At Sea En Route to Sandakan, Malasia Cruising the Straights of Makassar going from the Java Sea to
Four Seasons Resort Bali Day one.
7:47 AM Saturday February 25, 2017 En Route to Malaysia. We are located North 01 Degrees 04.266' and East 119 Degrees 12.512' Travelling at 10 degrees True North at 16 Knots with a 28 Knot wind off our bow plus the 16 knot speed making a 44 knot wind on deck this morning earlier that made for a challenging walk.
Bali Day One:
No shore excursion so we checked with the local desk on ship and decided to brave the Bali traffic and head to the Four Seasons Resort about 40 minutes away. Negotiated with a driver for the day and off we went amidst a sea of cars trucks and scooters. The drivers in Bali seem to instinctively know when to move over at just the right time. The motorcycle scooters ride in both directions in both lanes at times and even ride on the sidewalk where there is one. Our driver Madie got us there safely. The Four Seasons is a beautiful large resort on a hillside overlooking the very busy Bali airport. It overlooks a horseshoe bay and beach from the hillside. Each Bungalow has it's own pool, outdoor shower and sitting area, etc. We were welcomed at reception and directed to a restaurant pool area for the day. In Bali you are welcome to spend the day in any resort using their facilities at no charge. You are treated as a hotel guest and run a tab for the day, they only ask that you have lunch with them. At the Four Seasons we found a spot on a large wooden deck overlooking the ocean with lounge chairs with umbrella and we were treated like royalty. They brought us water and towels, cleaned our sun glasses and we swam in there infinity pool that was deep blue and 150' long. Had a lovely day in the shade of some large trees above the deck and walking the beach at times. For lunch we had some Curry Goat, Calamari appetizers and Dawn had River Prawns and all was excellent. In the afternoon Bill and I went for a walk on the beach and it was so hot we had to stop at a tiny shack for a Bintang (local beer). A little Grandmother who ran the shop declared that a bintang was US $1.25 each. We then discovered as she served us the ice cold beer in its own little cooler cup that each beer came with a bag of Chatas, wonderful. Chatas are the local potato chips. Nothing back at the port to see so we boarded the ship heading for North Bali
Port of Celukan Bawang:
North Bali and off again to a resort. Dawn is determined to get her snorkel fix in today so we are headed to Pemuteran Bay where we here there is some. The driver this time will remain nameless as his English was not so good. We were dropped off at the Tasman Sari resort. This one was very different from the Four Seasons as it was more local but was the same in we were provided all the services of a guest. We rented equipment and got our snorkel in to Dawn's delight. Lunch was again a local affair with a variety of Indonesian and Bali dishes along with some wine from Jacob's Creek in Australia where we toured the winery. Back at the port we stopped at the local vendor set up and they were aggressive! We were mobbed. Bill and I looked at t-shirts for some reason while Dawn looked for a Bali magnet. Tough negotiations took place and they won us over with the sales pitch that the t-shirts had a TWO YEAR WARRANTY. And they came with a FREE plastic bag, wow! Dawn bought two rocks that said Bali that she will make into magnets. As we walked out I remembered I had $49,000 in Bali money, Indonesian Rupiah. I counted then held up the money and we had an auction with the vendors bidding for what they would give us. We were offered rocks, Pearls, clothing and we all had a good laugh the vendors and us. That is just less than $4.00 US.
We had a Karen Boot Camp the other day and again Karen out did herself to punish our bodies. I exclaimed to her yesterday that I could still barely lift my arms after three days. That sure brought a smile to Master Karen's face!!! She has to be a little careful though as she often times joins us for water volleyball on our team. We also have Karen Boot Camp again today. We are dreading she may add Burpee's.
A Tree at the Tasman Sari Resort
Chicken Satay at Tasman Sari
Dawn at Four Seasons entrance
Water View from Tasman Sari Resort
Bill's Lunch at Tasman Sari Resort
View from reception at Four Seasons Resort Bali
Our Pool at Four Seasons Resort
I don't know why sometimes this gets duplicates???
Had dinner last night at the Captains table. All the staff on this small ship are very accessible. Being a small ship we know the hotel director (2nd in command) Norman and he knows us by name as we see and talk to him every day. Same goes with Fernando the cruise director and even the head chef on board. At our table last night we sat with two other couples in addition to the Captain and they were both from Great Britain. Barry and his wife who sat next to me were from Worcester England, home of the famous sauce. When we talked about where I was from my standard reply was "North of Chicago" as people often don't know where Wisconsin is. Barry did and asked "Where in Wisconsin". When I told him Stevens Point he said he had been there many times. In fact, the Company he worked for Sunrise Medical had purchase Joern's Furniture in Stevens Point I believe in 1983. What a coincidence eh?
It wouldn't be correct to say we resemble the color of an ivory key of a baby grand piano so much as maybe a well baked brownie although we never have had more than a minute of pool chair time the whole cruise. Time is spent walking on deck and exposed to sun ashore in the Southern Hemisphere and near the Equator. I fact we cross the Equator again today for the second time and this time heading north. There will be another King Neptune Event today to celebrate. Enough sun to roast the most hardy duck. Mary K claimed she got sun burnt sitting in the shade just from reflections. There is pool time and pool volleyball and all outdoor activities to add up sun wise.
All alcohol is included in our fare. any time you desire. So what do we do? The three of us are now very conservative in our consumption of drinks. Ice Tea or Ginger iced tea depending on sea conditions are the liquid of choice. We rarely now have a drink of wine before lunch. We were swimming in the pool with a Lady the other day at the Four Seasons Bali. She and her husband were from the ship and she said she went so far as to go twenty four hours on the ship without a drink. We were all in awe of her, even her husband. Had a toast to that. There is an attorney on board that, Hold that one as she is an attorney after all.
Sir Geoffrey and Lady (What's her name) are not at all stuck up. Now I have not yet had a chance to chat them up over a drink at the bar but we say hello often in passing. I don't know if Sir Geoffrey is miffed that many of the crew call passengers routinely Sir this and Sir that using the first name. Seems to me that if one was a real Sir the routine use would dilute the effect as much as the Indonesian Rupiah where just lunch can be over two million. So much for hoping to retire with the dreamed million if it takes more than that for lunch!
Our on board travelling author Jude who lives next to Sir Bill has not been seen by me much since I introduced myself to her in Hobbiton in the NZ. She must be very busy in her writing of the next novel. That one will be a must read! I may be a villain in the novel but hey just happy to be mentioned as the curly haired dark soul with the body of rippled muscles and the strength and stamina of ten.
Heading to Sandakan, Malaysia to see some monkeys with very long noses.