What a hectic week!
My brother-in-law (N) and sister-in-law (T) started their diving certificate on Sunday. That afternoon my parents, brother (S), sister (A) and I went to Grocer & Grind for lunch. When N and T were done the five of us headed to the beach at Jimbaran Bay. We got some sunbeds and relaxed for a couple of hours. I bought a red and white sarong for $4 from one of the shops on the beach. It was a nice afternoon… On Sunday night we went back to Furama for dinner. The food keeps getting better and better and we ended up ordering four portions of the chicken with dried red chillis!
On Monday morning I went to the gym. N and T were diving, my mum and A were shopping in Seminyak so Dad, S and I ended up at Grocer & Grind again for lunch. I decided not to have the penne with salmon for a change and had the rosemary chicken salad. After lunch Dad took us to Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK), a cultural park in Jimbaran, about 10 minutes away from our villa.
The park is devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu and his mount, Garuda. When it is finished, the statue will be 150 metres high. At the moment, parts of it have been placed in temporary locations within the park.
The statue of Vishnu is 23 metres high.
The grounds are beautiful and the view is quite something!
On our way out we managed to catch some of the Barong dance that had already started.
There were many other statues dotted around the park.
On our way out of the grounds, we saw ‘the hands of Vishnu’.
I asked my brother to stand next to the hands to show how big the sculpture really is.
That night we ended up at Trattoria for dinner (again) and Harry joined us. He must think we don’t go anywhere else!
On Tuesday, N, T and I went diving at Tulamben. It was an early start and a long day out. We’d told my parents we’d be too tired to do much when we got back so Dad arranged for a barbecue dinner at home. We got home at 7pm to find the villa staff in formal uniforms setting up a dining table by the pool. They had lined the pool with lanterns and there were floating candles in the pool. It was a lovely dinner and we all enjoyed it thoroughly.
On Wednesay, A, N and I were up early as we were going white water rafting in Ubud. The others were going to join us after lunch for the visit to the Monkey Forest. It was another full day out and when we got back we decided to order pizzas from Dominoes and take it easy rather than going out.
Thursday was fairly quiet. I spent most of the afternoon working as I knew I wouldn’t get anything done over the next few days. That evening I was working on my bed when I felt the bed starting to shake. It was just for a few seconds and I wondered whether my nephew or someone was running around upstairs. It stopped for a second and then I felt the tremor again, but stronger the second time. It was an earthquake! It went on for a few seconds and I wondered what I would do if it got worse – should I stay where I was? Should I go find the others? I texted my sister to ask whether she felt it but she said she didn’t. Nobody else in the villa did apart from my mum. It was so weird! We found out soon after that there had been an earthquake in Lombok, about 250 km away.
That night we went to Kat’s Kitchen, the new branch on Jalan Uluwatu. The interior is very similar to the other branch but the restaurant was more than double the size of the original restaurant. The food was just as good as the other place: spring rolls, money bags, pandang prawn curry, green chicken curry, stir-fried chicken with basil. It was an early night and I ended up packing for Phuket and finishing off some work.
My flight on Friday was at 11.30am and S dropped me at the airport. It didn’t take long to check-in or go through passport control so I had lots of time to kill. Unfortunately Ngurah Rai Airport isn’t very interesting and there’s not much to do while waiting to board. We left on time and I luckily had an empty seat next to me.
We landed in Phuket just before 3pm – the view while descending was gorgeous. I could see clear blue water dotted with little islands. It made me wish I was staying longer than a weeked!
I was greeted by the wedding hospitality team when I passed through customs and put on a minibus with a couple from Dubai and their two young girls. My cousin had checked in to the JW Marriott a few days previously so I just had to collect a key from reception. I unpacked, got into my swimsuit and went straight to the pool to meet her and a couple of friends. At about 5pm we decided to get our hair done at a salon close to the hotel. It was in a place called Turtle Village and a shuttle left the hotel every 15 minutes.
Turtle Village isn’t much of a village. It’s more a hamlet, if anything. There’s a supermarket, a hairdresser, a couple of clothing shops, a coffee place. I suppose it’s somewhere to go to escape the hotel! As soon as we left the salon, I knew there was no way my hair would stay straight for long, especially as the dinner was outdoors on the beach! I thought Bali was humid, but Phuket was much, much worse. If I ever decide to get married, it’s going to have to be somewhere with 0% humidity.
The first evening was nice – dinner and drinks at the Blue Bar Beachfront. It was very hot and the vodkas were going down very quickly. A bit too quickly. I also had my first shot of Patron which was followed by more shots. A few of my friends from London were there, and three of my cousins with their husbands/wives. And then we moved indoors into the Blue Bar. It was a heavy night. I think I left at about 3.30am – the hotel is huge and I’d have been wandering around looking for my room if one of my cousins hadn’t escorted me back!
I woke up on Saturday with a splitting headache. I spent the afternoon at the pool with a couple of friends, had some lunch and then went to the villa where one of my friends was staying. It had its own pool with a view of the beach…
That night was the sangeet – we didn’t get there until after 10.30pm. I didn’t think I’d last the night but after a few vodkas (and no shots) I was one of the last people to leave at 5.30am. It was a ridiculously late night!
I love my life.
To read more about Bali, click here.