Visit from my long lost cousin

I hadn’t seen my cousin Mike since we were children, but we have just made up for lost time as he, and his wife Joyette, came to visit me here in Bali for their holiday.

From the sea garden

From the sea garden – I just love this colour!

We had a exciting week catching up with each other.  They were fresh back from a week on a liveaboard boat based in Komodo island, East Indonesia.

They’d been diving with all manner of amazing fish and coral not to mention walking within a few meters of Komodo dragons!

They showed us many photos and I was impressed that they knew so much about the creatures inhabiting the world underneath the sea – but then this was Mike’s 100th dive and Joyette’s 50th dive, so that explained it.

While here in Ubud they enjoyed visits to the Monkey Forest, the botanical gardens and the rice terraces.  They saw a number of performances (from live bands to Kecak -a tribal style performance complete with a fire trance dance).

Mike stirring the wok

Mike stirring the wok

They had a spa in a couples room, went on a cooking class which included a trip to the market to buy the ingredients and they also bought a traditional painting.

Mike even won a number of games of pool in CP Lounge, not to mention downing a number of bottles of Bintang at the same time!

I hopped in the car with them for a trip up to the volcano, Mount Batur.

Mike and Joyette in the botanical gardens

Mike and Joyette in the botanical gardens

We went via three temples: Goa Gajah (where a ceremony was being prepared for), Gunung Kawi (with its many steps and huge carvings in the rock) and Tirta Empul (where a ceremony was also about to take place, so they saw many decorations and a gamelan orchestra playing).

It was the night before full moon (called Purnama in Bali), so there was a lot of activity going on.

Up at the volcano we were invited in for coffee at Nyoman’s – who has that characterful lumbung style accommodation, in such a great location, sandwiched between Mount Abang and Mount Batur, on the opposite side of the lake.  Click here for more info and great pics of that.

They saw the Bali Aga village of Trunyan, and its unusual cemetery (I will write about that in another post soon).

Yaniq playing guitar for us at Tulamben

Yaniq playing guitar for us at Tulamben

Yaniq and I joined them on an overnight stay in Tulamben, East Bali where they dived the ship wreck, ‘The USAT Liberty’, not just once, but twice – which they were very happy about.

We spoke about our family members back in England and about what life was like for the two of them in Dubai, where they have been living for years.

Mike reckoned that, given my love of nature (which is in abundance in Bali), I probably wouldn’t like Dubai as it has so many sky scrapers and, where we have natural greenery in Bali, they have sand in Dubai – he was spot on.  Although, interestingly, I would probably have liked it a few years ago (when I used to be… someone else!).

Me with cousin Mike

Me with cousin Mike outside my front door

Thanks for visiting and staying at Rumah Jepun and for the pictures too!

Let’s hope other family members come here too some day – click here for details of staying at: Rumah Jepun.

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