After about 34trips for me to Bali, we saw our first snake here. It was dead on the road but it was also about a metre long. On our jungle walks and walks throught the rice paddies we haven’t seen any or even heard anything move. When we asked Komang if the snakes are deadly here, he said that you have time to get to hospital – very comforting!

We have heard of the horse whisperer and the dog whisperer but the sign that we saw in an organic shop/cafe with an arrow pointing upstairs took the cake – “the colon whisperer” the mental images were not good!


We went up to our friend Komang’s village today and we donned sarongs to go into
the family temple. The family compound is a picture with lots of flowers – orchids in
particular hanging from most of the trees. We met with Wayan Sila (a wonderful retired woodcarver) who is Maurice’s age now and who has set up his village as a cultural and
homestay concept for people who want to see how people really live in a village – not
at all touristy but down to getting in and planting rice, making the traditional decorations,
and living in a family compound. It is very interesting and Wayan Sila and his committee
want to try and educate the Balinese to hang on to their land – develop it but don’t just
sell it or they will have nothing to pass on to their children. If they can’t afford to develop
the land themselves, rather than sell the land to foreigners, the committee will lend them money and it will become theirs after so many years.
Wayan Sila is passionate about retaining the Balinese culture and has seen what progress
has done to other very commercialised places like Kuta and Seminyak. He is all for tourism but wants to retain the Balinese Hindu philosophy and distribute the money made throughout the village and it’s people. For those who want to look at their programme
it is They told us that the prices are published prices only and are negotiable. 

We have a few days left here in Bali and on Friday we fly to Singapore for just
1night and then we are looking forward to taking a day train to Butterworth and spending the
night in Georgetown and then the next afternoon taking an overnight train to Bangkok.
We will be there for 4days and then take another day train up to Chiang Mai in the north
for a week before crossing over into Laos and then we take a slow boat (2days) up the
river to Luang Prabang where we will be for a week. We will bus down to Vientiane
and then fly to Kunming and get the train after a couple of days back to Hangzhou where I was for a month in December. It will be strange being there and not be extremely cold.
It should be hot and humid there by then but I want to show Maurice around as the area
around West Lake is beautiful and all the lotus flowers should be out.

We have booked at our spa for a complete overhaul on Thursday before we leave – manicures/pedicures/massages/body scrub – for me. They do an excellent job and it is so cheap.

No not a self portrait!