Sunday, 16 August 2015

Esther's birthday

Got up at dawn to photograph the sunrise. It was a bit cloudy but I got a few decent shots in. The huge shape of Mt Agung is very impressive in the early morning light.

Not long after Lucas woke up. It’s amazing how kids can get up an hour earlier if something cool like a birthday or Christmas is going on. Today is Esther’s birthday! We gathered all the presents and crept into her room. The plan was to not wake them up and leave the presents scattered around the bed (I vetoed Lucas’ suggestion of hiding some under the pillow) but we were so unsubtle we woke both Esther and Aisha up, so we did a proper present-giving (Aisha was pretty alert after 10 seconds). There was a pair of shorts and a bikini (Esther couldn’t have chosen better ones herself, ‘cos she had), a cool lego-covered notebook, and a waterproof Uno set for the whole family (though most of the yellow cards seem to be missing).

The beach in front of our hotel is a bit rocky and wavy, so the plan was to go to a more family-friendly stretch called Jemeluk. While the kids had breakfast I headed out and sorted out a taxi. The prices were extortionate, but I beat them down to something reasonable and went back to finish packing the day pack and mobilise the kids. In the end even the reasonable price I has negotiated was extortionate - Jemeluk was about 500m away. At least it helped to get everybody out the door at a reasonable time.

Jemeluk is much better for kids than where we are (which is much better for photography and just looking out to sea). It’s a bit crowded though, with not much sand when the tide is in and loads of boats. The waves were just great and I was having a fun time with Lucas when I stubbed my toe on a piece of coral and it promptly turned purple. Nothing broken, just swollen up, red, and bloody sore for the whole day.

Aisha had a small moment of homesickness but I just gave he a cuddle and explained how many nights were left and she was all right. She has these moments at times, but they are soon over with a bit of love and attention.

Saw an interesting contraption and asked it’s owner what it was. It was a full-face snorkel mask, the snorkel comes straight out and you can just breathe normally through your nose or mouth, and even speak underwater. He let us have a go on them - it makes snorkeling so much more comfortable, and more accessible for kids. It’s a Decathlon thing, but we haven’t seen them before. Maybe they just have it in France right now. As I was trying to manage Lucas in low tide (who absolutely loved the snorkeling, he said it was like seeing "another world") I managed to scrape my knee on some coral to add to my woes.

Walked back to the hotel. When I was looking for taxis in the morning I also tried to sort out tomorrow’s trip to the boat (we are travelling to some small islands for the next 3 days), but he told me they do free pickup. I had been trying to contact them all day with no joy, but luckily we found their offices on the way. So we sorted out the pickup for tomorrow at 8:30.

Bought some birthday wine and managed to drink it instead of break it this time. Nice, but definitely not worth 10 euros. This is the only real Indonesian wine we’ve found. The others all seem to be foreign, or made in Indonesia with Australian grapes.

Killed 2 huge roaches yesterday, and added another whopper and 3 small ones to the collection today. It must be an Amed thing though, our rooms are spotlessly clean. Over the years I am slowly improving on the roaches from, no longer to I faint or scream. That much.

And Aisha managed to find the rest of the yellow Uno cards amongst the bedsheets!

Great birthday dinner for Esther. I had lost the candle we took from the last hotel but the restaurant had one. We plonked it on top of some chocolate ice cream and all sang happy birthday. Then we packed the kids into bed and finished the last of the wine.

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