Arcadia Cruise Monday 10 March 2014 – Bali

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Sunrise over Lembongan  Copyright P. J. Croft 2014

This was a good day!  It was our arrival at Bali today, so I was up early.  I awoke at 3.30am and didn’t want to go back to sleep and risk over-sleeping, so I stayed up.  I was on deck at 4.30am.

I was rewarded by a spectacular sunrise over Nusa Lembongan.  A huge globe showed through light cloud.  I just kept shooting.  How great it is to never fear running out of film.

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© PJ Croft 2014

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Gunung Agung, Bali, probably 30Km distant.  © PJ Croft 2014

Gunung Agung (above) was also very visible, but not as spectacular as I’d hoped.  I must have been very lucky in the 1980s to have had such clear air as to get detail in the mountain slopes.

About 8am there was an announcement about going ashore so I went to the Piano Bar as suggested, only to join a queue!  The Poms queue for everything.  I stood at the bar for over half an hour, to be finally issued a flimsy green ticket with number 30 on it.

I asked about our passports. “Don’t worry sir, they are under lock and key.”  We didn’t get them for our shore trip, so I walked onto land with no passport and no immigration process.  It felt odd.

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Arcadia in Benoa Harbour, 5Km out.   © PJ Croft 2014

The ship parked 5Km off shore and we had to take a tender boat in.

Laid on to greet us was a Gamelan orchestra and two dancers.  I love this, so I shot a full minute of the orchestra in high def video.  I wanted more, and some shots of the dancers, but at that moment it all ended so I didn’t get any more. Pity.

I changed a $50 note for Rp505,000, then negotiated a taxi, but I think I was fooled.  I paid Rp250,000 for a one way trip to Yudhie’s restaurant, but these taxis were inside the terminus compound. Outside were dozens more. I’m sure if I’d walked through the gates I could have negotiated a much lower price, but I wasn’t aware they were there. Too bad.

We got to Yudhie’s place fine with the help of my Google Map. I had printed out a Google Earth image of the location with all the roads, because Yudhie’s restaurant is a bit hard to find. There’s no street number, but I think it’s 99, Jalan Tukad Balian.

I arrived unannounced and Wiwin was there behind the desk.  Wow, what a moment.  She was surprised and was very happy to see me.  It was a very warm moment. Unforgettable.

I had some Bali coffee and she phoned Yudhie to come.  I tried to get Made Latra as a driver for the day, but he was engaged, so one of the others, Komang came instead.  Then Yudhie arrived and immediately went into his salesman mode.  “I will show you my project.”  So we went to a building site where he says he is going to cater for local poor children, as well as offering paid hotel rooms at low cost.  It seems genuine. It’s not far from his restaurant.

Then he said,  “Now you see my villas at Taman Sari.”  So Komang drove me across to Sanur by a convoluted route. These were two completed adjoining villas waiting to be sold.

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This villa is for sale. Get in quick.

Yudhie lays it on very thick!  Tell my friends. About US$450,000.  Discount available, and a commission for me if I find him a buyer. He’s a hard seller. Good luck to him.

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Lunch at Yudhie's warung.
That's not Wiwin in the middle - 
I never did catch that girl's name.
Nor did I manage to get a picture of Wiwin!
She's still cute as a button, though.

Then we went back to his Warung for lunch.  I hadn’t eaten any breakfast, so the Nasi Goreng went down very nicely, with two Bintangs.  I had to pay, of course – Rp70,000 = $7 approx. I can’t complain.

Then I made another farewell to Wiwin and I emphasised that if she wants to come to Perth, just tell me when she wants to come. She seems keen and excited about it, but maybe it’s just politeness.

Then Komang drove me to Nusa Dua, Bukit Jimbaran, and Padawan beach over some very rough dirt roads.

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There was a group of three rather spectacular girls at the beach doing some kind of photo shoot, so I got in for my chop.

I got very sleepy, so we went back to Benoa – Terminus Penumpang.  I took the launch back to the ship at 3.30pm, then crashed on the bed at 4pm and awoke at 6pm.  It was a tiring but good day.

Two pints of Stella at the Lido bar – and it was hot!  The bar, not the beer.  The roof is a sliding affair like that over stadiums and for some reason it was half closed. It was like a sauna.

Boring, boring people!  Almost cretinous. Ugh.

Dinner – whitebait with carrots, sausages(!), grilled salmon, potatoes – ridiculous. The salmon was tough! Followed by cheese and bikkies.  This food is awful.

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