Home » travel

Ubud-Sanur-Phuket-Phang Nga

9 May 2012 47,180 views One Comment


aaah, lots of mixed emotions at the moment • time to move • bike ride back home • chat to Ayu • eggs, toast & tea :) • packing • vamos! bye bye little house and lovely family • somehow ride my bike while carrying +-25 kg in two rucksacks, plus a yoga mat, hmm • bye bye almost-trusty bike • walk around town. i now have to put up with the ‘taxi?’ ‘hotel?’ comments • bit of souvenir shopping • arrange transport – it’s nice to surprise one of the ‘taxi?’ guys with a ‘yes please’, ha ha • what’s this?? a cafe on Hanoman that I haven’t been to?? • banana pancakes and a coconut • this place is awesome, the cushions are super comfy, the coconut has a frangipani in it and the pancakes come with coconut cream & palm syrup. ding ding ding • carry on shopping now i’ve had a sugar kick • meet my driver. pretty much pass out on the back seat • my driver says we’re in an area that’s really good for art and i should look round a gallery, okee dokee • it’s an artist’s cooperative or community, i’m not totally clear. but there’s a bunch of people outside painting, and there’s all different styles of painting displayed inside. a lot of it is really nice (quite commercially friendly, clever chaps) • walk around chatting n looking • i’m quite taken with some pieces by this one artist, it’s mostly fish, fishermen, fishing boats, but he uses really interesting colours and shapes. fortunately for my bank balance they are way to big to even consider buying • drive on • have one of those deep, hot & sticky, neck aching back-of-the-car sleeps • arrive in Sanur • my accommodation is significantly nicer than i had anticipated for ten-ish quid a night • pool, dip, sleep • shower • head to beach • dusky light, some of the clouds have golden edges, the tide is way out, there are fishermen at the shore, the volcano – Agung i think – is really clear. this is a gorgeous scene • have a sit and a little cry • have a walk and some peanuts! • it’s very quiet, not many people around at all • find a place with tables actually on the beach. i don’t care what i eat, i just want to feel the sand in my toes • veg’n’rice, sand’n’waves • i’m still reading Coelho and it’s kinda funny reading his very Catholic pov while i’ve been receiving very eastern spiritual education • walk back. i have to go through this big swanky hotel to get from the beach to the road. it’s a really nice place. beautiful lounges, gardens, pools, bars • home • sit at the bar by the pool mucking around on line (Facebook) & writing • nice sleep


woke up at 6.30 • ready • walk to the beach • ah man, it’s gorgeous. the tide is up, lapping at the sand, the sun is inches above the horizon, everything is shiny, shiny and new • swim • i love being in the ocean so much: the taste, the sound, the movement, the dryness, the freshness, the life, the freedom • always makes me laugh how the first few breaths i don’t actually inhale i just pop my head up with my mouth open • swim out to the break. Sanur is really flat sand with a shelf or reef about, i dunno 300 metres from the beach. you could walk out here, it can’t be more than 150 cm deep • there’s lots of seaweed, it’s like swimming over ocean prairies, heaps of swaying grass • waves! not quite surf but waves • swim along the break for a bit • starfish! it’s orange with blue bits • i’ve come further north than i realised, gotta come back now • beach • few stretches. i do flipped dog in the shallow water feeling the sand moving out from under my hand and feet • home • shower • breakfast & computer-y things • writing • get dressed • walk through Sanur, i’ve never seen the town side properly, just the beach • couple of interesting shops n things, lots of the usual • not really heading for anything but about an hour later i end up at the Mercure which is handy because i’m meant to meet Emmie here later • Geranium Cafe outside the Mercure is a really sweet place. i have a really nice lunch (frozen lime slush, crackers, vego noodles) and catch up on some yoga notes • head to the beach • fried bananas • find the Yoga by the Sea studio. i’d seen flyers for this around Ubud and whaddyaknow it’s right here. cool • walk along beach • big posh hotel with a bar that has swings. awesome. coffee here n writing yoga notes • walk along the beach & back to the street • hire a scooter so i can get home quicker, 75p for an hour! • home • little dip in pool, get ready, scooter back to the south end of Sanur • scooter returned • kayak idea is thwarted by low low tide (!) • back to the same posh hotel • get a watermelon juice which i reckon ‘buys’ me use of a sunbed and the pool.. • make my way to the yoga studio • it’s a bamboo building, with a shop downstairs and the room for practicing upstairs, all open sides, it’s gorgeous • Judit is leading our class, she has a really nice accent, a really nice manner and takes us through an awesome practice focusing on detoxing, so lots of twists • my ‘offering’ at the start of class is to never stop learning and Judit – unwittingly – brilliantly reinforces that throughout the class for me as I get some new pointers and directions on familiar postures • headstand, almost • am attacked by bugs in shivasana • head to the Mercure again • chat to concierge and call Emmie’s room but she’s not there and i haven’t seen her around :( • somehow the concierge and i get on to yoga, and he requests a lesson, right there. erm ok. we do some seated stretches and talk about building self-awareness • he practices Reiki so takes me through some Reiki basics • we both keep looking around the lobby to check we’re not getting busted doing new age healing sitting at his desk! • all good • i ask if i can use the showers while i wait for Emmie, he says yes and i go down to the spa • still no Emmie so i head back to the beach • it’s a beautiful night • walk along • find restaurant, a perfect place actually • soda & lime, Bali peanuts, boxes ticked • the service is lovely, i’m on the sand with the waves right there, happy girl • nice dinner, read my book, sigh, thank you Bali • taxi home • lovely sleep


7 o’clock • walk to beach • decide i’ll have a little swim this morning and head south instead of north • the water is really shallow, i’m a bit confused, i’m swimming at about the same time as yesterday, can the tide have changed that much.? • i decide to go round this little island • ok, my belly is barely skimming the bigger rocks now and my fingertips have grazed the sand a few times • now i’m having to down-stroke to the side rather than under me, hmm, not ideal • i’ve passed the island and have to swim out to sea to get around it, hopefully it will get deeper now! • yup, deeper • as i come round the island i realise the current is mentally strong, it’s really pushing to get in to shore. if i even slow my stroke i go backwards. this swim has turned into harder work than i wanted! • honestly feel like i’m swimming uphill • get past the island and the current eases off. man, can i have my cruisy morning back please.? • beach • quick rinse n dressed • walk back home via the atm and bakery • shower, half pack • slow breakfast by the pool • second half of packing • taxi • aah, Bali traffic • airport • spend the next hour getting v frustrated at departure tax and visa charges which mean to’n’fro-ing to the atm, so dull • finally through • Denpasar airport is pretty awful • juice, WiFi, Powderfinger • flight is good – Malaysia Airlines, they’re alright • Kuala Lumpur • everything looks familiar • spend the 90 minute transit time trying to work out whether i’ve been here before • yes, last time i flew Denpasar-KL-Phuket, plonker • another Malaysia Airlines flight, a-ok, oh, except a bit of drama, the couple next to me have an argument. c’mon kids, play nicely, you’re on holiday • hot. Phuket is hot • get a taxi quickly • get nowhere in the taxi quickly cos he doesn’t know where we’re going ha ha ha • hotel • all fine. it’s clean, got what i need • they ask why i booked a room with a balcony. i have no idea, no idea at all • walk towards the beach • i know this little path, this is the fence that runs around Nai Yang Beach Resort where i’ve stayed before. yup, there’s the room that Dad and i were in last year, ha • not much has changed in Nai Yang, sweet. including the massage prices, super sweet • foot scrub. not as good as before but it’s ok • massage. waaaaay better than before. marvellous • walk along Nai Yang, maybe there are a few more bars n stuff than before, it’s ok • it’s pretty quiet i reckon • keep thinking of when i was here with Dad, nice memories • choose a beach place for dinner, think it’s called Bana Nas or something, ha • plastic table on the sand, dogs kicking around, gentle waves, perfect • Thai green curry, and that’s it, no Singha, this feels a bit odd • yum, i love these crunchy baby aubergine and fresh kaffir leaves • walk home • aircon, macbook, chilledwater, coolio


nice sleep • walk to beach • beautiful bit of yoga on the hard sand • there’s no one around, the tide is slowly going out, the sun is slowly coming over the trees, everytime i open my eyes there’s a different dog sitting next to my bag • the yoga is really good, i’m happy to notice that i’m really giving myself what i need, it’s very intuitive and i’m using a much broader range of postures than i ever did before in self practice • little swim, ah yes, Thai water is as warm and unrefreshing as i remember :) • go to the Beach Resort to cheekily shower n change • decide to have breakfast at the Resort • great decision, i really take my time, read my book, enjoy lots of different things – first bit of banana bread in a while • i’m reading a book about probability and opportunism, it’s excellent, very well written, and very well timed for me • am taking my time, no rush, i’ve gotta wait for my laundry to come back anyway! • get asked out by a Swedish business dude. didn’t see that one coming • it starts to rain, properly rain, didn’t see that coming either • more book • walk back to hotel • shower, packing, sorting • taxi to highway • sit at bus stop reading (novel now) and chatting to the lady who sells mangoes • bus • s’a while since i’ve been on a proper bus journey, they always induce internal ponderings and reflections for me, ever since those first bus journeys in Mexico years ago. my brain is flicking through hundreds of things • little cry (inevitable) • smiling at some nice memories • come up with some new ideas • decide that the new ideas are awesome and that it’s been a very productive bus journey • Thai Muang, a small serviceable looking town. i’ve been dropped off at a desk that says ‘travel’ but there just seem to be elderly people selling dried snacks and no one speaks English • i do some universally understood gesticulations in order to use the toilet :) • some more universally understood gesticulations to express my extreme gratitude • write down where i want to get to – home & life orphanage, i’ve been told it’s near here • a lot of blank looks. ah • someone else comes to help. everyone is being really friendly and nice, we’re all smiling a lot but i’m not sensing progress • ah, this fella’s gonna take me • the old dudes are laughing and saying police. i laugh too, oh yeah, his t’shirt says police, that’s funny, is it.? • hop in the car • oh christ he really is a policeman, that’s his Royal Thai Police hat • oh holy sh!t he’s got a gun • i keep smiling and saying nice things about Thai Muang, what else can ya do • get to orphanage, it wasn’t that far • lots of thank yous and bowing • that’s a bit of an entrance isn’t it.. • have a wonderful few hours at Home & Life • time up, i’ve decided i want to definitely get to Baan San Fan this evening • head back to the road to wait for the Takua Pa bus • car stops • “want a ride?” • seems to be the day for it. there are three generations in the car and since i feel most compromised by the toddler in the back so i say ‘yes’ • they’re very sweet, speaking minimal English, we say the same thing over & over • the little girl in the back is very cute and very, er, mobile. she’s clambering all over, using the whole car as a gymnasium. at one point she does a headstand between the driver’s and back seat and i start to question whether i’m in the car with the next Buddha.. • it starts to rain, smashing down • get to Takua Pa • i’ve never hitched before, how does this work • they chuck your stuff on the street and drive off, that’s how • fair nuff, hitching’s alright i reckon • check bus times, get cash, buy bits of rubbish for the kids, get a bag of pineapple • wait for bus • never got a local bus before around here. i’m glad i’m going a short distance • tell them i want Bang Wan. they look at me like i’m mental • we get to Bang Wan and they’re checking i want to get off, ha ha, yes please • last bit of the journey is the walk up the road to Baan San Fan

the prettiest coconut competition continues right…to…the…end

dusk, Sanur

dawn, Sanur

suksama Bali xxx


Previous posts about this trip

SOSA (17/200): awakening
SOSA (51/200): absorbing
run through the rice fields
SOSA (day off): enjoying
SOSA (102/200): deepening
SOSA (day off #2): indulging
SOSA (151.5/200): exploring
SOSA (afternoon off!): vegging
SOSA (day off #3): escaping
SOSA (200/200): doing
SOSA (school’s out & graduation): celebrating

One Comment »

  • lucyjjames » Blog Archive » Baan San Fan 2012 said:

    […] been a huge day. Visiting and starting to work with Home & Life was enough for one day. Catching rides with armed police and total strangers was additionally amusing. Seeing how Baan San Fan is […]

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.