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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Do you want a massage?

Day 68/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Day 1 Bali, Indonesia

We had a pretty rough night on the seas last night sailing from Rinca Island, to Bali. There was also a thunder and lightening show at 5:30am too which woke us up. The bed in our cabin is facing forward so we are always sleeping in the direction we are heading. Last night though the ship was pitching from side to side and I sleep on my side, so I felt like I kept being shaken away from the pitching of the ship. Not a good night’s sleep for either one of us unfortunately.

I was up at 7am, trying once again to get yesterday’s blog published, but it was utterly impossible because the internet was so bad, so I gave up on publishing the blog and resigned myself to being able to publish it once I got on land in Bali. I also could not download any books to my Kindle, because the internet was so bad, so I have picked up a couple of books from the Book Return/ Lending Library on Deck 1 in the Living Room. Having to read a physical book is unusual for me as I usually download books from the library in Plant City, Florida (Hillsborough County Public Library) and I’ve got them for 21 days on loan. With Viking we are allowed 2 devices each on the internet per cabin, so that means when I download a book to my Ipad, I then have to disconnect my Iphone from the internet, then connect the Kindle, and then download one or two books and then disconnect the Kindle, and reconnect the Iphone to the internet. I’ve heard recently that Viking will allow more devices if we ask at Guest Services, but with pretty bad internet, in this part of the world, I’m not sure the books would download. Maybe tomorrow I will bring my ipad and my Kindle with me and download some more books from teh library. First world problems, I know, but reading is a passion of mine and not having a book on the go at anytime, makes we feel out of sorts!

Around 10:30am this morning we started to finally see some land! We opened our balcony door and this wave of heat and humidity hit us like a ton of bricks! Oh MY GOODNESS!

Land…we presumed it was Bali!

Just to be certain we were close to Bali, we turned on our stateroom tv to check the position of our ship.

Definitely approaching Bali!

It seemed like we had quite the large welcome committee as we sailed into the Port of Benoa.

Nusa Dua tourism complex area with 3 miles of sand beaches.

Parasailers in the harbour of Denpasar, Bali as we sailed into the Port of Benoa this morning.

We could see a very large building on a hillside as we sailed in, which we determined must be a Hindu temple.

We saw this huge building in the distance that we determined must be a temple, but we do not know the name of it yet. By the time we leave Bali, we will know what it is!

The next thing we knew, a beautiful wooden ship was sailing by us on our port side.

The water looked very shallow in the area we were sailing through towards the port. It looked like a sand bar was 500 yards away from the ship! They must have to dredge this port a lot given how shallow the water looked.

We arrived at the Port of Benoa around 11:45am and we were anxiously awaiting the ’all clear’ announcement that Cruise Director Bruce makes, before we could exit the Neptune. We had spent the entire morning just waiting to make our ‘getaway’!

A beautiful welcome to Bali!

Traditional music and dance was going on under the tent as we exited the gangway from the ship.

Beautiful Balinese women welcoming us to Bali.

And traditional music also playing as we walked by to the cruise terminal.

We quickly got through the Bali immigration by showing the QR codes we had downloaded to our Iphones and saved to our photos in a separate folder called ‘Bali QR’ code. A good trick to always being able to pull up a photo for immigration is to save the photo in its own folder.

We had a special day ahead of us in Bali since Richard knows people from Canada that winter in Bali! And they have a private driver too!

Richard greeting his friend and our host Peter! Richard and Peter and Peter’s wife Diana go back a long way from the travel industry in Canada. Isn’t it wonderful to know people around the world?

Peter led us to the waiting car where his driver Sugar was also waiting for us.

Where to first? We were pretty hungry so we asked if we could go somewhere to get some traditional Balinese food. Peter asked Sugar where he thought we should go and we ended up at a restaurant owned by a club member, and friend of Peters.

Mie Goreng Ayam for me. Fried egg noodles with chicken and mixed vegetables served with a fried egg and prawn crackers. YUMMY!

Chicken Satay with peanut sauce for Richard.

After lunch it was time to exchange some Australian Dollars to Indonesian Rupiah. 15,243 IDR convert to $1.00USD. We were told to watch out by Peter at the currency exchange places as they try and rip you off by not giving you enough money back when converting from other currencies. Sure enough, they tried to rip Richard off, but he counted the money out in front of the guy and said I need more money please! Richard also went to an ATM machine too and took some local currency out of the machine.

Peter wanted to show us around his ‘hood’ which is called Sanur, so we set off down a lane way to the beach boardwalk.

As we walked to the beach I was wowed by these sculptures just randomly in people’s front yards.

The beach wasn’t too busy today but we did see these neat, very colourful outrigger fishing boats on the beach in Sanur.

Colourful fishing boats on the beach.

Peter prefers this area of Bali called Sanur because it has calmer waters, is quiet with a more mature crowd; couples or families, but not crazy party people who prefer the Kuta beach area. Peter and his wife Diane have been coming to Bali for the past 5 or so years; spending the winter to escape the cold Canadian winters, and really like Sanur.

Peter and Richard walking down the boardwalk. The section Peter is walking on is for foot traffic. Where Richard is walking is for motorized scooters! It was a bit crazy trying to make sure we stayed on the proper side of the path as there were lots of people on scooters!

Peter had seen some of his mates go by on their motorcycles and learned they were at La Playa, so we headed there to meet up with his friends.

A typical beach cafe in Sanur, Indonesia. This was also where Peter had made reservations for dinner for us, right on the beach at 7pm!

We stopped for a drink at La Playa.

Richard is quite taken by this Indonesian beer called Bintang. The beer is always served with a neoprene sleeve on it to keep it cold.

Sanur has a number of beautiful, luxurious beachfront hotels including the Andaz Bali, Hyatt Regency Bali, and some other lovely boutique hotels.

Andaz Bali‘s restaurant called “Fisherman’s Club”

Hyatt Regency‘s beachfront cafe and bar.

Kids playing beside a stylized sailboat on the beach in Sanur. The vegetation along the beach was beautiful and provided some shade from the 30C temperatures. We kept walking and walking along the boardwalk because Peter had booked something very special for us!

As we continued walking along the beach boardwalk in Sanur I took this photo which I think could be used for a Bali tourism advertisement!

Is that not zen? And so Bali!

Ah! Finally after about an hour of walking on the beach boardwalk we came to our destination!

Beach massages! For about $10 CAD each we got hour long massages. Wonderful! While we had our massages Peter sat in a restaurant next door and enjoyed a couple of Bintangs.

After our massages the therapists asked if I wanted a mani/pedi and since I needed a pedicure I said yes!

I sure wish that I could have had a shower after my massage! I’m full of oil and its hot and humid. Not a great combination!

Richard and Peter had some more Bingtangs while I had my mani/pedi. I think its a good thing that they do not sell Bingtang in Canada or Richard might be a beer drinker!

Not a bad view for a relaxing afternoon on the beach!

It is so hot! And I was complaining before we left Australia that it has really not been that hot on this cruise so far! I have a very thin Columbia dress on and I’m dripping down my back. My hair has to be up, because I cannot stand it on my neck.

About 6:20pm Peter announced we had a 40 minute walk back on the beach boardwalk to La Playa for dinner, so we better head out and get walking. Peter says that when he comes to Bali for the winter that he loses a lot of weight. I can understand it. Balinese food is very healthy and you walk a lot, in the heat, so no wonder he loses weight!

What a stunning place for dinner!

Ah! A beach mojito! What could be better? You can see I’m trying to get photos from the day into the Wix blog program using the restaurant wifi. The wifi has been very fast at both the lunch spot we were at earlier where I published the blog on Rinca Island’s Komodo dragons and at La Playa where I’m working on uploading photos.

, I forgot to take photos of our meals unfortunately. Richard had a marinated fish wrapped and cooked in a banana leaf and I had peppered beef and rice which is a traditional Indonesian dish. It was nice to have some spice in our food! I find the food is under salted and under seasoned on the Neptune, which I understand since so many people of are on low sodium diets, but adding salt and spices after cooking does not amplify the taste like cooking with some salt and spice. I really miss cooking! For some people it is a nice break from cooking, but since I love to cook, if I were going home after visiting Bali, I would be cooking Indonesian food with some spice in it!

As we walked back down the lane way after dinner in Sanur, there was still lots of action in this beach community. There were many restaurants full of people in the quiet laneways with people enjoying a quiet after dinner drink. Peter had sent Sugar a ‘What’s App’, so he was waiting to take Peter home and us to the Neptune, which was about a 15 minute drive away in Benoa.

I published this blog last night and when I woke up this morning Richard delicately asked me if I meant to publish the blog without finishing it? The obvious answer is ‘NO’! The internet is really bad and I think the blog did not save properly so only part of the blog got published. So if you only read up to the photo of the massage tables, hopefully you’ve gone back and read the rest of this blog post.

Yesterday I was too tired to publish the blog on our second day in Bali, so I’m going to bring my ipad and try to upload photos from our second and third day in Bali. I’ll give you a hint at what we did yesterday….and I’ve never been hotter in my life playing golf…and it was a 3 shower day after walking around Bali after golf!

Sugar is going to be with us today, as today is our big shopping day in Bali and we are bringing friends Gene and Margaret. Sugar knows our ’back on board’ time as we leave Bali tonight, so let’s see what we can cram into a day shopping and sightseeing in Bali with friends!

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Mar 04, 2023

Since you are having so many issues with the ship's internet and posting photos, how much are you compressing photos before uploading to WIX.

I see many photos posted from the ship on the various blogs and multiple FB groups and wonder how many pax are compressing photos before uploading. Personally, my 30 - 40 Megs photos from my camera are compressed to about 300K before uploading.

The couple of times I forgot to compress a photo, the photo would not upload to Wordpress.

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