April 7-Ubud to Candidasa

I woke to terrible pains in my left leg and hip….not my usual problem area. I am thinking sciatica??? Was it because I had that reflexology massage yesterday??? Anyway, after some painkillers, pressing my ball & walking to get a fridge magnet it is definitely better although not gone.

We checked out at noon leaving Ubud, heading to Candidasa. I see that if I was a shopper and could handle the heat, this would be a great place to go. Oh, but the traffic is incredible and would be a lot worse if the people on bikes were in cars. But, the bikes are impatient and all about “me first”. Don’t give them an inch or they will take a mile. But….I never did see an accident or road rage, just a different culture, I guess.

Celuk… where we stop at a gold and silver museum and factory of people doing all different kinds handwork…..amazing! There were scads of beautiful jewellery for sale. There are lots of gold and silversmith shops in this town as well, there is a huge amount of wood caving done, the skill passed down from one generation to the next.

Teeduck means no thank you.

We went for lunch at the Crispy Duck Restaurant for lunch…beautiful setting and had crispy duck.

White and yellow sarong on statues is to almighty god, black and white checkered is to the spirits. Later we ran into another ceremony on the road. They are displaying the Hindu colours with one added….Red to Brahma, a special god, along with the usual white, black & yellow. All statues on the streets have like a sarong draped around them. They are replaced every 6 months when they have their new ceremony.

Gas is 13300 IDR / litre so about $1.20 CAD. That is considerably cheaper than at home but then if you only make $400/ month, it’s no wonder they drive motorcycles.

We stop at Court of Justice that was used from 1910-45 . On the ceiling there are pictures to show what your punishment is. One is a smack or B eating for misbehaving children to their mothers. Another …. Boiling crooked politicians, punishment for adulterers, etc……. The next structure is called a floating palace… private for family guests only. The next building we went in was a museum. One display was of daggers returned by Dutch 2 years ago. The Dutch had them since the war.

Saw a sign…”Fuckboy Barbershop”

I have so many more pictures that I would love to share but unfortunately this site is being uncooperative.

Apr. 6-Ubud

I mistakenly deleted what I had written on the site so am going to have to try and remember. It might be a little short.

The hotel where we’re staying was really the best so far…… inside and out. The entrance at the street left a lot to be desired but inside …. Perfect!

The night we arrived the saw monkeys on the roof….. an introduction to monkeys at Monkey Forest just down from us.

Before heading out for the day, Kiera videoed in excess of 100 monkeys running across the roofs and grounds including the pools ….sceaming as they went. I will try to post it. Nope…..sorry it won’t download!

In morning we went to Monkey Forest. It is really beautiful forest with lots of stone sculptures but also cemetery and place of worship. In Bali if someone dies the cost for private cremation ceremony is 10,000 CAD. If you cannot afford it then they bury the bodies in the cemetery. After 5 years, they dug up the bones, cremate them and in public ceremony. That will cost only $500 CAD. Quite a difference.

After that I went for a reflexology massage partly because my feet are so swollen and burning. So cheap! Mine was 3/4 hour for 110,000 IDR or $11 CAD. Helen had a full body massage, scrub and food reflexology massage that was 3 hours for $310,000 IDR…. $31 CAD.

The rest of the day we just hung out at the pool/hotel cuz it was just too damned hot. The Weather Network said it was 30 but felt like 39.

Later we went to a restaurant about a 20 minute hike up the hill from the hotel called Bumi Bali…. Yum! While there the skies opened up…. OMG! We were even getting wet inside the restaurant. It certainly helped to cool things off.

Sorry but this site is not allowing me to download photos and videos….frustrating!

Day 4-Apr 5… Kintamani to Ubud

Got up for the sunrise but clouds preventing it from being spectacular but the day looks pretty nice. The view is gorgeous.

We went to the Volcanology museum.

Full moon ceremonies all around Bali today. At one place traffic came to a complete standstill because the ceremonies were happening right there before our eyes.

Coffee plantation… coffee and tea plus traditional house compound.

4 elements in daily offerings. Offering for food before eating. Balinese never cry when someone dies cuz they are brought up from a child that we are all going to better place. They explained the procedure but besides cremation I am not going to get into but it involves the 4 elements…earth, water, wind and fire

Here we try cat poop coffee (Luwak). They produce all kinds of spices here….aromic ginger, ginger, poo coffee… (the cats eat the ripe Arabica beans), Robusta coffee, arabica coffee, cocoa, galanga, lemon grass, cinnamon. This family plantation is 6 hectare in size. Of the teas we tried, my preferences were turmeric as well as mangosteen and of the different coffees….Avocado coffee.

From there we went to lunch at the GAdventures supported Planeterra. It supports mostly physically handicapped people where they learn to waiter and cook …. all things about running a restaurant as well as they are taught to sew and music programs and computers and typing. It is also supported by many locals with food stuffs. We had a wonderful lunch and so support these poor individuals that are rejected by their society as well as their own families in a lot of cases.

Gedesuka our guide, supports a free english school for 60 village students. He gets no help from the government.

Day 3-Apr. 4 Munduk to Kintamani

After breakfast we head off to hot springs. It was quite lovely but because the water is heated by the volcano, there was a slight smell of sulphur.

Our CEO when I asked if there was a drug problem here, he told me “some …. Not much…but then they have death penalty for selling”. Maybe they should try that at home!!!

Apparently the average monthly income is only 400CAD so a lot of people leave to make money….. not surprising!!! Our CEOs own son has just recently started working on Seven Seas Splendour cruise ship

Lovina is known for dolphin sightings and snorkeling off black sand beaches. Singaraja in northern part (used to be capital) lots of schools cuz it’s cheaper for accommodation than Denpasar (the capital since 1967). Like so many parts of the world restaurants and businesses are still at only 30% of pre-COVID.

Stopped at largest market….Gede suka bought different fruits and sweet for us to try. Salak-snake skinned fruit & Doldol made with black rice, brown sugar, coconut milk…yum!

Temperature is 30 but feels like 36…..OMG the perspiration is running into my eyes.

Indonesia including Bali was colonized by the Dutch

We drove a few more minutes after having lunch at a sort of group of food kiosks. I had bakso like what President Obama apparently always liked. They are meat balls, noodles and pork rinds in a broth that you can add tomato, sweet and chilie sauces to…. all for about 2.50CAD ….. cheap!

From there we went a temple (Beji Temple) built in 1500’s that we had to put on sarongs to enter. We were allowed to enter as far as the centre

Batur Temple is 2nd largest temple in Bali …celebration tomorrow ….bamboo decorations on the street symbolize the dragon

Batur volcano…1717 meters high. We saw it off in the distance but now we are socked in again. We arrive at our hotel right on the rim of the caldera overlooking the 13 sq mile lake and the volcano right in the middle. It last erupted in 2000. Later it cleared so we could see it.

Day 2-Apr 3…Sanur to Munduk

As we are driving our CEO (Gedesuka) provides information on customs and other information that I really like…..that what I take tour for….to find out about the place I am visiting.

There are more Hindus and Buddhists than Muslims so things are not closed for Ramadan. Oomsuntisiu (I may have spelled that incorrectly)….is the greeting with hands together. …..on forehead is to God almighty, on upper chest ….to the person you are facing and tip of fingers pointing down is to bad spirit (along with offering so as to be looked on favourably)

White colour sarong to wear to temple, dark for sad occasion, colourful to wedding. Jatiluwih waterfall translate to “truly beautiful”. Unfortunately,it was raining so hard it would have been dangerous to walk down to it so we didn’t go.

150,000 IDR is usual cost for lunch and/or dinner…about 15 CAD. Tipis usually 10% and tax of 6% is included in price. We give 200,000 IDR to Gedesuka to be given to bus driver, busboys, etc as the total tip for the week. I like doing it this way.

“Ice cubes” are made from mineral water so safe to have otherwise do not have ice

The floating Temple on the lake was from the 16th century. Braton Lake, Twin Lake then to waterfall. Denpasar is capital now. The country is no more a kingdom but governors are head now.

Working week is Monday to Saturday.

Kindergarten to university plus medical has to be paid. It is not free. Only wealthy families send their children to university. Each family house has family temple , family live together including grandparents. But instead of rooms for everyone they have separate buildings for parents boys and girls… owner must be balinese people.

CEO has homestay (wife looks after customers)for yolo G plus sells to market herbal drinks and pork sausage on line too besides tourism.

20 x3 /day @ 2000 idr each for offerings

Mount Batu karum terraced rice fields. Most rice takes 6 months to grow. Springs on mountains are used for irrigation. Sort of co-op organization. The land is considered heritage and so cannot be sold to outsiders only to Subuk organization members…..in keeping like our agricultural land reserve…..it must stay agricultural. Each owner has temple on their land Getting back up was 16 flights from the rice fields ….omg

Macaque monkeys… not many animals here

2nd batch from day 2 in Bali

Photos from day 2

Day 1…Mar 30/23- heading to Asia (Bali and Thailand)

First off the West Jet was late leaving. It was out of their control apparently. Air-traffic control in Vancouver would not allow them to leave YYJ. Oh well, we had hours to sit in YVR. What a bumpy ride, even just taxiing out to take-off! I had never seen a plane with so few passengers…. 27 was all I could see, I’m going to say out of a possible 120???

The walk to international and our gate I’m at YVR….and the Sky Lounge was incredibly long. We had nice chats with few people travelling to Mexico City. First was a couple (she had grown up in M.C. and he had a service dog that was to detect if his epilepsy was about to happen. Amazing! I had never thought of them being used for that purpose). And there was a young lady from Mumbai who had spent a week travelling to Banff with her boyfriend. He had to return to Mumbai for an important meeting so she was continuing on to Mexico City…. by herself! So self confident. Wow!

Our China Air (from Taiwan not mainland China) flight, an A350-900, left the gate…. on time! I have to say that our “Premium Economy” seats were “almost” as comfortable and roomy as “Business”…. but not quite. I will say too that the service was wonderful… (better than any I have ever had from other airlines), the food plentiful and quite good. I don’t know if it’s the model of plane but it was so smooth….again, far better than any other I have experienced. It’s almost like it is gliding. There is almost no sound. I’ve been impressed.

Taipei was rainy although it was supposed to be 19 C. We didn’t see anything but the inside of the airport. We did keep running into a couple (Carol & Chris) from Mill Bay that were heading to Jakarta and another place in Indonesia to snorkel and dive….. their 5th time. I would say they really like it there, do ya think???

This next flight to Bangkok was delayed but I am sure that it is not going to affect anything. On arrival, the city is hazy and 33C. I think my jacket will be coming off. It’s 1:30pm on the 1st of April. We were picked up by the hotel shuttle…..very nice place with a pool. Everyone is so nice, bowing to you every time you meet but the time it took to get a drink….unbelievably long!

It is now April 1

The next morning we were in the lobby at 6 am to get our hotel’s shuttle to the airport for our flight to Bali. Everything went pretty smoothly in the airport although there was huge numbers waiting to get checked in. They say it is definitely recommended to be there at least 3 hours before for international flights which we were. This flight was Thai Airlines…nice colours but not the quality and smoothness of the China Air. We took a cab to the hotel called Swastika Bungalows in Sanur where we were staying. (Strange name to call a hotel). It’s a huge sprawling complex of 2 story buildings that are linked by a zigzag labyrinth of paths through beautiful gardens. We were in number 75 and I know some were well over 110 and I know that because I got lost several times. It had atleast two pools but although the buildings looked good as did the roofs,, it was sorely in need of help. It could be a real posh place.

We met up with our CEO Gede Suka and the rest of the group…18 in all…. 2 more than normal. Again the women outnumbered the guys. There are only 2 guys. we all walked to a restaurant. While there the skies opened up…pouring. It slowed down for the walk home but still got a little wet.

I will add more with pictures later tonight if I have time…..along with what everyone likes to see…..the pictures but right now, I am going to push send.

Feb 17/23-Puerto Viego

Anjou is our guide at Jaguar rescue centre is from San Diego

148 varieties of snakes in Costa Rica …only 28 are poisonous

Floky-1 toed sloth… won’t be released because it’s genetically mutated so they don’t want it replicated in nature.

The toucan has a neurological condition so can only hop… not fly

Ocelot & margates are smelly. One has leukaemia and feline V immunity (didn’t get the full name) like house cats get.

Howler monkeys can be heard 2 kms away but can sound like they are just on the other side of the wall.

In the spider monkeys troupes, the female is the alpha. The thing hanging out their butts is indicative as to who is higher up the chain of command.

3 finger sloths look like they have a perpetual smile on their face as opposed to the 2 fingered sloths

The 2 fingered gal was electrocuted so is missing most fingers so cannot be released. Sloths only take a poop once a week when they can lose 1/3 of body weight

Mamamia and Abba ….. Abba is missing 1 arm from electrocution. Money they make at the centre goes to insulated power lines

40% of rescued jaguars are released within a year. Some take longer to get better. None were in the centre today.

Toucan is greatest predictor of macaws besides humans. Macaws can live to 70 years

Netting used in Kevlar jackets are made from the web that orb spiders’ web.

Feb18/23-Pto. Viejo to San Jose & 19/23 returning home

We got a chance to sleep in a bit so didn’t leave until 11:30. It was a good thing since some people had a bit too much partying the night before. Some were noticeably quiet on the bus.

Going through the Braulio Carrillo National Forest was a constant climb on a very winding highway. It was very beautiful…. Kind of reminded some of us of some highways in BC only with palm trees thrown in. It was strange that in places the two out of three lanes were downhill. The elevation at the highest was at least 5400 feet above sea level before our descent into San Jose.

We went out for our final dinner with the group. Jaxon and I left ahead of everyone else because 3am was going to come early.

When we checked in at the United counter, they had my one checked suitcase opened for inspection….. never happened before. And then when we were to board our flight they randomly had Jaxon open his pack sack and body waned and patted down…. Kind of weird but he took it all in stride.

It’s been a fantastic journey a very long day returning home but someone was really looking forward to seeing mom and dad and even brother.

Unfortunately at YVR, we missed where we were to pick up our checked luggage from International baggage and redeposit for our flight to Victoria. Consequently we were unable to go back and find it…ended up waiting for an incredibly long time ….too long, for someone to bring it to us. Finally they did and we had to race to go through security AGAIN where there was a huge lineup and limited X-ray machine. I had paid $31.50 for the one bag to be checked ….to Victoria only when going through security had a knife confiscated because it wasn’t checked. (Gee, they didn’t say anything about the fact I also had liquids/gel over-sized for carry-on). I said that I knew it was there but that I had paid to have it checked. He said well you can go back through to that place but I said throw it away, I don’t have time. Jaxon ran on ahead to hold the plane for me. When I am almost at the gate, he is running back towards me to security where he left his suitcase. I said I wasn’t going to get onto the plane until my grandson got here but he made it back in time even if he vomited into a garbage on his run. The plane left with us on it…with under 5 minutes to spare.

I love to travel to different places, don’t mind flying too much but hate airports!

Next journey coming the end of March…stay tuned!