Welcome to the Southern Hemisphere

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Palm Gardens

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Or is it Australia????

The rain woke us up at 7.45am coming down in torrents against the windows. We got up and showered before anybody else woke up even Qian Ying.  We had some of Siong's mum’s steamed chocolate cake for breakfast with hazelnut coffee and then leaving Siong at the apartment the four of us went swimming in the pool as we’d promised we would before we left.  Uncle Andrew got off lightly this time and Cheryl and I had to play ice cream shop with the toys in the pool.  We had a lovely time and then when we got back Siong had cooked ham and Chinese sausage rice and spicy seafood soup for us to give us a good send off.  It was fab and we were stuffed when we had eaten it all (Andrew Edit - Siong you are a genius I think Salford is calling you just to cook at our gaff again).

We all left at the same time, Cheryl to go to work and drop Qian Ying off at school and Siong to go for an interview at work.  We caught the tube with him until he got off and we wished him luck and then we were on our own heading towards our first visit to the Southern Hemisphere.  It just puts in to perspective how huge the planet is.  We got to the airport in plenty of time and had a look around before it was time to board our Asia Air flight to Bali.  There was a lot of turbulence on the flight and as Andrew and I weren’t sat together I could only wonder how white his knuckles were and if he had pooed his pants (Andrew Edit - It was more of a stain than a full blown.... oh I'm not going into it).  We arrived in Bali after a couple of hours and the airport was overrun with people so it took us ages to get through immigration.  Next we went to get some money from the ATM, I’m losing track of how many currencies have passed through our fingers on this trip, and got out 1,000,000 Rupiah just because we could, hey we’re millionaires again.  The taxi queue was really long and with a lack of other options we had no choice but to stealthily push in, in this case in front of some Korean girls who we knew would be too polite to say anything.

We decided to head to Kuta, the infamous party resort only about 15 minutes away and drove through some great resorts on the way that looked really lively and fairly upmarket.  We told the driver to take us to Kedin’s guesthouse which was the Lonely Planet 'our pick’ and when the driver pulled up at the end of a narrow back street next to a building site he just pointed down the street and I must admit it didn’t live up to my preconceived ideas of Bali.  This feeling was short lived though and we passed the building site and emerged in to a warren of bustling alleyways that were full of shops and bars.  I decided that I liked it already.

We got to Kedin’s to find that it was full and spent the next hour going in to every guesthouse in the area to try to find a bed for the night.  The prices were quite steep too, some at nearing 30 quid per night, that is the sum total of our budget!  Finally we got to Palm Gardens to find they had one room left and at 200,000 Rupiah it wasn’t going to break the budget so we dropped the bags which had started to feel heavier and heavier as we trudged around and went to get a drink.

We found Piggy’s bar a few doors away from our guesthouse and they had a live singer on so we found a seat and grabbed the menu.  MEAT PIE AND CHIPS.  That is all I’m going to say, we didn’t try it but thought we may well cave in after a few beers.  We stayed here for a few until everybody was up and dancing and then the set was over and the singer packed up then we went on to another relatively cheap bar which had another live band who were great.  The whole area, Poppies 1 and Poppies 2 (the two interconnecting streets) were heaving with people, lots of them Australians, and the bars had dancers and stilt walkers – it was mad and a real crazy party atmosphere.  Everyone was getting binned.  Unsurprisingly by this stage we were too so when we finally managed to find our guesthouse in all the chaos we collapsed in to bed.

Of course like every mans man would I had to fill the sink with water and see which way the water spun..... or is that just me??
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Stevie Z on

It's just you.... no seriously.....

We had our honeymoon in Bali and we've been back a few times. Try and get to the north of the island if you can - it's a different world from Kuta. Maybe you've left already but Lombok is also well worth a visit. Plus Komodo if your budget will run to it. As I've said before, Indonesia is like PI and will provide a far more rewarding experience than Aus. Which is just like the uk but with better weather (even in winter) and people who actually speak to each other.

Sutton on Sea (between Skegness and Mablethorpe for the uninitiated) was great thanks for asking. It rained just enough to *profane violation* off the missus and kids although I cheated and had a log cabin on an estate with a heated indoor pool - so we only spent limited time sitting drinking scalding tea wrapped up in our chalet on the prom.

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