Days 84 through 86: Our days are numbered.
So far, our 18-day stay at Pukakoo Villas here in Bali has been the longest we'd spent in any one place, and, barring any sort of advantageous pricing situation for the rest of the trip, it's likely to stay that way. As much as we were enjoying relaxing in Bali, we were also starting to get a little tired of it.
We are world travelers after all, and with our imminent departure ahead of us, we were feeling the desire to move on.
Just to be clear, we weren't tired of the villa itself, but rather certain aspects of our situation, particularly our reliance on others to get us around. While it made good financial sense to not hire scooters during our stay—instead being completely dependent upon a driver to get to town for even basics like groceries—that choice was becoming tiresome.
Add to that we all had some level of stomach distress. The first week we were staunchly vigilant about what we ate and drank, but this vigilance started to fade with time and familiarity, and I'm pretty sure some of the stuff we consumed was questionable. When you can see the rats running around the rafters of the warung you're eating in, it definitely makes you think twice as you put something into your mouth.
And during the last week, both Jackie and Samantha developed a raspy cough which was (we hoped) due to irritation from breathing in the near-constant smoke in the air.
So our last three Bali days blurred together pretty well. A good portion of those days was spent trying to iron out a snafu with Chinese visas that's going to require a bit of runaround in Hong Kong and Tokyo. We have more than a month to get it sorted, though, so we're not too worried. Yet.
Our friends Charly & Martin and their kids came over to our villa to swim Wednesday afternoon, after which we ordered in from Taco Casa (our third meal from there during our stay).
Thursday we spent wandering around town, donating some books to the Pondok Pekak Library (lighten the load!), playing a little football on the Ubud football field, dropping off another couple of postcards, and killing time in general before we met Charly & Martin for our last dinner in Ubud at Fair Warung Balé, a restaurant that helps to provide free health care to those in need.
After dinner we walked to a gelato warung for dessert, where we said our goodbyes to Charly & Martin and their family. They were staying in Bali for a while longer, and we were going to miss their company. Hopefully we'll get the chance to meet up later in our collective journeys—which is one of the nice things about traveling.
On Friday we made our final run into town. We needed to get some money to pay our exit tax (200,000 rupiah per person) and to pay the driver who'd be taking us to the airport (340,000).
Then we had time for one more restaurant—lunch at Ibu Oka (the suckling pig place), but at a different location (I think No. 2) that was one closer to the villa. It was better than the one next to the Ubud Palace.
When we got back to the villa, the rice paddy near us was on fire.
We'd seen an entire cycle of rice harvesting in our 18 days, from mature plants to harvested field to a burning field.
And then it was back to the villa to pack. It rained most of the rest of the afternoon (the longest stretch of day time rain in our 18 days), but stopped by the time our driver arrived.
We took the long drive to the airport in Denpasar, which took a little over an hour in Bali rush hour traffic and, after a little waiting around, got aboard our plane to Singapore.