Forgot to mention yesterday our tasty dinner the night before. I had Chicken Pad Thai and Erica Fried Noodles with Chicken Vegetables and an Egg. Hard to believe these two dishes cost us A$8. Our host had told us yesterday that he had a special Sidemen duck dish available last night for two. We promptly ordered it as we love duck! About 5pm yesterday a man arrived carrying the said duck feathers and all by its neck and delivered it to the kitchen. That’s what I call fresh! I watched him depart with money in his hand and assumed it was our dinner.
Am sitting in the pavilion having a cup of tea provide by Wayan our perfect host. He is without a doubt the best host we have encountered anywhere. He is graceful, charming and obliging. Nothing is too much trouble for him. He runs the Uma Ayu, greeting all the guests and carrying their bags to their cottages. He organise tours and transport and above all he is the chef cooking marvellous food freshly from an extensive menu. It turns out he has trained in a Bali city hotel. We are blessed to have him care for us in this tranquil place.
Last night the fresh duck was delicious. We devoured it in no time. It had been steamed and the barbequed which gave it a great flavour. It was served with a fabulous finely chopped Jack Fruit salad with lime juice and other spices. The pictures tell it all.
Today we have to travel to Klungkung the nearest place with a Visa compatible ATM as everything in Sidemen is cash based as is our next destination. Our driver was late due to a Marching Competition for schools blocking some streets so he sent another driver who spoke excellent English. We shared the vehicle with 4 French people who were going on to Ubud. Soon after leaving Sidemen we came upon halted traffic due to a truck accident. Our local driver knew another way and we had a delightful detour through Bali countryside seldom seen by tourists. The Driver dropped us off at the ATM in the centre of Klungkung and told us to meet him at the same spot in two and a half hours on his return from Ubud.
We withdrew the required cash and wandered up and down the main street which was just like most country towns with hardware, phone shops, fabric and all the other prerequisites of life. We spotted a Pharmacy and decided to try our hand at buying some cold and Flu Tablets. After many hand movements including clutching our noses and miming coughing we eventually got some Paracetamol and Pseudoephedrine tablets which we hope will help relieve our symptoms.
Walking through the large local market Erica spotted some mandarins and just had to buy some. It was a busy place and we spotted a lady making temple Offerings from brightly coloured flowers. One of our other missions here was to buy some books to read at Amed but we were to be disappointed as several locals we asked told us there is no book shop in Klungkung. Later we realised that if there was they would all have been in Indonesian and no use to us!
Next we entered small convenience type store as we were told by locals there is no large supermarket in Klungkung. Our plan here was to buy some laundry detergent, shampoo, water and a few snacks. Erica struck the first problem while asking a young assistant if the product she had in her hand was for washing clothes. He must have misinterpreted her miming as he became very coy and the started laughing. (Maybe it was here over zealous body rubbing mime.) Another female assistant was consulted and eventually a third person helped out and we discovered it was laundry detergent!
We now had three helpers as we shopped and our next difficulty arose when we spotted what looked like sliced and fried Broad beans that we had enjoyed in Malaysia. Attempting to ask non English speaking persons if they were indeed broad beans was getting us nowhere so Erica suggested drawing a broad bean and showing it to them. Well I have never excelled at drawing but I made an attempt and showed it to the three of them who promptly burst into uncontrollable laughter whilst making comments to each other. This went on for quite a while and not being sure what was so funny Erica and I checked my drawing. To our surprise my bean sketch looked for all the world like a flaccid male member! I quickly shoved it in my pocket and one of the young men eventually showed us packet of broad beans so now we were sure and made the purchase. They were still all smiling as we left the store.
Now we sat down to wait for the driver eating ice creams outside a little shop. Next thing the place was overrun by shouting Policemen of many different types calling out to clear the area. A fire had started on the main street just where we were to meet our driver and all streets were locked down with barricades in no time at all. The fire Trucks arrived and it turns out the smoke was from an electrical fire in a kitchen near the market. Our Driver as a result was delayed almost an hour. He explained that he could not get near us as the Police treat all such incidents as if a terrorist attack is underway after their Bali Bombing experiences and lock down all access roads around the site. We had wondered why the Police were shouting instructions so loudly in an almost panicked manner and that explained it all. We have never seen so many Policemen in the one spot so they were doing a good job if the problem had been something worse.
Our driver eventually found us and we took long walk to where he had parked. It was still all in all a very amusing and interesting day in Klungkung. Back in the peaceful Sidemen Valley with just the sound of rushing water from the river and all is well in our world.