We still call Australia home

We had finally finished getting the boat ready to leave for the winter months and had our cases packed for an extended stay in Australia where we would spend time with family and friends.

Finally finished getting our boat ready to leave

Everything went smoothly on the trip back and although we could have done with a longer time there, we were glad to break the journey in Bali.

Glad to be breaking the journey in Bali

We literally only had one day there and we were so tired after all the preparations on board Sunday, not to mention the long flight via Kuala Lumpur to Bali, that we spent most of our time there doing nothing!

We spent most of our time in Bali doing nothing (i.e. asleep!)

We arrived in Bali in the evening and by the time we had cleared customs and met our driver it was quite late so we went directly to our modest hotel in Sanur.

We went straight to our hotel
We settled in and had a late meal nearby
Ahh first Bintang for a long time

The place we had chosen was the same one we had stayed in when our children (now both in their thirties!) were very young. It hadn’t changed a bit!

The place we stayed was just the same as
it was 25 years ago

The small villas looked exactly the same from the outside but had definitely been renovated both inside and out. The gardens were still a profusion of palms, flowering trees and tropical plants with pools and delightful stone carved figures dotted about the place.

The villas hadn’t changed
The gardens were still a profusion of palms, flowering trees and tropical plants
There were the same delightful stone carved figures dotted about the place
Spot the tortoise!

After a great late breakfast we dived into the pool – again, it looked just the same as it did when our son lost his tiny Thunderbirds 4 in it all those years ago!

A delicious late breakfast
The pool was exactly the same
The pool was where our son lost his tiny Thunderbirds 4 all those years ago

Later we took ourselves for a very pleasant stroll along the seafront, ending up at Little Bird restaurant that had been highly recommended by our good friends in Brisbane.

We had a very pleasant stroll along
the beach front
We always enjoy a view of boats
Just love this elegant entrance

We were extremely happy to be back on this beautiful island again and among other things, very much enjoyed admiring the gorgeous carvings, the incense offerings, the painted doors and all those crafts the Balinese do absolutely brilliantly .

So many gorgeous carvings to admire
Love all the statues
….and the colourful doors
These outriggers remind me of spiders for some reason!
A typical Balinese scene
Full moon in Bali

The flight to Brisbane the following day went smoothly and soon we were hugging our son and daughter-in-law in the arrivals hall. It was absolutely wonderful to see them!

Champagne celebration at the lookout

We were amazed to see all the improvements they had made to their new property since moving there in early April.

We love being at Ben and Sarah’s

Acres and acres of grassland reclaimed by days and days of slashing and mowing, the driveway and shared road regraded, painting inside and out organised, water tanks cleaned and refurbished with a water purifier installed, Wifi up and going with the installation of Starlink, solar panels and smart switches installed, new fans and fly screens put in throughout, and much more besides.

“Sarah’s “ mowing machine
Sarah and Ben’s house
So much mowing to do!

A new addition to the property since our last visit in February/March this year – before Ben and Sarah moved in – was a spectacular “tiny home” – a perfect little house on wheels with two sleeping areas, a tv lounge, fully equipped bathroom (including a washing machine) and a fabulous kitchen/dining area with a dishwasher, double sink, large fridge and loads of cupboard space. A perfect size for those of us who live on a boat!

Ben and Sarah’s tiny house
The view from the front door of the tiny house
Walking towards the tiny house (you can just see it in the distance)

The plan is to let out the tiny house to people seeking a peaceful haven in the bush. With their 100 acres and the massive Lake Manchester Reserve which abuts the d’Aguilar National Park right next door, it will be an absolute mecca for bush walkers and mountain bikers too.

Jonathan examining everything in
the tiny house
The master bedroom
A view of the kitchen with the bathroom
at one end
The bathroom/ laundry

On our first evening after our arrival we drove up in Ben’s 4WD to the highest point on their property to watch the sun go down and drink champagne. The perfect way to celebrate- and what an amazing view!

Sunset celebrations
The sunset view

It is such a joy to be with Ben and Sarah and the grand dogs and grand ducks in their lovely new home!

It is such a joy to see the granddoggies again
….and the grandducks of course!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

4 thoughts on “We still call Australia home”

  1. Ah! Bintang its a great beer, and loved the beautifully coloured “spider”outriggers. How wonderful for you both to see Ben and Sarah after such a long time and the progress they have made to their amazing property. Loved the “tiny house”.

    I may have mentioned that I am going down to Thredbo with Brooke n Matt and boys for Christmas. Other friends will be there then my niece and her family are coming down Boxing Day. It is currently snowing down there so we will have to pack warmer cloths but it will be great.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and hope to see you some time in the New Year.

    Raylee xo ________________________________


    1. Hi Raylee, lovely to hear from you! How exciting that you might have a white Christmas! You better take clothes for every eventuality as it could warm up again!! Sounds like you’re going to have a fabulous time. We are loving having time with both our two and their partners. Feeling very fortunate. Have a very happy Christmas – looking forward to seeing you in 2023!!


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