Last stop in Asia, time for my 1st guest.

Trip Start Mar 12, 2007
Trip End Mar 12, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Thursday, August 2, 2007

I had already passed through Bali 4 times on this trip as its a bit of a jumping off point for much of Indonesia. I had decided to save this partcular island until last, partly because I had been there before and wanted to visit other parts of Indonesia first but the main reason being that my sister Sophie was coming out to Bali to join me for my last 10 days in SE Asia.  Wooohooo!

Having found out how unreliable Indonesian transport is I left an extra day to travel back from Java.  For the first time since arriving the bus/boat/bus combination ran on time(ish) so I arrived in Kuta with a day to spare. You will not be greatly surprised to hear that decided to go diving, knowing that I would from now on have very little opportunity to do so, a good thing as far as my bank balance is concerned.  My last diving adventure was to be the US Liberty, a WWII ship that was torpedo'd by the Japanese.  Wreck dives tend to creep me out a bit but although this site was very busy, it turned out to be my best wreck dive so far with fantastic hard and soft corals and large schools of fish.

To say I was excited to see Soph is an understatement.  I get emotional at airports anyway as I always seem to get absorbed in other poeples hello and goodbye scenes.  I just about fought back the tears as she walked through arrivals, fighting her way through the surfboard laden crowds.  For the first few day I had arranged what turned out to be a LUSH hotel.  Soph seemed a little startled at how excited I was to have hot water and a bath.  The trash mags I was presented with were almost too much to bare!

Much time was invested in some quality beach action. It was Sophie holiday after all and to be honest after 5 months in Asia I am a little templed out.  I was also aware that I will not see a beach in quite sometime now so the beach option was fine by me.  We attempted surfing. Sophie's was far better than me which is to say she managed to stand a few times and appeared to quite like it, commenting "I've never been so bad at something and enjoyed it so much". Unfortunately, it appears that the Goldschmidt girls are not particularly quick to their feet, a fairly crucial skill

We did manage a few days of culture, heading in land for some temple/paddie field action.  We also unwittingly stumbled across a poetry reading bya group who were in Bali for some kind of earth summit.  I have not been so well entertained in some time.  Two Amercian poets stood out with there 'I hate stepfathers' and 'The day i held a tibetan ophan in my arms at the foothills of the himalayas' themes.  I can best describe it as unintended comedy genius.

Waving Sophie off was a tearful event as I knew it would be.  Thank you Soph for joining for a fantastic 10 days and also for spoiling me rotten.  Having said goodbye to Sophie, it is now time to say goodbye to SE Asia and and end chapter one of my trip.  It has been an incredible 5 months.  I keep being asked which my favourite country was.  I have no answer. It has been everything I hoped it would be and more.  SE Asia tick. 
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