Selamat Datang – Bali (Welcome to Bali)
Planning a vacation is more fun than the actual vacation itself, don’t you agree? President Sridhar and Vinay must have traveled across so many countries virtually before putting together this plan. The itinerary was planned for a 3 day cruise on Star Libra covering Penang, Phuket and Krabi and 4 night stay at Bali with a transit stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Tour leader Vinay Jairaj led a group 46 members comprising Bali Beauties, Bali Heroes and Bali Babies to a memorable vacation.
The Star Cruise was a rocky experience, literally! While Day 1 on the ship was smooth sailing, the highlight of Day 2 was the Simon Cabaret Show at Phuket on a rainy evening. Day 3 stood still with the Krabi tour getting canceled due to rough weather. Day 4 was a mini city tour at Penang and a transit stay at Kuala Lumpur. Days 5-8 was the Bali tour in which we covered the iconic temples, Kintamani volcano, visit to wood carving and handicraft outlets and water sports at the beach.
  • Food -When you are travel with Rotarians, you will never have to worry about grumbling tummies! Packets of munchies popped out of their bags the minute we were idle. Congress kadlebeeja from Srinivasa Brahmins Bakery, chakli, kodbale with all kinds of thokkus ensured a good exercise for hands and mouths :). Of course, Vinay made sure that we didn’t miss Indian food all through the tour by choosing fabulous restaurants.
  • Oh, the joys of shopping! -  Well, well... Bali Beauties snatched every spare moment to indulge in shopping. While some Bali Heroes happily let their purse strings loose so that they could enjoy their fellowship sessions at peace, dutiful heroes accompanied their spouses and indulged them on a shopping spree.
  • Laughter is the best medicine! - Thanks to the sportive nature of Rotarian families, we had plenty of moments to laugh, tease, gossip and giggle. From Mrs. Vijaya Puttaraju and Rtn Ramakrishna’s laughing competition to RtnDwaraknath’s funny one-liners, singing and dancing sessions @ cruise to Rtn Ramesh’s poetry sessions, the vacation entertainment was FULL ON!
  • Babies’ Day Out! – Bali Babies had their own chill-out sessions. While the boys group enjoyed at the pool and their own games, the girls were busy shopping and clicking selfies so much so that we started calling them ‘The Selfie Girls’!
  • RBS Rocks! – From participating in competitions to cheering aloud during the cruise shows, sharing chakli, kodbale at the airport queues to hardcore bargaining moments, the group grabbed the eyeballs of fellow travelers wherever they went.
  • Tour Highlights: Rtn Satish, Mr and MrsPuttaraju, Mr and Mrs Ramesh Babu, Rtn SN Ramesh, Ann Rekha Sridhar being a part of the cruise shows, experiencing sea sickness on the cruise, exclusive puja opportunity at the Rudra temple at Uluwatu Temple,Balinese cultural show, all Bali beauties wearing white @ cruise and red @ Bali, disappointed faces when we were taken to the wrong shopping mall, thrilled faces when we stole a bargain, and the joy of eating pani puri, pav bhaji and kulfi @ Bali beach!
  • Tour Guides: Sally @ Penang, Julie @ Phuket, NarendraModi – Jnr(yes! that’s what he called himself) @ Malaysia, Bhagus @ Bali –these guides ensured that there was not a dull moment during the entire tour.
  • All’s well that ends well! – I’ll conclude by saying that going on a group vacation is a different ball game altogether. Such experiences give us a chance to understand each other, teach us to be accommodative, go with the flow and bond over common interests. Hats off to Annette Vinay Jairaj of Aviation Holidays for going an extra mile and ensuring us a great vacation.
          Selamat Jalan!(Goodbye in Balinese)                                                                                                                                                  - Ann Rekha Sridhar
Click here to more Photos