Our last day in Bali was Friday, December 23.  We took the red eye flight out at 1am on Friday night/Saturday morning.  This put us back at Kansai International Airport in Osaka at around 12:30 in the afternoon on December 24, Christmas Eve.

On our last day John said we needed to go to the beach because we’d been in Bali for nearly a week and still hadn’t seen the beach!  From my research, it seemed like Nusa Dua on Bali’s south end was a nice place to go.  I would have liked to have seen the famous surfing beaches, or the small secluded beaches that require a hundred steps to get to, but we just didn’t have the time in the end.

We got up really “early”, because by now on our last day, we’ve learned that our day goes so much more smoothly if we get up early to avoid traffic.  Yoga picked us up at 8:30 am and we drove to Nusa Dua for breakfast.  We had a hard time finding a place that was even open at first.

My breakfast (above left) is a traditional Balinese dish, listed on the menu below as “red rice uduk seafood” for 50,000 IDR ($3.75 USD).  It was amazingly delicious!  At right is John’s green drink.  That’s honey sitting at the bottom of the glass.  John tried it before stirring and decided the honey was essential to the drink.  

Avalon ordered grilled cheese and a milkshake for breakfast.  She looks pretty happy with her choice.  At right is Kaiyo’s breakfast.  It looks like a bacon avocado sandwich.  He said it was the best!

After breakfast, Yoga took us to a water sports resort place that he refers tourists to.  It is basically one of many along a stretch of beach in Nusa Dua.  This beach is where all of the fancy, expensive hotels in Bali are.  The St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Club Med, Westin, Sofitel, and other Western luxury chains are in Nusa Dua.  So I was expecting a clean, beautiful beach with an upscale air to it.  Websites listed it as one of the best places to snorkel in Bali.  But I was super disappointed by the hard driving salesman pitch here and mass tourist catering that this beach focused on.  It felt a lot more like a cattle call than a personalized experience.  If I had another chance I would not go back to Nusa Dua.

We signed up for 3 water activities:  an ocean ball (like a gigantic inflatable hamster ball that gets pulled all around by a speeding boat), snorkeling and parasailing.  These three activities for 5 people cost us $600 USD.  Wow.  That’s a lot.  Our hard driving salesman threw in a complimentary disposable waterproof camera.  I decided to use that instead of carrying around the nice Nikon and I thought it was safer that way.  Consequently, the disposable camera is still in my bag (it’s late-January now) needing to be developed.  All of our water activity photos are “coming soon” I hope.

The only activity of these 3 that we’d done before was snorkeling and I was eager to see what the snorkeling in Bali was like.  The ocean ball was a huge hit.  You climbed into this huge inflated ball and they sealed it up tight and a boat pulled it by rope around in the water in figure-8s.  It looked like whiplash from the boat view.  Next was snorkeling.  This was such a bummer.  We were taken to a small area where there was no less than 2 dozen other boats sitting around in a circle.  It felt like a 2 city-block radius.  Yes, this is where the reef is, but surely there are other reefs around?  Is that where the folks from the Ritz are getting dropped in the water?

I don’t know but I was nervous about the boats speeding around this small space and also the visibility wasn’t very good with so many people in such a small area.  There were snorkelers, divers and ocean walkers all in this area.  The reef fish were nice, but pretty typical:  Angelfish, parrotfish, tangs, some small colorful neon fish and so on, but nothing really outstanding.  I felt bored after a while.  Did snorkeling in the San Blas Islands in Panama spoil us forever?  John said no, we just needed to be in a more secluded and less traveled area.

Next up was our last activity: parasailing.  None of us have ever parasailed before and we were all looking forward to it.   My 100-year old grandma went parasailing in Mexico sometime in her 70’s or so.  She said it was so peaceful she nearly fell asleep!  Based on this account, I was looking forward to a very peaceful ride in the air.  Well, after we piled into our boat we went to another resort landing to pick up 5 more people.  We had around 14 people in this boat that probably comfortably fit about 10 people.  After we motored out in the ocean we noticed the wind had kicked up.  The Bali water sports guys were shouting at the other boats and looking around.  As we sat there the wind got even stronger.

There was a boat nearby to us with a parasailing couple high in the air.  The wind caught in the parasail, lifted it up and began to lift the boat up out of the water with it.  The boat operators couldn’t do anything to stop it.  Then, all of a sudden, the parasail cut loose (the line snapped or the guys cut it) and the parasail, with the couple sitting in their harnesses in it, flew back and started bouncing along the ocean.  They were literally bouncing on the water, and not in a good way.  It looked super scary for them.  I wasn’t sure how they were going to catch this runaway parasail.  I envisioned them bouncing along the ocean surface for as long as the wind could take them out to sea.  That’s probably how it felt, too.  Eventually they said it was picked up out of the ocean and the people were okay we were told.

All of the sports boats started to come in.  Another boat with only a couple of operators came alongside our boat and transferred the five of us to the other boat.  I think our boat had too many people in it!  The other tourists went off to their resort’s landing.  As we were all coming in, it looked to be dozens of boats, we saw that one boat had capsized!  Uh-oh.  This was turning into a very exciting trip out to the water.  Another boat hooked on and towed the capsized boat in.  One man actually sat on the overturned hull as it came in.

When we got back to the shore we told our hard driving salesman that we were not able to parasail.  Of course he already knew this.  He tried to sell us another activity and said there were no refunds.  What!?!?  John said oh no, we are not doing any more activities in that wind.  The man tried to sell us on jet skiing.  Hmmm.  Jet skiing in choppy, windy water?  No thanks.  In the end I think the man realized he needed to give us a refund, if anything he shouldn’t want to jeopardize his connections with our driver and future business.  The refund was about $250 USD so no wonder he didn’t want to give it up.  But nothing else in the water seemed appealing after watching a parasail fly off into the waves and seeing a capsized boat get towed in.  I hope to develop my camera photos and see if anything there is good enough to post on the blog.

On our way back to the villa Yoga dropped John, Avalon and I off at a traditional market.  Avalon was still desperate to make her own little offerings and we had been told we needed to buy the supplies here.  (He took the boys back to the villa.)  We walked around and watched the stall keepers with their wares.  A lot of raw meat and a lot of flies.  We’d been told that offerings were the women’s daily job so we needed a nice lady to help us.  We asked a stall keeper about making offerings and she found all of the supplies for Avalon.  When we asked her how much she said it was free.  I think she was touched that Avalon wanted to make Bali offerings.

Then, Avalon took all of her supplies back to the villa and tried to make them like Gita showed her.  But making the little box out of bamboo strips proved frustrating and wasn’t working well.  So I told her to take her supplies to Cafe Moonlight and one of the ladies there helped her put them together.  She made offerings for every room at our villa.

Everyone at Cafe Moonlight was a joy to meet and talk to.  As I’d mentioned before, it is owned by a Japanese man and I really appreciated that the focus on his menu was on healthy and fresh.  We ate many smoothie bowls and drank a lot of fresh juice.  The kids had several burgers and we ate some traditional Indonesian dishes here.  And a lot of stacks of pancakes were consumed here.  We had to say wistful goodbyes after we’d spent so much time at this cafe!  And the ladies were all so nice to Avalon and helped her make offerings on two occasions actually.  Once with their supplies and the second time with Avalon’s supplies.

I like this photo a lot but I feel that it looks very strange that we are all wearing pants when it is very hot in Bali.  Kaiyo and Avalon are wearing long sleeve shirts and I have two of them tied around my waist too!  This photo was taken when we were about to leave for the airport and we all needed to wear our warm clothes on the plane to get ready for winter in Japan again!