I woke up at 5.15. It was still dark but I thought that the beginnings of sunrise couldn’t be far away so I got up very quietly and gently, dressed, grabbed my camera and went off to the beach. The pathways were quite dark – I never felt that they had *quite* enough light along the paths – but I knew my way well by now and it’s not as if I had far to go.
I settled onto one of the round beach chairs, though its cover was all the way back and I couldn’t lift it. There was also no cushion. It was still dark… A jogger went by along the path and I moved to another chair just for something to do. Still dark. Looking for a spot to sit to find the best angle for a photo seemed like a good idea so I slowly wandered around trying out various chairs to see what their view looked like. Still dark. And I’d sat for 10 minutes or so in each seat.
The sky slowly started to lighten which showed… lots of cloud. Oh noooooo! And I suddenly realised that my lens cover was missing. I couldn’t swear either way whether I’d taken it off this morning or not and wandered back where I’d been to have a bit of a look in the semi-light but without joy. Either last night or this morning I must have put it onto my lap instead of in the special little purse I’d made for it that hangs from the camera strap. Bother!
I watched several workmen putting out all the cushions onto all the beach chairs. Wow – what a tedious job to do every morning! A tractor drove along the sand trawling it flat and 2 workmen went around the edges to make sure it all looked perfect for us visitors, half of whom would probably not even notice or appreciate all that went into creating Paradise for us all.
The sun did come up very, very slowly. It seemed that it took at least 2 hours to climb above the horizon and shine its weak light into, but not through, the thick clouds. I did take some photos but, truly, none of them are worth sharing. Here’s the insipid proof!
At around 7am David arrived, asking me what on earth I was doing. I had warned him I may come out another morning so he wasn’t surprised I was there, just that I was persisting despite the clouds. When I told him how long I’d been there he rolled his eyes. Lots! LOL We went back to bed.
When we then awoke at a sensible hour I accepted that it was now my birthday and David got my cards that he’d been hoarding and gave them all to me to open. Thank you everyone!!! I also got lots of text messages from my lovely family.
We had breakfast and then showered to be fresh for the Couples Ayurveda Massage that David had booked for my present. Another present, as I’d already had quite an expensive one. Perhaps this massage was spending my birthday money from parents then? I bent over in the shower and lifted my foot to wash the bottom of it and something in my back when twoyng!! Oowwwww!!!! I wasn’t going to tell David but I couldn’t walk at normal speed so I soon had to confess. Anyway, we made it to the spa in plenty of time.
The spa smelled wonderful and we were asked to sit in the waiting area. I adored the ‘chairs’ in here and wish I’d popped in later to take a photo of them. Picture a Japanese stone garden with huge smooth rounded stones and one tiny stone sitting on top of each large one and you’re visualising the chairs. They were covered in grey fabric and looked so realistic until you sat on them and they were soft. I’d love some myself!
We were given a glass beaker on a tray with 2 drinking glasses and a lady poured some hot tea for us out of the beaker and left us to drink and refill at our leisure. Soon another lady came and got us and led us through the spa, out the back door (if I was reading this I’d be laughing and expecting the next bit to say ‘and told us to shove off!), along a wooden plank pathway meandering through beautiful tranquil gardens and then into the furthest of 4 grass-thatched huts. These huts were very tall, made with a lovely light-coloured wood which also had opaque amber glass windows. Most of the inside was a large room with 2 massage tables in it, along with a fancy shaped bathtub in the far corner and 2 chairs.
The lady ushered us into a little private bathroom that had a basin and a toilet in it and handed us 2 white sarongs and 2 small white packages urging us to get changed into these. The small packages, she said, were panties and we were to wear them. On opening the packets we discovered that a better description would have been ‘damn great bloody bloomers’ than the genteel description of ‘panties’. They were also nigh on see-through and we were tyring not to laugh!
She tapped on the door so we went out and were urged to sit in the chairs with ‘Mr’ on the far side and “Madam’ closer. We had bowls of water at our feet with beautiful pink petals floating all over the top. It felt so decadent and wonderful to be so pampered. Two ladies (one each) knelt the other side of the bowls and after we’d soaked for a few minutes, lifted out one foot and rubbed some oil on it, replacing gently in the bowl and lifting the other for the same treatment. Each foot then got a massage and I heard David make a snorty suppressed sound and looked at his contorted grinning face. We both laughed and I said to his lady “He’s ticklish!”. I don’t know if she understood or not but she gave a smile.
After a few treatments our feet were dried and we were led to the tables. They motioned for us to take off the sarongs and lie face down on the tables as they held a sheet high so that they could not see us once we’d dropped the sarongs and then they messed with the sheet, placing it discreetly but so they could reach what they needed. Under the table heads were bowls of water with flowers floating in them and I just wanted to look at this sight forever! It was a real toss up whether to close my eyes but I decided I could do that and visualise the flowers. The massages were lovely. This was only David’s second one ever – they just don’t appeal to him! But he says that he thoroughly enjoyed this one; unlike the last (in Fiji).
After a while we were asked to turn over and we had (I think) cucumber slices put on our eyes and then a cloth over the top. There’s never much to massage when you’re lying on your back and I had not warned David about the next bit that was in store for us.
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I don’t know how they rigged this up as of course neither of us could see but we had hot oil dripped steadily onto our foreheads. It ran gently over our foreheads and our ladies massaged it into our scalps for a while until our hair was soaked with it, and then they let it run. It was a really wonderfully tranquil experience. It seemed to get warmer as the time passed and I was just starting to wonder if I should say ‘no hotter please’ when it ended. The lady gently squeezed the excess oil from my hair and then removed my eye covers.
Next, and with almost urgency, we were asked to go for a shower through a door on the far side of the room. Neither of us were given our sarongs back so we had to walk wearing nothing but the semi-transparent bloomers. The shared shower had some shampoo which we put to good use and there were towels in there so at least we could wrap those around us to come back out. Just as well because the bloomers really were now not only clear, but clingy too!
As we passed through the main room the ladies were filling the bath for the next guests and one of them came and made it clear we shouldn’t dawdle in getting dressed once more. We were amused. One of the ladies took us back into the spa building and sat us down in an ante-room and left us but soon someone came and offered us water to drink, which we gladly accepted. And so, our spa treatment was over. It really was lovely and not marred too much by the sudden rush at the end.
We went back to our room and I put a few more items of clothing on – I’d worn only a sarong and some genuine panties to the spa – and then we went for a nice lunch, thoroughly relaxed. As if we hadn’t been already. At lunch we were really happy to have Grokan ask if he could join us and welcomed him with open arms. He came with a friend, Mita, and it turned out that she was the costume designer and maker so we were able to admire her skills directly to her. Phillippe had told us a few nights ago that Mita had been shut into a room for 3 weeks solid with no food, water or sleep to make the newest costumes. She didn’t look that overworked LOL But she was really lovely and we’re glad to have met her.
I’m going to put a little bit in here that I’ve not mentioned to date. In the ladies and gents loos in the main area below the dining room the end basins had steps leading up to them suited for children to stand on to wash their hands. We thought this was so gorgeous! And in the bar there was a section especially for children with the same style steps and a menu of non-al cocktails all for themselves. We were impressed!
After lunch we decided on a walk to the north which we had not done so far. There were market huts along the way but the vendors must have heard about us because they really were not pushy at all. In fact we passed one where the lady didn’t do more than glance up from her handiwork and said nothing. Very refreshing. In actual fact I saw a dress I liked in one stall and determined to have a look at it on the way back if I was feeling brave.
We walked along slowly knowing that this time tomorrow we would be on the plane home. There was nothing much – an open-air restaurant, some public beach areas, the few stalls scattered at about 300 metre distances from one another. Then we came across about 6 or 8 guys in their 20s, all wearing turquoise board shorts and running towards us excitedly. David said “What’s the rush?” and one of the guys replied “Pretty girl!!!” and we both laughed with him and decided to watch the free show.
It seems the lads worked for the parasailing boat and all wanted to be strapped to the pretty girl to tandem fly her. Sure enough, there was a nicely shaped, bikini-clad girl and we could see what all the fuss was about. We stood and enjoyed watching them fly for a while. The wind was so strong that the power boat was almost stationary in the water to start with yet the parasail flew high.
After this we walked back towards our resort. We found the dress that I’d liked and of course did get pounced on once we’d stopped. Unfortunately it was Asian sizing so much too small for me and they did not have one the same colour in the right size. I did like another dress and a top though. We’d already planned ahead for the stop by hiding some of our money in a separate compartment of David’s wallet so when they asked their price David could show the money and tell her that was all we had. We only kept back a tiny amount for a coffee at the airport tomorrow. She told us this was only enough money for one garment and which did I want and I honestly couldn’t choose. I deliberated for a little while and next thing I knew they’d got a bag, put both garments in it, told me ‘Very good price for you” and were bundling us off down the path! Neither of us knew what had hit us.
Once back to the resort we decided on time at the quiet pool. Just one last time.
All too soon it was time to shower and get dressed for dinner. Tonight we actually knew the theme – elegant with funny hair or funny hat so we both put on our Aussie akubra-style sun hats and I put my fly net on mine. We were still rather early so went to the bar for drinks and I had my unknown alcoholic drink which I actually liked. We asked what was in it and it seems it was tequila. Never had that before! It was being served with lime and something but I liked it anyway. Some Chinese girls asked if they could join us and we welcomed them. One was surprised and excited when I said hello to them in Chinese and then we all had a really nice chat. One of them had worked in Australia for a couple of years so we were telling the others what Australia is like.
We were then joined by Saidal, my lovely smiley reception lad that had shown us around on our first day and somehow we ended up walking to dinner together and he shared our table which was so nice. He got a whole bottle of wine and David said “Ah, is that how it’s done!” Soon after we were seated Grokan came along and asked if he could join us as well. You bet! My 2 favourite (and hunky and smiley) G.O.s all to myself – how wonderful.
At both of our Club Med holidays we’ve seen (and experienced, for David at Lindeman Island) that on a birthday the G.O.s all start to gather together and clap and go deliver a birthday cake and sing happy birthday during dinner. At Lindeman it was a whole dining room affair, raucous and fun. At Bali you heard the clapping start and then it just fizzled to nothing and I’d said to David please not to dob me in because a fizzle like that was worse than nothing at all. So instead of a fizzle I enjoyed, purely by accident, the company of the 3 best men in the village. David being the third, I don’t have to tell you.
The show tonight was ‘Box Office’ which meant nothing to us until it started. It was all the big box office hit musicals and was the best show yet. As always the show introductions were in English, French, Chinese, Japanese and ‘another Asian language’ but they never told us what the languages were! So frustrating for me because I always love to know what language I’m listening to. One night at dinner I asked Raphael what the third Asian language was and he told me it was Korean. Strangely, that night it was Raphael that introduced the show and he introduced each language in turn – I strongly suspect, just for me. Thank you Raphael!!!
We had Marilyn Monroe…
The Full Monty…
It’s Raining Men…
And some others for which I fail to remember the name
Then, we had a guy miming to the opera Figaro. He really was hilarious. I didn’t manage to click at the right moment for any of the awesomely agonised faces he pulled – I was too busy being there, laughing and enjoying myself. I wish I could see that act again!!! But as I said, it was a truly fantastic show full of awesome talent.
And I even got a photo of Mita, the lovely costume designer we’d lunched with, as she was thanked at the end.
After this was a flying trapeze show which was fun. This trapeze set was available to anyone that wanted to try it through the day. Mornings were for the Kids Club and afternoons for adults. David had done this at Lindeman Club Med but not had a go this time. There’s no way you’d get me up there, it really was high!
And bed for the last time – sigh! Always so sad to be going home.
We’d intended packing our bags after breakfast but woke early enough and decided to just get it done and out of the way. I’d warned David before we went to bed last night that I would have to wake him if I needed a loo trip in the night because I could sit down but I couldn’t get up again. Fact was, I couldn’t get out of bed alone either. I wasn’t too bad once I got moving but it took a while to get there.
We had a light breakfast and kept an eye on the time to go see the resort nurse when the clinic opened to see if she could do something to help me because I was not going to be able to get onto the resort bus up its few steps and if I managed to get into a plane seat there was no way I would be able to get out of it again so I was in trouble. The nurse was gorgeous and so helpful but between her and David convinced me that the best help they could give would be an injection from the doctor. She rang him and he said he could arrive for 10am. We had to check out by 10.30 so that worked.
You know how it is – last moments at the resort, nothing to do, so we wandered around saying farewell to the beach, the quiet pool, the sports area and so on. As we passed the beach we saw a sight that we’d seen yesterday but doubted our eyes. This time it was closer and there was no mistaking. It was a destroyer! We could clearly see the gun turrets! We’d been in Hawaii for ‘9/11’ and had our flight grounded. We’d been in Fiji for a coup. Now what??? Well, the resort wasn’t being cleared so we guessed all was well, but the destroyer still paced up and down, up and down, making its turn regularly.
We continued our wander and came around a back way that we hadn’t been through before – not on ground level anyway – and were next to some large lily ponds when all of a sudden I saw a huge head with a very long neck swimming around. My eyes got very big indeed and I said to David “Please tell me that thing has legs!!!” He looked too. It’s neck was as thick as my forearm! Just as he was confirming it did have legs… “I think!?!?” we saw another, just as big. Urgh!!!
I didn’t know whether to run, freeze, or take out my camera. Fact was that between being a bit edgy about checking out on time, getting to the airport in time, and a pending injection, I was feeling quite off kilter even before getting the fright over these lizards – yes, they did have legs. I wish I had taken pictures now of course, but right then I just didn’t have it in me. And I wasn’t sure if the pond dragons would object to being photographed. Didn’t fancy their wrath I can tell you! Thank goodness we had not had rooms near the lily ponds! I would have been too terrified to go out of the room in case one of those was waiting on the doorstep as we opened the door.
The doctor was running late and it was 10.45 before he got to us. I was getting panicky about checking out and not missing the bus to the airport but we’d told reception where we were and that we may be a little late so they knew where to find us. If the guy had fully understood what we said, and remembered, and was the one anyone asked. The doctor had been caught in traffic and we could well understand that! Once he arrived he was gorgeous and so helpful and kind. I didn’t feel the injection at all, not even a tiny prick. He’d warned that the pain would come after the needle but truly it was nothing and the relief came fairly swiftly. I still couldn’t make the transition from sitting to standing but once upright I could walk easily and that was bonus enough.
Everything went smoothly from that point on. We made sure we were billed for the doctor before we finalised the bill and had to wait about 5 minutes for our lift to the airport. There was only 1 other lady and David and I so they’d got a taxi for the 3 of us and we all chatted happily between ourselves and with the driver on the way. The lady was from Perth too.
At the airport we spent our last rupiah on an ice cream each. David had a small one and I had a medium as that was all the money we had. Then we sought out a disabled toilet because I needed David to come in with me to help me to stand afterwards. How stupid!
The flight was called through over an hour early but the guy at the door told us we could stay where we were if we wanted to, so we did for a while. Once loaded on the plane we looked all set to leave 15 minutes early but the pilot announced that we were just moments too late and would now be held up by a dignitary leaving on another flight. We could see the band playing on the apron and all the saluting going on. Light dawned on the reason for the destroyer sailing up and down the coast yesterday and today.
We eventually left, in a queue of 6 aircraft, about 15 minutes late. We’ve rarely got into a plane and left promptly. Maybe nobody does! Goodbye Bali…
The flight was very good and soon done. And yes, you can fit 2 people in an aircraft loo ROFL. He had to help me stand up!!!
Once we landed and I turned my phone on in Perth customs both boys had messaged to say that my Mum was in a panic and had expected us through the door at home by 4pm. We were landing pretty much on schedule at 5.15pm. It was our fault because when she asked what time we’d be home we’d waved our arms vaguely and said “Oh, 4, 5, something like that.” Poor Mum. I should know to look things up, be specific and add an hour LOL
And to end this tale, this is what a twilight landing into Perth looks like when you forget to set a fast shutter speed ahead of time. Ha har!
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