The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 17, Ubud

Tuesday, March 17 - Day 41 - Ubud

Dick is up by 7AM, having tossed, turned and dozed since 4AM.  He blames the fan for his stuffed up head. You have to blame someone, right?

Carolyn is up at a decent hour and we head to breakfast by 9AM.  Dick has some Balinese dish with rice, chicken, peanuts, spinach and other, unknown ingredients. He pronounces it quite good.  Carolyn sticks to poached eggs, toast, flaky pastries and tangerine juice...tasty. The coffee this morning is strong and good and two cups are plenty. At least they don’t offer brown water you can see through!

Carolyn had given the front desk a piece of her mind last evening  about the poor condition the room was in and the lack of any mention anywhere that ground floor on the web site meant 3 or 4 flights of steps up or down from the hotel entrance and we have a parade of people drop by the table to apologize for our problems; mostly just offering platitudes.  One, however, opens up the possibility of a room change.  So in a conversation with the front desk manager, we agree that if the room cannot be cooled to an acceptable degree by the time we return from a trip into Ubud on the shuttle, they will move us to some other room that solves our cooling and stair problem. We really aren't interested in having to move for just one night, but a warm stuffy room is no good added to all the steps.

We catch the 10:30AM shuttle into town. It is about a 30 minute drive through rice fields, past several temples getting cleaned up for the purification ceremonies later this afternoon or tomorrow. We are dropped off at 11AM in the museum parking lot.

We find the street we are looking for after a long block’s walk and turn up it while dodging cars, motorbikes, demon construction for the pre-New Year's festival and other pedestrians. All the towns and villages are busy making these massive demon like figures for the big parade and ceremonial burnings. We have a map from the hotel that indicates it is just a short walk and we will find it on the left side of the street. 

After a long walk...several hundred yards in the heat and humidity is a long walk...we have not found it. Dick strikes up a conversation with three ladies sitting in front of a shop while waiting for Carolyn to catch up. They indicate that our target is just a few doors down on the RIGHT. He also learns a little about making the little offering baskets used in front of stores and other places.

Having found it, the next obstacle is the rise on the steps in front of the store. There is no standard here and one of these has to be 15 inches if not more. Once inside, Carolyn finds several small pieces of jewelry and some finely woven, tiny baskets. Thank heaven for Mastercard!

Back down those steps we head back the way we came and promptly stop at another fabric shop where Carolyn buys some hand dyed silk fabric. Next we go to the shop of the lady who gave us directions and buy more fabric, a piece of cotton batik. That is it!  We are out of cash except for the necessary 400,000 rupiah to pay the airport tax so we can leave the country. Hopefully she can get these three pieces made up in Bangkok. Actually this is a very interesting walk with all kinds of neat peaks into small temples, family compounds, new construction, small businesses and flower art.

We walk back to the main street and sit on the edge of a raised flower bed and drink a bottle of water and watch the school children heading home from school or to school, while waiting for the shuttle to arrive at 1PM. Obliviously the schools do half day shifts.
It is going to be a dead heat as to whether the rain or the shuttle arrive first. The shuttle wins by a few minutes and we are in it when the first drops fall. It is only a brief shower but is a foretaste of what the afternoon will bring.

When we get back to our room, the temperature is still 25C and not acceptable. The manger comes down and takes Dick to show him two options for a change of room. The first is lovely with a private pool but it also is too warm and has even more steps involved. The next, however, is perfect. It is 20C when Dick walks in and it is huge.  No private pool but it is pouring rain by now anyway. It is easily four or five times the size of our current room, on the entry ground level and we find out later is a new addition to the property. It has a fabulous desk with a view of the forest, river gorge and monkeys playing in the trees.

We pack up and the porters come to transfer our luggage. Once settled, we order a room service lunch and luxuriate in being really comfortably cool for the first time since arriving in Bali. Our new room, #501, has a huge shower area with another rainfall head, hot water and plenty of pressure. Carolyn gets cleaned up while Dick updates Quicken and sends yet another email regarding our missing package. We take it easy for the rest of the afternoon enjoying the antics of the monkeys through the window wall and the cool room.

Dinner is also room service with Carolyn having her chicken Sate from last night again and Dick has some chicken fettuccine. The hotel sends us a nice anniversary greeting along with a large fruit and chocolate tart for our dessert. We will save that for later to have with some tea from our in-room supply.

The day is topped off by a reply from the FedX representative in Bangkok confirming that our package will be delivered to our hotel on March 18. So, if that happens, Dick can stop fretting over that issue.

Tomorrow is another travel day but not an early one. We will leave for the airport at noon to be checked in by 2PM. Our Thai Airways, business class flight leaves at 4:10PM and arrives in Bangkok at 7:25PM with an hour’s time change. It will be a long day but then we have three nights in a great hotel to gird our loins for Myanmar!

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