On Friday we had a busy day preparing for Laura’s arrival. Did some shopping at the Bintang Supermarket, made sure the spare bedroom was clean and ready for a guest, and of course enjoyed a swim in the pool and relaxation!! Life is pretty easy!!
I set my alarm for 3 a.m. on Saturday morning and was up and dressed ready to go and meet Laura when Made brought her from the airport around 3:30 a.m. I had intended to walk down the lane to greet her, but no-one called to say they had arrived, so it was the rattling of the handle on the gate that alerted me to the fact they were here. As I was heading to open up, Wayan emerged from the laundry, and between Made, Wayan and myself we got her installed in the spare bedroom. We both pretty well crashed in bed immediately after that!!
The next day, Friday, we took Laura for her initiation walk into Ubud and stopped at the Lotus Café for lunch. The food is OK here, but the view over the lily pond in front of the temple brings a few moments of beauty and tranquility to the eating experience. For anyone just arriving in Ubud, particularly from an organized country like Canada, it is a frenzied collection of narrow streets lined with small tourist shops displaying colourful nicks knacks or fashion, broken up, narrow, uneven sidewalks that require your undivided attention, guys hawking car or bike taxi rides, lazy dogs guarding the shop entrances, thousands of tourists of every nationality strutting back and forth “on the strip” and shedding buckets of water onto soggy handkerchiefs, SUVs, trucks, and motor scooters communicating with each other by a series of horn blasts and exhausting waste gas into the atmosphere so that it feels that your lungs are on fire. Returning to the villa, we had a nice swim, and after a short nap to recover from her journeys, we took our 100 steps to the Bali Dream Café for dinner.
On Saturday, after a relaxing morning planning the next two weeks, and lunch at the Englishman’s Café, we headed out for a walk in the Ubud rice fields. Also popped in to see a couple of new houses just being finished off and for rent. In the evening I led her through the Penestanan lanes to the Bintang Supermarket. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take my head light, so the journey back was a little precarious in the areas where the canals were on either side, or even on one side, of the very narrow and uneven path.
Poor Laura; in her first couple of days here she had been taken down a quiet back lane, in the dark, by a strange man (Made) to the villa, then dragged by me in the twilight homeward along the Bintang lane without a torch. Anyway, we made it safely.