2012 Indonesia – Bali

Same same, not same…

2012 had started and making up the balance of my left over leave days for 2011 I realized I had 8 days of home leave left, to be to spent in the Netherlands, and an additional 13 days of annual leave, all to be spent before the end of April.  Spending my home leave in the Netherlands with family and friends was easy and taken care of in February but I did not feel like just wasting 13 days of leave remaining in ‘the neighborhood’. Decisions, decisions, and they were not easy ones. With Paul having started his new job in November it was clear he did not have to same amount of leave I did, so joining was not an option. Also I did not feel like exploring new places without him so we came up with the idea I should go to Bali and spend time with my friends Ulli and Nyoman. I surfed the Internet, booked the flight and all was set for a great trip. It seemed to be a good plan but as the departure date came closer I had my doubts going without Paul, it just wasn’t the same…

Then on Easter Monday our favorite aunt passed away and to make things even worse, her funeral was on Saturday the 14th of April, my departure date. It had a very difficult decision to make, attend the funeral and miss out on Bali to the other way around. I tried to change my departure date, which was only possible against a hefty fee, and I was very close to canceling the whole trip. I did some serious soul searching and Paul kept on repeating aunt Nanny would have loved to hear my travel stories and so did he. Finally I made the decision to go on my trip, either way would come up with regrets and I just would need to learn to live with my decision. 

On Saturday morning Paul dropped me at Sittard railway station so I could travel to Amsterdam. It was a terrible trip, constantly looking at my watch and thinking about what was going on at the funeral. At Schiphol I checked in, tried to relax a bit and boarded the Emirates 777 for my flight to Dubai. Still my mind was not with it, it was extremely surreal and at one point I even wondered things were really happening. I slept most of the time doing the flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur and it was only during the last, three-hour, flight to Denpasar that I started to look forward to the times ahead.

Once landed things all went very fast. I got the visa in my passport without waiting to long, my suitcase was already waiting for me at the belt and customs were passed in no time. 40 Minutes after landing I found myself in a taxi on the way to Ubud. I was amazed how things had changed once again, it had become far more crowded around Kuta and Sanur and here was a lot of traffic. I had landed in Denpasar at 18:20 and less then two hours later I arrived at Guci Guesthouses.

A bit to fast for some… A major renovation had started at Guci Guesthouses; all three bungalows are in progress of being totally redone.

Bungalow ‘number one’ was just finished and Ulli, Nyoman and an electrician were still finishing the last bits and doing the cleaning. If only I had arrived 15 minutes later they would have been totally ready. Oh well, one can’t change things that happen. As said, the bungalow had been totally stripped down to the walls but now looked amazingly; A bigger terrace, new shiny marble floor, marble on the walls, new curtains, a completely new roof. All furniture had been renovated and as finishing touch Ulli had made new bedding and cushions, it looked amazing. So classy, so new and fresh! Better even was the warm welcome by Ulli and Nyoman. It was great to see them again! On the Tuesday before my departure I still emailed them I was not sure of coming to Bali an now I had arrived. There were a lot of stories to be told and so we did!

Nyoman felt a bit tired and went to bed early so Ulli and I went out to dinner and what better place to start than Warung Enak, with distance my favorite restaurant in Bali. A ‘Blue Mountain’ cocktail could not be avoided, as tradition has to be honored. As expected the food was exceptional and both Ulli and myself had so much to talk about we did not realize time flew by so fast and it was getting so late already. The waiters and waitresses were waiting for us to leave (oops) so we paid the bill, headed back to Guci Guesthouses and said goodnight.

It was not time to go to sleep though yet. Timing was perfect and Paul by now had finished work so we could talk for a while through FaceTime. (The Apple variant of Skype). It was wonderful to see him again and there was a lot to talk about. Already I had made the decision that although it was very nice to be back in Bali again I would never go on a holiday by my own again. It’s just not the same…. We spend over an hour talking and by then it was already 1 am, I felt tired so it was time to say goodnight and go to sleep; For me at least as Paul still had the whole evening ahead of him. 

It was a weird night with intense dreams but I managed to sleep until 9:30. After a refreshing shower and breakfast Nyoman, Daniel and myself went to Kendaran, in the north of Ubud, to see the progress on Villa Unggul. It was now a year and a half ago since I saw the villa in making for the last time and I was curious to see what had happened since. As soon as we left the main road memories from a long forgotten Bali entered my head again. It was absolutely beautiful. Traditional village life, fantastic scenery, what a way to drive to your destination!

Villa Unggul looked even more impressive than before. The front building as well as the water tower had now been mostly finished and the walls were painted in a beautiful liver color. It blended wonderfully with the beautiful rice fields surrounding it.

Inside things looked even more stunning; Beautiful terra cotta tiles on the flour, a sandy color on the wall and beautiful finishing touches in tropical hardwood. A lot of work still has to be done before it’s ready though you don’t need to use your imagination very hard to see where it’s going. The bathroom downstairs has besides a shower a fantastic terra-cotta bathtub, all very tastefully decorated. The bathroom has, as in Guci Guesthouses a semi-open architecture with lots of plants in it and it’s only partly covered by a roof so you have the impression bathing outside, still with the privacy required.

Upstairs is, if possible, even more beautiful. The three bedrooms have stunning views over the rice fields and I can imagine once Paul and I will stay overnight in Villa Unggul we would not close the curtains not to miss anything of the spectacular surroundings. Once again, the same spectacular wooding finishing everywhere and from the large terrace, oh well, I can’t find words for what I experienced there. The garden surrounding the villa is spacious and Nyoman pointed out where the private pool is going to be. Once finished this will be a breathtaking place to stay. 

After the viewing Nyoman brought us to a wonderful warung outside Ubud where we enjoyed a fantastic Nasi Campur. Our jaws did not get a moment of rest whilst we kept on talking in between enjoying the food, Wonderful!

Back in Guci Guesthouses I shared my experience with Ulli after which I went to the Yoga barn in order to check out on yoga classes. After that I enjoyed a relaxing massage and headed to warung Enak for dinner. Very quickly it was late again and time to head back to Guci Guesthouses, start up FaceTime and talk to Paul again. I also received a message from Yus and Sri, our driver and guide who organized the tour through Java with my father 4 years ago and now are very good friends, who were coming to visit me. They had already arrived which meant we had an extra day together. Perfect! Very satisfied I fell asleep though it was a strange night again filled with strange dreams. 

Tuesday morning I had a bit of a sleep in and had just enough time for a shower and breakfast when Yus and Sri arrived and it was a warm reunion. And once again, there was so much to talk about. We went for a walk and stopped in a restaurant for a drink and catching up. It was so wonderful to see them again and there was a lot to catch up on. Sri surprised me with the news she would be coming to Europe and would pay Paul and myself a visit. This was great news that had to be shared… We headed to Warung Enak for lunch and woke up Paul who was on European time, 6 hours behind us. Almost every restaurant in Ubud now offers free WIFI so it is easy to stay in touch with people at home. Paul was really happy to speak to Yus, Sri, and myself but we had to take the conversation short, as he had to get ready for work.

After lunch we returned to Casa Ganesha where Yus and Sri stayed (Guci Guesthouses was unfortunately fully booked as usual) and we spend the rest of the afternoon updating their website and I can already reveal they have some exiting surprises coming up with optional tours on Java which are something different from the usual sightseeing.

Dinner we enjoyed at Nomad. I must admit I was slightly disappointed. I used to love this place but for my liking it became far to busy and commercial. Food and drinks were still great but the atmosphere had changed. It felt overcrowded to me. As soon as people were finished and left new customers were already waiting to occupy the vacant table. I know Bart and Yolanda (My brother and sister in law) prefer this place above Warung Enak but it is good that there are enough places in Ubud to match everybody’s taste.

Far too late I returned at Guci Guesthouses again but I still enjoyed another FaceTime session with Paul before I went to sleep.

Next morning I woke up early and after a refreshing shower I strolled to the yoga barn for my first yoga class in Bali. I was a bit nervous, as I was not sure I was ready for this class and had some difficulty to relax in the first 30 minutes. There was no reason for worries though as Manuela, my yoga teacher on base, had laid the prefect foundation for attending this class. It was a slightly different class, still based on Hatha Yoga but also has elements of prayamana, focusing on breathing techniques. Somehow things came natural though and I really enjoyed the 90-minute session. At the end I really felt fresh and relaxed, ready for another day in paradise.

After breakfast I met up with Yus and Sri again and as they were very curious to Villa Unggul I got the keys from Ulli and we headed there. As expected they were blown away by the property and saw a big future for it.

Instead of returning to Ubud we took the scenic tour through traditional Bali and I managed to wow Indonesians in their own country. We enjoyed lunch in Cafe Dewi, a slightly isolated restaurant with a view over the terraced rice fields, which is to die for. We stayed there for a while to enjoy the food, each other’s company and last but not least the breathtaking view.

Back in Ubud we continued working on the website, I had a swim, and of course there were plenty of other topics to talk about. Time passed by quickly. As I had shown Yus and Sri part of the slideshow of our India trip of last year they invited me to go to an Indian restaurant on Jalan Pengosekan. The pictures I had shown them impressed them and I was happy they also loved the food; it was their first encounter with Indian food.

Back at Guci I chatted with Paul a while and then it was time to go to sleep.

Next morning, 5:30 and fully awake! I worked a bit on the website from Yus and Sri and then headed again to the yoga barn. Today’s yoga session was very different. There was another teacher and her class was more strenuous. She focused more on the energy flows within the body and kept out a lot of the spiritual influences. I must admit I really enjoyed it though yoga goes hand in hand with the spiritual world. At the end of the session I felt exhausted and had a warm glow all over my body. On the other hand I also felt totally open and refreshed for the day. I could really get used to this.

Back at Guci I refreshed and went to see Yus and Sri again. Last couple of changes on the website were done so I returned to Guci Guesthouse and relaxed a bit. Around noon Yus and Sri came to say goodbye. It was good they had arrived a day early as otherwise we certainly would not had time enough to do all the things we wanted to do.

After they left I took a leisure stroll to the Zen spa and treated myself on a 90-minute deep tissue massage. It was pure heaven.

Although I had been in Ubud for a couple of days already I had not found the time yet so explore it and see what had changed. Time to do so now… I was under the impression it became far busier. Quite a number of new shops on the main treat but as I was not in a shopping mood I headed for Ary’s warung for some lovely canapé’s and a paid punch cocktail. Just the thing I needed! I relaxed for a while and then went on to Monkey forest road, which gave the same impression as the main road, busier and more shops. The good thing is that they now made it a one-way road so it was less chaotic than a number of years ago.

Of course I could not resist a blue mountain when I passed warung Enak on my way back to Guci guesthouses but one there I slept for an hour or two. Staying up late to talk to Paul and waking up early for yoga class had finally asked its toll. 

After I woke up returned to warung Enak for dinner: A spicy Balinese Tuna salad followed by Balinese duck. Yummy. Back at Guci Guesthouses I spent the rest of the evening with Nyoman, Daniel and Ulli who returned a bit later from an evening out. I showed Nyoman and Daniel the first part of the India slideshow and both of them were intrigued

Before I went to sleep I spend some quality time with Paul and another day had passed by far to quick for my liking. Next morning I had not heard the alarm and I almost overslept for my Yoga class. Just in time I arrived and there was still a spot to roll out my mattress. Once again a different teacher and this class turned out to be far more difficult. I really had problems with some of the more advanced asanas and my attempt for a headstand only turned out in a clumsy attempt. I’ve got a long way to go, especially seeing some of the participants totally at ease standing on their head and moving their legs in different positions. One day… Still it was a very fulfilling session and once again i felt absolutely open by the time I returned to Guci Guesthouses. 

Second shower of the day, breakfast, and still it was only 9:30. I had a nice chat with Ulli and then it was time to go shopping with Nyoman. A new sign for the entrance had to be made and both of us headed out to have it made and buy some lights. It did not take long before we were finished and we returned to Guci Guesthouses. After that I went back to the Zen Spa for a 90-minute traditional massage. It was followed by a exhilarating spice scrub and a mandi rempah, a spice bath. Whilst soaked in the water I started to practice some of the breathing techniques I had learned at Yoga and soon I found myself in an almost meditative state. I have never ever felt so relaxed in my life, It’s difficult to explain but it was pure magic!

After this rejuvenation I went to a Japanese restaurant for a late lunch and then headed to warung enak for another blue mountain (Oh well, it turned out to be two).  I got so tired though I went back to Guci Guesthouses for a well-deserved sleep. By the time I woke up it was 20:30 already and I did not feel like going out for dinner anymore. I spent some time with Ulli and Nyoman chatting and afterwards made some changes on the Guci website.

By then it was 23:30 already, time to talk to Paul for a while and go to bed. 

Saturday morning I had a bit of a sleep in as I decided to skip yoga and go on a cookery class at warung Enak. Having done it before there was no need to be there early and do the market tour so I did not be present until 8:00. Much to my delight Rahi, the chef cook led the class. She is a wonderful person with lots of humor and I do enjoy her classes a lot.

The mis en place was all taken care of so we could concentrate on the preparation of the food; Steamed mackerel, spicy chicken in sticky rice and pumpkin leaves. A wonderful Balinese seafood soup, spicy beef with rice and corn fritters. Wow! As a desert we prepared steam cakes and banana cooked in padang batter. After finishing each course we could try the results of our cooking.

There were only three of us, an Australian couple and myself so each of us got a chance to show our cooking skills. Once all courses were done we headed to the restaurant to get all dishes served as a full-blown lunch, of course a blue mountain could not fail…

After lunch I went for a sort walk and then headed towards the Zen Spa for my daily massage. Today’s masseur had much stronger hands and on more than once occasion I was puffing under the pressure. Still it was a very enjoyable experience and the next couple of days my body will get a rest from the daily kneading sessions…

Back at Guci guesthouses I had a short nap, then packed my suitcase and spent the rest of the evening with Ulli chatting. It would be my last night at Guci Guesthouses for now as the next day I would be traveling to Gili Trawangan, one of the three islands before the coastline of Lombok.

Of course I could not go to sleep before having a FaceTime session with Paul and before I realized it was far too late again.

Next morning was another early rise, a quick coffee with Ulli and Nyoman and then the mini bus bringing me to Padang Bay picked me up. Once there I boarded the Gili Cat fast boat to Lombok.

During the crossing I chatted with Dean, a guy I met on the bus and the 90-minute crossing passed by very quickly. It was followed by a short trip to Gili trawangan and there I was…  Gili Trawangan is the biggest of three islands and has a very laid back, almost hippy like atmosphere. Reggae and 70ties rock playing everywhere and the beach front was a chain of restaurants and bars. Magic mushrooms and other ‘mind enhancers’ were readily availably but it took no effort to stick to my daily beer or cocktail.

I checked in at Manta Diving and got a nice bungalow over there in the shape of a lumbur, a traditional Lombok rice barn. In the afternoon I did my first dive; Great to have my head underwater again for a change. The diving was good but definitely not world class; guess I must have been spoiled over the years. Still I highly enjoyed the experience.

After diving I went for a short stroll, met Dean again and we decided to have dinner together. But first I wanted to attend a 90-minute yoga session. This turned out to be the best yoga session I had so far. All asanas (poses) were performed in a nice flow and there was a lot of emphasizes on the breathing. Absolutely loved it and I felt great after it.

In the evening I met up with Dean for a wonderful BBQ fish dinner at the waterfront. A couple of bears, some long island teas and a great conversation, life is good!

Next morning I woke up in time for breakfast and the fist dive. I did suffer from some stomach problems but fortunately it did not stop me from diving. There were only two divers on board, the two boatmen and Ifan and Hakan, our dive guides; A boat almost by myself. Wow. The dive was great and we saw lots of sea life. Can’t remember how many but turtles seemed to be the attraction of the day! Blue spotted stingrays, leaf scorpiofish and plenty of other specimens. Fantastic.

After the dive I went for a stroll and made some pictures. The color of the water is hard to believe, it is so extremely beautiful. It was difficult to find but I managed to get a traditional Indonesian lunch and before I knew it was time for the afternoon dive.

This time we went to Hanna’s point where a lot of the smaller sea life was to be enjoyed. Ifan showed me a lot of things I normally would have missed upon and I thoroughly enjoyed the dive, in spite of the large sandy areas we had to cross to go to the next point of interest; It was great to dive one on one with a dive guide, it certainly made the dive.

A short afternoon nap and I woke up just in time for my yoga session. At the beginning we were asked to focus on one certain topic and I choose determination. Ironically that was the thing missing absolutely today. I had difficulties relaxing and each with almost each pose I had difficulties performing them right. After class I had a short chat with the teacher and she told me my stomach problems in the morning and maybe to many classes in a short period would put to much strain on my body. She advised me to take a day of rest from yoga so tomorrow I will stick to a dive or two.

In the evening I selected the beach front house for dinner, had a couple of beers, a great dinner and… An early night!

Gili Trawangan turned out to be far mellower than I thought it was going to be. It’s got a wonderful chilling atmosphere and so far I have not seen or heard wild parties, it’s all very laid back.

The next day started with breakfast and by 9;00 the boat left for “Deep Turbo” the first dive site of the day. On descending I immediately knew we were diving at a special place, the coral was intact and there was an abundance of fish life. Pinnacles, Deep sandy canyons, it was amazing. If an, the dive guide pointed out a lot of details and I enjoyed every single minute of it.  We started off just over 30 meters depth and then slowly made our way upon the slopes watching the beauty surrounding us. At one point three large turtles were resting in some sponge coral, a great sight. This was one of the few dives I regretted not to have done my Nitro qualification, as that would have enabled to give me more bottom time. Oh well, one can’t have it all and I thoroughly enjoyed even minute of it. Even the deco stop ‘in the blue’ and an additional safety stop at 6 meters depth were highly enjoyable and relaxing. 45 minutes after descend we surfaced again, end of dive number one.

On the way back to the beach I already requested to do this dive again tomorrow morning and with distance this was my favorite dive site at the Gili’s so far.

The second dive was not as nice; it was a shallow dive around man made biotopes, artificial foundlings for creating new reef. The damage Ill Nino and dynamite fishing was clear to be seen and at times I felt diving in a desert, all rather depressing but it’s the other side of the medal; A dive not to remember for long….

Back at Gili Trawangan a visitor was waiting for me. As a result of my previous mails a good friend of hours mailed me back that her son, Floris Jan, would be in Bali at the same time as me, and after a few mail exchanges we decided to meet up on Gili Trawangan. Floris Jan is traveling around the world in 8-month time and still has a couple of weeks left before returning home. It was great to see him and we had a nice chat. As there were no more dives for the day and I had decided to skip yoga as well I could enjoy my first beer of the day during lunch. It was a real treat, as normally I would get my first one after yoga around 20:00. We decided to rent two bikes and cycle around the island, which turned out to be big fun! The bikes were not in the best condition imaginable and there were quite some sandy spots where we had to walk but it was great fun.

At the most western tip of the island we decided to settle at a lounge chair at the beach so we could enjoy the sunset. A cover band from Jakarta was playing which was big fun but when we finished our cocktail we continued on and looked for a slightly quieter place to witness the spectacle from Mother Nature.

We did find one and a beer was also not far away so finally we were ready for a spectacular sunset. And spectacular it was, especially when the sun went down and it’s light came from below the horizon, absolutely stunning!

The last part of our round the island trip we had to drive in the dark but it was great fun. Back at Manta Dive we gave back our bikes and went out for dinner. There is a surplus of restaurants to be found on the strip but most of them cater for the western tourist. Reggae music came from everywhere so it had hardly any Indonesian atmosphere, great for a couple of relaxing days but certainly not to be the main reason for a trip like this. The grilled seafood was fantastic and before we realized it time had passed on far to quick, another day had come to an end.

The next morning I started with another dive, this time with Ifan and Jurgen, a Dutch guy who I met on the boat yesterday. As requested the day before we went to ‘Deep Turbo’ and once again it did not disappoint. I had asked to remain in the area of the pinnacles which Ifan did and I certainly did enjoy my one but last dive. Floris Jan was somewhere on the beach so I spent most of the morning with Jurgen and his partner Guido. We had some good laughs. Lunch we enjoyed in a cafe in the area, Ceasar’s Salad, typical Indonesian…not! Second Dive of the day we did at Halik’s reef, another rewarding dive. We started deep and slowly made our way up by a slope. There was enough to be seen and we were lucky to end up our dive in a shallow area, full of coral so we could spend our safety stop watching the rich sea life and enjoying the last moments of my final dive of this trip.

Back at Manta Dive we still had a drink together after I went for my yoga class. Today things worked out much better so it had been a good idea to take a day of rest. After Yoga I met up again with Floris Jan and after a drink at a bar we decided to go to the local market for dinner. Food was simple but delightful! Really enjoyed it. After dinner we headed towards a party where we met up with most of the dive crew of Manta dive. It turned out to be a fantastic evening. Floris Jan was tired and went to bed early (those youngsters are not the same as they used to be 😉 but I was enjoying myself so much that I stayed a bit later. Oh well, much later. Guess it must have been 4 or 5 O’ clock in the morning by the time I came home. Totally out of habit on this holiday but it was a great night so why not….

I was still awake earlier than Floris Jan and went to the pool for a swim. Met up with Jurgen and Guido again, they were lucky to go diving again but I had to pack and get ready for my return to Bali. As it turned out the boat had a 40-minute delay so I was still there when Jurgen and Guido returned from their dive. If I had known that I could have done one more dive… Oh well. At 11:30 it was time to say goodbye and I slowly headed towards the jetty.

The crossing was fine, in just over an hour I set foot again on Bali, Just an hour later I was back at Guci Guesthouses where I was welcomed by Nyoman. I left my suitcase in ‘Bungalow number one’ and made my way to the Zen Spa for a relaxing massage. One could really get used to this.  On my return I inspected the progress of bungalow number two. Things are going well and seeing things progressing so quickly I can believe all bungalows will be finished in less than 5 weeks time.

In the evening Ulli also had returned from her day trip with friends so I could congratulate her on her 50th Birthday. Following tradition she and Nyoman, accompanied by two friends, had spent the day at Legian beach. It had been a great day for them, which made me happy. I went to Casa Ganesha for dinner; the hotel where Yus and Sri had stayed, and as already reported the food was very good. The rest of the evening I chatted with Nyoman and I showed him the pictures from our India trip last year.

Next morning was another early rise. Yoga! Class started at 7:00 and I hardly made it in time.  It was great though and I thoroughly enjoy those early morning Yoga sessions.

Back at Guci I had breakfast after it was time for her birthday present… I had invited her to join in a day of massages and pampering at the Zen Spa, something she was really looking forward to. We started of with a massage each, a body scrub and a mandi lulu, a royal bath with flowers. Magic! After that first treat of the day we met up again for a drink and a chat. Then we went together for a facial. I don’t know how many scrubs, creams, cucumber, purifying yoghurt and got knows what else was put on our faces but it certainly felt good!

Another break after which Ulli went for a hair cream bath, as with my hairstyle that was not necessary so instead I got yet another massage. By now I felt that every muscle in my body had been taken care off, a great feeling. Last treat for the day was a pedicure and manicure where I met up with Ulli again. It was strange having one man working on my hands and one on my feat, this certainly does not happen every day…

It was 15:30 already after our day of pampering was over. It had been amazing and a very special treat indeed. We strolled over Jalan Hanoman to Ubud main road where we wended up at Ary’s Warung, another long time favorite although I must admit it breathed a tired atmosphere. We enjoyed our first cocktail of the day and a set of delicious hors d’oeuvres, not bad for a starter. We decided to have main course at Nomad and of course we could not resist an accompanying cocktail over there as well. As Started and Main course were enjoyed in a different restaurant we then came up to complete the cycle with desert at warung Enak. Today was a real splurge!

At warung Enak Ulli and I got engaged in a lively and great conversation. We did not even realize that at the table next to us two other guests from Guci Guesthouses were sitting, a Dutch couple on their honeymoon. They invited us to finish of a bottle of a bottle of wine. Of course we had to celebrate their wedding with another round of Blue Mountains… Time was flying by and suddenly we noticed the staff at Warung Enak was waiting for us to leave. Oops, 01:30 already…

Back at Guci another surprise awaited us as the new road sign had arrived and was installed. It looked absolutely wonderful.

In spite of the late night I woke up early again for yoga. Things went fine and I did not have any problems with the relaxation part, I wonder why… Back at Guci I had breakfast and chatted a while with Ulli and Nyoman. After that Daniel and myself went to Villa Unggul for one last time and we had a Sushi and Sashimi lunch at a Japanese restaurant that opened up recently on Jalan Hanoman. Then it was time for my daily massage and I headed back to Guci Guesthouses where I slept a couple of hours (Wonder why). In the evening it was time for the traditional farewell dinner at Warung Enak.

Instead of going for a blue mountain straight away I decided to be a bit more adventurous and tried out two cocktails I had not had before. Especially the Thyme Caipirinha was fantastic.

Rahi, the chef had prepared soothing for me, which was not on the regular menu anymore… Snail sate! Yummy. But even better then the food and drinks was the company of Ulli and Nyoman, we had, as usual, a very nice evening together and for my liking time went by far to quick. 

7:00 next morning. Yoga again. This was a slightly different variation on what I had done before, ying & yang yoga. It was a mellower, easygoing session with lots of stretches. Pretty good for a Sunday morning and to prepare me for the flights home. I also had my last massage and then it was time to make the photos of the totally renovated bungalow Number one and the new road sign.

Finally I packed my suitcase and spend the last couple of hours chatting with Ulli and Nyoman. At 15:30 my driver was there to pick me up, it was time to come home…

You might have noticed by now this trip has been totally different, yes I had a great time, yes it has been very relaxing with the yoga sessions and the many massages I had. It was absolutely fantastic to see Yus and Sri again. I loved the diving at Gili Trawangan and loved to spend quality time with Ulli, Nyoman and Daniel.

It has been a great trip without doubt but I am very happy that my next trip will be with Paul again, I surely missed to share my experiences of this trip with him and that changed the character of the trip tremendously. Once again Bali really had been absolutely wonderful but the most important person in my life had been missing…

It was simply a matter of same, same, not same….