My mother is still very ill following her collapse nearly a month ago, but is stable and now hooked up to a ventilator at home.
We were very hesitant about going off for the half term to Bali – but Mother and sisters insisted we should still go – and we’re glad we did.
When Stephanie first said she wanted to go to Bali I was horror struck. I had images of Club Med type resorts and hordes of tourists, but in fact there is a whole other side to the island.
We stayed a few days in a charming little hotel outside Ubud called the Alam Indah, and then a few days on the north coast at a little place called the Villa Agung.
The Alum Indah was really super – I long ago decided that I would avoid staying in big 5 star chain hotels. There are just so many small independent hotels which are comfortable, the service is excellent and they treat you as a person – I hate the obsequious service you get in the bigger hotels just because that’s what they’re paid for, And above all I would rather put my money into a local community than into the pockets of a global conglomerate.
The balcony of our room at the Alum Indah
You also tend to meet much more interesting people at the smaller more intimate hotels.
The Villa Agung is run by a retired American businessman and his wife – or rather it’s run by Sandy, while Gus ‘entertains’ the guests – tasks they both do admirably well! Both hotels we found through Trip advisor and would happily go back to them again.
At the Agung I met a fascinating fellow called Dick Tinsley – author of ‘Developing Smallholder Agriculture – A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.’ He had some really interesting ideas about global poverty and the economics of calories. His website makes interesting reading.
But of course you couldn’t keep me away from the local classic cars – I saw far more than i was able to photograph, but here are a few:
Interestingly this MG had an Austin badge on the back.
The street lighting had interesting wiring!
Unlike our usual educational tours this trip was just for a bit of relaxation – so Stephanie did a Batik class and I did some wood carving. We did lots of walking and wildlife watching.
We went out early one morning in an out-rigged pirogue and saw masses of dolphins, and the following day I went for a couple of dives with a local shop called Spice dive – Very enjoyable reef dives, but on the second the weather blew up while we were down, which made boarding the dive boat rather interesting
And on the last day a little pampering with a massage, manicure and pedicure…
The wrath of the Gods
Indonesia is predominantly Hindu – so there are temples and shrines everywhere, and every other day is a colourful festival to one of the many deities.
I’m not sure how the Gods felt about us though. While we were there Mt Merapi erupted on Java – killing scores of people, a tsunami hit Sumatra, a bolt of lightening hit our beach hotel on the day we arrived and two lorries and a car had accidents outside on three seperate occasions, the anchor rope on our dive boat snapped just as we were coming up underneath it, and we flew there and back on Qatar Airways via Doha – if the Gods had wanted to get us – they had plenty of chances…!