Sunday, 17 October 2010

Where have you been, my blue-eyed son?

Well, to be honest, Remaining Gentle Readers, I never really wanted to go to Bali.  Did I mention that in a previous brain dump?  Perhaps I did.  No matter.  I had heard plenty plenty bad things about the Ugly Australians who go, get drunk, do Bad Things, make a Bad Name for our country, you know, yadda, yadda.

Ahem.  My first indication that it was another world should have been when we arrived at the hotel via a taksi from the Airport.  Instead of having to stand in line and wait, they whisked our luggage away from us, made us sit down, gave us cold towels smelling ever so slightly of sandlewood, and put a cold drink in front of us.  I was in love, right there & then.  I got to fill in the registration form sitting down on the lounge in front of the Koi pond, then we were whisked to our room, shown all the lovely features and left alone.  Tip optional.

Breakfast was included, and in the morning, after a good sleep in the king-sized bed, Mr G and I wandered down to breakfast and enjoyed nasi goreng (well, I did) and chicken-something... Mr G had the most anemic looking sausages I'd ever seen (chicken, apparently), before being joined by my lovely Ma & Hank.  Whoosh, into a taksi, and off to Carrefore, which is the biggest supermarket I've ever seen, sort of a combined Woolies and Big W, where you could buy everything from a pushbike to washing powder, a fridge to mens socks.

Back to the restaurant for lunch, joined by the other two partners in crime, and the six of us ate like kings for not very much money, before being collected by Wayang, our driver for the duration.

Wayang spoke excellent English, had a wicked sense of humour and apparently endless patience, and he had us out of the Denpasar traffic and noise molto rapidamente.

It was kind of weird going up into Ubud, as the suburbs never really die away, all along the route from Denpasar to Ubud there are little roadside shops and stands, people doing business, waiting for business, hoping for business... then... whoosh.  Nothing but the village, and little roads with sharp turns, and then a sign "very nice house for sale", and the villa, a completely private, self-contained universe but with an excellent view of the local activity and colour, including this man who was herding his ducks through the rice paddies.


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