I am currently on the way to New Orleans via Austin Texas, on my third plane in two or three days so I will tell you all about that when I get there, but I thought I would use a bit of my travel time to fill you in on my last few days in Bali. The move to the beach definitely suited me, I fell into a good daily routine, exercise was back on the agenda with yoga three times a week, my small exercise programme and long walks. The longest walk I did was 7 km 3.5 each way setting off at 06:45. There were still a lot of people about. As you walk along the pathway by the beach it sort of alternates between hotels, some private accommodation and cafes and little shops and massage places. A lot of massage tables on the beach etc. and of course the ladies are always asking massage madam. The sky was beautiful this particular morning and I got some great photos just as the sun came through the clouds. I also saw the mountains much more clearly in the distance, it was the first time I had seen them properly. They were also filming some sort of commercial on the beach it looked fab. One thing I know I haven’t told you about is the way the women carry things on their heads, usually they have a hat on, on top of that is a straw type of cap which has a flat top and then they put the basket on top of that. They are usually carrying things as well, I must say I was completely fascinated, would have liked to have a go at it myself. I never managed to get a photograph though, which was a shame. There are lots of fisherman as well either going out in their funny little boats, or just wading into the sea with a line. They all seem to wear those hats that you associate with Chinamen in old films. I am sure you know what I mean. I saw one man walking off with his catch of half a dozen fish in a plastic bag on this particular morning. The funniest thing about these walks is that obviously people are all using this pathway to run, walk and ride bikes on, but the English all seem to recognise that you are English and we say good morning to each other. I found that so hilarious, none of the other nationalities said good morning to me. How did they know I was English. Am I that obviously English.
I think every time I went for a walk I went further and was just surprised how many more hotels shops and cafes I discovered. The Hyatt is being rebuilt so at the moment there is an unsightly stretch of corrugated iron fence as the work is being undertaken with signs says grand opening July 2018. From what I have seen there is still a lot to do, so I am not sure about that date, don’t book yet for July if you are thinking about it. I won’t be.
I broke my personal best for 5 kilometres on my last two walks there, I am usually achieving one kilometre in 11 minutes something but I have done the odd one in under 11. That is a target I am setting myself, for my average to be under 11 rather then over 11. I have decided I would like to walk some of the Cornish coast this autumn, so am starting to think about that.
I spent time at the pool every day and enjoyed so much being able to be in the water, the clientele in the hotel changed quite a bit in the second half of my time there with more families and slightly less grey hair, and a few single women. I made two new women friends in the last three days, both from Australia, one in yoga and one in the hotel. Deb, in the hotel was leaving the same day as me to move up the coast a bit, but we both agreed we really loved the hotel, where it was and the ambiance and the service, the staff were just so great, nothing was too much trouble.
One day there was aerobics in the pool and I did it, there were only three of us, including the instructor, but we had fun. I was talking to the other lady who was Dutch and then it started to rain. My iPad was out on my chair and in my panic to get out of the pool and put it away I fell over the step from that pool towards the baby pool. I am still sporting a little cut and a fab bruise on my leg. I went to report it to the reception and I got a call from the duty manager and then they came to my room with ice and first aid kit and took a photo of my leg. The next day at dinner one of the ladies who works in the restaurant told me that she had heard I had hurt myself, the lady in 289 and I knew it was you she said. So sweet.
The next day I was having problems with the wireless it just wasn’t uploading my photos onto my blog, so I called to report it and the next thing the IT manager was on my doorstep, he routed me another way and said he would get the zone thoroughly checked out. That’s what I call service, in Melbourne they were absolutely useless, they are probably saying they have WiFi on the basis of very small bandwidth which just isn’t sufficient for the needs of heavy users like me. Here the WiFi was really good all the time and when it wasn’t they got straight on to sorting it out.
The hotel also has a shuttle bus into town, so one day I needed some batteries, and they didn’t have any in the local shop so I thought I would try the bus out. That’s when I realised how near to town the Hyatt is, and thought you could probably cut through around there. Plus there was a big long line of Bluebird Taksis waiting near the Hyatt. The supermarket was quite good, I couldn’t find any batteries and I looked at the wine, but didn’t want to pay for the Australian and New Zealand wines as they were quite pricy and I didn’t know what sort of Balinese wine I was drinking, so I walked out of the supermarket empty handed. I didn’t have my watch on or my phone with me so I had no idea what the time was, and we didn’t have too long as the return trip was half an hour after we left the hotel. So I felt I should just wait rather than going off to have a look at some shops. I have really got very used to the idea that I just don’t spend money in shops in more, no buying of souvenirs or clothes.
Having travelled now for five months with once bag of clothes, without much jewellery and trying to keep simple, I think I will need to review my life when I get home. But I have never been a big shopper, I only go shopping when I need something, the dangerous times for me are when I am on holiday and I have time to look around, well I am definitely done with that now. I am breaking a lot of habits, eating less, drinking less alcohol, being far more active and adventurous and I must continue when I get home.
It was great to have made a couple of friends, and have some talks about life and and that jazz. I had started to feel a little lonely, Bali had been quite a solitary experience, but it was always meant to be a time of reflection. My zen time. The yoga was just so fabulous, the yoga barn was an amazing place to be, I had a few sessions which included meditation and that was great, it has made me more determined to make yoga the cornerstone of my exercise including hot yoga, Bikram. I could feel that I was getting more flexible whilst I was there. And I was able to do one or two things I hadn’t done before like the side plank and holding my toes while sitting down with legs stretched out ahead. You are supposed to be kind to your self and work within your boundaries, and not look at what other people are doing, but a young girl next to me couldn’t hold her toes, so that made me feel great. There were plenty of things I couldn’t do mind you. The funniest thing we did was to clear certain chakras, we had to laugh, and with about twenty people all doing this very loud laughing you would see people walking past outside looking up and obviously thinking what that all about. I loved the chanting too, it was like a song in the room so beautiful I can’t even describe and it made me feel wonderful and part of something really special. I was most certainly in the right place in Bali. and I would very much like to go back again and be a little more adventurous next time now I have the lie of the land.
The hotel put on entertainment a few nights a week, Balinese dancing and a singer playing acoustic guitar. Some picture below. Also a photo of one of the pools which the restaurant looked out on and the private beach, which the bar was on. When it rained the whole thing was like a pool. And you almost couldn’t see where the pool started and the walkway finished. The hotel had its own temple ofcourse so a couple of picture of that too.
My quest for nature continues. There was a bird which was often singing outside my window first thing in the morning, I saw one in the tree and took a few photos to try and identify him from the little posters I had seen in the grounds. I wasn’t very successful though. I saw a little lizard climbing up the wall of the next building, and was always seeing the toads on the way to and from dinner but was never able to snap them they were so fast and it was dark. There was a bird that I saw a couple of times in the baby swimming pool, my favourite place. One day he was having a bath in there when I was in the pool, I walked out very slowly when he left and followed him, he went into the bushes behind my seat. I managed to snap him in the bushes and then he came out and I got a great shot of him. We were so close to each other and it wasn’t a problem. I also found a squirrel in the temple and got a great shot of him running up a tree.
My last day appeared so quickly. It’s almost impossible to believe I was there for a month. My flight was at 10:30 pm so I booked the hotel shuttle for 7pm. It was very rainy in the morning and I was up at six to pack. Deb and I had arranged to meet for breakfast at eight and were going to have a last pool session, she was leaving at noon after checkout. The rain eventually stopped at ten and we spent time sitting in the pool chatting and laughing. Then it was time for her to go. I had arranged for my luggage to be taken out of my room at 12 and a booked a special massage and pedicure at 1 which would take two and a half hours. Then I went to meet Kerri my other new friend from yoga, we had a bite to eat in the cafe on the beach and looked out to sea, and chatted for an hour. Finally we said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch, maybe see you in Bali again or Thailand or Australia or England, the possibilities are endless. Back to the pool for my final hour to soak up the sun.
Arriving at the airport was interesting, I had a porter, the best 40,000 rupees I spent, as he guided me through the process, you can’t get into the airport unless you are travelling. He lifted my luggage on to the scanner. That was the first security checkpoint. Then at check in they stuck some sort of device into my bags that were going into the hold. Then the usual sort of security for carry on stuff. I had checked in my rucksack too as it’s quite heavy and I was able to check in two bags. The good news was that my big bag is now under 21 kilos, lots of bottles of stuff where finished and I left behind the last few clothes washing capsules, and the horrible Nivea face cream. Disposed of some other bits and pieces which I decided I didn’t need to carry around any more. I was going to buy some new face cream in duty free, but it was 30 pounds more expensive than in duty free in the U.K. and I think even more expensive than buying in the shop in the UK so I decided not to bother. I will see if I can get it in to the States.
I felt I could have stayed there another month at least, if not longer. I also had a real sense that I was going home, even though there is still another month to go and still a lot to do and see, and people to spend time with. I wasn’t looking forward to the next twenty four hours which I was going to spend travelling to Los Angeles, especially the second flight which was fourteen hours long, but I tried to keep the serenity I felt in Bali with me. Once I got through security and everything I was able to find some food and had plenty of time to get to the gate. We left on time, and I took my last look through the window and said goodbye to my slice of paradise.