Monday, 4 March 2013

Day 11 - Sampai Jumpa

Weather: 32 degrees | sunny| 88% humidity
Exchange: 9690 Rupiah = $1AUD (hotel)

We sleep-in for our last Bali morning and lazily wander down to breakfast.  Same boring selection, but boy do I love those Indonesian coconut jelly type dessert things - I just know all that walking will not be enough...

I have booked for a facial at the hotel spa and am lucky enough to get Widia for a second time.  We chatted indepth at my first appointment with her, sharing some intimate stories about difficulties with conceiving - we really connected.  After this, every time I pass her in the hotel during our stay, we stop to chat.  She is happy to see me and I am happy to be receiving my last Bali pamper session from her.  The facial was amazing and she even gave my foot a quick massage when she noticed one of my feet were uncomfortable.  The hour went too quick and when it was time to say goodbye, she hugged me so tight and began crying so much that she made me start to cry.  She told me how much she liked me and was very sad that I am leaving.  Obviously, I felt the exact same way.

Back to the room to finish packing, which was definitely going to be a little bit like putting a puzzle together.  Hubby and I shift items from one case to another in an attempt to get the weight limits correct.  Thank goodness we found that luggage scale or we would have been in big trouble at the airport.  We finally get our two carry-ons to 7kg exact and our two check-ins to pretty much 23kg (give or take)... fingers crossed!

Time to check out of the hotel, I search for Widia to say our final goodbyes, but she must be busy with a client.  I ask for a piece of paper/envelope from the reception staff and write her a letter, leaving her a small bracelet to remember me by and my email address if she wishes to keep in contact.  Our friend Alex, is already here waiting to take us to his home for a delicious lunch cooked by his wife.  On the way, we stop off at Alex's Aunty's Villa for us to check out as a possible accommodation option for our next trip.  Lovely complex of three double storey villas with a pool to share for around $100 p/n - not bad.
We arrive back at Alex's home and greeted warmly by his wife, who is busy on the kitchen floor preparing sweet cakes to sell at tomorrow's market, with the help of her sister.  Alex's daughter is hiding in the shadows, but unfortunately we are still not able to meet his son who is at school.  The power is out, so we sit in the front room and swelter. Hubby is offered a Large Bintang - Alex knows him too well already.  Soon Alex's wife presents us with a tray of her home cooked Balinese food, including rice, fish and chicken sates, vegetable salad, and meatballs steamed in banana leaves.  I ask how she managed to prepare with no power, and of course it is no problem when you're cooking with gas.  We encourage Alex to join us - it's weird him watching us eat, but who knows if he is even hungry as our scheduled eating times don't always flow with Balinese culture.  However, he grabs a plate and again food brings us together.  He asks if "too spicy"?  My lips are tingling, but the spice is just right for me and it is delicious - hubby says "not spicy enough".  Alex tells us his wife "did not make so spicy".


I attempt many times to befriend Alex's daughter, but she is so shy and still quite scared of the big white couple in her house.  Actually, I think it would have more to do with the big white hairy man :-)  I try to take a photo, but she won't even look at me.  Eventually Alex is able to capture a photo with my camera.  I suggest to Alex that next time we visit, perhaps he can bring her along on one of our trips - maybe to Butterfly Park (she has never been), when our daughter will be with us and maybe they will connect.  Here's hoping...

Fed and full, we say many thanks to Alex's wife and farewell our new found friendly Balinese family home.  As we drive back past the house, I finally get a wave from Alex's daughter... slowly cracking that shell.  We are now really just trying to find things to do to kill time before going to the airport for our midnight flight home.  Alex takes us out to Sanur, as we have never really been out there and are considering staying for a few days next trip.  We drive around and decide to check out a few hotels.  A look through the Griya Santrian and Puri Santrian, both nice hotels/resorts in their own right with pros and cons for both, but we are not overly fussed.  I write down a few names of places we pass and know that I will spend the next few months researching Trip Advisor for the best value for money stay in Sanur.

We then decide to drive out to Uluwatu and get there with plenty of time to make the Kecak dance.  This was really a spur of the moment thing, but seeing as we didn't get the chance to do this in Ubud, and we still have at least four hours before we could check-in at the airport, we thought "why not".  So, into the temple area we go - hubby worried he would have to wear another sarong, but we get away with a simple sash this time.  We buy the dance tickets and begin to climb the stairs to get a closer look at the temple.  A way up and we can see the seating area for the dance is already starting to fill up, so I suggest to Alex that we make our way over there instead.


What a fun way to end our night!  The dance was interesting and very entertaining, the naughty white monkey Hanoman certainly gets the crowd laughing.  I also got a great view of that wonderful Bali sunset for our last evening in Paradise.

When the show is finished, we locate Alex out front and meet his cousin.  We jump back in the car and with another couple of hours still to kill, he asks "where to now?".  I tell Alex I must have one last Avocado Juice before we go, so we stop at a Warung somewhere between Uluwatu and Jimbaren called Mak Jo.  Still full from our delicious lunch, we are not ready to eat but just know the food here would have been delicious.  It goes without saying that my juice definitely was!  For two juices and a coffee, we paid less than I would have just for one coffee back home.

We know we could think of a million more things to do, but...  Alex drives us to the airport, pointing out his Aunty's house as we pass, where he needs to return the car after he drops us off.  We wind down the windows and shout out hello's to his Uncle and cousins manning the street market stall right alongside the house.  Last year, we passed his dad in the streets of Ubud and we encouraged Alex to pull over to say hello.  Already, we have met so many of Alex's family - you just know when you are supposed to be in somebody's life; whatever the reason.

We pull up to the drop off, say our genuine and heartfelt farewells - but there are no tears, as we will definitely keep in touch and see each other again soon.  One last wave goodbye as Alex drives away and we only have a half hour to wait before we can check-in.  Everything seems to go smoothly, our luggage slightly (within 1kg) over, but the staff member didn't even blink an eye, puts a heavy tag on each piece and marks one at 23kg, the other 22kg (maybe their scales are out?).  One counter after the other, we head towards immigration and eventually we see the duty free shop and know it's only a little while before we board the plane.  As our tickets indicate, we head down to Gate 1 and grab a drink in the cafe close by.

With 20 minutes or so to board, we find a seat near the gate entrance and begin chatting with a lovely couple also returning to Adelaide and swap Trip Advisor nicknames.  We are close to boarding time, other Australian cities are being called but not Adelaide.  As I am most observant (some refer to me as nosy, but I call it attention to detail), I overhear a couple in panic saying something about their ticket saying Gate 1, but the electronic board saying Gate 8 and final boarding is being called.  I nudge hubby and the couple sitting with us and say we better get moving... FAST!  A quick check of the board and yes, we need to hot foot it right down the other end of the airport... urrrggghhh!  I feel sick at the thought of not being there to collect Miss 7 from school as we had promised and the fact that I haven't had to move this fast in a very long time.  Luckily we get to the gate with 10 minutes to spare and with a smile on their face, the staff have absolutely no explanation to my ranting about Gate Satu (1) now Gate Delapan (8) - WHAT HAPPENED!!!  Flustered but relieved, we board the plane and hope to get some shut eye over the next five hours.

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