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Cairns to Columbo aboard Fred Olsen Boudicca

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    That was a most enjoyable read - I think I would have been more cautious than you with the Dragons though!




      Our driver from Rikki Bali tours arrived to collect us from the ship early this morning as arranged. The car was very smart with plush red leather seats and an unusual fluffy red dash board. The drive to the start of our cycle ride took rather longer than I expected, mainly due to the amount of traffic on the roads. I had no idea Bali was so built up and busy. We passed through numerous villages all with open fronted shops selling everything from fruit and veg to wooden carvings. Our driver asked if we would like to stop to see the wooden items but we said no as we already have a crocodile and Komodo Dragon living in our cabin.

      After almost 2 hours we approached our destination. My heart sank when I noticed we were going downhill, thinking of the uphill climb we would have to do on the bikes. It sank even further when I spotted a group of lycra clad fit looking young Australians. Thankfully they pedddled off before us whilst we enjoyed our breakfast of banana pancakes, melon and strong Balinese coffee. We enjoyed the view overlooking a lake and volcano. The cafe toilet left a bit to be desired but needs must and I managed to balance myself above the hole! I have seen worse in India.

      We were soon cycling along the narrow country lanes, accompanied by our excellent guide and followed by our driver in the car. We had been concerned about cycling in the humid heat but once we got going we had a cooling breeze. We passed by paddy fields and through jungle like terrain on a bumpy trail.

      We stopped to see a visited a local school but it was closed for religious festival. Our next stop was to a village house. Our guide told us lots of interesting stories about Balinese traditions. Newly married couples must spend the whole of their wedding night making a baby! There was a stone outside the bedroom. When the baby is born the placenta is placed on the stone as an offering to the gods. This brings good luck to the baby.

      We were able to look inside the kitchen. It had an open range for cooking. With no electricity in the house and little natural light it was very gloomy. A group of children were selling bags which they had made. I gave them some of the colouring pencils I had brought for the school. I will take the rest for children in Yangon. We visited a temple which looked ancient but our guide said was only 200 years old.

      At the end of our 20 mile ride we had lunch in a very authentic restaurant. The rice was delicious, grown in the fields we had cycled past. I suspect the chicken had not long been killed as it’s friend was still wandering around the restaurant.

      With our cycle ride over our driver took us to a batik craft shop. It was fascinating to watch the fabric being made. We bought a few items, all really nice quality and very reasonably priced. Before returning to the ship our driver took us to a coffee plantation. We had a go at grinding the beans in a giant pestle and mortar then had a delicious cup of cappuccino made with beans grown on the plantation.
      Then a wooden platter arrived at our table with a selection of 14 different teas and coffees for us to try. Some were nicer than others.
      We certainly packed a lot into our day.


        Bali is a big changeover port. A lot of people have left now and lots of new faces on board today.


          I know I shouldn't have bought enough items to fill a suitcase this morning but the shopping in Bali is so good I couldn't resist. My husband didn't want to go off ship today and as I already had a car booked I asked the dance instructor if she would like to come with me.

          We have had a lovely time. We went back to the batik workshop and bought lots of beautiful things. Then our driver took us to a spa for a Balinese massage. Just what I needed after yesterday's bike ride.


            What an interesting read. It sounds as if you had a fabulous day and that the bike ride wasn't as arduous as you first thought.

            Your account was a real insight into Bali. Thanks for posting.


              Hi ILS, I tip my hat - your energy levels are amazing. How did you cope with the humidity?? TBH I would have been tempted to jump in the car that was following.

              I hopefully will visit Bali one day but on a land trip.

              Thanks for the post and enjoy the rest of your cruise.



                I loved Bali, and even though I was much younger then, there is no way I would have undertaken a 20 mile bike ride!

                Hats off to you...............Wilba


                  Just catching up, Komodo Island and the Pink beach sounded like an amazing day. Not so sure about your bike ride day, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing more, thank you. .................................................. ..................Carol


                    We are missing seeing all the familiar faces who got off in Bali. 480 got off, we now have 530 on board. We have 2 days sailing now before we arrive in Singapore. Not sure what to expect as it will be Chinese New year. Some are saying everything will be closed. We had planned to go to Universal Studios on Sentosa Island but may have a rethink. We were so tired last night we had an early night and missed the show, A Taste of Things to Come.

                    The entertainment on board has been a bit mixed, a few good singers but we were Not so impressed with the magician and comedians we have seen so far. We like to listen to Ian Jack’s singing and playing guitar in the Morning Light Pub before dinner then so a bit of ballroom and sequence dancing in the Neptune lounge before the show. The sea is so calm today

                    . We still haven’t seen another cruise ship since we set sail from Cairns. I have found time to finish reading my book, The woman in cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. Ideal cruise ship reading. There is no book club on this cruise like we had last time. We are finding enough to do.

                    Today started with golf putting, my score of 24 won the ladies. Next we played shuffleboard. I had intended to do the craft session but today’s make was a fabric box which I would have had no use got and there was a charge of £9.50 to make it. Deck quoits was replaced with hoopla due to a sharp downpour. Baggo was the afternoon game then I went to the art class to paint a temple.

                    The food on board has been very good to excellent so far. I enjoyed the cherries jubilee with ice cream for desert at lunch time. Formal night tonight with a Scottish theme. I passed on the haggis with a tot of whiskey, opting instead for crab soup followed by lobster salad and salmon carbonara. A fairly fishy night, all delicious.

                    As we missed the welcome aboard party when we arrived we attended the one for the new passengers tonight. The captain is a good speaker and was very entertaining as he introduced some of his officers to the audience, with comments such as asking the restaurant manager why anyone would pay £20 extra to eat in the speciality restaurant if the food in the main dining room was as good as he claimed. He is a good sport too, modelling a dress from the shop for the fashion show.

                    We managed to stay up for the 10.00 quiz in the Observatory bar. Our previous team mates left the ship in Bali and the new people we have teamed up with were not there so with just the 2 of us we didn’t do bad, just one short of the winning score.

                    When we got back to our cabin we found a letter telling us everything we shouldn't do in Singapore. Chewing gum carries a jail sentence and drugs could result in the death the penalty. Very different to Papua New guinea with the locals chewing their red beetle nuts and spitting them on the ground.

                    SUNDAY 26 JAN I woke early again this morning. I still haven’t adjusted to there time change. At 5am I turned on the TV with the sound on low so as not to disturb out neighbours. We have been using the screen set to the view from the bridge to see the outside world from our windowless cabin. I watched the port talk for Singapore. The speaker is not the best. He reads from a script, spending a lot of time talking about the history of the places we are visiting and not enough information of things to see and do and how to get around. He was very vague about the arrangements for tomorrow with it being Chinese New year, only saying some things may not be open which we already knew. It would have helpful to know a few more specific details. If the internet on board was not so expensive I would have a look myself.

                    After breakfast I went to reception to ask if they could find out if Universal Studios would be open. The girl was very helpful and am pleased to say it will be and with a discount for over 60s. With our plans for tomorrow sorted we headed for the comfortable blue chhairs around the pool on deck 9. I spent an hour with my new book, Coming Home by Fern Britton then our usual games, crafts and a dance lesson.

                    We crossed the equator today. Had a visit from Neptune and a great deck party with lots of officers and the captain thrown in the pool. The captain really is a good sport. He was dancing on deck in his soaking wet uniform.

                    We have arrived in Singapore. Off to Sentosa. I am pleased you are all enjoying reading. I will post some photos when I get home and respond to individual replies. If anyone ea ts to know more about the ship or destinations
                    Last edited by ilovesunshine, east yorks; 27th January 2020, 12:35 AM.


                      I am reading your posts, imagining myself on board as I know the ship so well.

                      I agree with Captain regarding the extra charge of £20 to eat in the speciality restaurant when the food in the MDR is usually so good. I have spoken to some people who have done so and they told me that it wasn't worth paying the extra.

                      Maybe I will get to do your itinerary one day but it won;t be my OH as he says he is now 'cruised out'.

                      Enjoy Singapore.


                        Great read, thank you. I could do with being on board right now, calm seas, and blue sky, bliss .................................................. ..........Carol


                          We have had a culture shock today. Immersed in the full Universal Studios American experience after all the primitive places we have visited. We took the cable car to Sentosa Island with some fab views of Boudicca moored below us. Being a bank holiday it was busy but we didn't ha e to wait long for any of the attractions. Our first experience was a hurricane in New York complete with flames, we could feel the heat.

                          We only saw one other couple all day who were not oriental. They we from Australia. We spoke to them in Goldilocks house where what a coffee and I sat in the three bears chair.

                          Next we went to see donkey from Shrek, had a few rides, then the full 4d Shrek experience. We are back on board Boudicca now having a pre dinner cocktail to recover from our fun day out


                            Forgot to add, Fred has dine very well docking right next to the largest shopping mall I have ever seen. Husband would disagree that it is a good docking place!

                            Sailaway party is 11 pm tonight. Hope we can stay awake. Next port Phuket


                              Almost time for sailaway and we are still awake. Fantastic views of the Singapore skyline lights from the deck
                              Last edited by ilovesunshine, east yorks; 27th January 2020, 02:46 PM.


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