Thursday, April 10, 2014


With Gede, Ubud, March 2014

Wow, time gets away! I’ve been in Ubud three weeks and this feels like my first chance to poke my head up and look around and take stock. I was as sick as a dog with acute bronchitis for the first ten days, popping antibiotics after seeing doctors at Ubud Clinic and then Toya Clinic. I still have a cough, but it’s mostly just my normal cough. A bad habit, as much as anything.

I’ve had a heavy workload the whole time. Today was actually my first day off (apart from a couple of hours’ work early in the day) in I can’t think how long.

After staying for my first week at a guesthouse I switched back to Cinta, where I spent a couple of months last year. Everything works for me there, and I really like the people. I met an interesting woman at my first place, though, who has not only run marathons but cycled all through Europe, India, Sri Lanka and other places, and has had lots of walking adventures. I want to do another long walk. She and I met up a few times for meals and chats, and to see the ogog-ogoh statues paraded through the streets of Ubud.

My visit coincided, like last year, with Nyepi (Balinese New Year) and Silence Day.  It was my third new year for the year (so far), after seeing in 2014 in Spain, the Year of the Horse in Kuching, and now Caka Year 1936 in Bali. Very little has gone according to plan A so far this year, so that may be why.

I’m now in a villa by the rice fields owned by my new friend Kasey. We met last year at Cinta when she and her husband came to watch the Super Bowl and I overheard her say she had broken a wrist while trekking in Nepal. I broke my wrist while trekking in Nepal (in late 2008), so I felt I had to introduce myself. We have now become friends, and in fact suspect we might be twins who were separated at birth. I have also introduced her to my friend Di, and Di has introduced me to her friend Elizabeth, who runs Villa Kitty. Writer Cat, whom I introduced Di to four years ago and whose house and animals Di is minding, will be back from India next week.

A view from upstairs

I like the street leading to the villa. It has a very neighbourhood feel. It's good to see kids being dropped off at the school nearby, and to hear them singing during the morning when I'm working on the terrace.

Jalan Kajeng

I have visitors arriving from Oz and Sarawak from next week to share my villa, which will be fun.