We stayed at the Swan Inn again in Bali. I was glad we went all the way to Ubud even though we were only passing through and staying 4 nights. It meant that we could see friends again. We gave Connie the Indonesian phrase book that I’d been carrying around since Singapore, and our Australian road maps went to Wesam and Jessica, as they were thinking of going.
We spent Sunday afternoon with Wesam and Jessica at Bali Bohemia. With an empty room as our base, we could admire the colourful murals and beautiful textiles that they’d used.
We also went to see how their house was coming along. The front bedroom and bathroom now boasted carved stone (or cement?) panels, and the decorative pebble work was being applied around the indoor pool. I think their hopes of moving out of the rented cottage within weeks are unlikely to be fulfilled – the new place still has a very long way to go, especially with a small child in the house.
All too soon it was time to leave. I’m not sure whether we’ll ever return – I love it, but it is such a long way. Now that all our Avios are gone we’ll be back in the cheap seats, which means even India will be a chore – most likely we’ll end up flying via Dubai and stopping over.
Our stay in KL was even shorter – only 3 nights. Just time to get a replacement for the phone that Mr V fell on in Australia, post the old one and a few other bits home, and get Mr V some new shorts – the ones bought in Goa 18 months previously were wearing through in places.
Then it was time for our flight to Goa – a new and very useful Air Asia route. At 4.5 hours it was a little tedious, but made worse by the timing (a 21:30 landing) and the fact that we then sat on the tarmac at Goa for 30 minutes waiting for the navy to finish an exercise. So it was midnight before we arrived at Sonikas Heritage in Candolim, after a brief stop at a cashpoint – it had never occurred to me that their wouldn’t be one in the newly built terminal at Dabolim. Our accommodation had been billed as an apartment, but really it was just a large room with a sofa, fridge and crockery – good for take-aways and cold food only. It didn’t matter as we were only staying one night – I’d booked it because it was remarkably cheap (an error on Agoda I think). Even though Candolim is far from being our favourite place in Goa, it was good to be back.
Breakfast was a poori bhaji, greasy but so good. Then Mr V had an appointment with his dentist to discuss implants. Except the dentist said he didn’t need implants, only crowns. This was great news, not just because they would involve much less pain and expense, but because it removed the need for a return visit to Goa after 6 months. We could come back any time – or not at all.
We shifted to Chapora that afternoon. This time we were staying in a different apartment – darker than the previous one but larger and equipped with gas rings, a washing machine and air conditioning. And because it was at the other end of the building, away from the road and the temple, far quieter. But more expensive of course.
The first couple of weeks were mostly taken up with visits to the dentist for Mr V to have 7 porcelain crowns fitted, and a check up for me. At £350 it was almost half the amount I paid for a single crown in the UK – it’s no wonder that many Brits combine their holiday with a little dental treatment!