Day 88 Bali
Well Trish was as good as her word when she said Sudi would look after us on a day trip around the island. He picked us up at 8am, yes I know another early start, (we're beginning to get used to them now!), but he said we needed to start then to fit everything in. It seemed a bit extreme to me as Bali is not that big but then I was forgetting how long it takes to get anywhere with the narrow roads, number of cars and literally thousands of scooters. I don't think he ever uses 5th gear as everyone has to drive slowly! We started our trip with a visit to a Batik workshop and watched the intricacies of both the art of very detailed Batik and weaving before the customary and inevitable tour of the shop. We felt rather obligated to buy something although I guess we didn't have too, but it will be a souvenir of our trip especially as we haven't been able to buy much in the way of souvenirs as we are already over our luggage weight allowance. Bill had mentioned to Sudi that he wanted to get some silver jewellery so the next stop was to a silversmiths, beautiful workmanship and all made by hand but I think the prices were similar to back home - I guess we had to pay too much somewhere! It is a nice piece though. The Balinese dancing came next and it was still only 10am. This took the form of a complete "play" and in many ways was similar to pantomime in that there was a comedy duo, baddies and goodies and the equivalent of the panto cow in the form of a tiger. The costumes were wonderful too but the bamboo chairs weren't the most comfortable I've ever sat on and my bum at least was glad it wasn't longer than an hour. A visit to a temple was the final call before lunch where we made our obligatory offering and were dressed in sarongs before entering. Sudi tried to give us a good insight into the Hindu religion although I'm not sure I actually grasped much and I was quite surprised at the fact that people don't visit the temples that often. Lunch was a Balinese buffet overlooking the volcano, food was pretty average but the view was fantastic, especially as by the time we had finished eating the skies had cleared a bit, the clouds lifted and the rain stopped. We decided to forgo the visit to the bird park as it was getting late and we had around 1 ½ hr trip back to Seminyak. On the return journey we passed through a village where all the women and children had been to the temple with offerings. These were in the main fruit baskets beautifully displayed and carried on their heads. An accident in the road though demonstrated that "rubber neckers" are the same the world over. Back at the hotel for a quick swim and a drink before dinner. We certainly owe Trish and Klaus a big "thank you" for their recommendations, Sudi only charged us around £35 for a full days taxi fare around the island and airport pick up and Ultimo is fast becoming our favourite restaurant, I could eat there every night quite easily. Shame we leave tomorrow.