The last leg of our Asia tour - Singapore and Bali

Trip Start May 11, 2003
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Trip End May 10, 2004


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Sunday, December 7, 2003

Our last travelogue was written toward the end of our journey back in Thailand, six months after leaving home and less than ten days after L's family had left us at the airport in Langkawi. She's back to missing them like crazy and we're back to our budget holiday!! The last four weeks has been spent in Thailand, Singapore and Bali, where we are due to leave on Saturday the 6th, to start our adventure Down Under......

Tue 11th Nov - We continue enjoying our free weeks accommodation in Phuket. Check out some places to eat for our last few days here and get caught in a massive downpour. Eat Italian later and go for a few drinks.

Wed 12th Nov - Have breakfast in bed (M nips round to the bakery for some breads and cakes) and then watch a couple of films before having a swim. Eat Indian in the evening, something we have been missing.

Thu 13th Nov - Have a Greek breakfast (feta, pitta bread, tzatsiki) and then spend most of the rest of the daylight hours on the internet, typing up our travelogue and sorting out accomodation for Christmas and New Year in Sydney. Have the Mongolian barbeque again before an early night.

Fri 14th Nov - Breakfast in bed again before uploading our photos onto the travelpod. Treat ourselves to coffee and carrot cake. Spend the afternoon on the internet and eat at Cucina Italiana again, which is superb and cheap.

Sat 15th Nov - Catch a taxi at 7.30am to the airport and get our flight to Singapore at 10.15am. Check into Hawaii Hostel (sounds better than it is) which costs us a massive 10 quid for a shoe box!! Find Little India and wander round there, before eating at a Chinese food stall; duck noodles and duck fried rice. Yummy!

Sun 16th Nov - Find the Pan Pacific hotel, where we are due to meet our friends from Halifax, Chris & Lorraine, tomorrow. M has an express haircut and we buy some Christmas cards (though not enough to go round everyone, sorry). Buy some theatre tickets for Wednesday night and then watch England beat France in the Rugby World Cup. Go on the internet for half an hour before an early night.

Mon 17th Nov - Get up at 6.30am to find that Chris & Lorraine are delayed (eventually by 9 hours), so go back to bed. Have breakfast at Little India then make our way to the airport. C&L eventually arrive at 4pm, and are greeted by Poli, and we all get a taxi to Pan Pacific, heading out to the infamous Raffles Hotel from there for a cocktail. Eat at a Mediterranean restaurant down at Clarke Quay before getting a taxi to Singapore Night Safari. We see elephants, lions, hippos, rhinos and loads of others from our electric-powered tram before getting the taxi back to the Pan Pacific for a few drinks.

Tue 18th Nov - C&L pick us up from the hostel at 10.30am and we have a slap up breakfast at Little India, before visiting Chinatown, Club Street and a massive Santa at one of the shopping plazas. They leave at 4pm for their onward flight to New Zealand (great to see you guys........ tell us all about NZ!!) and we make our way back to Hawaii. Eat at "Las Pampas" Spanish restaurant, where we have the last of our treat meals for a while before having a beer on Club Street and getting the MRT train back.

Wed 19th Nov - Have breakfast at Little India (again). Do a tour of two or three shopping centres, window shopping mainly. Eat at a restaurant near the theatre before having a "Choc experience" at Max Brenner chocolate shop. Take our seats for "Havana" a musical where all the salsa dancers are on a world tour from Cuba. Brilliant Show!!!

Thu 20th Nov - Get the MRT to Raffles Place. Confirm our flight from Singapore on Saturday and change some of our flights to and from New Zealand. Do our city tour - Centaugh Bridge, Victoria Theatre, Raffles statue, Parliament House, Singapore Cricket Club, the Cenotaph and the Indian War Memorial - before heading back to the hostel. Have an eat-as-much-as-you-like Indian buffet before an early night.

Fri 21st Nov - Finish our City Tour, taking in St Andrews Cathedral, the Armenian church and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd before spending a couple of hours at the Singapore Art Museum. L takes a call from a friend, SD, who is meeting us in Oz in four weeks time on New Years Eve. Get the bus to the cable car station to Sentosa Island and visit the most southerly point of continental Asia. Watch a water show at the Musical Fountain before getting the MRT back.

Sat 22nd Nov - Up at 6.30am to get our 9.30am flight to Bali. Get a taxi to Legian, where we meet up with L's cousin, Martin and his girlfriend, Emma. End up getting the last room in the hotel they are staying in for 12 quid (air con, the lot!!). Have a swim before watching the Rugby World Cup Final with a few Bintangs, poor Em is ill in bed. End up hoarse and with no fingernails as England cruise (??!?!?!!!) to victory. A momentous day and get bought a Bintang from an Aussie guy in the bar!

Sun 23rd Nov - Decide to hire a car and head up the east coast, aiming for Candi Dasa. Call at Gianyar on the way and we have the local speciality of suckling pig with rice. This is serve with fat, crackling, roast skin and bits of sauce that I cannot begin to describe. I'm sure there was a bit of pigs ear there as well. Safe to say one of the local dogs had a slap up lunch (L crunches through hers)!! Get stuck in festival traffic on the way and make friends with the locals. When we get to Candi Dasa, we check into a place where we rent a house, which is open to the elements, and has a great garden, balcony and bathroom. Eat at an Italian restaurant, Ciao E Basta.

Mon 24th Nov - Have breakfast delivered to the balcony before setting off up the coast. Visit Amlapura, Abang, Pura Lampuyang Luhur temple and the Tirtagangga's Water Palace, stopping for a fresh fruit lunch by the roadside on the way. Head back to Candi Dasa and try the rooms out at Kelapa Mas where we also eat, plan the next day and watch 2 young girls doing traditional Balinese dance.

Tue 25th Nov - After breakfast, we drive to Klungkung and see the Taman Gili "Island Gardens", the Daerah Semarapura museum and the locally famous Puputan monument (!!). Stop at Lulu's cafe on the way to Ubud, where the girls get caught in a heavy shower whilst looking for cheap accommodation. Have a swim before eating at a little restaurant on Monkey Forest Road, where we swap travel tips. End the night watching the film "Dragonfly" which is fantastic.

Wed 26th Nov - Have breakfast before saying our goodbyes to M&E (see you at the party in six months!!). Book into Ubud Terrace, a nicer guesthouse across the road. M not feeling 100%, so we have a rest in the room before eating at the Bamboo Cafe and an early night.

Thu 27th Nov - Breakfast is delivered to the room and as we are both poorly (not Poli), we stay there until mid afternoon. Go for a swim and then on the internet, as we have not checked our messages for a week. Plan the next few days and eat out before another early night.

Fri 28th Nov - Hire a car for three days and make our way (slowly) up to Lovina on the North Coast via Sangeh Monkey Forest, Bedugul and the mountains. Check into "Bayu Mantra" on Happy Beach and have a well earned bath. Eat at a local cafe; chicken satay and gado-gado with a couple of bintangs!!

Sat 29th Nov - Buy some woodcarvings over breakfast and then set off in the car. Visit some hot springs at Banjar (where we buy some sarongs and trousers), a Buddhist Monastery and then to the coffee growing region of Munduk. Have some local coffee and black rice pudding before our trip down the mountainside and back to the coast, taking loads of photos of rice paddies and happy, smiling Balinese folk! Eat at Sea Breeze, where there is a live band playing our favourites, "Sweet Home Alabama" and of course "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and "Country Road". L holds back the tears!!!

Sun 30th Nov - Up at 5.30am to go dolphin watching and see a family/group of about 20 or more dolphins out for their early morning swim. Leave Lovina after a snooze and a bath and make our way up into the mountains, past Lakes Tamblingan and Bratan, stop for a strawberry pancake and milk shake, before heading back to Ubud. This time check into Donald Homestay. Ring Lesley later in the evening and eat Balinese tapas for dinner before having half an hour on the internet.

Mon 1st Dec - Up at 7.30am to go and try and bring our flight forward with Singapore Airlines from Bali to Sydney on the 8th December. We now fly on Saturday 6th December. Have a treat of coffee, fresh sandwiches, cake and cookies before going back to the room, M having a sleep whilst L concentrates on her new business venture. Eat the local speciality "Be Tutu" (whole smoked duck slow cooked in Balinese spices - ordered one day before!!) washed down by a bottle of Balinese wine - delicious!! Call for a fresh coffee at "Tutmak" on the way home.

Tues 2nd Dec - Do our accounts (to make sure we've got enough money to last us until May) before speaking to M's mum. Visit Ubud Palace complex (temple and residence) late afternoon then go on the internet for a couple of hours. L not feeling too good, but we make it out (during a storm) for dinner.

Wed 3rd Dec - Get the shuttle (mini) bus to Kuta in the south. Check into the Palm Gardens, which is the best of a bad bunch, but good for 4 quid. Walk down to the beach and then find some places to eat. Visit the Bali bombing memorial, which is very moving. Watch the replay of Bolton v Everton (2-0 winners, unbeaten through November after not conceding a single goal!!!! Come on you Whites!). Watch "Finding Nemo" (what a film!!) while we have something to eat.

Thu 4th Dec - Have breakfast at Palm Gardens and get accosted by an artist called Norman. We decide to buy a few of his pieces to send back home, but can't agree to a price. Walk down the beach again, watching the surf and surfers. Later, eat at "Fat Yogi's" where we share nachos, pizza, pasta and Greek salad.......

Fri 5th Dec - Go on the internet after breakfast to burn our photos to CD. Write up our diary and postcards before having lunch. Whilst we are in the cafe about 15 policemen raid an illegal cock fight round the corner and it ends up in absolute mayhem. Eventually get to phone M's sister Heather as it's her 40th birthday tomorrow and they're off to Center Parks for the weekend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HETH (and 5th for Francesca!!!). Both have our hair cut and a massage at "Happy Salon" before a massive storm breaks (our biggest one yet). The roads are flooded and we get soaked to the skin. What a way to end our seven months in Asia!!

Sat 6th Dec - Up at 8.30am to check in to our two flights (Bali-Singapore-Sydney). Go on the internet for half an hour to finish our travelpod etc. but are folied by a power cut, which lasts until 3pm. Pack up and check out then have lunch. Go for a coffee to Starbucks, before finishing our travelpod. As we speak (write?!?), we are about to make our way to the airport for our first flight and onwards for the second leg of our RTW trip. Wish us luck!!!

If we don't get the chance to speak or e-mail you in the next few weeks, have a great Christmas and all the best for 2004. We'd love to have been at home with our family and friends, but we're gonna have the time of our lives, probably on the beach on Christmas Day and at Sydney Harbour Bridge for New Years Eve. We can't tell you all though how much we're going to miss you. Lots and lots of love, Lucy and Martin xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SAT 6TH DEC 11.25pm NEWS EXTRA!!! - CURRENTLY IN SINGAPORE AIRPORT AFTER A FLIGHT WHERE M IS NOT FEELING TOO GOOD. ARRIVE WITH AN HOUR TO SPARE AND DECIDE TO SPEND OUR LAST $7 AT THE COFFEE BEAN. GUESS WHO WE BUMP INTO - CHRIS & LORRAINE READY FOR THEIR RETURN FLIGHT TO MANCHESTER!! SINGAPORE AIRPORT IS HUGE SO GOD KNOWS HOW THEY FOUND US!? AS WE ARE FORGETFUL AND HAVE ALSO CHANGED OUR FLIGHTS SEVERAL TIMES WE'D FORGOTTEN THEY WERE FLYING TODAY. HOW WEIRD.... GREAT TO SEE THEM AGAIN, AND AN ADDED BONUS WE GET TO SEND A PARCEL HOME FOR FREE. THANKS GUYS, SEE YOU IN MAY 2004. LOTS OF LOVE, L&M XXX (PS. M IS FEELING A BIT BETTER).
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Comments

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