 8am #balitime. Breakfast was first on the agenda and I went back to dumplings and salad, finishing with fruit and mango yoghurt. I had half a chocolate croissant which was tiny but I just wanted to taste it. They have really nice, rich chocolate sauce.

    We sunscreened up back at the room to go for a walk and decided to walk to the Discovery Shopping Mall, via the main drag to drop off laundry. It was actually a good walk with a fair bit of shade along the way on the beach road then lots of shade from trees once we hit the boardwalk path. There were plenty of bars with pools along the boardwalk which looked very inviting but we weren’t dressed for swimming.

    We finally made it to the shopping centre which wasn’t anything like I expected. I guess I was expecting market-style shops as this is what we’d seen in Vietnam but it was a proper shopping centre which didn’t interest me. We didn’t stay too long and instead of leaving on the beach side we went out to the street and stopped at a couple of bars, including an Aussie bar, for a few Bintangs.

    It was lunchtime by the time we moved on so we found our way to the beach again and stopped at a beach shack area with food places to get some lunch. I had Nasi Goreng with sate but it wasn’t as good as yesterday’s. TAB had chicken curry and when it was delivered he realised that he’d had that the other night, but he said it was good anyway.

    A lady selling sarongs came over and I bought a couple for the girls and then we went through a market which was right next to us. It’s hard work bartering but as the shopping centre didn’t deliver, it looks like that’s what I’m going to have to do to take home a few things for the kids. We ended up getting some Bintang hats and singlets for Dylan and Jordy but it was hard work and thank goodness I had TAB with me to works his magic.

    When we got back we to the hotel it was a quick change into bathers then straight to the pool. TAB started saying he wasn’t feeling well, just when I was feeling like getting into a few cocktails. I had my last JB can as I wanted to drink it instead of packing it to take back home with me tomorrow. I wish I’d had a few more left after that but we had a pina colada each then TAB hit the banana lounge for some downtime while I went for a second.

    He came back in to try again and got through two cocktails as it was happy hour, but he wasn’t his normal self. We called it quits and went to TO THR Room to shower and head out for some dinner. Summer Queen was where we’d stopped for Coronas last night so that was where we’d planned to eat but weren’t ready to eat straight away.

    I took the Bintang Radler orange that I’d bought the other night as you can drink while walking the streets if you like. I tried to do some shopping but nobody would come to the party with the prices I wanted to pay for dream catchers. But I bought two bikinis from a shop with fixed prices. They were $25 each which I could pay at home at Big W or somewhere but I liked these so figured they were worth it. I also got a dress for Ti and a skirt for me so had some success.

    When we got to Summer Queen the guy remembered us from yesterday and was very appreciative of us coming back. I ordered slow cooked pork ribs and TAB had beef rendang. We also got some vegies and fried rice. The food was absolutely beautiful, my ribs were so tender and tasty with lots of spice. But as per previous nights, once we ate we felt like we were ready for bed.

    There were no ,ore beers to be had and no more staying out, all we could manage was the walk home to flop onto the bed and watch Netflix. Such as shame as being our last night I hoped we could have done something a bit more but we just didn’t have it in us.
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  • Day8

    Swim, drink, eat, repeat

    November 16, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Today was much the same as yesterday except I got up for a run this morning. I needed it too as I totally cracked the shits because I couldn’t find our room card, even though I’d looked everywhere, including TABs wallet, numerous times. He was trying to still sleep during all my shuffling around but I ended up asking him where the key was and he didn’t know. I was getting flustered as it was close to 6.30am and the later I got on the beach the harder the run was going to be because of the heat. I told him I was going to take the card from the power slot which meant he’d be left with no aircon and he said to leave it and that he’d only be at the gym or the pool.

    I left slamming the door complaints that I was going to be really happy walking around the whole resort looking for him so I could get into our room (a slight exaggeration). So off I went and I ran in the opposite direction than the other day until I reached a water run-off then I turned back until I got to 30 minutes- it was damn hot! I jumped straight into the water and was instantly refreshed, it’s such a nice temperature.

    When I got back to the resort I went to the shower at the pool to wash off and TAB wasn’t there. Then I heard him call out to me so I went across to the gym but he wasn’t there. Then I started to think that I was hearing things so I turned back and there he was. He’d been walking up the stairs to breakfast when he called out which was why I couldn’t see him. He told me that the room card was in amongst all the other cards I’d pulled out of his wallet in my frustration earlier. I have no idea how I’d missed it as I’d looked numerous times, and I thought I’d gone through each card individually.

    I had a quick shower and met him at breakfast but didn’t eat the usual as I wasn’t feeling 100%. I had a couple of banana pancakes with fruit and a bowl of muesli with fruit. We went for a walk along the beach and ended up at the same place I ran to. TAB went straight to the pool and I got sorted back at the room and took my time as I still wasn’t quite sure how I was feeling.

    I laid in the shade at the pool and had a Coke Zero as I wasn’t sick as such, I just wasn’t feeling my normal self. TAB went to the Kangaroo Bar to try and fine the sunnies man, Donny, as the lense had come out of a pair of the sunnies he’d bought. A while later he came back to get money as he’d been talked into buying some caps and he was still waiting for Donny so I went with him

    We ended up staying for a while and I was drinking Bintang Radler which is a lemon flavoured version of beer, in fact it doesn’t really taste much like beer. You can get an orange version as well which isn’t as readily available but I bought one from the mini mart the other night to taste and I’m yet to give it a go. TAB ended up getting talked into buying another pair of sunnies after he showed the guy who had stopped, Harry Potter, what had happened to his pair. They ended up being cheaper and better as he’d been ripped off the first time.

    I have no idea what time of day it was but food felt like a good idea so we ordered Nasi Goreng with Sate as Jack told us that we had to get it. Rudi ordered it for us and it was delivered straight to our spot on the beach within about half an hour and Jack was right, it was bloody beautiful. For only $5 each it was a pretty big meal and I couldn’t eat all of mine. After lunch we got a foot massage each from Emmy and her daughter-in-law, Emma. They were $5 each and mine was just a bit of a rub from Emmy but TAB got the real deal.

    Between us we’d bought nine beers so they rounded it up to 10 by giving TAB one to go. We got as far as the resort pool and TAB was onto the cocktails and doing the rounds of chatting with everyone in the pool while I was onto some nanna napping (I’m sure I was dribbling). I didn’t really feel like drinking anymore but I needed a bit of a pep up so I got into the pool and ordered a cocktail. It was the worst cocktail I’ve ever had and I couldn’t finish it all. It was some hazelnut, chocolate, butterscotch thing that sounded good but was full on. I was trying to avoid anything creamy because I still wasn’t right but it wasn’t a good selection.

    We went to the room to shower and head out to dinner and TAB was ready to party. I couldn’t have felt less like parting than what I did right then. We went out to find the seafood restaurant we’d seen the other night and found it easily enough but we weren’t ready to eat so we walked a bit further and stopped at a nice looking place that we found our was fairly new and has a good menu with live music. They had Corona so we gave it a go and it was nice but not amazing.

    After that we went back for seafood and TAB ended up with a full lobster at market value which was 1m rupiah, equivalent to AUD$100. I had a combination seafood stack which was really nice but I got too full too quick. I felt really uncomfortable and just wanted to go to sleep. TAB got through all his chilli lobster but it almost beat him. I could tell he was struggling but given how much it had cost him he wasn’t going to leave one piece of flesh on the plate.

    Then I was going to leave a couple of prawns and he couldn’t see that happen so he ate them and some of the fish from my plate. Amazing effort!

    It slowed him down though and thank goodness he said he couldn’t fit anything else in and needed to go home. That’s exactly how I felt and even though I hate to waste these amazing balmy night by going home early, no amount of staying out was going to make it fun. We were in our room by 8pm, laying on the bed like beached whales. We watched Netflix for a while and that was that. Another day gone.
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  • Day7

    The calm after the storm

    November 15, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Last night produced the biggest storm, cracking thunder, ongoing lightening and heavy and long downpours of rain. I loved it, although I wish our room was closer to the beach as I would have loved to pop out under some shelter and watch it.

    I don’t know what time I woke this morning but I popped some panadol to try and ward off a slight headache which wasn’t too bad considering how much we’d drunk yesterday. I woke again at 7am really hungry and wanting breakfast but when I suggested brekkie to TAB he said soon. Soon must have ended up being at some stage at 8am as I think I fell back asleep.

    As I’d done no exercise today it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a dessert breakfast so I went with banana and honey on toast, bread and butter pudding with custard and banana fritter with custard. Feeling guilty I got a bowl of salad (they didn’t have the nice vegies today) and some dumplings. I heard someone saying how good the banana pancakes were and I was tempted but chose to give that a go another day.

    The sun was shining and it was hot and humid after the rain so the pool was my planned hang out. TAB wanted to go to the room to “read” (sleep) for a while and he was gone for hours. I didn’t realise how hungover he was but it seems he was struggling. I wondered why he wasn’t giving Kevin the coffee farmer much love this morning, I don’t think he was up to speaking too much.

    TAB befriended Kevin the coffee farmer at breakfast yesterday. He works for the hotel wait staff and got to talking to TAB about his love of coffee. They were talking for ages and we didn’t believe that his name was actually Kevin but he said that it is his real name. His mum is from England so he ended up with an Anglo name - too funny. He is a lovely guy so TAB will have to make it up to him tomorrow by having a decent chat with him.

    I thoroughly enjoyed laying by the pool, getting some sun, having a swim, totally relaxing. There weren’t many people around and you don’t get any sellers hassling you like at the beach. I was just getting up to go to the room and grab a JB can when TAB showed up. He said he’d slept a little but was still struggling. He really did a good job last night and I don’t feel so bad about my effort the night before ....hehehe.

    We literally spent the whole day at the pool and it was the best. I was going back and forth to the room the get a can out the fridge which kept me moving instead of downing drink after drink without any break. We also ate the leftover “salty” snack from the foodie tour so we didn’t need to go anywhere for lunch.

    After a couple of hours TAB decided he’d have a drink to try and come good. Bintang didn’t work so he went to Long Island Iced Tea....seriously, what was he thinking? He reckons it worked so he had a couple of other varieties of cocktails and just hung out in the pool chatting to the bar guys and other people that he could strike up a convo with.

    We had planned to call the kids at 4 as it was 7 at home and by then I think he was drunk on cocktails again, OMG! We had them on speaker but for some reason it was hard to hear. They were at TABs parents for dinner so we chatted for a little bit to catch up and make sure they were alright before saying goodbye. We gave Jack an update on all his mates he’d met at Kangaroo Bar so he was happy. Ti wants sunnies and is going to send a photo of what she wants. She’s been sending Snapchats of Archie pretty much every day which have been great fun to watch.

    After a final drink we went and showered then hit the streets to find dinner. We were looking for grilled satay skewers but ended up at a cafe called Rice Paddy in one of the back alleys. It had nice Indo food, TAB had beef curry and I had a chicken a vegetable dish. Both were really good and it was around AUD$20 including a beer and water each.

    We wandered on after dinner and found a little homewares shop that had prices so I bought a couple of small things which ended up cheaper than the price tag as the lady said everything was 50% off. We kept walking and bought a few other small things and got disorientated with where we were and how to get back to the beach.

    TAB asked someone where the beach was and he sent us on the right track and we ended up going down a main road full of bars and shops. We stopped in a bar that had live music and they had Corona (yay!) but the bar was average so we left after one drink. We walked past a restaurant that had fresh seafood on ice at the front so TAB got to talking to him and we might give that place a go tomorrow night.

    There was a nice little bar on the next corner so we popped in there for a pina colada and it’s one of the best cocktails I’ve had since being here. The people next to us had skewers on a little grill bought to their table and that sparked our interest so we ordered a serve of mixed skewers which was beef, pork and chicken with satay sauce - yum!

    We were done after that so walked down the end of the road and sure enough the beach was there and our resort was just around the bend. Another day just whiled away. Bali time is leisurely on one hand, but goes very quickly on the other.
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  • Day6

    Went for water, ended up at Uncle Norm's

    November 14, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    I woke up feeling back to normal as planned and it was 6am so I thought I’d try going for a run before the sun was out. Brad wasn’t moving so I left him a note and snuck out. The temperature was great and there was only a breeze which was nice. I knew there was a shopping centre at the Kuta end of the beach as you can see it from our part of the beach so I thought I’d try to run there and if I made it I’d try and run back. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and I made it there in 18 minutes so I turned around to run back.

    The beach is nice a wide with plenty of firm, flat sand, although it gets a bit of a muddy consistency at Kuta and definitely isn’t as nice as the Legian Beach. I managed to make it back and ran on a little further to round it off to 30 minutes and I was cooked by then! I could feel my face was burning red and I was dripping with sweat so I took off my runners and jumped straight into the water. How perfect it would be to have this setting to run every day and the temperature so perfect to just jump in at the end #dreamlife

    I was spewing I hadn’t taken my phone as there were fishing boats out on the water that would have been a great photo and there was also a big snake on the beach that people were looking at so I stopped for a look too. It was scary. But no phone was one less thing to have and the minimalist approach is definitely the way to go when running in this climate.

    I didn’t go straight back into the room as I didn’t know if TAB was still sleeping, although I suspected he’d be out by now. I did a bit of a workout on our verandah and some stretching before going in and he had gone. I showered and left another note to say I was at breakfast. I pretty much did a replica of yesterday but I had Bircher muesli and also discovered some vegetables which were really yummy. They will become a regular on my plate. I had actually planned to have bread and butter pudding and fried banana but after going for a run I thought I should stay on attach for at least the first hour of the day!

    TAB showed up at breakfast and said he left the room at 6.30 and it sounds like we’ve crossed paths on the beach and somehow missed each other. He finished off with a gym session and a swim so we’d both started the day off on the right track.

    Last night on the way to the tour we discovered that we’d definitely walked the wrong way yesterday morning as there was a market literally next door to the resort entrance and there were shops and bars all along the street. So TAB wants to go to the market for a bit of shopping and he worked hard at bartering and good on him for having the energy, but I still reckon he got ripped off with a few things. I just followed him around as an observer and was quite happy to keep it that way. He ended up with singlets, shirts and shorts and is done for the trip now. I’m going to hit the shopping centre I ran to at some stage - Discovery Shopping Mall. The trip advisor reviews says it’s ok so I’ll give it a go, although it’s definitely not a priority.

    After the hard work of shopping we needed to chill a bit back in the room before venturing out again for a walk along the beach road towards Seminyak. We stopped at a restaurant for a cocktail - me a banana colada and TAB a mango daiquiri - again fairly potent. It was damn hot but we pushed forward and came across Coco Club which TAB said Jack had mentioned. It looked pretty cool, a pool with day beds and I guess you just eat, drink and swim. Pity I didn’t have my bathers on so we took a rain check.

    A little across from that was Sand Beach Bar, a beach shack kind of thing which was a bit of fun. We had two beers there and I bought a sarong from an old lady. I really don’t need a sarong but it was really pretty and as she pointed out to me, it had bling!

    I don’t even know what time it was, we’re just on Bali time, holiday time and I haven’t been wearing a watch as it’s too hot for accessorising. We walked back along the beach and went to Kangaroo Bar. Mal and his mates were there so we joined them for a couple of beers before they had to go meet the girls at a restaurant. We moved to banana lounges which you had to rent and just swam and enjoyed cold beers for the rest of the afternoon. We met Emmy who does massages so I had a shoulder and back massage for AUD$10. She was very good and it went for ages, so cheap.

    Donny the sunnies guy came over and it was perfect timing as when I got up from my massage I’d broken my sunnies. They were only cheapies that I’d bought in Vietnam so it wasn’t a big deal. TAB got three pairs and I got two. Then we realised we had no money and I’m sure I had a fair bit of money in my purse. Maybe I’ve just lost track but I’m 99% sure I had money, but the only time it’s been unattended is when we went swimming earlier but we left it with the boys at Kangaroo Bar and I know they wouldn’t have taken it. Someone has either been very clever or I’ve just lost track. We’ve decided that Brad is looking after the money from now on anyway so that he can just pay for everything. Suits me, I booked everything so he can be in charge of paying while we’re here so I don’t have to think about it.

    So Donny took TAB to an ATM on his bike and when he got back we settled our bill with him and with Kangaroo Bar as we’d had enough of beer and the beach so went to the pool for cocktails. When we got there it was happy hour and I was feeling well on the way so wasn’t going to touch a mango daiquiri. I ordered for TAB and I as I realised how drunk he was - I guess it was his turn today hehehe. He was chitter chatting to everyone and downing the cosmic coladas like nobodies business.

    I had choconut which was dangerous because it looked and tasted like a dessert. It didn’t have the big kick of other cocktails we’d had but it was happy hour so no doubt they reduce the amount of booze they put in because it’s two for one. We ended up having three in a row pretty quickly I think TAB had reached his limit.

    We showered and TAB looked passed out on the bed by the time I was ready. I poked him and he didn’t move so I assumed that was us for the night but not long after he perked up and off we went for dinner at the Indonesian restaurant at the hotel which is all alfresco and overlooking the beach. The food was nice, but not amazing, although fairly well-priced for hotel food. TAB had a beer and I went to sparkling water as I’d had enough. There is another restaurant which is just a different section and it serves mostly Western meals. There was a band playing which we could hear quite clearly and they were playing good music but we were ready to call it a night.

    I was just going to pop out to the mini mart to get water and he wanted to come with me although it was completely safe. We crossed the road and right next to the mini mart was a bar with a live Indo band playing covers and we looked at each other - will we, won’t we - and TAB said “let’s get the water and just stop there for a bit” and I said let’s go now and get the water later so it’s cold to take back.

    So two or three beers, one shot and one scotch and dry each later at Uncle Norm’s Bar we rolled back home at some stupid hour like 11pm. And yes, we remembered the water!
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  • Day5

    Legian by foot and bike

    November 13, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌬 31 °C

    We were up at around 7am and thought we would go for a run at the beach but once we got outside we’d realised we’d left our run too late as it was already hot and sunny. So we decided to go to breakfast and then do a walk along the beach.

    There’s a pretty big buffet available for breakfast and the food is good. I started with fruit and muesli then had salad and dumplings, finishing with fruit. I tried on of their passion fruit as they are orange on the outside. The inside was a surprise as it’s kind of a grey colour with black seeds. Not overly appealing looking but it has a nice flavour with a bit more of a tang than our type.

    We walked for ages, all the way to where the umbrellas end at Seminyak. It probably isn’t actually that far but it feels it in this heat. We stopped to jump in the water a couple of times on the way and back. We went to the gym after that which is tiny and is a hot box. I only last around 15-20 mins before getting into the pool. TAB managed to keep going a little longer than me.

    With nothing particular on the agenda we decided to go for a wander after showering. It’s the kind of place where showering doesn’t make much difference for long as you are sweating after walking 5 minutes up the road! We stopped at the hotel bar first for our complimentary welcome drink but they were mocktails so TAB got a shot of vodka and I got a shot of Malibu to give us a kick start. They sure did have a kick to them!

    We didn’t have any idea where we were going and walked along the beachfront but that was just all hotels so we turned up the first side street we found. We wove our way through lanes and didn’t feel we were achieving much except for working up a sweat so got to a main road and took that instead.

    The footpaths weren’t very busy people and it was much easier to walk instead of dodging motor bikes in the smaller streets. We are surprised about how it doesn’t smell here like we remember and the footpaths are in reasonable good condition with little rubbish around. Brad had a go at looking at some street stalls but he wasn’t buying so sellers were getting shitty with him. I wasn’t into it at all and although there was plenty of stuff that caught my eye there wasn’t anything I felt was worth going through the barter process for.

    We stopped for a Bintang and did some people watching for a while as it’s a good way to cool down, take a rest and use a decent toilet. Also TAB can practice his Indo as there’s always someone willing to have a chat. We kept going and I had no idea where we were but TAB reakoned he had a handle on it. I wasn’t too convinced as his sense of direction is usually pretty poor, but after a fair bit of walking he had managed to get us to Kuta Beach. I was impressed!

    It was still a fair walk back to the hotel so we stopped at a hotel bar for a rest with a cocktail. I let TAB order for me while I went to the toilet and I cant remember what it was but it was bloody strong. I felt a bit woozy after that so we kept walking and I thought food might be a good idea so we found a place that was cooking Mie Goreng fresh. We both had this with a can of coke instead of a beer as the cocktails were still working their affect!

    We were so hot that we decided to go across to the beach for a swim and walk the rest of the way along the beach. This ended up being a good idea because it made the walk feel a bit shorter and we could cool off along the way. Finally we reached our hotel but stopped at Kangaroo Bar for a couple of beers before we had to get ready for the foodie tour I’d booked.

    As we walked back past the pool TAB suggested we stop for a mango daiquiri and I agreed as we still had two hours before getting picked up. Well that daiquiri was the death of me! They make the cocktails so strong here and it sent me completely loopy, but thank god didn’t put me to sleep. We went back to the room to shower and I sat on our verandah and had a Jim Beam can, just to top me up because I really needed it at that point. I’m supposed I made it to the tour I was that drunk, but thank goodness I could still function and had some sense as I’d taken a can with me to have on the tour but I didn’t open it. And neither of us drank for the rest of the night so I managed to sober up. I had a massive headache by the time we got home though....

    Anyway, the tour was fantastic and it’s so much fun being driven around on the back of a bike, especially with the night so warm and balmy. We stopped at places where the locals eat and got to try so much tasty food. One of the stops was a guy crouched down over a small flame cooking a type of rice pancake, literally on the side of the road. Then he topped it with chilli and roasted coconut and it was bloody beautiful. Then he got TAB to have a go at cooking one and he looked huge crouched down in that small space. But he managed to cook the pancake and he did a pretty good job of it! The guy who cooks them had a taste and gave the thumbs up!

    We had sate badam which is from a certain part of Indonesia (Bakso Campur) meatball soup with different types of meatballs including one that was stuffed with minced tendons and mie (noodle) with ayam (chicken).

    Then we drove through Denpasar to their local market Basa Kereneng. Basa means market and Kereneng is the name of the place where the market is. Our hosts, Nancy and Desy said we could buy anything in the market as we walked through and they would help us. They said the prices are real Bali prices as this is where the locals shop and they said the prices are inflated by five times for tourist prices. When we got in there it was crowded, hot and hectic. Things had prices on them and they were dirt cheap and it would have been the perfect place to do all our shopping but my head still wasn’t completely straight after my boozy afternoon and I knew TAB wouldn’t cope being dragged around shopping so we were in and out fairly quickly.

    We went to a fruit stall and the girls explained what a lot of the fruit was and we got to taste it all. Most of it was really good and it was a good experience as often it’s hard to give strange looking fruit a go when you have no idea what’s inside. We had salak which is snake skin fruit as the outside really does look like snake skin but it was nice and sweet. We also had honey mango, mango stein and karliasam which looks like a cherry but has white flesh and is quite sour. There were many others but I forget.

    The last stop was at a stall where they have two specialties that are only available at night between 5pm and midnight. Nancy explained as one side of the cart cooking salty - which we would describe as savoury. And the other side cooks sweet. Both have menus with varieties of fillings and the salty one was kind of a buttery egg pancake with a range of vegetable fillings, kind of omelette like.

    The sweet one was delicious and a highlight end to the tour. I didn’t understand what all the filling options were but Nancy did mention you could have cheese or chocolate or a number of other things. She asked what we want and we weren’t sure so she said have the special,which is everything. We were a little reluctant about cheese and chocolate together and who knows what else but we gave it a go and were blown away by the flavour. It was warm, cake, but pancake, but crumpet like and filled with oozy chocolatety stuff that reminded us of Nutella. Whatever it was, it was amazing!

    That finished off the night and my headache (or hangover?) started to come on strong on the ride home. I went straight to bed with panadol hoping to wake up feeling normal in the morning.
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  • Day4

    From calm to chaos

    November 12, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After my early night last night, I was wide awake at 4am and starving but breakfast wasn’t until 7 so I made myself go back to sleep. Waking up with the reality of it being our last day at the villa was a little depressing and luckily we didn’t have to be out until 12 so we had a bit of time to enjoy it.

    We were at breakfast at 7 and The Aussie Battler (TAB) was on fire with his Indo by this stage and the locals love it. We both had scrambled eggs this mor which was good and I’d tried to top up with Weet Bix beforehand so I wouldn’t get hungry but they gave me three Weet Bix with enough milk to have with one so it dried up very quickly. The eggs ended up filling me up anyway so all was good

    After breakfast we went for a walk and followed the road past the retreat heading the opposite way to when we’d walked the other night. The road got very narrow and was surrounded by thick jungle. Not one bike or car passed us and we only saw one or two houses - this was as remote as you can get. We passed some small huts that had cows in them but mostly it was rainforest with steep valleys and we could hear running water from a river or waterfall.

    In the middle of nowhere was a man and lady sitting on the ground having coffee and I asked to take a photo and straight away the lady pulled a towel from her shoulders to make sure she looked her best for the photo - funny! We saw some wild puppies from one of the millions of stray dogs in this country.....they were cute though. And then we came to the end of the road which had steps leading down to a temple. It was fairly small but still impressive although we didn’t walk through the gates as I had shorts on and thought I should have had a sarong to go in.

    So we turned around and headed back and the man and lady I’d taken a photo of were out on the road talking to another guy who had arrived. They couldn’t speak a word of English but were very happy and friendly. As we walked past the lady ran up to me and pointed at my phone as she wanted to see the photo I’d taken of them earlier. I showed her and she loved it and started cracking up. She called the man over to take a look and he laughed to. She just kept laughing and as we continued to walk she walked with us. It was such a great experience and I wish I could have somehow given her a copy of the photo.

    She stayed with us for some time and all of a sudden TAB jumped and we’d just walked over a dead snake. I thought he was joking as it was thin, bright green and there was a leaf at the end of it so I just thought he made a mistake and it was a leaf with a long stalk. But looking at it closely you could see it was a snake - a viper says TAB - that had been squashed.

    As soon as the lady noticed it she started screaming and ran to grab a thick piece of wood. TAB picked it up and she yelled at him and went towards him with the wood. TAB was trying to explain to her that it was dead but she wasn’t convinced. It was quite a funny episode and clearly those snakes are very dangerous if she was acting like that so I just thank god it was dead as the colour of it completely camouflages them into the foliage....scary.

    We continued past the retreat back into the village we’d walked through the other night. We’ve since found out that it is called Buahan. There was more activity going on than when we were out the other night and everyone is just so friendly. We went into another resort to take a look, it was called Hanging Gardens and the concierge showed us photos of it - it looks absolutely amazing but the prices were out of control - way out of our price range.

    The rest of the morning was enjoying the serenity of the villa until our pick up arrived at 12. Komah was right on time and he took us to a local cafe Tahrir served suckling pig as promised. There was a big chunk of pork in a cabinet at the front of the shop and you don’t need to order as there’s only one dish on the menu. It consisted of a bowl of soup, steamed rice and a bowl with pork and some green vegetables. We asked for spicy like the locals which luckily they put on the side as I only ate a little bit and my mouth was burning through the rest of the meal. I don’t really know what I was eating and I couldn’t taste a great deal with the level of burning going on in my mouth. TAB got through all his food and all the spice which is impressive as even Komah didn’t use all his spicy stuff as he said it was even hot for him. We had a beer with it and it wasn’t helping with the burning either - this was some serious shit.

    We hit the road and drove past so many furniture and homewares places. It was killing me as everything looked amazing and I just wanted to stop and shop but getting stuff home just seems like too much hard work to contemplate - it’s a damn shame. The traffic began to hit and I was already starting to regret leaving our sanctuary. The roads were crazy and I needed the toilet but I knew that stopping wasn’t an option as we were barely moving in some instances so it was just a matter of getting there. At one stage I asked Komah how long to get there and he said 20 minutes but after about 40 minutes we still weren’t there and he had to stop and ask someone if we were going the right way as he though his GPS was playing up! Thank god TAB spotted a convenience store that had a toilet symbol on its sign so we pulled over and although it was my first bad toilet experience, he had literally saved the day.

    Feeling a little more relaxed with an empty bladder, I was happy to finally see the ocean and knew we weren’t far away. Komah finally got us to the Legian Beach Hotel and I paid him 40k instead of the 35k he quoted as it had been a big effort and he had to turn around and go all the way back to Ubud.

    When we got to our room I was disappointed as it was such a stretch from what we’d just come from. I was wondering what the hell we’d done leaving that place to come here.

    So after about 15 minutes of us both contemplating that we decided to get out for a wander to see where we were. On seeing the pool and outdoor eating areas our mood changed a little. Then we crossed over to the beach and were surprised and very happy to see how beautiful it was and what a great location the resort was, even if our room was only average.

    Last time we were at Bali we travelled so much that we didn’t really spend much time in this area, especially at the beach. But my memory of the beach isn’t that great anyway, I’m sure it was rubbishy and not that nice. The beach at Phuket was definitely like that and so it was what I was expecting here. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. The sand is clean and fine, the beach is wide, there’s no sea weed and the water temperature is beautiful. I can see why so many people come here and why they keep coming back.

    We went for a short walk to just take it all in and the beach and umbrellas from beach clubs and beach bars stretched for miles. Right out the entrance of the resort onto the beach is the Kangaroo Bar which Jack had told us that he’d spent most of the time at with the crew he came to Bali with. He said we should have a beer there to meet the guys that run it so on the way back from our walk we stopped there and told them who we were and they remembered Jack. He visited with the Riddell crew who come here multiple times per year and have been for many years. So the Kangaroo Bar guys know them all very well. In fact, one of the guys, Rudi, was wearing the singlet that was made for the trip Jack came on and it had his and his mates name on the back - too funny!

    They told us Mel and Deb Tobin from Riddell from here and not long after, Mel showed up so he sat and had a beer with us. He said that when they checked last week that got some special membership because they’d stayed here 30 times - OMG!! Three of the guys Mel was travelling with showed up and sat for beers. Two live in Darwin and one in Diggers Rest and there were a lot of people that we all knew - small world. All the wives had been out for lunch and eventually ended up with us. It’s obviously where they all end up at the end of each day.

    Four or five beers later we decided to head off for something to eat. The Legian Beach Festival was on which was a big stage just up from us playing live music and there were street stalls all along the beach road. We set out looking for some satay being cooked on the grill which took us a little bit to find but persistence paid and we found what we were looking for and it was worth the wait....bloody beautiful!

    Even though it was reasonably early we were ready to call it a night as it had been a big day. Walking back in the room was a bit of a downer again as we’d had such a big, beautiful, luxurious space and bed. This all just looked so small and drab in comparison but I needed to get over it. Shower, bed and start again tomorrow.
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  • Day3

    Ubud Central

    November 11, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ 🌧 28 °C

    I woke pretty early and was hungry but breakfast didn’t start until 7am so I kept trying to get back to sleep but gave up at 6.45am. It wasn’t hot yet so I did a 20 minute workout then jumped into the pool - soooo good! By then Brad was up and joined me for a quick swim then we went to breakfast.

    Brad went with Indonesian again but got Mei Gorang this time which is noodles instead of rice. I went with Bircher muesli which was really, really good and so filling.

    We’d decided to get transport into Ubud today to check it out but when we got back to the villa it was too tempting to do some more chilling so we looked up some places to go and after that hard work I laid on the couch for a morning nanna nap. And I feel that I can legitimately do that now that I have a grandson, even if it is only at 9am!

    So after a very relaxed morning of reading, sunning and swimming we finally got ourselves moving at some stage around lunchtime. It took quite a while to get there, maybe half an hour or so and as soon as we got out of the car we noticed how much hotter it was compared to where we’d come from - I think we were quite a bit higher which definitely made a difference.

    The place was buzzing with tourists from all corners of the world, many of them on motorbikes. We just wandered through the streets, window shopping as I couldn’t be bothered doing any shopping and Brad certainly isn’t in any hurry to shop. Them place was nothing like I remembered from last time we were here 20 years ago. There was a mixture of clothing and jewellery boutiques, homewares, street stalls, restaurants and cafes. After a fair bit of walking we stopped at a cafe for a beer then moved on a little which seemed to take us into a health and well-being area.

    I know Ubud is famous for its spiritual, health and well-being retreats but it wasn’t something we were too interested in being part of. The next place we stopped had an upstairs dining area so we went up there for a cocktail. It was some passion fruit, pineapple, mint thing that was really nice but very strong and it went to my head. We moved on again after that which I was happy about as everyone in there seemed to be part of the health and well-being movement and I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of rich hippies.

    We had ended up in the small backstreets and found our way back to the main street and stopped at a cafe for a beer so we could use the toilet. I have to say that I’ve been really impressed with the toilet facilities. Last time we were here they were always in a very unclean condition and were all Asian squat toilets. Nowadays they are all Western toilets that are nice and clean and have hand soap dispensers.

    As we walked we came across the market and I got stuck at a dream catchers stall as I wanted everything. I hate bartering but it’s a necessity if you want to buy anything. Brad got involved at the start then walked off and left me. I really didn’t want to be doing it but really wanted to buy the two I had chosen. When I finally agreed on a price I only had enough money to get one. I caught up with Brad and he said he walked off so that the guy would drop the price more but I really can’t be bothered with it all.

    We did one last cocktail stop after that and I needed food so we ordered some spring rolls to keep us going as we had other plans to eat at - and some many of the food places serve majority Western food which we weren’t interested in. By then we were done so went to the cab rank and found someone to drive us to a restaurant Brad had found online and wanted to try. It ended up being a fair bit out of central Ubud and was like a garden cafe, covered in greenery but all alfresco and overlooking rice fields - it was beautiful and really nice to be eating somewhere with a menu full of local dishes.

    Brad has been trying to speak a bit of the local tongue - just the basics like “my name is”, “thank you”, etc and he was testing a few words on the staff who were very friendly and happy to help him out. They organised a cab for us and we got to talking to the driver and arranged for him to pick us up tomorrow to go to Legian. We asked about local food and he was telling us about suckling pig being a local specialty so we were keen to try it and he agreed to take us somewhere local to eat it tomorrow.

    I was really tired and sporting a headache after the big day out (and probably due to the drinks), so I had a shower and called it a real early night.
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  • Day2

    Kaz & The Aussie Battler in Bali

    November 10, 2018 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Things started off pretty slow after our flight was delayed by five hours and we were definitely flying red eye which didn’t suit me at all. The Aussie Battler (TAB) seemed to cope better than me as he’d just come off two night shifts so was tired enough to actually get some sleep.

    I’d planned to binge watch Bodyguard on Netflix but only got through two episodes before needing sleep but it was a rough night of bits and pieces of dozing. I was clock-watching too much so the flight took forever but the inevitable happened and we finally landed in Denpasar.

    We got through customs fairly quickly and were greeted with many cab drivers asking “taxi?” But Jack had organised us a driver as he’d only been here last week. It was all very easy and we hit the road to Ubud, although Goosti our driver informed us central Ubud was a 40 minute drive but it was an hour and ten minutes to where we were going.

    We’d been here around 20 years ago and when we hit Ubud there was nothing in particular that was familiar but I remember it being hilly. One bonus of driving through the night meant there was no traffic so we had an easy run. We stopped at a convenience store on the way for some water and an ATM and we went past a market that was in full swing, even though it was only 4am local time.

    We drove into the middle of nowhere through villages, on narrow roads and down some extremely steep hills. Brad and I had envisaged hiring push bikes to ride into Ubud but there was no way that was happening! When we arrived we were greeted by some beautiful outdoor seating areas with amazing bamboo structures and the temperature was quite cooler than I expected.

    We were taken to our villa which was a three bedroom but we only had access to one room which was the master bedroom, which was completely fine. All three rooms open fire to the private pool area which is surrounded by beautiful tropical garden and a stunning living area which is covered but completely open - love it!

    The master bedroom has a stunning four posted bed with curtains and is exactly what I would love to have at home! The bonus was that the bed was actually comfortable which isn’t too common in Asia as they typically have very firm beds. This was just what we needed after a shower and our heads hitting the pillow at 5am which was 8am at home - it had been a long night.

    We woke at 8 and went for breakfast as we were starving. We got to choose what we wanted to eat from a menu which was structured like a typical buffet breakfast would be - juice, coffee, fresh fruit, danishes, cereal and a main meal. I went with the egg white omelette to try and get some veggies into me and Brad went straight for the local food with Nasi Goreng.

    We were definitely out in the boonies but weren’t up for exploring as we still felt half asleep so went back to bed, waking at around 12.30 as the room was so hot. We had the ceiling fan going but not the air con - lesson learned. It was time for the pool which Brad jumped straight into but I took my time as it was quite cool.

    Today has consisted of swimming, drinking and lounging by the pool. It’s been the perfect day one to wind down and make the most of our amazing accommodation. Brad has looked up a few places to visit and eat at tomorrow so a bit of exploring will be on the agenda.

    We went for a walk up the road for half an hour and realised how remote we are. We are on a narrow road surrounded by rice paddies and some houses here and there. People were driving past on motor bikes with big palm fronds balancing on their head and it puts things into perspective about how different life is here compared to home.

    Everyone was very friendly though and liked to say hello as they rode past or we walked past. We are really glad that we’ve started the trip off here as we couldn’t be anymore immersed in the local culture than what we are now. Although once we got back to the retreat the contrast between here and out there really smacks you in the face.

    We went straight to the restaurant for some drinks and food. We were the only ones there for a bit until an older couple from Perth came in. They said they are here for five days and are concerned about staying so long. I agree that five days will be too much in such a secluded area - they got out today and we plan to do that tomorrow then we leave the following day which I think should work out nicely.

    We had a couple of mango daiquiris although they weren’t as strong as we’d normally make them - still nice though. Then we had rice paper rolls, a selection of satay sticks and roast duck with a corona. It was all really nice and it’s more expensive here than the general cost of food which is to be expected in a hotel restaurant but Its still very reasonable in the scheme of things.

    The night finished off quite young but without complaint as it was the perfect day to kick off the trip.
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