This is my last full day in Bali. Tomorrow midday I head to the airport where I hope there’s not a repeat of inbound immigration (UPDATE: there wasn’t).

I started my day at the breakfast buffet.

It. Is. Huge. And delicious! I’m glad I didn’t take the Hilton points in lieu.

Then I swam in the ocean again. One of the things I forgot to mention is how steep the slope is around high tide. One’s ankles are likely to be pummeled by stones caught in the surf while ones arms are tangled in biomass on the surface.

Low tide shows a very different landscape. The slope is shallow and rock. Not rocky. Rock, pasted with sea foliage. I destroyed a set of hotel flip-flops trying to walk out on it.

Dinner that night was another ride into the village.

Yes. More pork. Again, delicious. Again, the restaurant offered a free shuttle back.

One thing that really irritated me at the Hilton was that no one asked me how my stay was but I was solicited to buy spa treatments 6 times and encouraged to eat at the restaurant twice. Somehow I will overcome.

Today I moved from one resort to another.

Having settled my bill the night before I took an early ride to the Hilton Resort. Check in isn’t until 15:00, but my early arrival allowed me to camp out on the beech. I swam in the ocean, dipped in the pool, and again read a lot.

After getting my room I took the hotel shuttle into … a shopping mall. I thought it was taking me to the village, but it few past to a site that at best is a Disney-esque retail version of Bali.

I left and got a taxi into the village. I found a beer garden full of Australians watching their football. I talked with a guy named Travis who was there in holiday.

I walked across the street to eat (everyone said the food at the beer garden was terrible). The seafood at this place was great.

And my night was capped off by a free shuttle back to the hotel, courtesy of the restaurant!

… in which I relaxed and read some more …

One of the advantages of the Karma Mayura resort where I stayed was the quality of the food. Almost everything was delicious. They obviously cater to westerners as a lot of their menu is oriented that way. Their local cuisine, while few, were tasty.

Anyway, I used my fourth and final massage session this afternoon. A different masseuse went to town on me. The change was nice.

My stomach was feeling better so I journeyed into Ubud for a pork rib dinner. It was wonderful.

Tomorrow is check out and check in day.

… in which I was laid low by some “Bali belly” …

I was supposed to do a tour this day but my sleep was punctuated by frequent visits to the loo. I was not keen on the amount of car time I would have, nor the options of the restrooms available.

I canceled my tour three hours before it was supposed to start. I payed a 100% penalty for it, but it was worth it based on how the rest of my day went.

What I did not expect was the tour guide to show up and hunt me down at the resort not once, but twice. In retrospect, he was hunting for a tip. I am not inclined to tip for a canceled service anyway, so I don’t feel too bad for the fellow.

My day was spent reading more books in the shade, hydrating, and then applying alcohol internally.

Today I drove around with a guide. We started at Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. A local village was there for their specific prayer to the Hindu gods.

There was more around the temple.

We went on from there to visit the UNESCO terraces at Jatiluwih Green Land.

And more wonders at Luhur Batukaru Temple (my favorite of the sites).

We finished at Tanah Lot Temple on the western cost along the Indian ocean.

I wanted to relax and read but also get out and do something. Walking into Ubud for coffee seemed good.

The walk was supposed to be about 2.3 miles. With diversions and one wrong turn it was more than 5.

After a severe course correction I made it to the coffee stand I aimed for, fully drenched in sweat.

It rained heavily and suddenly while I was reading and sipping, so I holed up and dried off in the breeze. Then, off to lunch at the Melting Wok!

Lastly, more wandering about the town before I gave up and hired a scooter to drive me back.

More to come!

… in which I read 2.5 books.

Not a lot of excitement. I opted to hole up at the resort and read. That, and hit the spa for a salt rub down (scratchy delight) and a Balinese massage.


Tonight is a barbecue dinner. I may have to relent on my social isolation. The day of travel and two of solo activities I think have me recharged for some friendly banter. We shall see.

I can’t believe I forgot to write about the Australian.

There was an Australian couple walking near me. They chatted a lot about inane topics such as viral videos and who knew their best friends the longest and wouldn’t it be neat if a monkey would climb on one of us.

The monkey park is clear that this last bit of inane chatter is best left as is. Don’t look them in the eye, don’t feed them, and don’t be a dick.

Well, the couple opted for a more liberal approach, coxing a monkey up on the man’s head. It was a cute Instagram moment, to be sure.

Then the monkey proceeded to dig into the backpack pockets. Cute!

Then the monkey proceeded to unzip the other pockets and pull things out. Monkeys do this. And they like shiny objects.

The man decided to drop his backpack and the monkey on the ground, pockets spilling all over the pavement.

The monkey decided to grab the couple’s scooter keys and run off into the park.

Cheeky monkey!

Oh, in case you care about the Australian couple and if they got their keys back … I had so little invested after the monkey skedattled that I didn’t follow up beyond pointing them to the closest park ranger.

I flew through Taipei from Tokyo to Bali.

I want to spend more time in Taipei. From what I saw from taxis and my hotel, it’s my kind of town.

Speaking of taxis: when I got mine from the stand at the airport, I asked if he takes credit cards. They said he did and off I went.

Guess what? He does, but doesn’t like to. I had no Taiwanese currency, only Yen and Dollars. He tried to get his machine to work, cursing at it or me or both. Eventually he got so pissed off he threw me and my bags out and took off.

His taxi? It had stickers for all the major credit cards.

My brief stay at the DoubleTree Hilton was fantastic. I’m looking forward to my return.

The airport there is great if a too spread out – some kind of tram system would help.

Here are some pictures to set the mood.

Oh, yeah. And “Hello, Kitty”.

Landing at Denpasar airport, one is treated to a 2-4 hour wait to pass immigration – in line, standing, with little guidance as to if you’re even in the correct spot.

Over 60? There’s a special line for you. Disabled? Special line. Traveling with small kids? Technically there’s no special line but … Yes, there’s a special line.

Not one of those? Enjoy your temporary limbo.

There are two hints as to why the lines are so long: all the flights seem to arrive in the same time window and there are too few agents processing. The agents will get up and walk away with no warning. They do not return.

After clearing immigration there’s the standard baggage claim where your luggage has been siting unattended for hours. I checked nothing so passed on to customs.

Me and everyone else flagged for secondary scanning had light luggage. It was fast but another delay to my vacation.

It’s a gauntlet to get from customs to the taxi area. If you don’t have a driver waiting for you with a sign, there are any number of aggressive men offering their taxi services. Assuming you follow the few signs and get to where the actual official taxi desk sits, you will negotiate the cost for your ride.

My driver was nice and the right one for that moment in my life. I was sleep deprived and tired from queuing. He pointed out where things are and, other than some stilted English chatter, left me to see Bali from the back of his cab.

Things got interesting when we approached Ubud, the town near where I am staying. His navigation ability (no GPS unit) went only so far. To get the last kilometer required a combination of my Apple Maps and better night vision (something that disturbed me greatly to learn). We managed to get to my resort a mere 6 hours after I landed. Sadly, Google Maps is measurably better, so I installed it.

The room at the Karma Mayura resort is nice. It’s a bit spartan but the perfect fit for my digital detox. I grabbed some food and a beer from the restaurant and then crashed in my room.