Alone again, naturally


Christmas night.

Well, I’m back at my favourite hotel, the Taksu in Sanur, and I’m alone for the first time in three weeks. The silence is deafening! I’m torn between wanting some solitude, but not wanting to be alone. I’ll see my partner again on the 10th, albeit briefly.


Some notes from the past few days:

Crumbs, four days into the year already. It’ll be Christmas soon.

Monday 2 January: Sitting in the Si Doi Café at 0845 having the Special Breakfast – OJ, fruit platter, two eggs on toast, sausage, mushies, tomato and Bali Kopi for $5. And free wi-fi. I may be here for some time. I slept badly last night, just couldn’t get to sleep until after 2am, hence I’m a couple of hours in deficit. I’ll go back for a bit more sleep after this. It has just rained a downpour but now the sun’s out and it’s sparkling in Jalan Legian. V’s gone off for a massage.


We part on Wednesday (today), she going off on a few days’ tour with her German friends and ending up in her villa in Lovina, while I’m staying here in Sanur for my final week. I don’t particularly want to go over the mountains to Lovina again, then up and over again to come back down south for my flight home next week. The first few trips over the mountains were good, but the novelty has very definitely worn off, especially if I’m driving.

I went to the Daihatsu dealer in Sanur on Monday to enquire about a new door to replace the damaged one. Success, I have a part number and the price, Rp2,450,000 or about $250. That’s bare, of course, and in grey undercoat. It has to be painted (black) and all the glass and fittings have to be swapped over, then the door fitted to the car. The painting will cost about $80, and the labour?

The problem is, the door has to be ordered, from Jakarta I’d guess, and will take two weeks. Vero goes to Vienna soon and is not sure about timing, and whether the work can be done in Singaraja or if the car has to come down south. Unfortunately the owner of the car has the insurance papers (if it is insured?) and doesn’t know about the damage yet. He’s not likely to be happy, apparently. The relatives of the owner want to see if it can be panel beaten and repaired. They dread telling the owner of the car. Worry, worry, worry.


A taxi driver spontaneously told me yesterday that there are too few tourists here. Is it berms or terrierists? He thinks it’s just the world uncertainty and people avoiding spending on holidays. It’s bad for the Balinese, but great for us of course. I’ve just booked at my favourite hotel in Sanur for this last week and for a huge room (35 m2) it’s A$61 a night.

I do like the Taksu. The rooms feel so spacious, the sheets are white, the bathroom is well designed, things are in good repair and there’s a two seater couch to lounge on, with a coffee table. I’ve stayed there three times now and I’ll keep going back. The pool is above ground, and it’s a fair walk to the beach if you want to swim in the greasy, littered Sanur water, but the Kura Kura bus stops at the front door every three hours for cheap transport.

What am I going to do with my week? Water-walk in the neck deep pool for exercise (I was doing 20 laps of the 25m length each day last time, about 1km). Use the internet, sleep, read a book, which I never get a chance to do these days. Go shopping. Yes, I love buying small things, DVDs included, and I’m always on the lookout for a good bag, especially a camera bag. I’m a sucker for that. I can’t help myself, it’s like women and handbags or shoes.


Wednesday 3 January: Wow, we went to a performance of the Kecak Dance last night at Ulu Watu, on the peninsula, at 6pm, around sunset. Spec-tac-u-lar.


The amphitheatre filling up. They let too many people in, in our opinion.

Unfortunately it was very crowded, too crowded really, with an estimate of over 1,000 people viewing. The dance area was reduced and there were not as many performers as I expected. Even so, it was good. The photos show some of it, but I have nearly 30 mins of Ultra Hi-Def video, excellent quality, no camera shake or silly zooms. I’ll try to post some here, but it takes so long to upload that it’s very difficult.


An impromptu performer.


A central oil burner.


The dancers make their entrance.


The evil spirit.


The monkey clown.

The monkey clown, above, moved around among the crowd and at one stage was sliding down a wooden railing beside me. I wasn’t aware he was there and I had my walking stick handle hooked over the banister. He had to stop as I hurriedly removed it so he could continue. Ooops. It was all good fun.

Strangely, at the beginning I noticed something on my shirt front and looked down to see what I thought was a spider. But I realised it was a small crab! It was about 2cm across the carapace and about 3.5cm overall, just a pale beige. I went to try to pick him up but he was too fast and scuttled down to the steps below. How he got onto me, I have no idea as we were a long way above the ocean.

Sitting on wet concrete steps of the amphitheatre was not much fun, and my bum quickly went numb. It was a bit claustrophobic, being packed in so tightly in such a huge crowd. I’d hate to think what a panic would have produced as the aisles were not kept clear.

Towards the end, people started leaving before the performance had finished and I was getting pretty annoyed by people walking across in front of me. They all seemed to be Indians or Pakistanis, including several guys in turbans. I was also pretty browned off by people sticking their “selfie sticks” with their camera phones up in my view. I hate these things.

The traffic! It took us more than an hour to get there from Legian, in a tour bus (just four of us plus guide and driver), then I had to guard four seats in the arena until the others arrived after seeing the temple. The performance was from 6-7pm, then another 20 mins or so of walking and waiting to get to our mini-bus, then about an hour fifteen of crawling to get back to the hotel. Exhausting. Crowds! I hate it.


OK, now for some beer and an early night, sleeping alone. I’ve made my bed, now I have to lie in it. uh huh.