Can someone please give those chickens a clock

Trip Start Sep 10, 2010
Trip End Feb 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
marco inn

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

If I ever get my hands on that blooming chicken, there will be trouble - but more about him in a minute.

Having exhausted the sites of Ubud and arranged the bus to collect us at the hotel, we are getting a tad annoyed after waiting 45 mnuites and no sign of a bus. Cheu went off to see if reception could call them to complain and seconds later a rather plush 4x4 arrived to say they would be taking us to Padang Bai instead of the bus. Turns out bus was overbooked so they put on this additional transport for us and an Australian couple who were off to Lombok. The driver was the usual charming Balinese guy with limited English - he could only talk about the connection between temples and mountains in the context of Balinese Hinduism and that was the range of his vocab. So most questions we asked were inevitably answered by reference to a mountain or a temple - this became funny and at its best when the Australian lady, concerned about the environment, asked if there was much pollution caused by the excessive number of plastic water bottles we tourists go through. This, the driver said, was directly linked to the mountains - explaining that the water from the mountains washes all the bottles onto the beach but because the locals have many festivals at the beach and leave rubbish behind too, one could equally blame them for the pollution.

The trip was to Padang Bai, a postage stamp sized village and main public ferry port to Lombok. We found a small guest house being temporarily run by a bohemian English couple from the west country, and checked into our non A/C room with cold water and a toilet that was flushed by pouring in buckets of water. Room was only 7 (US$10) a night including breakfast and though small, it was clean and ok for the one night we needed. The town really is no more than 500m wide, set in a picturesque bay and with a “town beach“. We walked over a headland to another small beach which was not very busy though the sand was strewn with rubbish in places - I don’t know why the stall holders don’t spend five minutes each day just clearing their area of the washed up stuff - it would make such a difference and would surely then attract more business. Instead they sit in their shack offering cold drinks and massages - getting no custom as nobody wants to spend time in shacks surrounded with rubbish.

Anyway, we had a nice swim though did not venture out far as the current is ferocious and the waves occasionally overwhelming - but was good fun.

After dinner and a few beers - avoid Zen Inn if you ever go to Padang Bai, its over priced and not very friendly - we headed back to our room. Cheu, with ear plugs soundly fitted, crashed almost immediately, and I read before dozing off about 2 am only to be woken by bloody chickens who could not tell the time. It was still dark but they were all going crazy, cock a bloody doodling to each other without rest. It was one of those noises that I could not ignore - it was so crazy and the one right next door to our balcony was strutting his stuff up and down in the darkness and cock a doodling every 15 seconds at one point. And yes, I did have the watch and was timing the cocky little git. I chucked a few glasses of water at him but he was fast and clearly used to avoiding abusive tourists in the middle of the night; at one point he started ducking under a table to avoid the water and from there he would occasionally stick his head out, look up at me knowingly, and give a lung bursting cock a doodle. This went on for nearly 3 hours!!!!! I was dreading the sun rise as I knew more of his mates would soon be joining in and I was now about minus 3 hours sleeping time. Come the first rays of sunshine, blasting into our non AC room which then turned into a furnace, the bloody birds all went quite. Not a single dawn welcoming cock a doodle doo was to be heard - the little gits all went to their boxes and promptly fell asleep. By this tme I was already breaking into a sweat as the temperatures rocketed and the sun filled the room to bursting point - and Cheu continued snoozing all through this melodrama. I have been grumpy since dawn.

So, to score some points for myself I had chicken for lunch today and it was very good. Not sure if it was one of the offending birds from earlier today, but I take some comfort in knowing that Mr Cock A Doodle Doo is likely to get him comeuppance soon when he is served up with some rice and spicy sambal. Then tourists will at last be able to sleep till dawn at least.

We are now off to our next destination, Tulamben, 2 hours away on the north east coast. I am drafting this blog from the back of a minibus with no aircon and a driver who thinks he is on a n F1 team - we are on very small winding roads, boiling hot and being thrown around on the back seat of the bus. My stomach is slightly regretting having eaten that bloody chicken so soon before boarding this contraption.

Having been in Tulamben for half a day we realise this place would not warrant a blog entry of its own - in short, it’s a main road with a few crappy hotels leading down to dive schools. As we can’t be bothered getting in and out of a wet suit used by someone else earlier in the day , we settled on snorkelling out to the old US warship, the Liberty, which sank about 50 metres off the coast. It was ok, lots of fish but nothing compared to the Maldives, the Red Sea or Great Barrier Reef where we have dived before. So we ticked this place off as “been there, done it” and tomorrow we are off to Lovina, our last stop in Bali before heading to Java. The room here is full of Geckos, and I had no idea until tonight that they can make a sound which is like someone with hiccups trying to say Gecko. It was funny at first, but now the novelty is wearing off. I so hope the Geckos are not in collusion with the local chickens and are targeting me for night time disturbances.
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Mark on

Doh, you didn't like Tulamben. As I said, the place itself is a bit rubbish but I seem to remember the wreck being amazing, but it was 13 years ago, my memory has obviously embellished things a bit!

It's been wet and rainy here for a day or so, so Angus has been discovering his Scottish roots going out for walks under dingy grey skies and red, yellow and auburn leafed trees whilst it rains a bit and the wind whips round his legs. He seems more accepting of the rain nowadays, I think Spain is a distant memory to him now...

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