Yet Another Bali Holiday, March 06

The Sanur Hyatt car picked us up at the airport, and we were unpacked and on our way to the Trophy by 8pm. We chatted to a couple of expats, had an entree and drink each and then headed across the street to the Cat and Fiddle for an hour or so.

The next morning, we went for a long walk along the beach path to Sindhu Beach and back along the street. After breakfast, we put our stuff on some beach lounges and then walked to Jengela to buy a pile of ceramics. I found my email friend,Henniky, at her new shop and gave her a birthday present from Martini. She said she was off to Dubai, to work, for three years. In the afternoon, we went across the by-pass to catch up with former pembantu, Ani, Martin and their boys. Ani looked well, and was selling nasi campur in preference to working for a pittance for expatriates. Martin looked tired. The boys had both grown a lot, and seemed like good kids.

We had dinner at the Indian restaurant and a drink at a nearby bar before having an early night. On Sunday morning, we had a light brunch at the Santrian with BIS folk, Riki and Lisa Teteina, Jackie Orsborn and Julie O'Neill and her kids. Mr. Coba's (the hire car man) brother had us waiting for an hour for our Jimney.

The Tjampuhan hotel, in Ubud, provided us with a lovely fan room, with a small balcony, set in beautiful gardens.We could hear the meeting of the two rivers, mixed with the rain. I went to the pool to read. I could smell cigarette smoke from above, so I moved. I was adjusting a teak pool lounge, and it fell across my forearm. I thought I'd broken my arm.

In the late afternoon we went to Tutmak, at the soccer field and had wine and food as the sun set. Back at the Tjampuhan, there were only the sounds of the rivers and the rain as we slept.

It rained for most of the next morning, so we relaxed in our room. It was still raining as we headed up the Tegallalang road. The road resembled a brown river. We cut across to Tampaksiring, then back down to Ubud.

In the late afternoon, we went for a long walk, along the Tjampuhan ridge, through the village of Keliki, out to the main Ubud road, and back to the hotel - ~7 or 8km. We took a lot of photos. Dinner was at Indus, with an excellent Latin band.

On Tuesday morning, we pottered about the town. I didn't feel all that well. In the late afternoon, we started on a walk up the Penestanan steps. It looked like being quite a short walk. However, we left the road and headed across a plateau of rice paddies, and ended up on the Sayan road. This brought us back to where we had left Penestanan. After another kilometre, we realised that we were going the wrong direction anyway. For the third time, we returned to Penestanan, and took another path, down, then up, through a river gorge, through someone's house, across more paddies and, eventually, back to the Tjampuhan hotel.

I still didn't feel well, but we had our "usual" beverage at Tutmak, followed by a nice meal at Terrazo. We then hit the Jazz Cafe, where Boggi and Dodi (from Traffic Blues) were playing with a bule on soprano sax and an Indonesian singer/guitarist. Boggi said that he'd been to Jakarta for the Jazz Festival, to support an internationally famous harpist (whom we'd seen play with the Surabaya Symphony Orchestra).

After breakfast, the next day, we packed and then drove into town to buy a nice wood carving for Hanako and Masa, to send to Hiroshima. We left Ubud via Penestanan, where Helen bought paintings of an old man and woman. Next stop was Bali International School, where we caught up with most of the office staff and teacher assistants. It was wonderful to see them all again.

It was 1pm by the time we reached Barbara's villa. It is nice and open. We walked south along the beach a kilometre, or so, and back. Kadek, the driver, took us to Kori, where we had dinner with Jax, Lisa, the O'Neills and a few others. The rest of Traffic Blues, Agus, Bayu and Lisa were playing with another bloke on congas. Restu arrived, with her new, American husband, and sang a couple of songs.

We had a fairly good night's sleep, before setting out on a long walk, the early the next morning. It was a bit depressing seeing the unchecked villas development. Kadek drove us to Le Bake, for breakfast, and then left us at Legian beach. After an hour, or so, I headed back. I encountered Stuart and Dick outside Papa's. I checked my email, and then wound my way through the back streets. From 66, I walked along the beach. About a kilometre from La Lucciola, the sand got very soft, and I was tiring by the time I reached the restaurant. I stopped for a delightful lunch, and then tried to find a road back to the villa. Instead of 500m along the beach, I walked more than 2km, and across some paddies, so that it wasn't longer. I chilled out around the pool until Helen returned.

In the early evening, we had a bottle of champagne on the beach. We were struck by the fact that every building along that part of the beach front, except for the villa and several locals' dwellings, was in ruins. We walked along the beach to La Lucciola to have a lovely dinner with Stuart and Dick. We returned the same way in the dark.

After an uncharacteristic sleep in, we had breakfast at La Lucc. Kadek met us in the car park and we went to Kerobokan, to a big bronze warehouse. We poked around long enough to decide that a return visit would be appropriate, then hit Kuta beach. I did my usual hour, before ambling back along Jl. Legian and Jl. Laksamana. I showered, watched a crappy movie on Indovision, then had a lie down. Helen spent two hours at a salon on her way back.

Kadek dropped us at Papa's, for a sunset drink. We caught a taxi to Teras, and had a nice meal. We walked to an internet cafe, which happened to be a transvestite hang out, because we had forgotten to do our footy tips. We then walked to Jl. Dyana Pura, and were disappointed to find it very quiet. From there, a taxi took us to Jl. Laksamana, where we ended up at Zappaz. The band was good, and then a Pommie bloke (possibly the owner) played the grand piano very well. The taxi driver, who took us back to the villa, said that there used to be an access road, and other villas.

In the morning, we walked past the hotel, and followed the road to the Canggu Sports Club. From there, we walked towards the beach, and had to go through the grounds of a magnificent, well-maintained, but unoccupied, private house. As far as we could work out, the hotel had taken the former road when it put in a new pool. We still had no explanation as to why there was only one expatriate villa in the area. Our original intention was to walk to Ku De Ta for breakfast, but it was hot, and Kadek was on hand, so he drove us. On the walk back, along the beach, Stuart and Dick, whom we had seen go past earlier, emerged from the beachfront shrubbery. We chatted briefly with them, and then returned to the villa to hang out around the pool. It was very relaxing, particularly with the pump turned off.

We packed, and then spent a while (unsuccessfully) searching for an earring that Helen dropped in the shower. At 3pm, we bid farewell to "Villa Manisa". We stopped briefly at Dijon, and then headed to the airport.