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Published: January 22nd 2012
We have been very lucky to have a wonderful location in which to spend Chinese New Year this year. We have spent the past 3 in Shanghai, trying, in vain, to sleep through the all-night firework marathon. This year, we decided to try something new and are here in Candi Dasa, Bali. Just a bit of advertising here, we found our amazing villa through the website www.homeaway.co.uk and it is just great! Although it is actually the rainy season at the moment, it just means that everywhere is a bit quieter and we don't have guaranteed sun all day every day. Our villa is just what we needed though, as the children have their own rooms, and we have a place to chill out and play games together and cook if we so wish - rather than relying on eating out and sitting in the bathroom to read our books while the children go to sleep late! We have a pool right outside the villa, and it is shared with the other 2 villas, but there only seems to be one other occupied - by a wonderful Dutch couple who live here all year round. They are the local guides and
ones who bought us supplies and water to welcome us, and help when things go wrong. We also have a driver who, at a very reasonable extra cost, will take us out for day trips or just to the local town to eat if we so wish.
Our journey here was not greatly enjoyable so I will keep it short, but it has to have a mention. A slight delay in Shanghai meant a short stopover in Seoul airport and a dash for the next plane. As Ian says, we couldn't have more differing opinions of Korean air and Seoul Incheon airport. The cabin crew were smiley, friendly and very helpful, especially when Sophie became pooly on the plane. But the airport was a mess. The queues for transit were huge and, even though we were rushed to the front of it, many others were in the same boat as us and the staff were less than helpful about it. Although we made the connecting flight, it seems our luggage did not. We arrived in Bali at 12.30am, to be told that our luggage had not. Unfortunately, Sophie's travel sick pills were in the suitcase so poor thing was
extremely sick all the way here. It was about an hour and half's car drive, but our driver, Putu, was so patient.
We had been given some 'out of pocket expenses' to compensate the fact that we had no luggage, so ventured out to a local shop first thing next morning, still wearing our travelling jeans and managed to purchase flip flops and an outfit each which was less body covering! We had to set off for the town to buy swimmers though, but we did manage to buy them - even if the string bikinis were best viewed only by our nearest and dearest! The sun was shining all day and we chilled by the pool waiting for our luggage to arrive, making the most of the gorgeous pool and surroundings. We are right on the ocean here, although swimming right here is not recommended as it is rather rocky. Our luggage arrived very late, but we were so relieved it was here at last! It is amazing how much you miss. With the security warnings at check in these days, I had packed the hand luggage very light, but it is definitely the last time I do
Day 2 - we woke to heavy rain so decided to do a bit of sightseeing. We visiting Ujung, a floating palace, and Amplapura, a nearby town, then headed to the water palace of Tirtta Gangga. This was great, as we were able to swim in the holy water too. It was very chilly and slimy on the bottom, but extremely clear and a great experience! The rain has subsided durig our swim but came back with a veangeance so after a quick bite, we headed back here for a swim in the pool and some very competitive Uno!
Day 3 -the children have been dying to try snorkeling since our trip to Phuket and this morning was the moment to do it! Putu took us to 'White Sandy Beach', about 20 minutes away, and leant us his own snorkeling gear. I have never tried it either and it was amazing. We saw the coral and some beautiful tropical fish, only a short distance from the shoreline. The beach was just glorious. So quiet and unspoilt. The road to it is very rocky and hilly, clearly somewhere not many people go to. It has amazed us how
undeveloped Candi Dasa is, but it is making for a wonderful holiday. Ian came here in 1979 (or neareabouts he thinks) and vaguely remembers how unspoilt it was then. From what we have been told, many other resorts have been developed further and Candi Dasa is set for this in the near future.
So, for now, Ian and I are sitting on the verandah, supping while I write as the ocean lashes the rocks and stars twinkle.....an amazing holiday indeed and only on day 3, with an awful start too!
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