Last day in Bali

So today was my last day in Bali, and the start of my ridiculously long road home. I have to say that I haven't really been all that impressed with bali - I was expecting a lot more. I realize that the area we were staying in is not the nicest, but I certainly can't recommend going to Bali. There are many other places I think are much nicer, and much easier to get to.

My first flight I the log road home left Bali at 8:00 p.m., so I had some time to spend over the course of the day. As with every other day this trip, I was up early, and had breakfast done before 7:00. I decided to head out for a few hours, and spend some time at the beach.

Sadly, the tide was way out when I got down to the beach today. Made the swimming a little less fun.

I hired a driver to take me back to Padang Padang beach, that we had visited earlier in the week. It looked like such a nice place, and it wasn't too far from the hotel. Of course, I didn't really pay much attention to the tide charts, and quickly found out that at low tide, it's not as good a swimming beach as I might have hoped.

 One of the benefits of low tide was the I could explore the rocks at the far end of the beach.

One of the benefits of low tide was the I could explore the rocks at the far end of the beach.

When we had been there earlier in the week, it was high tide and so all you could see was the soft, white sand. With the tide out, it became clear that the beach was a little rocky, and the water level very low. As it was early, the place was pretty empty as well. I spent about an hour walking up the beach a ways, exploring the shore line and the crazy rock formations, and poking around the tide pools. It was very pleasant.

 The rocks make for some interesting formations.

The rocks make for some interesting formations.

The water and sand were beautiful on this little beach. It was still rocky once you got out, but if you were there at high tide, it would not have been an issue.

Once I exhausted that, I headed back to the main beach and laid out in the sun for a while. Once I got too hot, I headed into the water. The temperature was perfect, but with the tide being low, the water wasn't really deep enough to swim. I went a long way out, and the water was still only chest deep. Still, it was very relaxing paddling about in the water. But before long I was bored, and it was time to head back to the hotel.

I got all my stuff together, had a shower, cleaned up and packed my bags. Around noon I checked out, and tracked down my driver who was going to take me around for the afternoon. As I had about 5 hours to kill, I decided to go to the Bali Bird Park, about an hour north from the hotel. It worked out well - I could leave all my bags in the car, check out the park and then go directly to the airport when I was done.

Bali  Bird Park Green Parrot.jpg
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The Bird Park was actually pretty good. Better than I expected really. They had a number of different habitats set up, representing different parts of the globe. In addition to the expected big cages where you could see the different species, there were a number of random displays where the birds were out in the open air. There were lots of parrots, as well as storks, pelicans and other larger birds. They also had a couple of large, walk-in aviaries, which housed a large number of different birds. It was a pretty good setup.

Easily the most spectacular bird in the place, this hornbill was out of display and easy to approach.

I spent a good three hours wandering about, taking pictures and checking out the different birds. It was good fun. They also had an adjoining reptile park that wasn't done nearly as well. The habitats were less well put together,and many were too small for the reptiles they housed.

All that said, it was a good afternoon, and I was glad I went. It took us a little more than an hour to drive back south the to the airport, and the start of my long journey home.

 One of the most interesting things on this trip was seeing rice being grown. I've eaten a lot of it, but had no real idea what it looks like. Here is a rice paddy, with banana trees along the edges.

One of the most interesting things on this trip was seeing rice being grown. I've eaten a lot of it, but had no real idea what it looks like. Here is a rice paddy, with banana trees along the edges.

 And this is the rice in the middle of the rice paddy.

And this is the rice in the middle of the rice paddy.

And this is a single stalk of rice, with the grains of rice growing on the stalks.

The Long Trip Home

I ended up at the airport a little early, around 4:30 for my 8:00 flight. As a result, the check in was not ready for my flight, so I had to hang around until it did. Once opened, they didn't have many people doing checking so it took forever.

The airport in Bali is a bit of joke. They're starting to build out the facilities, but there is nothing there at the moment, making the three hour wait even less fun. Our flight was delayed bit, but eventually we were off to Singapore.

The trip home was a little better in that it was getting broken up. Saturday night I was flying to Singapore, with the next leg being at 9:00 Sunday morning. I had booked a room at the airport hotel in Singapore so I could get some sleep.

Originally, I was going to take a trip into the city to check things out, but as it was after 11:00 by the time I checked in, I just didn't feel like it any longer. Instead, I headed down to the hotel bar, where I happened to catch the last third of the Liverpool game, as they thrashed WBA. It was a good end to my night.

 The pool area at the airport hotel in Singapore

The pool area at the airport hotel in Singapore

The hotel was actually really nice, and I got some much needed sleep. I was up the next morning and walked over to the airport to get checked in. Singapore has taken a more distributed approach with security, moving the hand luggage screening to the gates. I think I like it better as it spreads out the painful part of getting on the plane.

 My home for something like 15 hours each way.

My home for something like 15 hours each way.

Sunday had me making the bulk of the trip home. It was. Reasonable start, with the first leg from Singapore to Tokyo lasting just under seven hours. It was a pretty uneventful flight, and the layover in Tokyo was about another two hours. I decided to have sushi at a little sushi restaurant in the terminal. It was really good.

The next leg, from Tokyo to Los Angeles was the really painful leg. Just offer nine hours long, and I was exhausted but couldn't sleep. I then had about two hours to make my connection to Vancouver, and a three hour flight home. Needless to say, I was really happy to get home