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  #1  
Old 10-25-2006, 05:01 AM
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Location: Wicklow, Ireland
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Greetings from Bali !!

hi all,
havin a super relaxing time in here on this wonderful island paradise.
You may or may not remember, but a while back i won a radio competition back home to the tune of about $6500, and so here we are..
Beautifully friendly people, fantastic weather (33-35 everyday), blue skies, warm clear sea, great food and a top hotel..

on a motorised note, practically all cars are asian, i'd say ive seen less than 10 european cars, 4 0f which were MBs - a new ML350, a previuos model E-class,the unmistakeable nose of a W123 taxi at the airport, and my favourite (well i would say that)- a W114 280 with a two-tone paint job, silver on black.

We've got a couple more days here before we return to civilian life and try to adapt to the onset of a damp, dark and cold Irish winter, so i better get back out there and catch some more rays by the pool

Tony

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  #2  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:54 AM
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There's a couple of MB dealerships there. One is on the main road between the airport and Jimbaran Bay.

My wife and I were there in August and loved it. Where on the Island are you?

If you like Elephants the Elephant safari Park at Taro is great.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2006, 09:37 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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my right hand man rick went to bali. his step daughter was teaching there. he loved it. said the people were the nicest he ever saw. beautiful landscape too. he sent me a postcard showing fantastic stepped rice fields all over the side of a mountain. it looked marvelous.

tom w
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:51 AM
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we're in Nusa Dua, about 20 mins ride south of the airport.
Its s two mile stretch of golden deserted (almost) beach with a string of 5star hotels along it. To be honest we havent seen a hell of a lot - we wnet to Kuta (big Australian surf prescence) and just yesterday went to Uluwatu, which is a cliff top Hindu temple where monkeys roam, and a traditional dance is performed, with the backdrop of a magical tropical sunset..
Otherwise, we've just sauntered around our village a bit. I know some might think that to come all this way and see none of the island is a bit, well, wasteful maybe, but this is exactly what we wanted to do on this holiday - just completely switch off - we've had a tough year.
Tom, we could see those rice terraces from the air, and they are spectacular.
Annie and I have done a fair bit of backpacking thru other SE asian countries, and im not saying its exactly the same here, but after a fashion i guess it is.. We're gonna find it hard to leave this beautiful place tho', and i will miss the warmth of the locals, there is a genuine air of happiness about them..
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:03 AM
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I found it to be the most relaxing, peaceful place I have ever been. Like you, we really only spent two days touring the Island. The rest of the time we just relaxed on the beach and wandered around the area we stayed at.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:16 AM
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The hotel was certainly very nice (we stayed at Ritz Carlton), staff was the best I have seen however I don't think the locals are such little angels like you guys describe them. I felt that the main reason for being nice to us was that they expected to make money off us, since they are, for the most part, unbelievable poor and destitute. When we walked along the tourist areas and didn't buy their overpriced souveneers I could see and hear the the subtle sneers.
I didn't experince the same thing in Thailand, they are also very poor but proud and generally happy bunch, even when we didn't buy their wares they smiled at us. I didn't get the same feeling in Bali.
We didn't have any bad experince and I would and, hopefully will go back, but I felt that the Thais were more honest.

Alex
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:26 AM
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my associate, rick didnt stay in the ritz. he was out in the boonies, i think.

i suspect if you get away from such obvious tourist traps you will find the real people of bali.

tom w
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2006, 11:09 AM
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Actually that obvious tourist “trap’ cost me a cool $700/person for 3 nights 4 days, including breakfast, and return airfare from Tokyo (7 hours flight, including a transfer to and from the airport). We also rented a local car with driver and an English speaking tour guide to see the “real” people of Bali, it cost us $30/person for the whole day, including lunch and dinner. So yes, we did meet the locals and saw the incredible poverty they live in.
I did not feel the same friendliness, as in Thailand, coming from them, if anything, I felt contempt. Another bloody, rich (compared to them) white man with another, rich Japanese woman. I may be more sensitive than others.

Alex
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2006, 04:59 AM
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we are staying at the Ayodya Palace - until very recently it was the Bali Hilton. Staff and surroundings are truly magical, but i know that one can get a bit of 'the guilts' when you leave your 5star enclave and see first hand the hardship locals face..but i do feel the people have a warmth to them. We spent time in Thailand previously - 3years ago on honeymoon, which was 5star, and prior again to that as poor backpackers, living in the bush practically. i think the locals are happy for you to be initially visiting their country as that will help them economically (ok maybe not them directly) and are happy to sit and talk to you..but thats just my 2c
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Old 10-28-2006, 05:09 AM
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Make sure not to miss the fire (Kechak) dance while you are there, it is very interesting. I am still kicking myself for forgeting the damn video camera.

Alex
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2006, 07:22 AM
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Here's a couple of shots of the local scenery. I have a few of the fire dance, but my camera is not so good at night, especially with the fire moving all over the place.

Keep in mind it was winter there when I was there (relatively speaking anyway - 28 degrees every day) so the rice crops have just been planted and not everything looks as lucious and green as it would just after the rainy season.
Attached Thumbnails
Greetings from Bali !!-bali-august-2006-85-.jpg   Greetings from Bali !!-bali-august-2006-40-.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 11-01-2006, 08:24 AM
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Boy its cold!!!

got back on monday after a fantastic holiday, and does it feel weird to wear shoes/long sleeves again...

dacia- we got to see the kecak dance performed twice. Initially we saw it at Uluwatu, a clifftop Hindu temple is located there, with the Indian Ocean as a backdrop. Show begins just as sun starts to dip - quite entrancing for sure. second time we saw it was at the hotel, not near as spectacular but i guess we were spolied the first time
aside #1- dacia any reason for your tagname - it is also the name of a Romanian car manufacturer, who used to make old Renaults under licence
aside #2- when i first saw the performance of the dance, when all the cast are sittng on the floor and chanting it reminded me of a tv advert that aired about 18months ago here. a large group of natives in the jungle, following the leader in tribal noises. might have been for playstation, or a mobile phone firm, but definitely v similar.

apart from the trip to the temple, and a couple of hours in Kuta, we didnt wander far from our village. Got some clothes made over there too- two cashmere winter coats w/silk lining (his n hers), 2 suits for me, 2 dresses for Annie, a shirt, and 8yards of raw silk (for curtains) all for approx US$400.
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  #13  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:11 AM
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Some people called it fake on another site (the kechak dance), then tried to explain how easy it was for the performer to pull it off. I dunno, from where I as watching it, about 12 feet away on the left side of the podium, it certainly looked damned real.
I drove a Dacia 1300 (Renault 12) when I lived in Austria.
I felt terrible seeing how poor and destitute the locals were in Bali, after a while we had to draw a line of not buying anything from roadside wendors/kids no matter how sad they looked, can't save the whole world.
We got some paintings and drawings after some haggling, we bargained down about 40%, if memory serves me right.

Alex
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  #14  
Old 11-01-2006, 12:31 PM
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Haggling with the locals is good fun, and all part of the theatre if you get my drift..(im always thinking of the scene from Life of Brian when haggling ) but when you take stock and realise over the course of 5minutes you brought the price down only a couple of bucks, we'd often give em some more anyway.. no you cant save everyone, but why not help a few in the meantime

the first car of i ever drove, was my dads Renault12, just shunting it on the driveway. An extremely comfortable car from memory, it was a '75, dad had it around the early 80s. I loved the quirky looks and whole Frenchness of it, and always have a soft spot for them, a rare thing on the road these days, unless you're in Eastern Europe. I lived in Germany for a couple of years and got around quite a bit, down to Austria a couple of times - beautiful country, twisty alpine roads, good beer . .
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  #15  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:50 PM
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I am not so keen on bargaining, the wife enjoys it more than I do. She did it in Thailand too with a tuk-tuk driver, he drove us around half day for a very small amount, so we doubled it at the end of the day.

I had 3 Reanult Fuegos in Canada. People called them crappy cars, they served me very well with awsome ride and comfort, were easy to maintain, parts were a bit hard to come by though until I found a Portugese dealer.
They were quick, nimble, easy to repair, very good on gas and very, very reliable.

Austria is nice and clean, although they are a bit anal, just like the Germans and the Japanese.

Alex

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