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Return from vacation - Denpasar to Chennai - 26 December 2017

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Breakfast in The Artini Resort was a combination of continental and asian. I normally take the selection of fruits and a couple of eggs with croissants. This day I chose the sticky rice and it's accompaniments. It was not easy to have rice that early. The fresh juices were another treat.  The restaurant has water running almost around it. And the place is so green, particularly with the rain. Orchids are everywhere. The tropical plants have huge leaves and a very healthy shade of green.

Yudha was there before time and by the time I had completed  the checkout process he had already made friends with a few visitors from the US and struck a deal to drive them around for the next day! Amazing man this Yudha is, with families in America, Australia and Indonesia, yet single now. He had worked in Australia for 15 years and owns property there. An excellent conversationalist and extremely fun loving Yudha is an outstanding guide for those visiting Bali. I had found him fortuitously with D…

Discovering Bali - 25 December 2017

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It was Christmas day. It was rain, rain and more rain all through the Christmas eve night and Christmas morning. Thanks to the research on weather forecast I had packed for the rain. And today was a brilliant opportunity to relive the younger days, when I never spared the rain and mother never admonished us when we got wet, unlike parents of today. The past was about enjoying the seasons. The monsoons were a relief from the heat and were to be enjoyed. Growing up has its downside; staying away from the rain being one. This day I decided to walk in the rain, once again. Not be afraid of the impending thundershowers. I told myself to enjoy the now, the rain, and not be dampened by the weather forecast. Dressed in a red t-shirt, green windcheater, blue raincoat bottom and orange crocs look-alike (euphemism for copy), I spent the entire morning walking in the rain. People squatting in their shops hoping for a let up in the rain merely looked up, smiled and said 'good morning. Just the…

Discovering Bali - 24 December 2017

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I could hear the pitter patter of rain through the night. When I woke up on Christmas Eve morning it was raining quite heavily. I made myself a strong cup of coffee and wondered if the rains would put paid to my plans for the day. In a while the rain abated and was down to a trickle. That's when I decided to venture out for breakfast. Consistent rains over the past week had made the paved walk slippery and tricky. From my balcony I saw a person slip and fall, hurting his back on the steps. It took me a very gingerly walk to reach the restaurant, which was set amidst green, landscaped grounds with sound of running water. I took a huge helping of fruits, including the exotic snake fruit. Excellent orange juice and Balinese coffee accompanied a masala omelette and muffins. I spend quite some time there taking in the jungle like resort features. It was like a tropical forest, cleared in places to accommodate the hotel and swimming pools. I was lucky to get a room in the hotel for less…

Discovering Bali - 23 December 2017

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The small room had been comfortable and I slept quite well. However, the time zone change robbed me of two and half  more hours of it. As the taxi would arrive at 8 am I was at breakfast just after the restaurant opened for it at 7. It wasn't a buffet. There was a set menu with options to choose from. Opening the order was strong Balinese coffee and a combination of breads with butter and jam. Next to grace the table were poached eggs on muffin with steak. That was a huge helping. The breakfast feast was completed with cut fruits and guava juice. All this was accompanied by exemplary service and smiling hospitality. It was a knockout. I was fortified for more than half the day.
I had a call from reception to announce that the taxi had arrived, well in time. At the checkout I wrote out an appreciation of the hospitality and personally thanked the people who had made the stay comfortable. The room with breakfast had cost me just INR 1500. Danu was the name of the driver who had contr…