Exploring the area on a sunny day…Humidity…Plans for Bali…

Motorbikes parked at the beach.

It rains a lot in the tropics and there are plenty of cloudy days.  Since our arrival in Phuket over two weeks ago, at least 75% of the days have been cloudy with rain no less than 40% of the days and nights.

Many years ago (around 30) BT (before Tom) I vacationed in Thailand, staying in Phuket at two different resorts, one week each and if I recall, it was cloudy and rainy many of those days as well.  When the sun is shining, its a scorcher. 

Its so hot, people often walk with umbrellas to protect themselves from the heat of the sun as opposed to using umbrellas in the rain.  Yesterday, we compared weather conditions for both Phuket and Bali which overall are quite similar. 

Tourists dining under thatched roofs drinking cocktails with umbrellas and pineapple slices.

We don’t remember feeling this hot in Bali although it was hot each day with high humidity similar to Phuket.  Islands typically have high levels of humidity but after a little research we discovered many inland countries/cities have levels of humidity in excess of what may be the case on a tropical island.

Our old fashioned thinking seems to more readily relate to the readings for humidity and actual temperature (than for dew point )which this morning at 9:45 am is a paltry 85F, 29C with the humidity is 92%.  Needless to say it will be another uncomfortable day with a 70% likelihood of thunderstorms.
In Bali, we were situated directly on the ocean with nearly constant breezes to cool the moisture on our skin.  Here, living in a residential neighborhood, a kilometer to the beach, we feel nary a breeze except when storms seem to come from nowhere and wild winds waft through the air.
Fruit and fruit drink stands are popular in Phuket.
As much as we find this house to fulfill our needs and certainly having the most amazing customer service from its owner and support staff, in an odd way, we’re both looking forward to returning to Bali. 
Perhaps, we miss the sea or the two Katuks cooking our meals or chatting with Gede or as mentioned over the past several days, the lack of English speaking news channels, avoiding the constant barrage of bad news unless we search for it online. 
We can’t help but look forward to dining at the big square table for eight staring out at the sea as the buffalo walk along the beach on their way to or from the neighboring river.
There are many restaurants located near the beaches.

The only apprehension we’ve had, particularly Tom, has been the prospect of the required three days of four hour round trip drives to Lovina, Bali to renew our visas toward the end of the first of our two month stay. 

These three separate visits are a requirement of the Indonesian government and there’s no way around it when staying in the country over 30 days.  The fact that we’re so far away from the immigration office in Lovina while living in Sumbersari only adds to the difficulty.
Many tourists use money exchange facilities such as this.  We’ve found its more economical to use ATMs for local currency.
As many of our regular readers are aware we never had ample time to apply for the Indonesian visa extensions while in Singapore or Vietnam last month.  We’d considered breaking our own rule and mailing in our passports to VisaHQ or CIBT in the US by overnight mail while they process it for us in Washington, DC at the Indonesian embassy. 
Conceivably, we could have the visa extensions back by overnight mail within seven to ten days.  But, with my recent injury, we decided that in the event of a emergency situation that required we leave the country in a hurry, we couldn’t take the risk.  Not that we expect this to happen as I continue to improve a little each day.
Many hostels and “rooms for rent” are seen along the highway.  Many young tourists come to Phuket for water activities and stay in lower cost facilities.
So, we were back to “square one,” the three days of driving to Lovina with the required one day in between required by the immigration department.  This results in starting on a Monday, returning on Wednesday and returning the third time of a Friday to collect the passports and visa extensions.
Yesterday, I had a thought that I ran by Tom.  Why don’t we go to Lovina and stay in a hotel both Monday and Tuesday nights, going to the immigration office on both Monday and Wednesday?  We’ll have Gede drop us off on Monday and pick us up on Wednesday after the second trip to immigration and then have Gede return to Lovina on Friday on our behalf to pick up our passports and visa extensions.

Last time we had to get the visa extensions, Gede made the third trip without us when we’d authorized him in writing to do this on our behalf.  This avoided us making the third four hour round trip drive.  By staying in a hotel, we’ll have only two hours to get to Lovina and another two hours to return to Sumbersari on Wednesday afternoon having completed the second trip to the immigration office.  Tom liked this idea.

Taking photos through the car’s windows and windscreen in tricky with some sort of worn film is covering the glass.

In checking prices on hotels in Lovina, Bali, rated at least four star we can easily stay at a very nice location for an outrageously low price under US $75, IDR $984,225, THB  $2,631 per night plus the cost of a few meals and low cost taxi. 

Its a plan!  We’re relieved to have made this logical decision which ultimately turns what may have been a stressful situation into a fun “holiday” within the framework of our time in Bali.  The extra transportation cost by avoiding the one day’s drive will cover at least one night’s hotel bill.  Hope this all makes sense.
Yesterday, when the sun made an appearance for a few hours, we took off on another drive in the area.  We can’t go too far for two reasons; one, I can’t sit for too long in the low seats in the less-than-stellar rental car especially on bumpy roads; and two, the less-than-stellar rental car is old and could easily break down. 
Road construction is prevalent in most countries, slowing down the flow of traffic.
The car’s windows have some type of darkening film on the windows that is severely distorted making driving difficult in busy traffic.  Tom, an excellent driver, who never complains about conditions, hesitates to do much driving for all these reasons.  I concur. 
And yet, considering these obstacles we were still able to take some photos we happily share here each day while we continue to explore as we can during our remaining 26 days on the island. 

It can’t always be perfect.  We don’t expect it to be.  We accept the limitations we currently have in our midst while continuing to make the very best of each and every day.  We laugh, we smile, we find ways to entertain ourselves and each other.  What more could we ask for?  Not a thing.  Not a single thing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, August 6, 2015:

Amazing sunrise over Trinity Beach, Australia where we lived one year ago today.  For more photos, please click here.

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