We had an overnight stop in Chennai and Kuala Lumpur and the luxury of travelling business class on both legs, however, a bout of food poisoning didn’t let me enjoy the trappings of the lounge and
We arrived in Ubud on the 8th February to an hour long wait at immigration and an increase in entry fee to the country. I had thought that Indonesia was going to do away with payment for visas on arrival but instead they had hiked the price up to nearly fifty dollars each. Apparently the former won’t take place until January 2016.
The departure tax has also gone up to twenty dollars and extending a visa by one more month to seventy dollars each. I considered it a bit rich as we contributed to the economy paying for accommodation, meals and incidentals. Maurice had stocked up on our store of Vegemite which was just as well as we found that a 225gm jar cost more than $13 in Ubud.
There is also a ludicrous procedure now for a visa extension. You get a 30day visa on arrival and at least a week before your visa expires (this was always the case)one now has to go to the immigration department in Denpasar and have a picture and fingerprints (all of them) taken before they will grant an extension. It will put a lot of people off extending for another month – us included.
It is a real bother and an expensive exercise for a return trip to Sanur to the immigration office from Ubud. No one even at immigration could tell us why this extra procedure and inconvenience was necessary. We did point out that to leave the airport they sight you and your passport. Maybe they need a safeguard as we look all the same to them?
The traffic seemed to get worse every year with more vehicles and noisy smelly motorbikes tearing up and down everywhere. The main street in Ubud was blocked solid in the afternoons with people movers and enormous buses carrying busloads of Chinese and Korean tourists. They seemed to have lunch, visit the market and then traipse along the footpaths with their identical hats and spacial unawareness.
Having said that were lucky that we are in a nice quiet villa away from the road and we could still be close to some lovely rice fields although they are diminishing rapidly in the name of progress in and around Ubud as more villas, restaurants and shops are built.
People remained friendly and Bali is one of the few countries where the locals smile and say good morning even if they are not trying to sell you something. Even if you buy nothing, the little Balinese shop assistants are obliging and pleasant. Many eating establishments are still very good value and much cheaper than Australia. We only found it expensive coming from India where general living expenses were still extremely cheap.
I did a lot of walking down to town in the five days that Maurice was in Perth to see a sick friend.
It did get a bit wearing being asked if you needed a taxi every few steps or the more lazy ones just save their voices and just hold up a sign with “taxi” written on it.
I ventured into Ubud a few times but walked most of the time up and down the hills there and back which was good exercise. I timed my walks very well as on two occasions I just made it in the door before outbursts of torrential rain. The third time I wasn’t so lucky getting totally drenched with sneakers full of water but it was still pleasant walking in the warm rain.
I was happy to see some young and some not so young craftsmen working on statues and reliefs in the renovation of a temple. The very young and teenagers still dress traditionally to go to the temple which is refreshing to see.
Our friend Carol came up to stay with us and Maurice arrived the next day from Perth to enjoy relaxing taking dips in the pool,walking to town,shopping and dining out.

A rabid dog had bitten several people and several dogs not far from where we stayed.
It was caught and destroyed along with another dog and the humans would have had the course of anti-rabies injections.
Luckily that happened rarely in that area.
Another unusual occurrence was on Kuta Beach where a two metre snake disturbed beach goers and had to be caught and transported far away.

There seemed to be a lot more thunder and lightning and heavy rainfall while we were in Ubud, more so than last year. We therefore spent many evenings watching the $1 videos that we bought in town. Some excellent films were – The Imitation Game, The Water Diviner, The theory of Everything and The Good Lie.
Steve, our villa manager also recommended a dentist not far away so we had check ups and Maurice had some work done for a very reasonable price.
I cooked every quite a lot and it was a nice change from always eating out although we had some nice meals at Indus, Il Giardino and the Bridges restaurants. We had two lots of visitors from Perth this year. Carol came up for a few days as did Tony and Michelle who also visited us in Pondicherry. It was nice seeing friends from home again.

We also spent an inordinate amount of time (necessary when dredging the internet) researching our upcoming travels to Greece, Turkey and Morocco and booking ferries, flights and some accommodation. We were advised when we could go and visit the immigration department in Sanur to have our photos and finger prints taken and went for a coffee in Kuta first. The torrential rain persisted and the streets soon became rivers. The water did seem to drain away fairly quickly into the black volcanic sand below.
We moved to the villa next door for our last four days in Ubud and it was virtually identical to the one in which we stayed for the month however the living area and kitchen were open areas.
We travelled to Candi Dasa – a favourite spot of ours on the east coast on the 12th March to start our next month by the ocean between there and the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.