A busy day of this and that….
Day 70/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Day 3 Bali.
Day 71/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. A sea day.
This will be a quick blog because I’ve already written two blogs today to catch up on our time in Bali.
Yesterday we had arranged with Sugar to pick us up outside the Cruise Ship terminal for our Day 3 adventures in Bali tour at 9am. We had asked Gene and Margaret if they wanted to join us and they wanted to experience what it felt like to ‘do Bali’ without being on a tour bus so they agreed to come along for the ride.
Sugar’s car was a small SUV and we were able to have Margaret jump in the very back row, with me and Gene in the middle row and Richard in the front with Sugar. Everyone was comfortable and the AC in Sugar’s car was great!
We had given Sugar a bunch of places we wanted to see and he planned the route to make our time efficient. Our back on board time was 5pm but we wanted to be back by 4pm at the latest, given the potential for traffic.
Our first stop was the Batik factory.
Ladies outside the factory using wax to make batik prints on t-shirts. We were told we could buy a t-shirt in the factory and have it printed, but we had other plans.
Using hot wax to paint Batik. Batik is a wax resistant dye on fabric. The waxed areas resist dye when it is applied to the cloth. We were not allowed to take photos inside the factory, but we spent about an hour shopping at the factory and both me and Margaret got quite a lot of nice gifts and fabric as souvenirs of Indonesia.
Our next stop was a very special request. The silver and gold jewelry factory! With a birthday coming up soon I had told Richard I really wanted to get something from one of the countries we were visiting that would be a lasting momento of our trip around the world, as well as something special for my birthday.
The jewelry factory had a lot of really cool statues outside which were really interesting to look at, but we were on a mission!
A bit worse for wear, but the frog was kind of cute!
Margaret...not so cute with these statues.
The factory was next door to the jewelry showroom so we wandered around a bit to see what they were making.
The silver jewelry was in a very large showroom and the pieces were all accessible for trying on. We had a personal shopper following us and every time we liked something she would add it to her tray. The prices were very good at the factory and it was sensory overload, with so many pieces to choose from. I really liked the dragonfly jewelry which in Indonesia is a symbol of good luck!
Margaret loves rings, so she was trying on rings all over this very large showroom!
So much jewelry, so little time. I could have spent hours at this factory! And we never even got upstairs to see any gold jewelry, as I only wear silver.
We had parked Richard and Gene on a bench and after awhile they were getting restless but I had made my choices and it was time for Richard to pay! The jewelry all came in Batik boxes too which were all different. A very nice souvenir from Bali! I will take photos over the coming days with the jewelry but it was really an excellent place to shop!
We had asked to visit a local market so we could look for some sarongs. Sugar brought us to a market which was not very busy, and was located on two floors of a building, with underground parking beneath the building. We parked Richard and Gene on a stone wall outside the building while me and Margaret went looking for sarongs. I was able to pick up a couple of sarongs by negotiating with the vendor, and Sugar helped me negotiate an even better price! The sarongs are very inexpensive in Bali and they make a nice bathing suit cover up for the pool.
We were getting hungry and wanted to stop for lunch, but Sugar had one more stop in mind for us. Sugar took us through a shortcut to get to the place we were going and we drove by a number of rice fields in the countryside.
Fields of rice in Bali.
A close up of the rice which gets harvested and then thrashed to get the rice kernels out of it. This rice is not ready yet for harvesting.
Sugar knew that I liked chocolate and so where did he bring us? Of course...to the local chocolate factory!
POD Chocolate Bali which has been rebranded recently to JUNGLEGOLD BALI. Established in 2010, Junglegold is the world's first 100% plant based chocolate!
yum....samples of chocolate to try!
None of the chocolate made by Junglegold in Bali contains any dairy! 100% plant based chocolate! And the sugar used in the chocolate is Coconut Blossom Sugar which has a low glycemic index of 35 (compared to sugar which is 60-75). Coconut blossom sugar is not from coconuts but from the nectar of the coconut flower which is collected, cooked and crystallized. All of the coconut sugar is made by Indonesian farmers and has no additives, preservatives or chemicals.
We really enjoyed trying all of the samples of chocolate and I ended up buying 6 bars of chocolate. I actually wish I had bought more, so maybe tomorrow when we get to Java I can find some more chocolate. I'm sold on their plant based chocolate! www.junglegoldbali.com
Since Sugar had planned his route carefully, we were close to Sanur Beach where we had spent our first day with Richard's friend Peter. Sugar knew we would probably want to have lunch at Sanur Beach with Gene and Margaret and since we knew the area, we decided to go back to Playa Restaurant and have lunch on the beach.
Deciding what to order from La Playa on a very hot day at Sanur Beach.
The guy lying in the water on the beach just cracked me up! So Bali! So chill!
We had a great lunch with Gene and Margaret at La Playa on Sanur Beach. They both agreed that doing Bali the way we were doing it, with a private driver showing us the sights was the way to go, and so much better than sitting on a bus not really experiencing the culture, the food and the ambiance of this beautiful country. The Indonesian food they had today, they agreed was the best they have tasted. Gene particularly loved the peanut sauce on the chicken satays too!
We found a really neat shop on the beach called 'Blood and Bone' and Gene really liked the name of the store, given he was an orthopedic surgeon until he retired! I had to go into the store too, since Margaret had bought a beautiful blouse and I found an amazing rash guard bathing suit in some really gorgeous colors, so I bought it and a nice tropical linen shirt. Its nice to shop around the world! We will have so many memories when we wear these clothes back home.
Richard sent Sugar a 'What's App' and after a hot lunch on Sanur Beach, we were ready to head back to the Neptune for sail away from beautiful Bali. We said our goodbyes to Sugar with hugs. He called Richard 'Poppa' and me 'Momma, the singing queen' because I sang along to the songs on the radio in the car. If we are ever back in Bali, we will be calling Sugar to come and get us!
What an amazing country! I had always heard Bali was special, but we just didn't know how special it is. With the Hindu religion being prevalent on Bali, the people have a beautiful spirit. Everyone bows and thanks people when leaving. It really was neat to experience Bali, even for a short while. I could definitely see us coming back to Bali for an extended period of time, as it is a place where a car is not needed because once parked in a neighborhood like Sanur for $1,000CAD a month for a 1 bedroom rental, everything is walkable. Meals in restaurants are very inexpensive too. The only issue with Bali is visitors visas are only issued upon entry for 1 month and then must be renewed and the rules on visitors visas keep changing. Most foreigners hire a visa agent to get through the red tape of the visa extension. Anyway, we won't be back in Bali for awhile, but we still have Java to visit tomorrow so that will be nice to see the difference between the predominantly Muslim island of Java and Bali, which we just visited.
Day 71. A sea day.
I spent most of the morning on computer issues trying to figure out how to solve the problems I was having, in addition to writing Day 2, part 1 of the blog.
Richard in the meantime was trying to figure out golf for us in Vietnam, which I was also assisting with, in between writing the blog. The internet was so spotty that instead of emailing golf courses, Richard was using his phone for skype calls and hoping that the call didn't get dropped. Anyway, golf is still up in the air for Vietnam, but we still have a few days to try and work things out.
We really had a bad day at trivia today. We were missing Mike and we could have used him on some of the questions.
After lunch we had art! We have a new art teacher on board, but she will only be on for 5 session or 5 sea days unfortunately. We were being introduced to scissor art which Henry Matisse had done! How neat! Here are some examples of the types of work that Matisse did.
We all had to leave our artwork to dry after class but I did snap a photo of my scissor art before I left class. I had never studied art past grade 8, so I was not aware of Matisse and his scissor art, but I kind of like it!
I'm sure this will look better once the blue tape is removed. A very interesting project. The teacher handed me a sheet of white, pink and blue paper. Other people had different colour combinations always with two colours and one white sheet. We had to doodle on the white sheet and then turn over the three pieces of paper, which were paper clipped together and start drawing shapes on the back of a coloured piece of paper, and then we cut out the shapes we had drawn. Then we had to lay all of the shapes down and figure out a pattern to glue the shapes down onto the paper. So there you have it! Some of the doodles show through and that is the idea of the work.....
Tonight for dinner we had an Indonesian meal on the pool deck served to us on sharing plates. The first course was some spring rolls, satays and a sweet bun. The second course was peppered beef, rice, shrimp crackers and more chicken satays along with a dish none of us liked. It was nice to eat on the pool deck, with food being served to us, instead of a buffet. Dessert was tapioca in a coconut shell which had been hollowed out, or fruit salad in a coconut shell. It was nice to have the pool roof open and enjoy the warm ocean breezes during dinner. The deck was nicely decorated with Indonesian fans and flower arrangements which suited the Indonesian theme. It was a very nice touch by Viking to have food from Indonesia while we are still in Indonesia.
After dinner we went to Bruce's Brain Buster's trivia in the Explorer's Lounge and we really did poorly with only 6 correct answers. Yeesh, what a bad trivia day!
We waited on the pool deck until 9:30pm to listen to the Viking Vocalists sing for us, so we could dance under the stars. We didn't stay for too long, but it was nice to get up and dance, since we've not really danced since we've been on the ship. We had met a nice Scottish couple on the tender a few days ago who came up to us while we were waiting for the band to play tonight and they said they read the blog every day and the comment was that "I tell it like it is". Too funny. I have had a few bosses in my life that have told me that, but hey? I was paid to think and express an opinion! Lemmings, will just fall over the wall!
Tomorrow is Semarang, Indonesia on the island of Java. We will be doing the included tour because there were not too many options for self exploration other than to take a shuttle for shopping. Most of the optional tours were very long at 9, 6 or 5 hours and we will not sit on a bus for that long. We did investigate golf, but that did not work out either. We will see how the tour goes, but we did read that our bus will take us to a shopping area on the way back to the ship and the ship is running shuttle services to the same shopping mall. Maybe I can find some more chocolate tomorrow and I will definitely be bringing my ipad with the case to try and figure out what is wrong with the case, or buy a new keyboard case.
And that's it from me. A three blog day today! That's a first!