What an amazing trip this was returning to Bali and Java after 26 years. Twenty Six years ago I had the trip of a lifetime as I travelled though south east asia on a shoe string with my wife to be and future Mother of my two beautiful daughters. That 9 month journey was my coming of age when I think back to it and so I was very curious to return all these years later with a more mature mind and slightly longer in the tooth. What was it about this place that addicted me to travel – will it be over run by tourists and ruin a magical memory? Well one thing is for sure I was returning with much more responsibility and a much larger budget. In 1987 we had a budget of $15 a day … now I responsible for 15 other people’s travel arrangements, budget and wonderful travel experience.
After a very long flight Roxanne and I arrived before the group and settled in Kuta ( the famous, or should I say Infamous beach resort area of Bali). Our Hotel Masa Inn was very close to where we stayed 26 years ago although the area is unrecognizable ….. other than the famous Poppies Restaurant. Roxanne and I spent a half a days budget eating here way back then …. paying the bill this time was not such a hardship as the prices are still quite cheap in Bali. I had a beautiful tuna and Roxanne and amazing Curry, two large Bintang ( beer ) all for about $24. Twenty six years ago that would have cost us about $8.
Not quite adjusted to the time change I wake up early and do this painting of the pool area at the Masa Inn … this Hawaiian Surfer dude and this veteran Australian Tourist get into a long conversation right in the middle of my painting … I learned a lot about this pair over the course of my painting.
On the 14th Roxanne and I meet up with our good friend Ayu. Ayu takes us to visit her family and then to the market in Denpasar … WOW amazing in it’s own right but when the skies open up and and release an ocean of water; the seeing is truly spectacular.
Our last night in Kuta we take Ayu to Jimbaran bay for a seafood bbq on the beach …. you choose your own fish and they BBQ it on Coconut husks .. quite the production and quite the beautiful setting.
Roxanne and I left Kuta for Ubud on the May 16th in search of silver rings for the girls … Celuk is the place for Silver but turns out a little disapointing as we are looking for something quite specific. No Worries … we soon forget the disappointment when we arrive at Ananda Cottages our Hotel for the next 7 nights. Set among the rice paddies the charming network of 80 cabins boarder each meticulously manicured rice paddy. Stunning really especially at night when the narrow footpath atop the rice fields is softly illuminated with burning burning torches. Our room is heavenly with a 20 foot natural ceiling and post and beam construction … a mosquito net drapes the four poster bed like a giant spinnaker in full wind.
The Group arrives on Schedule May 18th
MORE TO COME … Please check back