Wow again

Dieng hot springs 387B

(C) PJ Croft 1991, 2018

Wow, another earthquake last night.

After a long and tiring drive from Sanur, we arrived at V’s place at Lovina about 7.40pm. One of V’s workmen was there to let us in and we were just standing chatting when there was a great rushing sound, like wind in the trees, and suddenly everything was swaying. It was accompanied by a definite rumble this time, not loud, but the water in the pool went crazy, sloshing and slopping end to end. By my watch it was 7.48pm but the reports put it at 7.45.

We were standing under a timber framed verandah with rattan thatching and didn’t feel in any danger, but the floor felt like jelly for about 20 seconds. We felt no need to run away; I quite enjoyed the feeling. It was a very slow and gentle rocking.

But when we read the reports this morning, it was a 7.0 magnitude centred off Lombok again, stronger than last Sunday’s at 6.4, and I’ve heard 82 people died on Lombok.

And in Kuta, there were reports and photos of damage in the underground carpark at Galeria and more damage at the airport. No reports of any injuries, that I’ve heard anyway.

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It was overcast and cool all day yesterday and the further we got into the foothills on the way up north, the more it was raining, not heavily, but steady. Then we got into the mist and cloud at the top of the mountain and it was quite dark and eery. The windscreen in the car kept misting up but being a car made for the tropics, there’s no demister. We had to put the aircon on high. That worked, but it was freezing in the car.

The suicidal motorbikes were still out in force, passing on the left, cutting in front suddenly, passing fast on the right on the wrong side of the road, oncoming also on the wrong side, our side. Rules? What rules? Double white lines mean nothing. Even on blind curves! Aaaaarrrrgh!

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Yesterday was very cool, about 24C max I’d guess, but today, here on the north coast, it’s warm and sunny again, or the other way around. We went for a dip in the pool before bed last night and it was cold! It was too cold to stay in for more than five minutes, but it looks very inviting now.

V’s rental house is small and mostly built for outdoor living and eating, but quite comfortable. It has neighbours, and their roosters seemed to start crowing at 11pm and went all night. Fortunately I like the sound.

I haven’t got my bearings yet, but walking anywhere looks as if it will be difficult. The dirt road is a bit hilly and very uneven, so it’s lucky my friend has a car.

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We’ve been looking for a place to stay during Perth’s winters and we think the Grahita will be ideal, near perfect in fact. They have two 2-storey suites, very large and spacious downstairs, with a full kitchen and a toilet under the stairs, and a large double bedroom upstairs with full sized bath, shower, toilet and masses of wardrobe, cupboard and drawer space. TVs both downstairs and upstairs. Large balcony overlooking the hotel pool. All near new and immaculately clean. The location of the hotel complex is also ideal, on Danau Poso near the Cemara corner, so an easy walk to the beach.

The only thing is whether we can negotiate an acceptable price. That might be difficult. Fortunately we’re on great terms with the manager, who believes I’m going to find an Aussie husband for her. I’d like to.

She’s a bright, intelligent, very good looking woman, divorced and wanting to spread her wings and fly. I’d love to help her.

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Bali is full of steps! Changes in level, every step you take. My new multifocal glasses have three zones and depths near my feet are tricky to judge. Many times I’ve nearly tripped or taken a tumble.

It didn’t take long here. There’s a fair step up from the path to the verandah – about 250mm I’d guess – and sure enough, I missed it going down last night and fell. No damage except a bit of skin off my left forearm, which bled for a while, but it’s OK. Especially as I’m still taking the antibiotic. It works for me.

I was talking to John, the property developer last week and he said there is a standard step height in Australia, I forget what it is, but here they seem to make arbitrary heights, we know not why. Many times I find it difficult to get up the step into shops and banks, and there’s rarely a handrail.

Speaking of which, the Grahita suite has two tiers of stairs to reach the upper floor, so if I live there, I’ll just have to get used to it. It wouldn’t be a bad thing. I really like the place.

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That was fast

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Yudhie!

Holy cow, where has the time gone? I’ve lost track of the days. Last weekend went missing somewhere. That’s fine, it’s great at this hotel, the Grahita Suites and I think this may take over from the Taksu as my favourite place. Being a bit cheaper may have something to do with it.

We’re in a large room with a kitchen. It has a two burner gas stove, a small sink, plenty of cupboard space and a medium sized fridge, which freezes really well. It also has a small dining table with two armchairs and a long sideboard under the TV, where I am now. The bed is king size, the mattress is new but a bit hard, and the bathroom is good sized and immaculately new and clean. The verandah has a table and two chairs, and the pool is 10m away. It was too cool to stay in last night. I think we got the winds from the big anticyclone over WA.

Best of all, the manager, Kasih, is so friendly and intelligent that we feel really at home here. She can’t do enough to help. She’s the one who spent an hour trying to stop the bleeding last week. The wounds are fine, by the way. Still needing a dressing, but clean and dry. Starting the antibiotic immediately was a big help, I think.

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She drove us in my friend’s car into Denpasar today to fix up an insurance problem, and I’m glad she was driving. It’s quite safe, but the traffic is thick and the motorbikes are a curse. They thread and weave and swarm their way into every gap, with their noise and fumes. Many intersections on busy roads have no traffic lights or give way signs, so it’s a matter of bluff and courtesy and may the best man win. It’s scary, but it works, and Kasih managed to drive and keep up a continuous conversation.

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We’d had lunch at my good friend Yudhie’s restaurant (a warung, actually) overlooking the rice paddies. I was amazed a few days ago when I said to her I had a friend here. We waffled a bit and after Kasih heard his name, she said, “Oh, he is my friend too, we went to school together.” Bloody hell, it’s a small world.

The breeze was cool and the food was gurami fish, Balinese style. Very delicious, although complete with bones, fins and skin.

He gave good news that my other ex-Perth Bali friends are still alive after cancer scares, are here in Bali in their villa, and he’s still working at 92 or 93. Amazing. I hope to see them tomorrow.

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We had a very nice dinner at a bakery last evening, the Goddes Bakery in Jalan …. somewhere in north Sanur. We initially just wanted to buy bread, but it’s a full service coffee shop, beautifully presented, fabulous menu, so enticing we went beyond our initial thought of just coffee. We got talking to the manager, who also happens to be a friend of Kasih, and he presented us at the end with a complimentary coffee concoction, like a mini cappucino but cold and with a biscuit base under cream. Yum!

This Goddes Bakery is so good that I feel like writing them up on Trip Advisor.

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I’ve actually had a bit of Bali belly in the past few days, unusual for me. After my first couple of visits in 1980 and 1983, I never had any more trouble. But I suppose taking high doses of the antibiotic hasn’t done my gut any favours. It’s not a bad case.

Dinnertime!