Home again


Aaaah, it’s good to be home, even though I had a great time in Bali. But travel is stressful and exhausting for me now. There were only three immigration people on the six desks, so the three queues were l-o-o-ng and achingly slow. It took nearly an hour from the first X-ray check to walking out into the duty free area. I was desperate to sit down but you can’t. Heavy shoulder bags were pulling my back out of shape, but there was still at least 200m until I could sit. Phew!

I had an iced coffee and recovered a bit, then started the long walk to Gate 9B. Why does Air Asia always get the furthest gate? I was nearly buggered when I got there, only to find people getting up and leaving. We’d been changed to Gate 5! Dammit, nearly all the way back again.

Anyway, I met a guy I used to work with at Seven on the way, so we had a good old chat. We used to call him Mouse, I don’t know why, but also Gizmo because he was a gadget man, like me I guess. We had plenty to talk about.

Then I had priority boarding, so I was in row 1 and seated early. We took off on time, I had quite a nice meal (Nasi Padang) and I nearly slept. We arrived in Perth 30 mins early and I was one of the first off the plane, so zoom, I hit the Customs queue.

But for the first time in years, I was directed to the examination tables. I don’t know why, but I had to put my hand luggage on the X-ray scanner. At the other side, the woman said, “Have you got sweets in your bag?” I said, “Oh yes, they’re jelly beans, from here. I carry them because I’m diabetic, they’re to lift blood sugar.”

She said that’s OK then, and kind of apologised, but she smiled and said I could go. I don’t understand why I was pulled aside, though. I’d ticked no to all the questions. Truth to tell, I had some coffee capsules which are kind of food, but they don’t fit any of the descriptions, unless you call them herbal medicine.


Then I had another fall when I got home, on the front steps. I always find them a bit hard but I was so exhausted that I couldn’t make the top step and down I went, hard. Again, nothing broke, so I reckon my bones are good and strong. I’ve never broken a bone in my life. It was just exhaustion.

That makes about six falls on this trip. Not good. My new glasses account for a few, and accidents for the others. Bali steps and missteps.


I have to do something about my fitness, though, because it seems I’ll be negotiating Bali steps a lot more soon. I’ll be spending quite a bit of time there in the future. Big plans. Bagus.


News of another gempa bumis (earthquake) in Bali this morning, magnitude 5.4 at 5.48 am. It jolted my friend awake. But this time, the epicentre was directly south of Bali. Let’s hope they die away, or move away.


Another one

Another gempa bumi (sorry about the mistake earlier in calling it a gumpa). I mean another strong earth tremor at right on 10.59pm, Sunday 19 August. It was enough to send me out onto the lawn. In fact it’s still going on now at 11.19pm, a gentle swaying of the whole building and floor.

Amazing to think about what’s going on 7km or 27km deep in the earth. Is there any sound? Is it all fire and molten rock down there?

Oh well, time for bed, time to be rocked to sleep by the tremors.

Gumpa lagi!


Wow, another gumpa, another earthquake, just five minutes ago. This was a sharp jolt, followed by the floor (concrete and tiles) swaying for 20 secs or so. It was big enough that I said to my friend, “We’d better go outside!” But the pool remained pretty calm, so that’s a good indication that it wasn’t too big.

This is additional to one we had at 11.35pm on Friday night, again small but it jerked me awake.

This was weird. An hour later, about 12.45am, I was again jerked awake by a flashing white light coming from outside, behind the curtains. Simultaneously, the TV switched on with loud pop music, then 4 secs later switched off again. I was like, “Huh??” It was like something from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

My partner offered an explanation, that maybe she rolled on the TV remote in her movements, but simultaneously with the torch lights, and on and off again? As I said, weird. But I rolled over and went to sleep again. Too hard for me.

PS: I’m told there have actually been three gumbas so far this morning, not only here and Sumbawa but in NZ and Fiji. Global warming, President Dump.


We’re enjoying this hotel very much and have an exciting possibility of staying here more often, and for longer periods. Details are still being mulled over, but the hotel’s offer suits us very well. More news later.


Another one!

Four on bike

How much can you fit on one motorbike? Although you can’t see her there’s another child in the middle. So that’s four people, plus the cartons of water and the big package in the footwell, plus the other baggage!!

Holy cow, what is it with this trip? My injuries continue.

This time I’ve been bitten by a luwak, a Balinese civet cat. These are the animals that eat the coffee beans that pass through their gut and are collected from their droppings, to be packaged and sold at ridiculous prices.

A friend of my friend has a couple of these animals as pets and brought one out last night for us to look at. She asked me if I wanted to touch it and hold it. Like a fool, I agreed. “Don’t let it go”, she said, so I held it pretty tightly. But the thing fought like mad and sank its needle teeth into my left hand between thumb and forefinger. She took it back quickly and I rushed to wash the wound and try to stop the bleeding, which since I’m on anti-coagulant medication, was fairly profuse. All the while I was thinking “rabies?!”

The lady assures me that these are captive animals that have no contact with other animals so have no chance to pick up rabies. I hope she’s right. The puncture wounds have healed almost magically overnight and water still seems fine to me, so here’s hoping.



OK, OK, stop snickering down the back. It’s some kind of vegetable, but we know not what. Who cares?

The civet cat lover is an interesting Russian lady, married to a Balinese artist and living here in Lovina. She does piece work, translating documents of all kinds from Russian to English, (and possibly vice versa?), receiving and sending the work by email. It’s hard work and doesn’t pay very well, but she gets a lot of work. Obviously she’s fluent in English and has picked up the local language very well. She’s a very nice person. I’ve met her here a few times.


We’ve been told that the internet predicts another major earthquake at 11pm tonight. Whether that’s Eastern Australian Standard Time or Bali time we don’t know.

One of the Austrian guys living here is a geologist and his comment when told this is that this is the first time a scientist has been willing to put his name to a prediction such as this. Yup.


After the Fall


And another one. Not another quake, another fall. Leaving a restaurant last night I turned briefly to answer someone who’d said “Bye” and didn’t see the step. Bang! Down I went on my left hip, knee and left forearm. I must have good bones because it was a hard fall on a tiled floor, but although a bit winded, the staff and V helped me up and after brushing myself off, I made a joke and walked away unscathed. I was still a bit shaken up when we got home. A stiff G&T helped.

The problem is this country is full of steps and level changes, from a few centimetres to 40cm or more, and rarely with handrails. My new glasses are making it very difficult for me to judge the heights down below. Oh well.



An amazing coincidence: if you use Windows 10 you probably drooled over the opening welcome log-in photo this morning. There it is above.

Unfortunately they never provide any info on their log-in images, nor any way to download them or save them, so I did a Google search on Lembongan and there it was, but it’s Nusa Penida.

So I was admiring this beach shot this morning and wondering where in the world it is, probably California I thought. Then V wanted to show me a brochure on tours to Nusa Penida, just off Bali. Stap me, there in one of the brochure photos was the same shot! Nowhere near as well reproduced, but pretty unmistakable. What are the chances of that??!! Shut up Sheldon.



We were at the Bintang Bali Beach Bar on the north coast where the LOVINA jetty is, and were treated to a spectacular sunset. It’s hard to realise that we’re facing west there, not north, so the sun sets over the ocean and Gilimanuk peninsula. The photo above was last year, but it was similar last night. Same sun, I think. I didn’t have my good camera with me, but I’m reliably informed there’ll be another one tomorrow night.


Marching kids 2

It’s Indonesia’s Merdeka (Freedom) national day on the 17th and all the schoolchildren are out in their uniforms practicing their marching. It’s very colourful and the kids look real cute. There are masses of them. The scenes above were in Singaraja, the major city on this north coast and the former capital of Bali.


My friend doesn’t like the militarisation of the school kids, whereas I recall enjoying being in uniforms when I was a kid, Cubs, Scouts, St John Ambulance Brigades in primary school, then the army cadets at high school. It taught me a lot, including discipline, teamwork, leadership, pride and (phwoaar) how to fire real weapons, so shall we say we had to agree to disagree.

I was going to add some video, but I forgot that Indonesia blocks Vimeo. There’s a way to get around it, but I’ve been going for hours on this post and the pool looks inviting. 🙂


And another one


Lying in bed last night at about 11.50pm, there was a sudden swaying and rocking motion. “Earthquake!” I thought, and I later heard I was right. It was about magnitude 5.2, somewhere off the Gili Islands near Lombok. Glad I’m not there.

A couple of minor cracks in a wall seem to have appeared here, nothing to worry about. We’re more concerned about a rat that shows itself from time to time on top of the kitchen cupboards.