capn_n_pye: (capn pye 2005)
[personal profile] capn_n_pye
If you do the same thing two years in a row, does that make it ‘the usual’?
Given Jetstar’s inability to actual fly last time, Robyn did all the organising and hard work to get us on a Virgin flight that left on time and even arrived on time, wow! We did have to get up unconscionably early, but at least the planes flew!
There was a terrifying moment in Sydney where a giant bunny tried to kidnap the children, but in the end it just gave us egg-shaped chocolate and went away…
The real Easter Bunny managed to find the children again, once we got to Bali, which even made the toast happy…
… even if the bunny pens we found were pretty horrific – hey, I need to write something, might just rip off this rabbit’s head and write with the stump of its neck!
We’re pretty sure Andru, the Cabin Girl and the Powder Monkey would have preferred to have their heads ripped off rather than accompany Robyn and us on Operation Buy All The Fabric. In fact, The Onion even wrote a story on it - "Second Hour in Fabric Store Nearly Kills 8 Year Old"
Luckily for us (and them), our heroic brother was heroic enough to help the children enjoy Waterbom Park and the beach, while we hit up an entire street of fabric stores and a five-storey palace of fabric called Alta Moda (which might be what Robyn’s version of heaven looks like), not to mention taking a moment to buy educational books.
When they had worn out the seat of their bathers on the waterslides, Andru and the crew did manage to join us at a mega-super-souvenir store just in time to buy presents for everyone they’d ever met.

They cleverly avoided us again the next day when we spent longer than anyone could reasonably expect visiting tailors and printers and making orders enough to keep us going for the next ten years. Luckily the kids weren’t around when we met this sassy bug, they might have picked up some of its rebellious traits.
The kids got exceptionally good at using the villa’s pool…
…even though they did start to get a bit tired of being neglected, when we abandoned them again the next day to do a bit of a cultural textile tour. Having dropped them and their father at Tanah Lot, we swanned to the olde Balinese village of Tenganan, home to double ikat weaving, institutionalised generational inbreeding, lego men in walls…
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… egg trees…
… and faaaahhbulous chickens
In fact, the chickens were so amazing they were actually the only thing that Year 10 Us took a photo of when we went there in 1993!

Klungklung market is also known to be good for fabric – so much so, that at least one store built its whole wall out of it!
Stinky took the opportunity to indulge in her favourite Indonesian-based activity, namely ‘Freaking out people who don’t realise that we know what they’re saying’. It was even easier this trip, because they always wanted to comment on Stinky’s purple hair, giving her the chance to give a shit-eating grin and protest that the colour is totally natural, thank you. This time the poor shop girl went pale and ran away, which was very satisfying.

Across the road, the intrepid visitor can find the late 18th century Kertha Gosa hall of justice pavilions, which are pretty cool.

They feature olde paintings that show what will happen to you in the afterlife if you act like a twat in this life. We named these ‘Nipples be Gone,’ ‘Burning Snatch’ and ‘Auto-decapitation is Cool Now’.
Moose didn’t take into account any of the cautionary tales, getting into a fight with another inanimate object (he didn’t win this fight either).
While we were sweating out butts off and buying more fabric, Andru and the rest of the crew were hanging out with a cave of snakes at Tanah Lot, and buying us presents, such as this zipper-container that happens to look exactly like Stinky!
In between epic shopping and a massage or two, Andru and Robyn kindly got us a Balinese cooking lesson for our birthdays. It was really cool – the chef brought all the food to the villa and showed us how to cook it all. We tried to help, but really it was just embarrassing to watch. Andru did a bang-up job with the sate lilit on the BBQ (we wouldn’t have got it lit without him) and we were allowed to push some food around (as long as we didn’t stuff it up too much). We basically got our own chef cooking at the villa – and they did the dishes too! We felt very spoiled.
We would have said it was the bestest café in all of Seminyak, until we ran into this place.
We thought we’d bought all the material in the south and given all the tailors in the Legian/Seminyak area work enough for a while, so we headed north to Ubud.

We heroically stimulated the local economy with more massages and altruistically fed some hungry fish.
Meanwhile, the Powder Monkey was inside showing off his Indonesian skills – step one: narrow your eyes. Step two: put all the menace in the world into your voice. Step three: say perpustakaan. Step four: Explain that yes, you know it means ‘library’, it’s just a very satisfying word to say.

That pretty much did the children in, but the Ubud restaurants seem to expect it and were appropriately prepared.
We headed back to our magnificent Ubud villa where the children were finally allowed to rub the mint paste onto the exposed part of their skeletons and go to lie in the dark with their eyes shut for hours. We took advantage of our private pool (seen here in daylight, with gremlins)…
… and discovered a new cat family next to the pool. She really, really didn’t like company, but her wee kitties were very cute.
Andru had a hankering for some waterfalls and we considered it only fair, since we’d been allowed to indulge ourselves in Seminyak. His first choice of waterfall was Kanto Lampo, that was so newly discovered it didn’t have a carpark, let alone sellers lining the path down. All there was instead was a very patient North American couple we ended up stalking at lunchtime. Oh, and an awesome waterfall.
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The Tegenungan waterfall was a little more well-established – in fact, we suspect that it is this one that we visited in 1993.
It was much busier, but also better for swimming (oh how we wish we could stop thinking of water-borne diseases and how your shoes always want to fall off while you swim!). You can get right behind the waterfall if you’re brave and don’t mind being pounded by a shit-ton of water.
Apart from going behind the waterfall, you can also go above it, as demonstrated here by Andru and a Camel.
It was also a good place for Indonesians to practice one of their favourite pastimes, that is ‘taking photos of bule (foreigners) and telling people back home that we’re best friends’. Here we have a common sight:
Pye was standing guard on our stuff while the others swam, and was frankly incredulous that they thought they were being subtle, as three men took in in turns to stand a in front and to the side of her for photos. The view is behind you, fools! She thought they might be embarrassed if she made eye contact, told them in Indonesian that she could see them you know… but nope, it just engendered proper narsis (selfies), instead!
Lunchtime came around again and we’ve figured out that the villa’s drivers must have a deal going with a Melbourne-priced restaurant, because they took us to it just like they did last year. They were super-chatty last time, so we were quietly keeping our heads down this time when one of the waitresses asked if Stinky used to have blond hair and said welcome back. Ahhh! Once Camel had eaten his body weight in fish, we headed to Goa Gajah, or the Elephant Cave.
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There are holy springs…
…and the cave has cool carvings on the rock-face and a ‘do not sit’ sign for Moose to disregard…
It also has a light switch just inside the mouth of the cave, something that Andru and Stinky both bravely resisted playing with as a bunch of rude tourists pushed past us. Moose was even more of a jerk when our guide mentioned that Ganesh rides a moose (he refused to acknowledge that the guy had really said ‘mouse’). He acted out by making sure he disobeyed every sign he came across after that.
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We got to wander around the really cool scattered remains of the temple complex, straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.
We were all something straight out of a horror movie later that night, when the Cabin Girl broke out the face masks. Nightmares for all!
We were so terrified of the demons that we thought we should do something kid-friendly in the hopes of appeasing them, so we headed for the Elephant Safari Park at Taro, via Tegalalang’s magnificent terraces.
They say it’s about conservation and it might be, but it’s mostly just opportunities to play with elephants. Moose met a very cute three year old elephant…
…and got to sit on the head of this big one.
Except that the elephant didn’t like him very much and Moose got a bit…jumpy.
The Cabin Girl got a wreath…
…while the Powder Monkey bravely endured the same.
We all got an elephant ride…
…and Moose wasn’t sure what these ones were doing, but it had a ‘Do Not Climb’ sign on it, so he had to climb it.
Not too far away from the elephants is the temple at Gunung Kawi. We thought we hadn’t climbed enough stairs in the past few days, so we popped in to show the crew the cool temple/meditation/regal funerary complex.
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After all that fun (and blistering heat), we popped back to Seminyak to pick up a bunch of clothes from the tailor. Moose had been naked for a few days, so we were very pleased that he finally got himself a natty batik shirt.
The tailor really embraced that Indonesian concept of time of jam karet, so we had plenty of time to hang around in the shop. His daughter was there, cheerfully dressed like Elsa from Frozen and warbling along to ‘Let It Go’. She and Moose really hit it off and he got a big kiss from her before we left.
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Having bought just about everything that Bali had to sell, we had one last activity left in us before heading home. So we went white-water rafting again, because quite frankly we had no other choice, oh dear!
The highlight (apart from cool waterfalls and floating down the river in life vests, which is always a blast), was Andru catching Camel just as he started to bounce out – Dad Reflexes FTW!
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That was all we had time for, so after an unexpected late check-out we made our way home, already planning the next time. Oh okay, there was the bit where one of the tailors met us at the airport to hand over four tops we’d ordered that they hadn’t finished in time, but that’s just Indonesia! It was all so good that Pye just couldn't help herself - she did like Moose and disobeyed the sign.

July 2017


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