Why Singapore? Mainly, I have a college friend who married her college sweetheart, who was from there. They settled there where they raised their family. I had heard about this little country that could for many different reasons (Singapore math!). I had reconnected with June through Facebook, email, and a college reunion and found that we still had a strong bond, so I decided to visit.
My intention when I booked this flight from Bali to Hawaii was to get the cheapest flight possible. I found a fantastic fare ($500 or so) but it was via Taiwan on China Airlines - with a 19 hour layover. I went to the net to find if this was doable and it turns out -- it's a thing.
Our hub was in Manila. Since we were laid over here, we decided to stay for a few days. It was my first time here. It was not a very fortunate trip, as there was bad weather and my companions were sick. But we managed a few outings. On our first day, our mission was to get beads for a friend in Guam. This is a shopping area next to the Church of the Black Nazarene. Supposedly not a good area, but we were fine.
Our hotel was the Melasti Beach Resort and Spa on Legian Beach in Denpasar.It was an older hotel, but the grounds were very nice and the morning brunch was great to have. Our last day was spent shopping for the most part. We also did massages, and some good eating.
I was impressed by this vendor who gave us a whole schpiel on each of "his" designs. He appeared to be a craftsman, but someone told me he was just a salesman. He was good though. I bought a few pieces from him.
My friend Tim, who is a frequent traveler to Bali and beyond, suggested we go to Munduk. We are glad we took his advice. It is inland, with mountains, waterfalls, lakes. Lots of beautiful scenery and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Anne found an eco-tourist resort which was built next to a rice paddy.
My travel companions had gone to Ubud in the first part of their trip, and was so glad that they wanted to go back, because it was the only place in Bali that I had wanted to go to. Anne found a very nice villa behind a rice paddy. Though it took a while to find it, it was a great find once we did.
Last November, I traveled with a small group of friends from Guam to Bali. I am used to traveling alone, so this was a new experience for me. It was so much more pleasurable to travel with friends than be alone. Since it has been almost a year since I went, this post will be mostly photos, with whatever text I recall. (I forgot I had started this blog a few months ago, the previous blog piece).
I was hanging out at my local tavern and a friend, Sherry, mentioned that she was going to Bali and casually asked if I wanted to come. Her travel buddy was a friend from my high school, her cousins, and other friends. Turns out that this trip was in two shifts, and I was able to get in on the second shift. I had always wanted to go to Bali since the 80s when there was a direct flight between Guam and Bali and all my friends were going, and I never did it back then.
Since the ferry to Buenos Aires didn't leave until 12:00, I had a little time to kill. I found a market and bought a few things. I didn't even know what I was getting, but picked it up anyway. I realized that I did like mate' after all and wanted to buy a mate' cup, but this early in the morning, the vendors were not out yet. So I did buy a couple of bags of mate', which was crazy after all. Just saw it at Island Naturals for pretty reasonable price.
The Bulquebus ferry back to Buenos Aires was very classy. Its name was Fernando. I wasn't even in first class, and it felt first classy. Highly recommended! There was food to purchase on board, duty free shopping, as well as currency exchange. Seats were comfortable. You had to wear these plastic booties to protect their nice carpet.
And then I was back in Buenos Aires. An area of note, Puerto Madero, is next to the ferry station, so I had planned to spend the rest of the day there, thinking it was a shopping as well as a restaurant area. Although very nice, it really was just a restaurant area. I have a pretty good sense on direction in BA, I think it's because I purchased a map earlier. I knew that we were near the heart of the city, where there was shopping. I went looking for a mate' cup, but never did find one. I did find a place to shop though, the Galerias Pacifico, famous for their ceiling paintings, and also in the Christmas spirit already.
I did not have enough time to have a steak dinner before I had to get to the airport, so I had some ceviche, back at Puerto Madero. It also came with a mushroom "relish" and bread, while I waited. And so, after getting to the airport via the company of a very nice cab driver who loved American music from the 70s, I said Ciao to South America. And Gracias. With Hope that I will return someday.
I have traveled quite a bit, and am using this page to record some memories. Travel is a wonderful education, expanding your view of the world, of other cultures, of the beauty of diversity.