I almost missed this!

Trip Start May 30, 2005
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Trip End Sep 30, 2006


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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Sunday, October 9, 2005

The journey from Gili Trawangan back to Bali followed the exact same route. Mar Lushe was heading for Flores on the same day so we parted in some little town in Lombok. I did enjoy the journey back but it was kind of quiet. The bus from the port in Bali to Ubud takes about an hour. Not long after we'd left I noticed that the doing the nodding dog routine while trying to drive. He took a break trying to refresh himself and wake up a little then back into the driver's seat. You could say that everyone in the bus was a little worried. He was handed a coffee sweet and off again. Since I was in the passenger's seat I was given the job of talking to him and making sure he doesn't doze off. It's not easy talking to someone for an hour that doesn't speak much English, and my Balinese could be better.
"Road Small?"
"Yes"
"What's that?", pointing at some children dressed up.
"Ceremony"
"You have wife?"
"No understand, only small english"
And so it went. I was so glad to get to Ubud.

Ubud is another one of these great places. It's lack of coastline on Bali means that it probably doesn't get as many visitors as it deserves. It's full of nice little art galleries, shops with nick naks and brilliant little cafes. I spent a while just wandering around these shops with no particular agenda in mind.

There was a cultural show each evening and so I felt obligied to spent my 3 quid and watch it. It showcased the singing and dancing of the local area which while interesting for a few minutes got a bit same same afer a short time. The highlight of the show was the fire dancing. A bit pile of coconut husks were placed in the center of the square and then lit with the aid of some fuel. It didn't take long before there was a huge fire that I could feel from my seat. The star of the show came out on a pantomime style horse, the kind of horse that you'd make a child for halloween. Anyway, he started to dance around the fire and then whoosh, he kicked the coconut husks, sparks flying everywhere. A few more kicks later and there is debree all over the stage area. He then starts dancing up and down over the burning embers. I saw his feet after the show and they were filthy, and you'd presume that they were also really thick to withstand that every night.

I found some more people on the street playing chess. It's remarkably easy to get a game, all you need to do is stand and watch. Before long they start talking to you and once they've finished they'll ask you if you'd like to play. I ended up playing the guy that had just been beaten (I guess it was his chess set), and I thought this was my golden opportunity to improve the Scotland vs Indonesia scoreline. How wrong I was, it didn't take long before I'd lost 2 games, giving the locals a 4-0 lead, nosing ahead of Mongolia. One more game later I'd pulled back a point and starting to warm up. This is when the guy took his board away and said that he wasn't playing anymore, huh, unfair. The score remained at 4-1, so I'm not sure if that beats Mongolia's 3-0 or not. I guess Mongolia is still in the lead due to the fact that I scored an away win against Indonesia, answers on a postcard!

While checking my emails the evening before I was leaving I found an email from Air Asia. Basically they'd cancelled the 14:30 flight that I was on and re-booked me on the 20:20. Not real big deal, except it meant that I'd be arriving back in KL around midnight. The airport is over 70Km away from the city so this didn't really bode well. I had a quick look on the airasia website and found all these new routes that they'd opened, obviously using the spare planes that they'd taken off the Bali route due to the sudden drop in passenger numbers. There was a flight to Johor Baru the following morning. From there it's a short hop to Singapore. Last year I'd heard about a jokey website called sleepinginairports.com, I'd found it funny at the time, but now I was checking it for real information. It turns out that KL is a fairly decent place over night, so I booked the flight (only 15 quid!) and crossed my fingers.

I didn't spend long in Ubud at all, not nearly long enough. I'd love to say though just how lovely it is, and if you're ever in Bali then it's definitly worth a look.
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