My older child is ready to leave for University. With this in mind, since last April, we have tried to use all the time at hand to spend together. Given the better half’s work schedule and the kids’ varied school schedules, it was no mean feat! We fixed my younger child’s surgery for after a trip to Pondicherry in April 2017 and went on a trip to Hubli-Dandeli-Murudeshwar in December 2017 just before important exams. But we have never planned a trip as complicated as the one to Bali in October 2017.
The kids wanted to learnt to dive and the better-half wanted to go to Bali. But the hitch was to align the school holidays with the trip. We didn’t want the kids to be away learning to dive in the one common week that they were both off from school. We wanted to use that time to do things together. So I was to go with Child 1 as soon as school closed so that she could start and finish her certification course before the better-half came with Child 2 as soon as his vacation started so that we could spend 4 days together. After which the better-half would go back with Child 1 in time for school and I would stay on with Child 2 through his certification course.
Dates were fixed, air tickets were purchased, research for good and reliable Dive Shops were made, schedules planned and fixed, more research was carried out to find a good and clean place to stay and this too was put in place. And then Mount Agung decided to wake up from its deep long slumber. I first read about it on a travel forum, our Indian newspapers didn’t find the news important enough to report. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to defy or take on or be in the path of nature’s wrath. The rest of the family thought I was being pessimistic. I continued to look up the forum for latest news. People were cancelling their trips or making a hasty retreat. Seismic activity was being felt in the areas around Mount Agung. People living close to Mount Agung (within 4-5km radius) were being evacuated. A straight line from the mouth of the mountain to the town we were going to be based in was about 10km. Our resort assured us that life was as usual in that part of Bali. So we went.
Child 1 and I picked up our car from Ngurah Rai Airport and drove to Ubud. We felt a mild tremor at night that lasted no more than 1-1.5sec. Our host advised us against going to Amed. But we decided to take a chance. The Dive Shop had decided to temporarily close down till things looked better. But we got to Amed anyway. The streets looked empty for a place known for diving and dive shops. We were greeted by another mild tremor as soon as we got there. We drove around a bit only to see people shutting down shops. Most restaurants were closing down too because the kitchen help had all fled to safer places. When we felt the earth shake again in the morning, we too decided to pack and leave.
We needed to find a place away from seismic activity, with a dive shop that had slots for our kids and find accommodation. Thanks to the internet, we found Sanur meeting all our criteria. After apologising profusely to the people in the resort we cancelled our booking and headed to Sanur. The roads were packed with locals who were moving to safer locations, some with their bag, baggage and cattle. And that’s where I found myself for 10 days of which 6 days were when the kids learnt to dive and I walked up and down and around Jalan Tamblingan, lounged on the beach and shopped unusually like a maniac 🙂
I want to go to Bali again. There are very few places I have wanted to go back to and Bali is one of them. I want to go back to Amed, stay at the same resort (Apa Kabar Resorts) and visit other parts of Bali.
Here are some pictures from the trip: