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Asia » Brunei
August 5th 2016
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: 4.94867, 114.951

This morning I enjoyed a very nice breakfast with cereal, omelette, chocolate muffin (for breakfast!!!) pancakes and croissants to mention a few things
I headed back into town this morning to see what I could find. I thought I would walk to the arts and handicraft training centre as it looked quite close to town on the hotel map - forgetting that an artists impression map isn't a real map and distances are not mentioned. I walked and walked and walked in the heat and full sun. I could have walked right passed it or been no where close since signs seem to be lacking here and as I hadn't bought a SIM card for my phone I couldn't access the Internet to find out how far it was or even just what the building looked like. I walked passed a cemetery that was located on a rocky hill right next to the road. There were lots and lots of headstones but no room to bury a body so don't know if it is just headstones and ashes or??? There was no order to the head stones they were just randomly placed all over the place. I saw a few monkeys so took photos for Melissa. Then I saw a few more then a lot more. At this stage I decided to move on. I didn't want to be a headline - 'tourist who should have known better mauled by the cemetery monkeys who stand guard of our dearly departed' I headed back to a shopping centre that was marked on the map - again further away than the maps indicated but within the town limits. It was lovely and cool so I stayed there for a while before heading off into the heat again. The temperature was the same as Thailand but felt an awful lot hotter.
I headed back to the hotel then headed to the Tasek Lama Recreational Park that ran behind the hotel. On a Friday everything closes down for two hours from noon so everyone has time to pray so there was no use heading to any of the attractions or cafes. There were lots of maps, but none made sense. I knew there was a waterfall so headed up and up and up - lots and lots of stairs. I met a man half way up who said that the waterfall was down the stairs not up and said that there were lots and lots of trails and no one would be here until a lot later so if something happened to me I would be stuck here until then and it was easy to get lost. That was a bit off putting!! I kept going until I got to the top of the stairs and had a seat and enjoyed the beauty of the forest. There were signs along the way to take rubbish with you and there was a bin near me to help keep the park clean. It was a shame that the monkey knows how to open the bin and go through the rubbish, throwing it onto the ground if it didn't contain what he wanted. I decided to listen to the man's warning and headed back down the stairs and found the waterfall. I didn't have to climb any stairs to find it!! But again, no signs to say where it was. I stood watching the waterfall for awhile. It was both beautiful and ugly. Waterfalls are always beautiful, it was just a shame that the water was a horrible colour and there was so much rubbish in the river. It really did destroy the beauty of the place. Heading back, there were paths on both sides of the river possibly one heading to the top of the waterfall but I decided to head back to the hotel. I was surprised at the lack of monkeys here. After seeing them above the hotel pool I thought I would see quite a few. As I headed back to the carpark I saw a man starting to set up his food cart - I assume getting ready for the influx of people that arrive from 4pm to exercise in the park. The rattles of him getting ready was obviously the calling card needed. Suddenly heaps of monkeys headed out of the forest and headed in his direction. After seeing no monkeys suddenly there was probably 50 of them. I stood and took photos for a while before heading back to the hotel. I desperately needed a swim after that walk!! As I headed out to the pool it started to spit. A few spits weren't going to put me off but by the time I found a place to leave my things undercover it had started to rain (still I was going in) then started to pour then came the heaviest rain I have ever seen. That was too wet to swim. I sat by the pool for a good half hour before I sadly gave up and headed back to my room for a shower. I finished packing and headed down to the lobby to catch the taxi to the airport.
Check in was quick being business class then I headed up to the Business Class Lounge to relax and charge my phone. I had quite a few small courses starting with chicken and corn soup then a curry/stir fry with rice and potatoes then some sweet curry fish and veggies in cheese sauce followed by fruit and a few small cakes washed down with some Sprite - Brunei is a dry country so no wine here. Please note: all of this was eaten over a few hours!!!
The call came over that it was time to board. I followed a man that was obviously on my flight but finally lost him when we got to the gate. I wasn't sure if I could walk passed everyone and 'push in' being business class so ended up just sitting and waiting for the queue to end before I headed up. I made myself comfortable ready for the trip but it isn't as fun when you are alone. The lady next to me seemed to be traveling with three of four others so wasn't interested in talking to me. We started with canapes- a chicken skewer and a quail egg on pastry boat which was quite nice. For dinner I chose mixed pepper salad with roast beef. I was served without the roast beef so had to ask for that. After that arrived and was placed on my salad I realised I also didn't have any salad dressing. I didn't want to be that horrible demanding passenger so didn't ask for it - but should have as it really did need the dressing. My main meal was the traditional Chinese lamb cutlets stew which was very disappointing. I had ordered cheese and dessert but was too full so thought I would have it later - unfortunately later never came. I put the chair down, was given a normal sized pillow and doona, put on the eye mask that comes with the travel bag they give you and tried to sleep. I did get a bit of sleep but not very much. We were woken with half an hour before we landed so it was too late to get my cheese and dessert. The plane landed about five minutes early, customs was quick, my suitcases were in the first fifteen on the conveyor belt and I walked straight through and out the door by 5.20am. I rang Peter but he was only just going through the tunnel - still fifteen minutes away. I waited awhile then went and ordered a coffee and hot chocolate - which I then discovered was the wrong move. Trying to push a trolley that you have to hold the handles together to remove the brakes balancing two hot drinks with a backpack that didn't want to stay on the trolley and a handbag on my shoulder was nigh on impossible. I finally made it to the road just as Peter pulled up. We headed to McDonald's in Bass for breakfast waiting until it was a reasonable hour to go and pick up the cats then home for a well earned sleep
What a fantastic holiday. I am so grateful that I was able to have the three weeks with mum and so happy that Melissa was also given that opportunity. With mum coming straight back to her cancer treatment and results that were not as good as we hoped makes this holiday even more special.


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