Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

How long before I eat thee?

xmastree

I resisted this chocolate confection for a few days, but it was gone by the end of 2016. (though the star at the top had to go immediately so I could get it in the fridge 🙂

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas. I flew off to Bali to see an old dive buddy who lives near the town of Ubud in the centre of the island.

Given my hotel hiccups in Bangkok earlier in the month I thought I’d ask my friend to see exactly what the ‘accessible’ facilities were like at the Courtyard Marriott Nusa Dua before my arrival.

With the holidays approaching I didn’t want to find myself scrambling for equipment at the last minute.

Just as well I did.

Sadly facilities, not unpredictably, were not up to scratch. As in other hotels – a room that had been converted from a regular room without talking to anyone about what was needed.

Fortunately Bali has some useful disability organisations which I’d checked out before I arrived and the hotel had hired some equipment from them.

Pak Kadek, the operations manager put his team into action on my arrival and we soon had two commodes available. Neither were perfect: we had to wire one around the toilet to stop it from moving.

This one in the shower was not really safe at all.  The arm rests didn’t lock meaning transfers were hazardous at best. But without it the shower seat was just a low bench: impossible for me to use.

The pluses: no carpet on the floor. Yay 🙂 Just marble. No blisters on my hands for once.

Bali Access Travel rents out equipment when needed and can also arrange a variety of tours while you’re there, including disabled diving.

Following one of their suggested tours on their website I hired a car and took a trip to one of Bali’s active volcanoes, Kintamani.

There’s a village at the top of the caldera, and you descend down the edge to the crater lake formed after a previous eruption.

In the middle of the lake Mount Batur climbs 700m above the lake surface. The summit is at 1700m, over a mile high for those of you still living in the non-metric world. And you can see there’s another caldera at the top of mountain.

The weather wasn’t great on the day of my visit, lots of cloud and rain.

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After Kintamani we drove back towards Ubud stopping off at the rice terraces at Tegalalang. It was between seasons. Some had just been planted, others were bare, but beautiful none the less.

 

Joni, my driver, hopped out the car to get some better shots of the paddy fields, leaving me a sitting duck: Flash mobbed by Bali’s tourist tat mob, but all very happy with a few rupiah

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Next stop Hong Kong.

 

 

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