Today's the day, the four or five hour harrowing drive to Sumbersari...

By far, this is the best bargain in a hotel we've experienced in our travels.
With Butu picking us up at 10 am this morning after our included breakfast at the excellent and outrageously affordable Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Airport, with room rates around US $50, IDR $663,300, we had a little time to complete this post, pack a few items and be on our way.

As for the flights from Phuket to Bali, we found comfortable seating at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Singapore for the three hour layover. We signed up at the information desk for free Wi-Fi after showing our passports and boarding passes, purchased tea for me and bottled water for Tom and there we were comfortably situated, writing to our loyal readers.

A bubbling oval rock in the hotel lobby.
The drive from the villa in Rawai to the Phuket airport was a solid 60 minutes in rush hour traffic although nowhere near as frustrating as the traffic in Bali.  By the time you see this post, we'll be in Egon's air conditioned van, pillow behind my back, prepared to tackle the day ahead including a stop at an ATM and the big supermarket in Denspasar, a harrowing event in itself.

The first flight from Phuket to Singapore was relatively painless, smooth and uneventful and not too uncomfortable for me during the two plus hours in the air. 

Ninety percent of the Balinese people observe the Hindu faith and their lives are
steeped in the rich history and traditions.
Unexpected meals were served during both SilkAir flights (owned by Singapore airlines). Tom had already eaten a Reuben sandwich at the Phuket airport when we had to use our remaining Thai baht and had no idea meals would be served when online stated that no food was served.  I'd purchased two bags of nuts with the remaining baht to munch on in the event none of the food worked for me.

An hour into the first flight lunch was served.  Tom ordered the "free" beer (I ordered a second beer for him) but declined the food especially when it consisted of dark chicken meat. I ate a little of the chicken that didn't appear to have sauce on it, knowing it would be a long time until we'd eat again. 

I'd considered having a meal at the Singapore Changi Airport but couldn't find anything suitable in the terminal for my way of eating when most of it is Asian with sugary sauces, batter, flour and rice.  No problem. I'm used to it.

The pool at the hotel.
If I was up to walking a longer distance than necessary to reach our designated gate, we probably could have found a more suitable restaurant.  I wasn't about to push my luck when so far, halfway through our day, we'd walked almost 7500 steps (per the FitBit).

Having spent the last six weeks resting with minimal walking, after yesterday's long walks I may be able to start walking a little in Bali, maybe a few short trips each day; one on the soft sand of the beach in front of the villa and the other, on the soft surface of the smooth road in the quiet neighborhood.

The dining room at the Hilton Garden Inn Ngurah Airport Hotel, a great place to stay when being close to the airport is useful. 
After walking on hard marble surfaces inside both the Bali and Phuket villas, I've come to the conclusion that walking on marble floors in detrimental to one's spine health.  In Phuket, we didn't have the option of walking in the neighborhood when the roads were filled with potholes and uneven surfaces.

By 4 pm, we boarded on the second flight with SilkAir. The huge plane was fairly comfortable with personal video screens although neither of us could find a movie we liked or hadn't seen.  The time went quickly although the flight was longer than the first. 

Fresh orchids in the hotel lobby.
By 8:30 pm, we checked in the hotel provided with a free upgrade for what proved to be a great night's rest after the bad prior night.  (Neither of us ever sleeps well on the night before travel day, hardly able to get in three hours).

There's seldom an exception to this.  We have a tendency to associate travel days with feeling exhausted, more from the lack of sleep the prior night than the activities of the day; the long walks in terminals, the commotion, the taxis, the lines at immigration, customs and baggage pickup (none of which I'm handling) never seem to make us weary. 

Light fixtures in hotel lobby.
Today will be a little more challenging when we'll be sitting for so many hours during the long harrowing drive.  I must admit I'm having a little angst over the prospect of stopping for a restroom break when all of the toilets are flush in the floor.  This is nearly impossible for me to navigate with my current condition as noted in a prior post. 

We'll be back tomorrow with the four or five hour harrowing drive behind us, our groceries stocked, our bags unpacked and looking forward to enjoying 60 days and nights in the beautiful oceanfront villa in Bali's countryside.

Life is good.  Hope it is for you as well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 2, 2015:
Midday sunlight filtering through the trees in Trinity Beach, Australia with only a few days until departing.  For more photos, please click here.


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