The first couple of days is a bit of a blur. We arrived straight into a wedding celebration that took place right behind our house. As I said before, these people know how to party. There are enormous speakers rented in for the occasion and you'll have the "duff-duff" music going the whole night....We kind of knew something was up as the minute the electricity came on on our first night here the music started blaring. They only had it going to 0300 in the morning, a good practise run. The day after we were all invited to come to the church and to join the party afterwards.
John and I both still suffering from a major jet-lag ventured up to the church and went back to our house for an early night sleep. Or so we thought. At nine that night the music started and it was so loud the walls in our house was shaking. It didn't stop until six the next morning when the power went off. Then the gongs started. The whole village was asleep that day.
On Sunday our house was finally cleaned up and we got to celebrate my wonderful, funny and beautiful neighbour Sally's Birthday. I missed her since I've been away and it was great to catch up with her and her husband Tom again.
The birthday bash was held at Big John's place, complete with chocolate cake and cocoa/almond milk smoothies.
To get to our Paradise island we have to take a plane from Bali to Timor and then have a sleep over for one night before we take the ferry the next day.
I've been coming to Timor for about 12 years now, the first time we travelled by a boat that took us 28 hours from Bali and it was only 3 of us that was tourists on this boat. It felt a bit like being a superstar, or being trapped in a zoo as the locals kept taking photo's of us, pinching our skin, tugging our hairs etc.
Anyway we arrived into Timor and asked the local taxi driver then to take us to the best hotel there. He took us to his brothers house.....then a hostel, a bed and breakfast and finally we made it to a hotel, which was pretty run-down and mosquito infested but way better than the other places we'd been taken to and by then we were so tired we crashed out.
Anyway, ever since then our one night stop-over has been something we've dreaded.
The hotels have never quite been clean enough, the fear of getting bitten by some malaria ridden mosquito has always been lurking, the karaoke bars have always been right next door to our bedroom. Gold and plastic seems to be the flavour of all the decorators.
So we were pleasantly surprised to be tipped off to stay at this brand new hotel.
It was actually so new that the paint was literally drying on the walls. Clean. Air-condition. Shower with warm water. Crisp bed linen and a TV that worked. And quiet. Even the decor was quite good.
We checked out the restaurant and we were the only ones there and the food was good. Almost up there with the night markets.
Started the day with brekkie with friends and continued on to have a massage...
The rest of the day has been spent in a blissful state of mind and slowly the bad energy and thoughts are leaving my mind and body.
We are staying at a tiny little oasis of a hotel in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Seminyak. It is so peaceful and quiet here and the hotel has a wonderful garden filled with orchids, frangipani's and other beautiful plants.
Each hotel, restaurant, bed and breakfast etc. have their own designated areas where they give offerings to their Gods throughout the day. Which I think is quite neat. They believe if they don't do this the bad spirits will come and get them. A typical offering is a handmade basket made out of banana leaves and in it you'll have rice, biscuits, cigarettes, flowers, fruit, it basically looks like anything goes. It is a bit like leaving porridge out for "nissen" the day before X-mas. The cats, dogs, mice and rats are loving it :-)
As always, we are rushing around like mad people the minute we land in Bali.
(Ok, maybe not. We landed a little after midday and with both of us being exhausted from London we basically got to our hotel room, crashed and woke up 12 hours later).
Then all the fun starts. Renting a motor bike and haggling over the price, even though the dude behind the counter knows us well. The Balinese loves the banter of haggling over prices and even though in the beginning it feels slightly weird, in the end you'll get the hang of it. Price finally settled we are off.
Dodging traffic, inhaling all the "wonderful" petrol fumes, hanging on to John for my dear life on the back of the motorbike. A big feeling of Dejavu washes over me. (Wasn't I just on this motorbike on these treacherous roads)?
Mission of the day: Change money and get the food shopping done so we can cargo it onto our island home straight away.
The day has just gone so quick. With all our "chores" done, in the quickest time ever I cannot wait for tomorrow to come around. Bring on the sunshine :-)
So I've been busy.
Since I started dreaming about the new designs for my bracelets, I have now actually been able to put my dreams into reality.
I've made them all different, with different images in the glass tiles, using swarovski crystals, pearls and the evil eye protection bead and the macrame method to make them and I am pretty happy with them.
As always, I never make the same bracelet twice, they are all different and have all different meanings.
Now, all I have to do is somehow try to sell them.
I've started to think about getting my own web-site but being absolutely shite with the whole networking and selling yourself thing I somehow don't see it working.
Worse comes to worse I'll be able to wear a new bracelet every day for about a month :-)
I've had my nose stuck in a book ever since I learnt how to read. Come to think of it, even before that. I've always loved the anticipation of opening up a brand new book, feeling the crisp paper against my fingertips and the smell of it.
So when I first heard of the Kindle I thought nothing of it. No way would I ever change my way of reading a book. I'd rather feel the pages and heaviness of the books I was reading than electronically turn the pages on a machine.
That is until this summer. For years now, every time we go away someplace I've been lugging 3-4 books in my suitcase. This summer a very nice lady, ("bookworm" like myself) introduced me to the Kindle and I got hooked. So I got one. And haven't looked back since.
At the moment I am reading the latest book in the "True Blood" series by Charlaine Harris which is way better than the TV series.