Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

This place is awesome. We already have two full suitcases full of stuff to bring back from Bali and we still want more! Extremely inexpensive and truly wonderful. Today is our fifth day here, so here are some of the highlights:

- Five hour spa day at the Bali Hyatt, in Sanur, just north of where we are now (the Grand Hyatt). Massages, milk bath, even lunch. Truly relaxing and amazing.

- Ubud is art, art and more art. Never seen so much art lining the streets for miles even getting there. Very touristy but well done.

- People here very poor and life is difficult. At the Grand Hyatt there literally must only be 20 guests in a 750 room hotel. Every local we talk to says work is "bad", you're the "first customer in a week" or a month even. The Balinese don't consider themselves Indonesian and are unhappy about the terrorism - only that. Very happy people despite such difficult working environment.

- Went to Monkey forest, with a temple, etc. Monkeys everywhere, at first amazing, now just irritating, but it is interesting to see them wherever there are temples. Aggressive, grab at your sarong/backpacks for anything.

- Temples everywhere, so beautiful but there is one every 500 feet. Get a bit desensitised, but they are truly amazing.

- Took a drive and got lost (worst driving conditions I have seen anywhere, period). But we got lost at the most amazing place, in the middle of nowhere and found out later we were in the center of the island - rice fields, small villages, poor, spectacular scenery. Can't wait to get the pictures published.

- Went white water rafting in a gorge in a rain forest, jungle with waterfalls and hanging bridges all over. Never seen anything like it, every once in a while a hotel will be perched 1,000 feet up the cliff from where we were. Truly spectacular, out of Jurassic Park.

- Massive rain storm last night, about the loudest thunder we've ever heard. All night! But rain is only part of the day, then gets clear or partly cloudy rest of day.

That is it for the time. Can't believe trip is almost over, leave for Tokyo late Friday and then there all day Saturday, come home on Sunday. See you all soon...

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