By January 20, 2013 0 Comments

The Journey & First Day in Bali

Bali Indus Restaurant

Bali Indus Restaurant


The Journey

Liz and I arranged to meet in Bali this year for a few days shopping before heading off to Sorong to meet the ship for our Raja Ampat trip(s).

Neither of us had any problem during our journey from Hawaii or Texas.  However I’ve decided that IAH (Houston)  is the most confusing and difficult airport I’ve had to pass through in my life.  Sorong’s airport is a wonderful place compared to IAH!

The US airlines were cancelling so many flights this month that I rented a car and drove to Houston rather than chance a missed connection.  The drive was easy.  Once at IAH I got lost in the rat maze of the terminal D parking garage.   Spirals,  dead ends, gates, traffic cones!  After 10 min. I was at the exit with no chance to go back.  On try #2 I became a smart rat and used valet parking so I would not miss my flight while lost in the maze.  From the valet area only up multiple ramps, down one elevator, cross a long walkway, up another elevator to check in.   Very limited signage on anything.  Feeling really rat-like I finally made it to the Singapore Airlines counter and was checked in in less than 5 min.!  They made me feel human again.

Singapore Airport Orchids

Singapore Airport Orchids

Uneventful flight.  3 hours in Changi Airport (Singapore) were enough to buy the missing bits I’d forgotten to pack and realized during the flights.  Everything here is more expensive than in Texas so don’t expect bargains.  Plus the exchange rate is terrible now.

In Changi I had time for coffee, a free foot massage and to enjoy the Orchid Garden.  What a contrast with IAH!

Made Mudana met us at the DPS (Bali) airport.  Made is a driver/friend from Ubud area – contact Deb if you need an email or phone # for Made – he can find the good shops.

Business Meeting

Melysa and Norberto’s Office


Before driving up to our hotel in Ubud we made a short stop at Norberto and Melysa’s office in Denpasar for a small business meeting to discuss plans for the Raja Ampat trips.

I work with Melysa and Norberto all year long planning trips, so it is great to see them face to face.  This year is very special because I got to meet their new daughter!  Left to right on photo:  Liz, Deb, Daniella, Melysa, Norberto.

First Day Shopping in Bali

Bone Carving Shop

Shopping for Bone Carvings

Liz hadn’t been to the village near Gunung Kawe with all the bone carving shops so after breakfast we headed straight there.

For 3+ hours we wandered through tiny shops checking for marine life carvings.  Scored big time on octopus (Indonesian = “gurita”) carvings of bone, stone and horn.  Also seahorse, dragonfly, flowers and other beautiful carvings that will make wonderful earrings or pendants.



Bone Carvings for Jewelry

A few bone & horn carvings

Tried a new (to us) Western style Indonesian food restaurant just outside Ubud for lunch.  Nice place, great view, and the food was very good if a bit bland.  Indus Restaurant  (same owner as Casa Luna in Ubud).

Finished up the day with a few shops near the Monkey Forest, but by that time after the long flights, jet lag, and heavy duty shopping we were ready to fall into bed without dinner.

Posted in: Dive Trip Oct 19

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