27 August – 9 September, 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)
Well, I\’d love to tell you how wonderful Bali is. Unfortunately….not so much. It\’s over crowded in Denpasar, (the main tourist area), way too much traffic and rubbish everywhere. It\’s not just that everyone smokes and throws their rubbish out the window into the street. I\’ve NEVER seen so much junk floating in the water as I have in this country. I think I\’ve seen 5 times as much junk floating here in the water as I\’ve seen since we left California. That\’s saying a lot! Frankly, I didn\’t see the appeal.
Nikki and Izzie had a day tour to Ubud which is a tourist haven; home to shopping till dropping and the famous \”Monkey Temple\”. The Monkey Temple is Balineese Hindu site which has as it\’s main feature, the local monkeys crawling around as they will. High enthusiasm did not seem to be the order of the day, but undaunted and at the suggestion of sailing friends with a little push from my cousin Janice, we decided to do a day tour up to the north end of the island to it\’s volcano. I believe Indonesia is home to more active volcanos than anywhere else in the world including the famous \”Krakatoa\” located between Java and Sumatra. The driver was nothing short of mad. His English was not quite as advertised and the traffic all the way was abysmal. We stopped at a few Hindu Temples along the way and finally reached the volcano which the restaurant we went to had a lovely view. It last erupted in 1998 and the light lava flows are still standing in sharp contrast to the vegetation in the caldera. The food was mediocre, the view worth an hour and back we went.
Along the way, we stopped again in Ubud, the shopping here is good if you like that sort of \”chachkis\” (junk) shopping. While in Ubud, we met a friend of Janice and David\’s (Scott\’s Cousin), \”Kedek\”. Janice last saw her 14 years ago. She remembered Janice and David very well and was a lovely gal. We had a brief hug and hello\’s with quick goodbyes as we were exhausted and Kedek had to get back to work. The highlight of the way home was when our crazy driver was pulled over by a policeman and they almost got into a fist fight. The screaming match was ugly enough, but calmer heads finally prevailed and off we went.
Our next several days were spent getting ready to leave for Christmas Island, Australia. The local guys, washed and waxed the boat and did the metal polishing; \”Beach House\” has never looked so good. Checking out of Indonesia required stops at the Navy, Quarantine, Immigration, Customs and finally the Port Captain to get our clearance papers. It went pretty well only taking about 2 hours with the local taxi.
Part 2 to follow….. Scott and Nikki