Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Voyage to Villa Markisa

Today was a travel day.  No diving.  L

Even though I paid for the trip beforehand, there are always some incidentals on the boat.  My diet cokes, Nitrox, tip for the crew.  They didn’t accept American Express as payment which I guess is to be expected… so I gave them the only other credit card I had, my Chase Visa.  And then that one wouldn’t go through.  What!?!??!?  OK, well, it is also an ATM card so the crew ran me in to the closest ATM in Labuan Bajo.  But it wouldn’t dispense any money either (even if it would, it didn’t allow anyone to take out more than 1.5 M rupia at a time and I needed much more than that).  Martha K helped me out and paid for me on her credit card.  What a lifesaver!  She said that someone did that for her once in the past, so she’s happy to “pay it forward”.  Sending her a check is the very first thing I’ll be doing when I get home.

Note to self:  travel with cash (or traveler’s checks) next time.

Before we all got off the boat, we made sure to have a picture taken of all of us.  My camera was last and I made everyone “put on their rhinophores” for one last shot.


We had a short flight back to Bali and I swear, I just can’t keep it all together!  On the shuttle from the plane to the Bali Airport I realized I left my iPad on the plane.  Grrrrr.  Nobody at the airport knew what the heck I was talking about, so I had to go Graham.  Yet again.  I got it back.  Whew, I was worried about not having anything to read for the rest of the trip.

I feel like I can’t hold on to anything lately!  I’m a comedy of errors, I swear.

We had a 2.5 hour ride (I slept through most of it) up to Tulamben where I was just floored by the accommodations at Villa Markisa.  The buildings here are beautiful.  Every detail is perfect.  No dirt or cobwebs in the corners, no worn out towels. 

The beds are draped with mosquito netting which I loooooooooooooooove. There were fresh flowers on the bed and fresh fruit in a basket nearby. 
Oh, and the bathroom – it’s OUTSIDE. Gorgeous huge shower and yes, you do you business in a super nice toilet outside (it’s under an overhang in case it’s raining), but whoa.
Martha, Anthony, Martha and I are here at Villa Markisa but there are other guests here as well.  They only have 8 bungalows but they are so amazing.  I envision renting out an entire place like this for a milestone birthday and inviting all my family and friends.  Wouldn’t that be just about the coolest thing ever?  I would just need to wait until my youngest niece Molly could have her SCUBA Certification by then!  Although I get the feeling that the vibe of this place is not really all that kid friendly.

We had a nice dinner and turned in.  I have only two days of diving here – I’d better make them count!

And the diving here is all about the nudis.  I can’t wait.  I’ve been next door at SCUBA Seraya two other times but each of those times it was only for a couple of days as well.  At some point, I do need to make this a destination for my vacation and stay for at least a week.

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