Oui, I am back in Paris and happy to be out of an economy seat on a crowded airplane. Bali was easier from Paris than it would be from Houston, but it was still an hour to Amsterdam, (wait around), 12 hours to Singapore (wait around) and 2 hours to Bali (stumble through a crowded airport, stand in line to pay to enter, stand in line to show passport, follow hotel guy a half mile through throngs of people to waiting car, take a deep breath and smile). The saving grace was that both ways we flew at night, which made sleeping a tad easier. But it was still an endurance contest that I was happy to survive.
As I indicated in my posts from there, I didn’t exactly cover a lot of the island, or see
many any cultural sites. I chose to enjoy the beach and my books and chillin’ with my loved ones. But I did get some sweet pictures and make a few observations to share with you.
I was surprised by the swarms of motorcycles in Bali. None of them were as large as the behemoths that are all over Paris, but they were bigger than Vespas. They would ride three deep on the narrow shoulders of the roads, and of course would also drive in between the lanes of cars and up on the sidewalks when necessary. There appeared to be a helmet requirement, but no minimum age for the passengers. I saw babies on those motorbikes that would still be facing backwards in their car seats at home. We also saw people carrying all sorts of things on their bikes, including a tall ladder. The pollution and traffic were really bad, which was another impediment to our leaving the resort (beyond our own laziness). We noticed that no one was walking or riding bikes, and that was probably because the motorcycles occupied every bit of space on the sides of the roads.
We loved the food and the local beer, but I cannot recommend the red wine served at restaurants on the island. Stick with the foo foo drinks and the beer. We ate a lot of sea food and delicious rice and noodle dishes. It was such a nice change to be able to enjoy food with some spice!
It was interesting to be one of only a few Americans at a vacation resort. There were many Australians, Russians, and Asians, and a few English and French. I visited with a woman from Melbourne who said that they go to Bali frequently for vacation, as it is affordable and only 6 hours from Melbourne, which is in the southern part of Australia. I guess Bali is for them what Mexico is for us Texans.
Here is a slide show for your viewing enjoyment. I’m sorry I am not technologically savvy enough to have “Bali Ha’i” piped in as you watch it, but feel free to hum it as you watch. You know how the song goes.
More crazy travel to follow, but nothing as exotic as Bali. Stay tuned for more details.