Subject: Escaping Winter - Bali & Australia Part 1 (Long)
Hello Everyone,

We are in Australia for the next 4 months and I thought I would like to share some of our experiences with you all. I should have started earlier but as you will see things havenít been going too smoothly and a couple of times we thought we would have had to abandon our trip. Here is the first installment.

Bali November 12th 2005

Well after much soul searching and frantic calls to our Toronto travel agent we decided to go ahead with our visit to Bali. I have wanted to come back since I first visited in í99 and if the bombers didnít put us off I didnít see why we should let the unlikely risk of contracting Avian Flu do it. We took a calculated risk, we were not worried about contracting the disease as exposure to chickens would be very unlikely but we were worried about the Australian response should the passing of the virus from person to person be confirmed while we were in Indonesia. In such an event they would be looking at closing the Australian borders.

Having been in Toronto when the SARS outbreak occurred we know how quickly it could happen. But we will be in Australia by the end of the month, before any test results can be confirmed. So, here we are with our fingers crossed.

We may have decided to come but thousands have not. I am typing this sitting astride a pool lounger, it is late in the afternoon and the heat has gone out of the day. The beach at Sanur is empty, the stores, hotels and restaurants are empty. This morning we drove to Ubud to book a hotel for the next 10 days and that town is also empty.

The Balinese are really hurting and the young men touting for business for their transportation are hardly trying anymore. Itís so sad. We will just have to do our bit for the economy by eating and drinking our days away, going to dance performances, visiting art galleries, temples etc. I ordered some new lenses for my glasses today and have an appointment for laser teeth whitening next week, I am definitely doing my best.

The flights here were brutal but from Vancouver were made a whole lot more tolerable by the delightful young and attractive crew of Singapore Airlines. That and the fact that the flight was not full until Korea so we had a spare seat between us to spread ourselves over.

Saturday passed in a blur, we took a nap after lunch and didnít wake up until 11.00pm. Tony watched a film and a rugby match on TV, I read for awhile and we both slept the sleep of the dead or at least the dead beat until 8.00am the next morning. Friday of course we lost completely but will get it back in May when we re cross the International Date Line as per Phineas Fogg.

Regards and a very happy and especially a healthy new year to you all from Castlemaine Victoria Australia.

Sue (and Tony) Waterloo ON