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09 November 2009

Lombok to Bali

Hello To You All

The run from Lombok to Bali was 60nm and was into the wind all the way, but with a strong current of up to 7Kt’s at times we made the crossing in eight hours. With wind against tide it made for some choppy seas at times. This seems to be the norm around here when sailing between the different Islands.

Monday 2nd November.

Well here we are in Bali. Oh my, oh my!!!! Not quite the place those lovely travel brochures depict!! But I am sure that out there somewhere there are the luxurious five star resorts with all the wonderful trimmings? We arrived on Friday evening and picked up a mooring in front of the Royal Bali Yacht Club. Not quite what we expected. The club is an unoccupied building apart from some sort of office on the ground floor with a guy in it who knows nothing about anything! We are just off Serangan Island which is connected to the main Island by a causeway. The capital Denpasar is a little to the North of us along with the famous Kuta Beach etc on the south west coast.

The Island of Serangan has a village which must be the filthiest, dirtiest village we have ever seen, and as you know we have been to a few places. We took our rubbish ashore to place in the provided bin to find it was empty. Everything goes into the harbour, and what rubbish has not yet reached the water is littered everywhere.

Saturday we decided to get a cab over to the beach at Kuta for a much needed swim as it is quite warm and humid here now, to be told it was a ‘bad day’ to do things as there was an important festival going on in the village so we went for a walk to see. The stall holders kept offering us food which we kept politely refusing. Then yesterday we decided to have another go at leaving the Island and this time one of the local ‘scam’ guys drove us over to Kuta for a bit more than a taxi would cost. Kuta is a rather tacky tourist area but much cleaner than where we have SHAMAL parked. In saying that Alec did stop and point out a couple of rats enjoying a meal in a rubbish basket! We walked the shopping area and saw the memorial for the Bali Bombing victims which is quite moving, then headed down to the beach. Alec decided on MacDonald’s for his lunch – thank goodness I can’t eat the stuff – then it was off for a swim. Well nice beach but too many hawkers hassling you all the time. Alec had first swim while I looked after our stuff, then I went in. Not your pristine crystal clear waters like we had on Lombok. You swim with plastic bags and the odd bit of rope or fishing net etc, and a load of surfers, but in saying that there were still plenty of people in the water both local and tourists. While I was in the water I noticed a hawker come and sit down beside Alec. I was soon to find out she wanted to give us a back massage. We succumb to this but within seconds of her starting we were surrounded by all the hawkers on the beach that day!! I also had my finger nails done, but the laugh was that she kept going on at Alec as to the terrible state of his toe nails and she wanted to tidy them up. He now has nice short tidy toe nails with clear polish on them!!

We had a meal out then went to Carrefour – a big supermarket chain which we also had in the Middle East – to stock up. Wrong again. Thank goodness we did not need too much. Our diet certainly will be changing. My list was smartly put back in my bag once I saw the items on the shelves. Never seen so many different types of instant noodles, and no I didn’t buy any. Long life milk came in every flavour imaginable except plain. I did find some NZ Anchor milk – plain – so stocked up on that. Yought at NZ$12 a kilo was left where it was as I can make my own, and the price of cheese – you need to take out a mortgage to buy the stuff. As for the rest of the stuff, I had no idea what it was apart from the fresh fruit and veges. The meat did not do much to stimulate ones appetite so with what we did get I can see we will be living on fresh fruits and veges, rice and the fresh fish I catch! We won’t complain about that. This is all part of travelling and makes life interesting.

Then to top the evening off once we got back to the boat Alec was so sick with vomiting and diarrhoea – sure it was from MacDonald’s as I did not eat that for lunch. So today which was to be a ‘go off and explore day’ has turned into a rest day. I have been cleaning up etc while Alec is sleeping this bout of Food poisoning off!!! We did a quick trip ashore to the club again to find it was open with a Brit running the show. It is just not open during the weekends now as it is their low season. So I was able to send off our last news letter which was late. Sorry about that . Will send this off tomorrow but don’t expect another for a couple of weeks or so when we arrive on the Malay Peninsula just south of Singapore. We are off to Kalimantan [Borneo] to see the orang-utans after we have finished up here.

So will sign out

Lots of love to you all

The Admiral and The Captain

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