Saturday, August 29, 2015

Passagmaking: Darwin to Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia

Villa G left Darwin's Cullen Bay Lock at 9am on 27 August. We are now about 200 nautical miles from Kupang where we plan to "check-in" with Indonesia Customs and Immigration. We are two nights out and it has been uneventful accept for adjusting to being back at sea after almost six months.

There has been only light wind, so we are motoring. Fortunately, we have an extra 750 liter diesel fuel bladder on the foredeck that gives us great confidence in having sufficient fuel. In fact, we should be able to motor to Singapore if necessary. The weather is very good. Not too cool, not too hot and mostly clear skies. The water is about 28.5 C.

Dolphins have visited several times and swim in our wake near the bow. One Blue Footed Booby visited for about a half hour. We have just passed a major offshore oil and gas production area and left the Australian economic exclusion zone, so Indonesian fishing boats should be popping up now and again. Tonight may be a bit busier than the first two when we only saw one other ship each night.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Stay at Pondok Wisata Sari House in Lovina Bali

We extended our stay in north Bali by a week and were lucky to find a very pleasant 5 room inn in the village of Kalibukbuk off of Jalan Damai which is the road that goes up to the site of our future home.  The inn is called Sari House and is officially known as Pondok Wisata Sari House.  Pondok being "inn" and Wisata "tourist" and Sari "beautiful".  It is all of those.  Sari House is owned and operated by a delightful Balinese woman, Ketut.

Ketut looks after her guests very well, cooking excellent vegetable omelettes for breakfast, or whatever you want.  I asked her if she likes to cook and the answer was a resounding "yes", so she offered to cook dinner for us each night.  I immediately accepted and subsequently enjoyed six delicious dinners.  Susan did not have to cook and I did not have to wash up afterwards.

Ketut and me, Dana

About 30 meters from Sari House is Buda Bakery of Lovina Beach.  Here one can obtain excellent loafs of white or whole wheat bread, croissants, naan and sweets like cheese cake and apple crisps AND superb ice cream in flavors like ginger, lemongrass and coconut.
Meals are served upstairs in an open dining room that faces Kayuputih.  We have had some excellent lunches with great sandwiches, soups, pork ribs and desserts.  The owner was previously the chef for The Damai, a five star resort and restaurant only 2 kilometers away and clearly knows his business.

Our Bungalow at Sari House

Four guest rooms at Sari House
Buda Bakery

Local Color

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Super birthday for Susan!

What a great day! Susan is celebrated her birthday at the Spice Beach Club, but first we set the first stone for our new house here at a special ceremony.

 Birthday dinner at Spice Beach Club
Live Music at Spice Beach Club
Morning coffee at Buda Bakery
Laying of the first foundation stones for Villa Cengkeh

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bali's eternal spring yields a bountiful garden

Bali's combination of being both tropical and mountainous creates areas of year around spring like conditions.  Just 20 kilometers from Lovina are old volcano craters with mild to cool conditions perfect for growing strawberries and asparagus.  The central village there is Badugul. Around Badugul we found the most beautiful red poinsettias growing along the road and in private gardens.

Fresh Strawberries and Asparagus

From Badugul down the north slope toward the coastal city of Singaraja and the area of Lovina beach are steep forested mountain sides growing coffee, mangoes, and avocados.

The mountains above our new home site a filled with clove (Cengkeh) trees.  This is the season for picking the buds from these trees as the begin to flower.  The buds begin green and are separated from the flower stem by hand and put into the sun to dry.

Other trees on the lower slopes produce bread fruit and cacao as shown in the last photo.

Drying Cloves or "Cengkeh"

Cacao Pods for Chocolate