My first trip overseas was to Ubud in Bali in 2004. Prior to that I hadn’t stepped off Australian soil. I was pretty excited about it. We stayed at a lovely resort called Waka di Ume.
We left home at 5.15am and arrived at Denpasar Airport at 11.50am. We met ‘Jan’s Tours’ who transported us to Ubud. The trip was fascinating for me – I was amazed at the number of motor bikes, the different architecture and vast expanses of industry.
The accommodation included a big four-poster bed with mosquito netting all around it. We relaxed and had a lovely meal at their restaurant that evening with a tropical storm brewing outside. It was in their wet season (February 2004).
The next day we experienced the hustle and bustle of the shops/markets but I found the currency very confusing and a bit overwhelming.
The following morning we enjoyed breakfast on our veranda overlooking the rice fields. A stray cat came and spent some time with us.
After breakfast we walked through the village, away from the shops. We found a mixture of temples, rooms to let, people’s homes and small enterprises. The narrow road was moderately busy and yet some women were spreading their grains out on the road and traffic had to go around them. Some people were doing their washing in the drains (after the good rains the previous day) and the clothes were then laid out on the grass to dry.
I had heard a lot about massages in Bali and decided to have one at a place close to where we were staying. It was not what I expected and there was a communication problem. No real harm was done but I was really pleased to get out of there.
Our time was mostly spent reading, relaxing, eating and enjoying the swimming pool. Bali was very quiet when we were there. It was not long after the Bali bombings when several Australians were killed. People had stopped coming but not for long – I believe it is back to being a very popular holiday spot for Australians. It is only about five hours flight time from Perth to Denpasar.
My next trip was to Singapore and that was a very different experience, including some karaoke!