Before I go further I do need to say that there were a couple of nice desserts at dinner as well as the crepes. Checking my photos I saw a triangular shaped chocolate layered sponge with a thin chocolate ‘skin’ that had been tasty. And I had forgotten to mention that the men had been given a single red rose as they entered the dining room to give to their lady. So that has set that straight.
David also says that I whinged a lot in yesterday’s report. I hope it didn’t come across that way, it was just that I mentioned something that we were not thrilled with and it led me to air the rest while I was on topic. So I must say that we would not hesitate to go there again. It was very nice indeed, we just needed to get used to this resort and let go of unfounded expectations that it would be the same as Whitsundays!
Anyway, the next topic is the show for the night which was truly spectacular! Instead of being in the theatre tonight we were seated facing the pool, between it and the main bar. They had rigged two poles with a cross bar holding a trapeze ring with some other trapeze-type things tied up in readiness to be used later. All of the pool lounging chairs had been cleared away and directors chairs put in rows for the audience. Damn those things are uncomfortable!!! And eventually the show started.
The show each night started with 4 people standing stage front. Phillippe, the village chief, started and gave a full introduction in English then passed to a girl G.O. who repeated his message in Chinese, another girl who did the spiel in Japanese and then a boy in another Asian language that I could not recognise. Then Phillippe did it again but this time in French. I love languages and find them totally fascinating so I was in heaven listening to this lot! David was bored. I understood most of the French, and the ‘sheh sheh’ sound of thank you in Chinese at the end of that message. We were both incredulous in the speed at which all 3 Asian staff spoke, it was mind blowing. They must have lungs like a blacksmiths bellows, well-oiled teeth and unbiteable tongues!
Anyway, you want pictures, right?
This was the opening dance act – all performed by G.O.s with varying tasks around the village. One there is a professional choreographer but the rest could be travel clerks, reception staff, bar staff and who knows what other main tasks so they did a more than awesome job! I loved the turquoise costumes with the silver hair – a colour scheme I’ve always liked.
Next up was a girl on the ring who was joined by another fairly shortly. I believe there was only 1 female G.O. in the circus team so one of these was a girl originally hired for other skills. Pretty impressive!
Here are 2 more pictures showing the kind of thing we had through the hour show. The guy alone (next picture), named Raphael, was the boss of the circus team who taught guests how to use the flying trapeze in the circus school in the resort and his skills were professional enough for Cirque du Soleil in our opinion. He did several acts, with a different costume for each, and showed amazing strength and skill.
Many of the acts arrived standing on a large flat float that apparently glided across the swimming pool from the back but this was powered by one guy who spent his night submerged up to the neck swimming or walking this float along while trying to remain inconspicuous. It looked so effective!
There was one dance act by a guy alone who we later discovered was the choreographer. He was really good to watch! And there was one act where a female G.O. sang (genuinely, well, and not miming!) while 2 guys lifted 2 girls into various poses in yet another impressive display of strength and poise.
The final act, I had thought was going to be 2 people on a solid trapeze, but nothing so simple. It began with 3 guys performing amazing feats and then they were joined by 2 girls. It really was a top quality show and completely amazing! The applause was thunderous for the size of the audience anyway.
After this, David went to get himself a drink and a cocktail for me and I asked him for a shot of brandy on the side so that I could add it to the cocktail so that I could taste the alcohol. I did, and the cocktail was worse than ever ROFL. I decided the next night to try a different one. I’d tried 2 now so far and not liked either. C’est la vie 🙂
The next thing on the agenda was to be a firework display so I’d got my tripod and had read up on all the hints and tips on how to take good photos of these as you don’t often get the chance. One of the things we’d done during the afternoon must have been to sit on a beach chair because we’d seen the guys setting up the fireworks. Compared to the distance you have to keep from the Australia Day setup here in Perth these appeared to be dangerously close and unguarded and, when we’d heard a couple go off at the beginning of the show, we thought the lot had been set accidentally or as a prank!
So, only a few minutes after the water show had finished, we made our way towards a good spot for taking photos. Next thing WHOOOOOOOOOSH, BANG, BANG WHEEEEE!!! The fireworks were going off a dozen at once. We hadn’t even got the tripod out of its bag! Fortunately I’d set the dials where they needed to be as soon as the show finished so all I could do was crouch down and shoot with the camera in my unsteady hands for the long shutter speeds.
The fireworks seemed to have an altitude phobia and were bursting only inches above our heads. I tried to keep my eyes half closed as I was positive that cinders would be falling all over me. We experienced that once and it is not pleasant! I’ve never seen so many fireworks let off in such a short length of time. I managed to take only 5 photos before the lot were spent and silence reigned once more! There had been no fanfare, no announcements, no pomp or ceremony. Quite the surprise! And not what firework photos are supposed to be about but I realise it’s not all about me LOL
There had been a special long display table set up with the featured cocktails already made up so I tried a new one and it was quite nice. I can’t remember its name, sorry. And we spoke with the Aussie G.O., Anita, who tried to give me another cocktail but I can’t take many. However, she told us about a blowhole to the south along the beach and promised to draw us a map so that was lovely.
And we settled for bed as the next good idea.
Now I’m faced with a quandary. I have some photos that I’ve missed so I can either pretend that these things happened later in the holiday to save face or I can ‘fess up and tell you about them now LOL Fact is, I was falling over myself to tell you the other things and was far too carried away to slow down for these assorted items. So, in addition to having seen the fireworks get set up, here are the rest of the things that we seem to have done on Thursday afternoon *cheesy grin*. They’re bitty and really interfere with the continuity of the story but are pictures I want to share so I’ll just be brief about each one – are you laughing or have you fallen off your chair?
I got my macro lens out of the safe, grabbed the tripod and went outside the room to take a few flower photos. David who ‘hates that damn camera’ just about fell over himself to come and help and give his advice ROFL He likes to moan but is actually a wonderfully helpful and observant assistant. So here’s my favourite of the flower photos anyway.
Outside the bedroom window soon after this was a darling little honey eater feasting on the strelitzias and I managed to get a not-too-bad photo of him despite having the settings all wrong on the camera. There was no time to readjust or he’d be gone.
Oh and the other thing was that the village is fumigated twice a week for mosquito larvae and we heard the noise approaching and were then stunned by how much smoke there was! Very happy to report that the guy waving this thing around was wearing breathing apparatus and we must say that we were very impressed with the overall care taken of guests and staff at Club Med. There have been outbreaks of dengue fever in Bali but we felt totally safe with the measures taken around us. We also sprayed well with fly spray each night before bed and I wore mosquito repellent when we went to dinner each night. Trust me, there’s nothing as tasty to a mosquito as May!!! (Photo taken from inside our room and we stayed put for at least half an hour!)
Now, finally clear of the 14th July I can move on 🙂
We had a breakfast of pancakes and pastries for May, and English breakfast and pastries for David followed by showers to be ready for the arranged 10am pickup by Moh. We were at reception 10 minutes early but when he hadn’t shown by 10 sharp we presumed he’d been stopped at the Club Med security gate so wandered the few metres down there. And sure enough Moh was waiting as we knew he would be.
Traffic, bikes, you know the drill, and on this trip I particularly noticed the way T-junctions were handled. You’re cringing aren’t you? Let’s hope I can get my words succinctly around this because it was not possible to take a picture. If you approach a T-junction to turn left, well that was done in the usual way – just charge out, or in the case of bikes, flap your arm as you go because that creates an invisible barrier to protect you and appeases anyone approaching. But if you’re turning right it’s another story. Most junctions seemed to have a statue of some sort in the middle so if you wanted to turn right you do not go to the left of this statue and use it as a roundabout. Oh no, not on your nelly!!! You turn to the right of it. Face on to the cars turning left into the street you’re exiting! And you know what? That works too. As I’ve said before, no anger, no aggression. I think it only caused us to come to a total standstill on one occasion. Other than that, slow ahead and the car obviously shrunk to fit on the outside as we went through non-existent gaps with bikes hitching a ride either side.
We skirted the flanks of Denpasar as Moh assured us the traffic there would be too busy – we hated to think! And continued on along busy, narrow roads until Moh asked if we’d like to go to a batik shop with fixed prices – he remembered about us not liking to barter bless him. So we decided ‘why not?’ If we were lucky it would make a toilet stop if nothing else. I’m shuddering.
Moh parked in a space barely wide enough for a moped between several coaches that had apparently come on shopping trips from Java. These were full-sized coaches and they certainly wouldn’t want to go any closer towards the Denpasar or Kuta areas. I think they’d come to a grinding halt in traffic and never move again. Evening peak hour is apparently from 5pm until 9pm while I think of it. I mean, wow!
So Moh escorted us through a large shop with steps up, down, up again, and out through the back doors where there was a courtyard with lovely ornate architecture and a beautiful water fountain adorned with the obligatory statues. The fountain is on the left here and the ornate doorway goes back into the shop. Behind me was another door and Moh seemed to want to take us in here. We never did find out why as there was a man at the door who wouldn’t let anyone through.
I saw a sign pointing to the left saying toilets so we went through there, out of a garden wall into a kind of garden come alleyway. I wish we hadn’t! Oh please. I’d rather have used the garden!!! I will spare you and not post the photo. The ‘ladies’ was 3 cubicles, each with 2 vertical planks of wood that pushed inwards. Once inside it was fairly dark and difficult to figure out how to lock the door but I eventually realised it was a chunk of wood that clunked down into a huge wooden scoop thing that accommodated the chunk. I didn’t want to be alone in there I really didn’t but some things have to be done. There was not enough room for the length of my foot before a step up, and the tiles on the floor, step and walls were disgustingly filthy. There are not words to tell. On the right, looking from the door, was a floor toilet that lacked the footplates that I remember from my European childhood holidays. On the left, and taking up most of the space so that you had to brush up against it, was a knee-height tiled (in those filthy, nauseating tiles) ‘bath’. It met the walls in the corner but was curved at the front, rather like a triangle but with the front part rounded. It was full of water which looked clear (as in allegedly clean but I wouldn’t put anything living in it myself!) and sitting on the lip was a greeny blue tin saucepan with its handle chained to who knows what. I am left to presume that this may have been some kind of bidet, or more likely that you were supposed to fill the saucepan with water and stand on your head and pour it over your parts that usually get toilet paper because there was none of that in there and I sure wouldn’t have used it if there was!
I took a hasty photo, almost getting caught by 2 women coming in LOL When I came out, with eyes bigger than saucers, David smiled kindly at the attending lady and made a big fuss about the fact that he was now paying for me, having obviously already paid for himself. Man I hope those coins are going towards some decent toilets for the future!!! For all I know the woman comes off the street, belonging to no-one, and stands there all day getting money for nothing. We both lied through our teeth and thanked her profusely while hurrying away. I shuddered all the while I was writing this and again as I just proof-read it. It’s OK May, it’s over now!
Back in the shop we were given stickers on our arm (as we had been at Krishna’s) which was to give us 10% discount. I’m fairly certain that it was more like a number so they knew to give Moh a cut of what we spent, but that’s cool. We instantly gained our own personal shop assistant who shadowed our every move and I felt like telling David to split up just for the fun of confusing her ROFL But we shopped and chose a garment each for our daughters-in-law and some cool shirts for our sons plus a few other things. The shadow proved very effective at finding sizes and colours for us anyway and then we were done. As we reached the exit we were told that Moh had gone to the loo. He’d had plenty of time for that so that’s when I suspected he was getting his payment but he deserved it.
As we drove further there was one thing mystifying me. I had noticed these on Wednesday as well but not asked. This time I do have a photo. These little stands with bottles appeared regularly in front of shop stalls once we got away from the main city streets and I wondered what on earth they were. To be honest, and not just because I’ve just finished my compulsory-for-every-holiday toilet story, they looked like urine. I was clueless and in the end asked Moh if it was perhaps coconut water in them? He laughed and replied “Oh gosh no, you wouldn’t want to drink that! It’s petrol!” It was so that people in the outer villages could buy fuel without having to go into the city to buy it. How wonderful. Just the right amount for a little moped.
At a later time I saw an old woman with a straw-woven basket on her back full of these bottles. She’d obviously walked to the garage to fill them and was carrying them back to her shop. Wow!
Well I guess I’d better stop here for today or the page will be too lengthy to read so – more later! Don’t forget to comment, I love to receive them!
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Lovely photos—wish I could take them like that! Michael does great photos—he’s been on a course.
The worst loos I’ve found were in China—-sometimes, shared 2 at a time, which caused great hilarity in a restaurant! Quite often one had to straddle a trench! Some had half doors or NO doors! As you say much easier to manage when wearing a skirt.
Thank you so much. I’m very happy when people like my photography 🙂 I would enjoy sharing pics with Michael if the distance wasn’t so great!
Well I guess I won’t be going to China LOL There are times I get performance anxiety if there’s someone in the next stall, never mind without a door – or sharing ROFL
In Thailand in one toilet we used a bucket (perhaps in place of your saucepan) to ‘flush’ the loo. We only encountered one really bad toilet over there. Some of them were amazingly clean!
I love your photos. Have you done a course? xx
ROFL Lucky I wasn’t brave enough to try to use that water to wash myself then – what a laugh! I just donated my ‘facial tissue’ (hehehe) to a lower cause. So pleased I was wearing a skirt that day. Imagine trying to keep trouser legs off the floor while balancing, teetering over the black hole of doom!
Oh, thank you so much!!! I’ve always loved photography and feel that I have a good eye for composition. David bought me a posh camera for Christmas and I’ve been trying to learn how to do it justice ever since. Scary!!!! I have my best non-family photos (plus a few ordinary pics for specific purposes) on a website here http://mayebony.deviantart.com/gallery/ Do have a look if you like! Mwah!!!