Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | By: BlackGargie

Bali Company Trip-Day 5 (Finale)

Final day of the trip where we have to depart the wonderful Hawaii-ish Bali and return to mundane Brunei has arrived. At least with the early bedtime, we were able to at least get a few hours of shut eye before waking up for the long haul to the airport. It was so hard to get out of bed after sleeping for only about 4-5 hours, and I could barely keep my eyes open, but we have soldier on until this day is over.

When we got to the bus, we were given complimentary breakfast (which I totally forgot to take a picture of due to sleepiness) of toast, raisin and cinnamon bagel, egg and orange juice. I was worried that we might not be able to get these stuff past the immigration check point, being it liquid and all, but my hubs and everyone else were convinced that they can get the thing through. First checkpoint surprisingly let us through, but once we got to the second checkpoint after checking in, the security halted us and confiscated all our drinks and eggs. I gave a I-told-you-so look at my hubs and rolled my eyes when he acted all flabbergasted about it. Though I can understand his frustration. We were going to eat it on the spot and not in the plane, so what is the big deal bringing it in? I thought usually that kind of confiscation happens when you pass the boarding gate, not here at the luggage scan checkpoint. Weird.

And why did they confiscated our eggs are beyond me.

After eating that complimentary breakfast and drinking a rather bad mochacinno coffee, we all sauntered off to get some last minute souvenirs (which my hubs did when he wanted to get perfume for his mom at the duty free shop). We also stopped by a bookstore to look about, and I even spotted a rather interesting Bali culture T-shirt with impressive art styles, but unfortunately our morning stomach protested us to go take a dump, so we had to forgo that and relieve ourselves. By the time we were done (no thanks to people taking their sweet time in the bathroom and the super long-ass line), it was almost time to board our flight and we had to rush to get in line.

Once on the plane, we quickly took the opportunity to get some shut-eye. During the check-in, due to a full flight, a lot of us were not being seated together or chronologically, even went as far as giving a seat separated so far off between my hubs' cousin and his son (he, of course, insisted on a seat change, since his son is like 6 years old and can't be left alone unsupervised), but after a bit of rearranging by our tour rep, we were more or less seated close together. I originally decided to forgo the in-flight breakfast but I didn't want to waste it, so I ordered as well, then went back to sleep again all the way to Brunei. My hubs apparently fell asleep on my shoulder, but I couldn't really care less.

Once we reached Brunei and grabbed our luggage, my hubs and I were the first ones out in the clear, so we had to take our leave first since our ride was already here (we live about 10 minutes away from the airport). The moment our princess sees us coming, she started crying and I wasted no time hugging and kissing her. We absolutely missed her to bits, and seeing my hubs' colleague's daughter was not helping, so having her in our arms showering her love and kisses was most rewarding. Of course, once we got home and the actual parenting chores kicked in, we realized we definitely didn't miss that part about our princess. But still, we're home sweet home and with our princess and that's all that matters.

Now that we've settled home, we're gonna have our little princess be taken care of by the help while get our much needed extra shut eye. Night night, everyone!

Bali Company Trip-Day 4

Today is the day we've all been waiting for: the island trip!! Of course, I totally put on my new swimsuit underneath my shirt and pants and brought along with me the sleeveless dress I bought from the swimwear store, packed up the usual sunblock and insect repellent, brought the necessities like passport and cash, and off we go!

It was almost an hour ride to our destination, which is the harbour that has our ride to the island called Pulau Lembungan (I think). I took this opportunity to catch a bit of shut-eye on the way, and once we got there, I was fully energized to go start off a wonderful day.








Random shots of the area


My tag and ticket

Random display case shot
After being tagged and given the ticket to our boat, we had to wait for the boat (and its passengers) to fully arrive and be ready. So of course, we took some memorable shots around the area.




Reminds me of a pirate boat

Finally after a bit of a long wait, we can finally board the boat to the island. Along the bridge connecting the harbour and the boat, there were local girls there to pose for pictures with us, you know, one of those photo souvenir services that they offer to tourist most of the time. We've got our own cameras, and we've got better shots to take than them, so we decided to forgo that service and board the boat. Again, couldn't resist taking photos of the inside of the boat.






Our snacks



There was a slight 5-10 minutes delay due to late comers of passengers, but all in all, everyone was onboard and good to go. Once the boat has started moving and had made a considerable amount of journey, I decided to venture out and take pictures of the middle and upper deck of the boat.




Live band gearing up


Middle deck shots



All aboard!


Staff demonstrating life jacket safety instructions

Look at them waves!

Live band performing

While I was exploring and taking photos, being my usual trigger-happy self, the live band started and I stayed a bit to listen to their singing. The PA system made the music a little too loud, but I was cool with it, and when they said they accept request, I jumped to the chance to request for Jason Mraz song "I'm Yours", since we've been playing that on the bus via my hubs' nephew's mp3 player for the past few days now, and I was in the mood for the original version coz the version that was played in the bus was the acoustic version. I was hoping the gang would be able to hear it, but unfortunately only those on the upper deck (where some of the gang members were situated) were able to hear it. Those who hunkered down in the lower deck couldn't hear a thing, sadly. Oh well, it was worth a try.


The bar

Moar waves!

Some more exploring later, I discovered that the captain's cabin door was open, and I saw a foreigner inside there talking to the captain, so naturally I assume that people are actually free to come and go entering the captain's cabin. I asked nicely, of course, and I was allowed in with no fuss. Still not sure whether that foreigner was one of the crew members of the boat or is actually a tourist, but who cares? I got the shot of the captain's cabin in the boat! And I took a picture with the captain! That counts as an experience.



Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking...


My hubs have the case of the seasickness, so he's not exactly too much of a fan of boat rides, but so far, the boat is not so bad, and he had some peanuts to keep his stomach down and not doing flip-flops, so that was a good thing. I also encouraged him to walk about and take in some fresh air rather than just sitting down in the lower deck and make himself even more sick. It's a real funny thing though. He doesn't experience car sickness, but he is really bad at handling seasickness, while I am the complete opposite. Boat rides don't bother me at all, but while I don't get car sickness as much anymore, I'm still trying to get the hang of it. LOL

Soon we arrived at the island in about roughly 1 hour and a half. The sight was amazing, and the water was crystal clear. You could see how blue and clear it was, and it's a no-brainer that I must take some shots of it.





We had to be dropped off on a pontoon before taking a secondary motorboat ride to get to where we are. Apparently this has also something to do with people being tagged and the destination they are supposed to be taken and what activities are available for certain tagged members. Oh well, as long as we get to the island, it's fine with me. My hubs' cousin decided to take the scuba diving activity, so he stayed behind at the pontoon while the rest of us took our boats and made our way to our ultimate destination.

Water slide on the pontoon


Scuba diving gear for people wanting to join the scuba diving activities





Us on the motor boat


Random shots on the way, including banana boat


Arriving to our destination

An awesome sight awaited us at the island, and when we got off the boat to get to shore, we had to step into a bit of water and HOLY FUCKING MOTHER OF GOD THE WATER IS FRICKIN' COLD!!! It was the coldest sea water I've ever set foot on. You'd think that in this broad daylight with the sun shining, the water would be blazing hot or at least lukewarm, but no! It was FUCKING COLD!! Now I know how the people in Titanic felt when their boat sank.

We were soon greeted with a complimentary drink at the entrance, and we were reminded by our tour guide Raka who came with us to report to him if we are interested in any sort of activity that is available on this island. But first, shots!





Le swimming pool, which surprisingly uses the sea water



We settled in and got undressed and stuff, and Raka came forward to ask if anyone is interested in the snorkeling activity. I was definitely interested in it and signed up for it, but it seems no one else was. I was not surprised my hubs didn't go for it, since he can't swim, but I was surprised when the only people among us who could swim decently was me and only one of my hubs' colleague. That and maybe prolly the others could swim too but couldn't be bothered.

Ah, their loss.

Anyway, I totally signed up for it. In the back of my head, I remember my mom in law warning us that since it was still the Hungry Ghost Festival, we should try to avoid doing too much sea activities and such. I wasn't about to let superstition ruin my fun though, and I dunno if that theory even actually applies in another country. Oh well, from the way I'm still here writing this blog entry, you can tell that I'm pretty much OK.

Anyhow, I got my lifejacket vest, just in case, my flippers and my snorkel apparatus. We had to take a boat ride to specific area for us to do our snorkeling. I was the only one among all the other tourists who brought their friends and/or family with them, but it was no biggie. I'm used to doing stuff alone sometimes anyways. We were brought to a port and were soon left to our own devices, and we are only given 10 minutes to do our thing. After handing my glasses to one of the crew, I put away my slippers and put on my flippers, tightened my lifejacket vest and put on my snorkel apparatus. In the midst of doing so, I could hear the crew members speaking Japanese to one of the Japanese families who joined this activity. His Japanese was very fluent actually, and I'm quite impressed. He told them that the depth of the sea we're snorkeling was about 4 feet. Not sure whether it was 4 feet my height or 4 feet above sea level, coz it sure looked pretty deep to me.

Once I got prepped, I tried to get in slowly because GODDAMMIT THE WATER IS STILL SO FUCKING COLD!!! Feet first as usual, then slowly getting in to let my body get used to the coldness of the water, then finally stuffing the breathing apparatus into my mouth and I started snorkeling away. It was still pretty deep since my feet weren't exactly touching the sea bed, so it's definitely 4 feet above sea level. The clear water of sea enabled me to see quite clearly in the water despite me not wearing any glasses. The goggles, while didn't let me see at my eye degree, was still thick enough that I was able to make out people and things without being completely as blind as a bat. The corals beneath looked amazing and the fishes were all within reach but they wouldn't let me go near enough to touch them. Dang it, how I wish I had a waterproof camera so I could document all this. Maybe I should invest in one someday.

As I continued snorkeling, I saw that there were some people going for the diving photo session. I see scuba diver leading tourists wearing aquanaut helmets into the depths of the sea and onto the seabed (prolly even wearing some kind of suit to keep them tethered down and not floating up), and were then led to a built-in pole and given fish food and they were soon posing in front of dozens of huge sea fishes while one of the scubas took pictures of them. I also realized that a few foreigner tourists were not wearing their lifejacket vests and were just diving expertly in and out and swimming down towards the coral areas and almost nearing the seabed. I'm not a very good swimmer, though I can swim decently, so there is no way I could get as low as they can without the impending doom of drowning. But at least with the vest, I could do what I've always wanted to do: swim backwards! LOL Not sure why but everytime I wanted to swim backwards, I immediately become deadweight and start sinking, so this was a great opportunity for me.

Our 10 minutes were up and the crew member sounded the whistle to let us know it was time to go. We got back on our boat and we went back to the island, and I made it just in time to have lunch. It was a BBQ buffet lunch, so we all tucked in, enjoying all the free flow meat that was available for the taking. Mmm~

After lunch and a bit of R&R break time, we went for the banana boat activity. The banana boat is a free-flow activity with no schedule, so it's basically a first-come-first-serve basis. It was actually pretty fun riding on the banana boat, but unfortunately to be honest, it was still a little too slow for my taste. But that didn't stop us from going for a second round! LOL Though during the second round, we almost ended up hitting another boat when we got back to shore, due to poor maneuvering, but we're all good, though constantly falling on our asses everytime we get off the banana boat and getting back on solid ground didn't help.

After a short swim in the pool, we were almost time to leave the island. It was a little sad, coz I really hope we were able to stay a little longer. Time sure flies when you're having fun. We went to get cleaned and dried, and I rinsed myself off the sea sand and whatnot before getting changed into my new dress I bought. And it was back onto the motor boat to get to our bigger boat to go back to Bali and back to civilization. Next time we should consider spending the night at the island, so we can try everything they have to offer.







Shots before we leave the island


More shots on deck



The lower deck was completely full, so we had no choice but to sit on the upper deck. I was kinda tired out from all the fun we were having, so we tried to find a good place to lie down to get some shut eye. Weirdly, the way back to Bali was slightly choppier than the way to the island, and needless to say, my hubs' stomach was none too happy to be doing somersaults inside him. He immediately zoomed towards the edge of the deck and hurled. Thankfully there was no one down below or they would've received his blown out chunks. One of his colleagues gave him a barf bag and he pretty much emptied his lunch in there. Poor guy. They were worried that I was sick but I was perfectly fine, much to their surprise. LOL Memo to self: Bring motion sickness pills for my hubs whenever we go on a boat ride.

Once we got to land, Raka then brought us to a spa to have our all-expense-paid massage treatment. Of course, photog time!


Our spa area


Waiting for spa treatment






Random shots around the area

Boy, what nice buns you have


More random shots

Our massage room, with my hubs' hand photobombing it

We had to wait for a bit because the usual session per customer is about at least 50 minutes, but ooh~! It was totally worth it. We had to undress and wear a sanitary disposable underwear and cover ourselves with only a sarong, and before getting started, they have to wipe down our feet, and while massaging they used some kind of oil. Not exactly scented, but it was something. Some parts they massaged me a little too hard, or maybe I was still a little too tense, but it was totally good. I felt so relaxed I almost fell asleep if it weren't for all the squeezing and kneading that kept me awake. It did feel a little awkward to be manhandled in the nude with only a sarong and a sanitary disposable underwear for cover, but still, it was cool. Wouldn't mind getting another massage like that someday.
 
Once we got back to our hotel to have our Gala Night dinner, everyone opted to just go eat as we were, which totally crushed my plans to get all dressed up for the dinner, since, you know, it's a Gala Night. Their reasoning was because they wanted to do more last-minute shopping. Really, guys? Really?? Haven't you done enough shopping already? Can't you just spare the next few hours of your last day in Bali in peace and have a nice relaxing dinner dressed in fancy clothes for once? All that rush just for the sake of shopping?? Whatever happened to being a tourist and doing touristy things? It's like it's a life and death situation for you guys if you don't do like a gajillion hours worth of shopping! Ugh!

Our Gala Night, sort of

I pretty much went to passive-aggressive mode and refused to join them for shopping and opt to stay to enjoy my dinner. Everyone else just ate like a hog and hastily left to save time on eating and more time on shopping. My hubs decided to stay behind with me since he only wanted to get some Bali salted peanuts, so he asked one of them to help him buy it while staying with me to enjoy the meal.

At least without the shopping we had more time to pack up our stuff, so we packed up, threw out what we didn't want, stack up the laundry to be brought home to wash and stuffed everything that can be stuffed into our luggage. We're gonna have an early night, since our flight is at 7am and we have to be at the airport at 5am, which means Raka will pick us up at around 4.30am. God, I hate early morning flights!

Stay tuned for our last day!