Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bali Revisited

I've been so bust since getting back from Jogja that I've had no time to even think about blogging the events that have transpired, but today is a holiday and I have cleared my desk for the long weekend.

After getting back from our family holiday to Borobodur we had barely time to settle in to our routine when we decided to go to Bali for a long weekend. Our time in Indonesia is getting short (more on that soon) so we wanted to take the opportunity to see more of the country.

Other than tourism we had a good reason to visit Bali (again, more on that soon) so instead of the necessary one day visit I took a couple of days off and we had a long weekend of it. We flew in on Friday and took a taxi from the airport which Rachel negotiated down from a $15 fare to $8. Her rule of thumb is to offer them 50% of the price they want and then bargain from there. This was to set a trend that was to last the whole trip.

We stayed at 100 Sunset Hotel, a "boutique" hotel in Kuta. I'm not sure what boutique means but it was a very nice place; small, quiet, well appointed (if a little frayed on the edges) and more importantly free. On the Saturday we went into Kuta for a shopping trip, a visit that successfully wiped away the experience of my previous visit back in December. Pretty much the entire day was spent shopping - DVDs, batik, hammocks, t-shirts, sunglasses, dresses, knick-knacks, presents for the people back in the UK, shorts and most importantly the consummate Bali souvenir - a Bintang singlet for Oscar. All the stuff we need for the next stage of our life (like I said before, more on that later). We got back to the hotel in the early afternoon and had a swim so that Oscar could show off his aquatic skills. Steve Zissou had better watch out because Oscar is like an otter. For dinner we went back into the main part of Kuta and ate international cuisine - Domino's Pizza!

Sunday featured a trip to Waterbom, an amazing waterslide park in the heart of Kuta. It was so well camouflaged in a palm forest that you'd never even know it was there. It's very family orientated and Oscar could go on at least 50% of the rides, which was a marked improvement from the waterslide park we went to in Milan last year where he couldn't go on any of the slides and had to stay in the children's pool area. Waterbom had a similar kid's pool, with a set of small slides and a big tipper bucket. Oscar was intensely happy, as were Mr and Mrs Mudblogger. We took him on the lazy river which he thought was great, and afterward we took it up a notch and got him to climb up to the top of the big tower with us for a descent on the larger slides. The two he was allowed on were ones you had to sit on inflatable rings so he alternated between mummy and daddy. The boy has no fear and as soon as we hit the pool at the bottom he was ready to go again. Even the one that had a lengthy, pitch black tunnel didn't put him off - though he did describe it as "spooky" on his first go on it. We spent at least 6 hours at Waterbom - the last 2 hours were during a torrential downpour. Getting wet on wet didn't put us off, but when the park started to flood and our towels got drenched we decided to call it a day. Taxiing back to the hotel we made a few retail stops to pick up some silk and batik pillow covers/bedding, ornaments for the house and a couple of sarongs for Rachel.

The morning on last day of the trip was spent at the hospital that was the reason for us going to Bali. More later I promise. We then split up - Rae and Oscar going to the domestic terminal to fly back to Balikpapan and I went to the international terminal to carry on to Perth for a 3 day business trip.

Footnote - pics coming soon

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