Bill, Ben and Bali......

Trip Start Sep 25, 2003
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18
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Trip End Apr 23, 2005


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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, March 7, 2004

Factoid of the day: Baby Chickens are difficult to sex...

Abstract: After a flight with Garuda fraught with delays and KFC we arrived in Bali 3 hours late to Humidity and best of all Kish, we were escorted back to our palatial villa in Nusa Dua and so began a week of utter relaxation and socialising, except for a day scuba diving.

Nitty Gritty:
Managed to get up in time for the taxi to the airport, by virtue of the local pagoda playing some kind of 'trance anthem' with lots of chanting from 4am! The airport differs from most we have been in by virtue of a lack of computers at check in, so with our handwritten boarding cards we were on the plane. Only 40 minutes late we arrived at Bangkok and halfway on our walk to the other terminal one of those golf carts with the flashy orange lights stopped to offer us a lift, given we are nether a)disabled (well physically anyway) or b) Celebrities, we felt rather privileged as we swept past all the suckers walking... Any feeling of well being soon evaporated upon arrival at the Garuda transfer desk where the check in woman happily informed us that our flight from Singapore to Bali had been cancelled and we were being routed via Jakarta (not too much of a problem) but wouldn't arrive in Bali until 3am (aarrgghhh!). By way of compensation we were given a 'meal voucher' which turned out to be for 100baht (US$2.50) at KFC (empty because of the chicken flu!), I was happy with my 'Fillet burger', being sure any virus would have perished under the deep fried autoclave cooking methods of KFC (if indeed there is any chicken in it), but Rachel made the mistake of ordering a smoky wrap, ie scraps of floor sweepings deep fried in a msg/gm/poison sauce, it was absolutely disgusting even Graham couldn't eat it.

We made our way to the check in desk (trying to remove the grease from our fingers and faces with a 10cm square KFC 'clean up wipe') only to discover that there where 15 others being bumped via Jakarta and Garuda had changed their minds and would delay the Singapore - Bali plane. The looks on the peoples faces at Singapore having being delayed for 4 hours said it all...

It was fantastic to see Kish at Denpasar airport and we were taxied back to his villa at Nusa Dua. Kish is a friend from north London we actually met on our last trip to Indonesia, in Borneo. After a somewhat faulting start in borneo(we thought he was trying to hustle us) we got on famously, united in our dislike of our guide. He is in the tropical fish import business, hence the reason for his postings in all the worlds most desirable places, i.e. Bali, Maldives, Kenya and the Caribbean, why, oh why, did we choose pharmacy as a career?

He lives in a villa in a 'village' of mainly holiday homes, which where unoccupied whilst we were there. The swimming pool and maid are two of the things that endeared the place to us, but the star attractions were his chickens Bill and Ben. Having bought what he thought were two female chickens it soon became clear that he was in possession of a 'pair'. Bill -y was busy incubating a clutch of eggs on our arrival whilst Ben seemed to enjoy strutting round the garden eating Pringles and corn.. if any of the wild birds approached his Pringles much violence would ensue, but it turns out Ben is a wimp as any attempt to capture him resulted in blind panic and he would skulk out of sight for hours. Ben's days are however numbered as being a cock he has the unfortunate habit of cock-a-doodle-do-ing at ungodly hours, given his perch is immediately outside Kish's bedroom window this leads to frequent pillows/slaps round the head... Once the arrival of chicks is assured Ben is to be banished to the maid's village to the north. Given his mollycoddled existence he will probably get duffed up by the local cocks upon arrival.

Newsflash: Kish is now the proud father of two (surviving) Chicks

Most of Kish's friends are in the hospitality industry (not suprisingly given Bali's primary source of income) and we therefore spent most evenings in the company of Roberto, manager of 'Macaroni' or David manager of 'Pappas' needless to say we enjoyed delicious Italian food most nights! There was also a good deal of beer drinking and dancing, things we are definitely out of practice at. Towards the end of the week we decided that we had better leave the house and do something so booked a scuba course with one of Kish's friends. After a session in the pool (it was Graham's first time) we did two dives to 15 meters on a reef close to shore. The first thing we saw was a 2-meter black and white banded snake! Ahhh! The hand signal for danger was the first we used... Anyway we were both bitten by the bug and will definitely be doing our PADI when we get to Australia...

Despite Kish's reservations regarding the traffic we hired a Suzuki jeep to try to see some more of the island for two days. Kish turned out to be right and despite two pleasant days sightseeing, the traffic, in particular the suicidal mopeds, was awful. We visited Tanah Lot, the famous temple on a small island just off shore, which was very pretty and Ubud a rather touristy hill town with hundreds of 'craft' shops.

On our last night we had a big session of eating and drinking, and together with Gail, Kish's charming girlfriend went of to some nightclubs in Dyana Pura. We felt pretty rough the next day... Kish however managed to get up for work!!!!

Despite Kish wanting us to stay (and we were very very tempted) after 9 days it was time to move on and after a lovely meal at David's we said our regretful goodbyes at the airport bound for Melbourne. Kish had been the most patient and generous host, and as soon as we were on the plane we wished we had stayed longer... but as Frodo says, "the road goes ever on and on...."
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