Let me take you to a gay bar
28.01.2012 - 30.01.2012 30 °C
So a full last day in Bali; our tour to Ubud took in a Barong dance performance – pretty good, shame we could not understand the jokes – and a Batik workshop and ‘hangar’. Then Ubud itself, the Tunbridge Wells of Bali. Shame all the creativity and spiritualism has been buried under commercialism and the tourist dollar, but of course we are part of that. To be truthful its very disappointing for a day trip, but it would be worth staying there for a couple of nights to have time to get under the surface when the tour buses are not around.
Night flight and 7am arrival in Sydney. Spent the first day (Sunday) exploring Old Sydney and the sights of the bridge and Opera House. Then Chinatown and Darling Harbour in the evening, the latter being a recent development of bars and restaurants, complete with Chinese New Year fireworks.
Monday and the Manly ferry. The main surf beach at Manly was closed for swimming because of the wind, waves and currents but we walked around the bay to a sheltered cove to swim and sunbath. Back to hotel to cool off, then a Smith’s tour of the redlight district of Kings Cross and according to guidebook cool Paddington was only partly successful in finding the hotspots. Nice Italian dinner in the Rocks (Old Sydney) to finish our time here. Time to pack and have a quick stroll in the morning, then a midday flight to Fiji (can’t wait).
Lynn’s notes - a few days to catch up on!
On our last full day –Diving in the morning - had a reflexology massage – I thought reflexology was feet only – but this seemed to be feet, hands, head and all. I had been led to believe that with reflexology you would get great insights into your health ( your left shoulder is hurting etc!) however not so! It was however very painful – so not quite the relaxing treatment that I had imagined – and although done in a fantastic setting in a little hut by the sea – instead of the gentle sound of waves – it was extremely windy so we had the crashing of waves which shook the whole area – an experience nevertheless!
Dinner at the hotel – was the special Seafood Dinner – with about 10 dishes – each better than the last – and all presented in the most amazing style – and all for the princely sum of £20 per person! A great meal to end on!
Ubud – Final day - lots of interesting shops and not long enough to really explore – really unusual as where there were gaps between shops , you could see pure jungle – valleys, huge trees vines etc. The Batik workshop was really interesting and really good prices although I did not realise that till later on! As the handicraft centre of Bali – there were areas full of wood and stone carvers – with the most intricate carvings, and areas of batik, and silver and gold workshops. Also in Ubud the strange fact of having large monkeys wandering around on the streets and between shops. The area around Ubud is full of spas etc – so would be good to stay at another time! Could not stay too long as we had to get back to the hotel to pack up and go the airport for the flight to Sydney……….shame!
Flight was about 5.5 hours – and as they were older planes with no inflight entertainment screens they handed out IPad’s loaded with films and TV’s – so the time passed quickly – although no sleep that night! Immigration into Sydney is a bit of a stress as they are paranoia about bringing in food etc – fortunately a friend at the hotel is taking back my bag of fresh spices to the UK, otherwise they might have been confiscated!
Sydney – the hotel is in a brilliant position right next to the harbour bridge and close to the Opera House.
However the costs are a bit of a shock after Bali – especially when the cost of a snack is more than the best gourmet meal that we had at the hotel in Bali – so takes a bit of getting used to! Main courses are generally between 25 – 40 Australian dollars and there is not much difference between the dollar and the pound – to give you an idea! We are in the Rocks area with lots of local markets with interesting things – however the clothes and jewellery are actually more expensive by a long way than in the UK –- a victim of the exchange rate , so I have been very abstemious ! - Fortunately we are not here for long! Feet are very sore – as we have walked for miles around everywhere –usual “Smiths tours” - so looking forward to Fiji!