The End is Nigh

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, September 5, 2010

Here it is, our final week! It's certainly not been as action packed as others we’ve had but that was fine for us as we were feeling quite travel weary by this point and enjoying the slower pace of life for a while.  We spent three nights in Ubud at a charming hotel that I fell in love with immediately when the owner kept topping up a thermos flask of tea for us on our patio.  Our first port of call was to visit the Monkey Forest, an area of temples where hundreds of monkeys hang around stealing things from tourists who come to take their photos.  We managed to escape unscathed although plenty of people, while we were there were the victims of monkey crimes.  Most amusingly a French girl had a packet of cigarettes pulled out her pocket but once the monkey realised he couldn’t eat them he discarded them on the path.  Once she walked over to reclaim them however, the monkey scurried back down his tree and peed all over them before leaving again.  An anti-smoking advert if I ever saw one.

Much of the rest of our time in Ubud was spent shopping for souvenirs under the guise of buying other people presents.  This way I could convince Steve to visit lots of shops and market stalls and purchase lots of lovely things that I wouldn’t have been able to get away with otherwise.  In particular I’m very pleased with a rather unique dress I bought from a boutique dress shop that cost more than our three nights accommodation but will serve as my big treat of the holiday (now I just need to find an occasion to wear a techni-coloured-dream-dress!).  On our final night in Ubud we bought tickets to see a traditional Balinese Kecak dance which was really entertaining with an orchestra of 100 men chanting to accompany the trance like dancers telling an ancient story.  It was very well done and even Steve, who is not easily impressed by dance acts, had to admit he enjoyed it particularly when the guy at the end kicked coconut husks that had been set on fire in the direction of the audience and they got a bit too close for comfort.

Our next stop was to visit a tiny town called Tulamben on the east coast of Bali but there is absolutely nothing to do in the town itself, in fact other than four hotels and a couple of restaurants it’s a bit of a wasteland.  We were here for the stretch of sea next to the town and in particular the sunken shipwreck only 50m from the shore.  It’s a very popular scuba diving site but we were restricted to snorkeling so could only explore the bow that stuck up at an angle but it was well worth the trip.  The boat was teeming with swarms of fish of all sizes and were mesmerizing to watch darting in and out of the gaps in the ship.  It’s the first wreck we’ve seen underwater and now I know what all the fuss is about, it was well worth the trip to visit it but the town didn’t give us reason to stay longer than one night there.  We tried to stay at the small town of Padangbai for a few nights but with only one cash point that wasn’t working we had a bit of a cash-flow problem and had to make it to a bigger town instead.  It was cheapest to head back to Kuta so we based ourselves back there again and found a brilliant hotel to stay in that was easily the nicest room we’ve had so far (with the exception of Borneo!).  It was then easy to while away the last three days by the pool or playing in the waves on the beach again.  We hired a surf board this time and, as expected, got half drowned trying to conquer it.  Steve did manage to get the hang of it where as I didn’t achieve anything that resembled surfing at all.  Thankfully my attempts at sunbathing were more believable.

To round off the trip I left Steve to keep him entertained and went to have a luxury spa package of 1 hour massage, facial, manicure and pedicure all for the bargain price of 8.  With all of that to help hopefully I won’t look too haggard on return to the UK, I wouldn’t want to cause alarm.  On our final shopping trip I managed to sneak in another three necklaces to go with the pile that made up half my luggage allowance and Steve stocked up on Zap ice creams.  The Zap lolly has been a near permanent fixture in Steves hand since we arrived in Bali as for every piece of jewelry I bought he was allowed four lollys, so both of us have been very happy indeed.

Given our mind set at the end of a long trip I don’t think we have explored Bali as well as we perhaps should have done but I’m still leaving thinking it’s a brilliant place.  It’s really like a mini version of all of South East Asia with a little bit of everything we loved all crammed into one.  We’ve eaten Nasi Goreng at every cheap eatery in Kuta and it’s going to be hard to wean ourselves off of it in the days to come but the promise of real bacon and real cheese again might just do it.  We’re off to the airport in a few hours to transfer to Kuala Lumpur where we get to spend another memorable night sleeping on the floor before finally catching our connection to London in the morning.  I really can’t wait to get home now and catch up on everything we have missed; you’ve heard all my stories now so get ready to start telling me yours.

Lot’s of Love,

Amy and Shipwreck Steve

P.s You didn’t think that was the end did you?  I’m sure I can waffle on for one more entry…
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