Sunday, April 24, 2016

Update C5

It's always a relief to see after a few weeks away that there continues to be progress on our "Saint Germain" at C5 (in Campbell)..and to remind ourselves of how time is passing very quickly!

This pic of the site was taken 6 months ago on the 25th October 2015...
 and this was taken two months later just before Christmas Day (21st December 2015)......
This was taken another two months later on the 16th February 2016 (not bad progress considering the usual Christmas - New Year - January - slow down in building.......
..and this was taken one month later on the 27th March 2016....(they're on the first floor car park level now!)
 ..and here we are another month on (24th April 2016) and they are working on the ground floor level of the apartments (only five more floors to go)
The park trees are looking very pretty now too with their Autumn colours.  

This area will be very crowded tomorrow with all the ANZAC Day ceremonies at the War Memorial and down Anzac Parade. Hopefully by ANZAC day next year we will have moved in!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The big fish and Tirta Gangga

Tuesday 19th April
There was great excitement this morning as Rob and I were sitting at breakfast watching Judy, Sophie and Jurgen returning from their early morning fishing expedition. Sophie had hooked a huge fish on her hand line and Jurgen had managed to land it safely - an 8 kilo or so beautiful big Mahi Mahi fish - much to the surprise and enjoyment of all the locals.
 Oops, don't drop it Sophie!!

Judy did the Balinese lucky lucky blessing with her payment for the boat skipper this morning!
A section of the fish was taken up to the hotel kitchen for our dinner tonight and the boatman took home the rest - a great morning's work for him and an unforgettable fishing moment for Sophie!

We spent an hour or so in the pool this morning stretching out some of the overused muscles from our 2 hour snorkeling session yesterday. We had booked a driver to take us up to Tirta Gangga (the Royal Water Palace) about a half hour's drive from Candidasa in the mountains to the NE. Tirta Gangga was built in 1948 by the last Raja of Karangasem. The water palace is a maze of pools and fountains and statues with very strong Chinese decorative elements. It was almost entirely destroyed by the eruption of the nearby Mount Agung in 1963.

We enjoyed the cool lushness of Tirta Gangga after the salty heat of our three lovely days at the beach. Rob and I noted the huge change in the place since our last visit over a decade ago when the restoration work was still very much a work in progress. It looks like a finished beauty now!

Lunch at Tirta Ayu restaurant was a highlight and the drive to and from, through the clean and prosperous suburbs of Amlapura and the winding mountain roads in this region, was of great interest too.

We made a special effort to enjoy our late afternoon drinks today, our last evening in Bali. The gin is all gone and only a small amount of Black Label left - it really is time to go home!
The staff at this hotel do their absolute best to make everyone feel special. We admired the set up on the beach below the open air restaurant for the Dutch family's 50th wedding anniversary dinner tonight. It looked to be a rather lovely party. It made us wish we'd had a bit more warning about Judy and Jurgen's 29th wedding anniversary yesterday!

It was a thrill to eat Sophie's fish tonight - beautifully cooked by the hotel chef and teamed with our favourite papaya and pomelo salad. A perfect meal with the freshest fish you could find anywhere!

Candidasa snorkeling

Monday 18th April

We booked the boats again this morning for a few hours snorkeling in the popular spots south of Candidasa : Jepun and the Blue Lagoon. Jepun was only about 25 mins away by boat with the Blue Lagoon just a short distance from there.
On the way we checked out the beautiful and exclusive (and isolated) Amenkila and Alila Manggis resorts (from a distance) but didn't really feel too envious.

The snorkeling was just great this morning. I used a life vest for the first time and finally found my snorkeling mojo!! I felt relaxed and able to just immerse myself in the experience without feeling anxious about getting too far away from the boat. The coral was not in a good state in these two sites but the variety of fish was just amazing - and the water was very clean! We all really enjoyed our two hours in the water at both sites.

We were very ready for lunch when we got back. We made a return visit to Puri Pandan Cafe for our farewell lunch with the Fischers which turned out to be a good choice today with an ocean front, shady table available and a beautiful sea breeze. We loved our time together and the beautiful Pandan Nasi Campur and ikan (fish) dishes and their wonderful hand made ice creams and black rice pudding.

 The Fischers left at around 4.00pm with Eddy, ready for the drive to Denpasar airport and then back to Australia. It was another goodbye to dear friends who's company has made this such a special holiday - and one we'll never forget.

We took it easy for a few hours until Judy arrived at the door all excited with a very late announcement, that it was hers and Jurgen's 29th wedding anniversary (oops almost forgot!). We used the remaining 10 minutes of Happy Hour to ensure we drank their health with the hotel's 3 for the price of 2 Mojito cocktail offer.