Beetle interrupts phone call

flying beetleThis is not Paul McCartney causing Chloe to stop her phone call to her Dad, but a huge flying beetle that chose this moment to buzz about our heads. With Chloe tethered to the computer via her Skype earphones and unable to run away, much panic ensued. We thought we were saved by the appearance of a small but brave gecko, which attempted an attack, but the beetle evaded it. Finally ending the call (with her Dad’s parting words “yes, in Australia there were crocodiles, jellyfish… you couldn’t go anywhere without something wanting to sting you or eat you!”), Chloe made her escape only for the beetle to be shut down by its own stupidity when it knocked itself out on the ceiling fan. Now THAT’S an eventful phone call.

Balinese dawn chorus

In Vauxhall, the dawn chorus consists of a blackbird, a slightly wheezy cat and the occasional police helicopter chasing down the last of its prey across New Covent Garden market. In the New Forest, dozens of birds compete to greet the sun. At 5.30am in Bali, the birds are given a run for their money by frogs, crickets and something that kind of snorts…

When planning goes bad

Sanur is nicknamed ‘Snore’ and with good reason. Imagine building a beach resort along 3km of sandy beach. Include dozens of posh hotels, restaurants, bars and a long, paved promenade. Sprinkle the sand liberally with sun loungers, banners flapping in the breeze and adverts for parascending. Now imagine it with no people – like the resort that time forgot…

I now appreciate that town planning is a marvellous thing, which we only notice when it goes wrong. Sanur’s planning has gone wrong in a spectacular way. Its long main road runs straight through the centre, running parallel with that long sandy beach. But only one or two public roads connect the two. A 15 minute walk leads us to a beach only 20 metres from the road. Getting back from the beach to our hotel involved sneaking through a posh hotel resort.

The result is almost no flow of people between the road and the beach, playing havoc with the prospects of local businesses in both areas. The only real beneficiaries are the big resort hotels, which hog the lovely coastline and jealously guard the wallets of their guests.

Chloe is scared of flying. So scared she spent a fair chunk of the flight actually crying in terror in case the emergency hatch blew open and we were blown out into the beyond. She still thought Sex in the City 2 was utter crap, though, so retained a modicum of sanity. Here is what we see from our veranda. Worth it we think.

Pack your bags and leave tonight

Club Tropicana

Well, tomorrow morning. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us before we¬†left – sorry to those of you we didn’t have a chance to catch up with. Special mention to the Campaigns Team for their Club Tropicana karaoke triumph!