We flew on an Emirates A380 from London on the 10th November 2017 and arrived at Al Barsha apartments near Mall of the Emirates for a few day’s stay. It was an excellent apartment, very well equiped and located only one block from the metro station Sharaf DG and a 15minute walk from Mall of the Emirates.
The facilities at the beach in Jumeirah in Um Suqeim II were much upgraded compared to six years ago when there was nothing apart from sand. Now there is a rubberised running path, change rooms, toilets, mobile recharging points, lifeguards and kiosks with shaded areas.
Al Fannah seafood restaurant in the Fisherman’s harbour nearby was excellent serving fresh fish every day at a very reasonable price.

We met up with my UAE friend Salim with whom I studied Mandarin in Hangzhou six years ago. He was doing his military service for a year which he was enjoying.

The Mall of the Emirates doesn’t change much but there is a good choice of every type of shop from very upmarket,large supermarket and their famous ski Dubai complete with penguins.

The airport however seems to change all the time with more trains taking you longer distances to new departure halls with a myriad of duty free and other shops.
We flew to Singapore on an Emirates A380 which was a very comfortable flight as it was only half full. It was very noticeable on both flights however that the crew do the bare minimum and do not offer the service you get with Singapore airlines, Garuda or even Indigo.

In Singapore we stayed at the Parkroyal on Kitchener Road in the middle of Little India. We were upgraded to a club room on the 21st floor which gave us a wonderful view over the few remaining old buildings down below in Little India. We were again blessed with the weather with no rain which was fortunate as we explored the
‘Gardens by the Bay’ an extensive area of stunning gardens and the amazing engineering feat of the ‘Cloud Forest’ and ‘Flower Dome’.

Singapore has an amazing array of food choices and we opted for ‘Din Tai Fung’ for their wonderful steamed dumplings and then ‘Fattys’ a Singapore institution from the early 20’s. Fatty has since passed on but his son Skinny runs the restaurant.

On the 14th we flew from Singapore to Bali for a week’s R & R. We visited the Andree spa daily and had wonderful 90minute massages for $20. Spa treatments here especially in Candi Dasa are such good value. We visited our Russian friend Ksenia and partner Feisal in Ubud who had baby Fyodor who was very cute and only a week old. It was bucketing down in Bali which continued when we arrived at our villa in Seminyak which my old friend the ex Qantas manager ran and invited us to stay for a couple of nights.
At least it was hot and not cold but going to dinner Maurice had to go out in shorts and no shoes and me likewise to get to the car as it was raining so hard.

It was sad to see that everywhere was very quiet because of the expected eruption of Mt Agung. We could see steam coming from the crater in the distance but the evacuated people had returned to their homes. The island in general was much quieter than usual and our hotel told us that many people had cancelled their bookings. They were hoping for a better December for tourist numbers.

Maurice found a good app called ‘findship’ which showed real time as to where our ship carrying our van and our ship carrying our goods from Italy were. Amazing technology. The other one we used all over Europe to plot routes for the van and where we had flown was ‘maps.me’ a very useful app too.

We flew back to Perth on the 24th November to a lovely warm 33degree and blue sky day. Maurice’s sister and brother in law picked us up and we had a very relaxing lunch by the river before heading to the Subaru dealer to pick up my new red WRX car. It goes like a rocket and I love it.

It did feel strange seeing all the new developments around Perth the first few days and after spending a lovely few days with Maura and Tony we got our house back on the 27th November ready for a lot of sorting and unpacking.

It has been a wonderful six years of travel for us meeting a lot of interesting and generous people all over the world and exploring some fascinating places. We look forward to getting our house and garden in order (literally) and then continuing our travel for shorter periods except for a few months at Mantra the Indian guest house we look after during the Perth winter.

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