8 June 2011

Well we have survived Kuta and a 33 hour trip by car, plane, train, tram and foot to Orleans, a city an hour south of Paris by train. Mike and I are recuperating in a bar surrounded by Tudor-style medieval buildings in a busy square. My French is hopeless, so by my fourth drink I may actually order something I like.

Place du Chatelet

Bali was a treat, Kuta was not. Our hotel’s breakfast buffet had a compulsory uniform we weren’t told about: fresh tattoo, Bintang beer singlet, cigarette and plaited hair. We awoke most mornings to the view of frangipani flowers from our balcony and the sound of the birds, mopeds and our neighbors slamming their door and having a morning argument (swear words I’m unfamiliar with). Oh, by-the-way – our neighbors were 9 year olds. But we did a great bike ride tour with my brother Mike, through the hills, rice paddies and small villages of the ‘unspoilt’ Bali. Mike and I escaped to Seminyak several times to some great bars/ restaurants for a break from the bogans. The best treat was the family dinners together, where we managed to spoil – and be spoiled – by Mum and Dad.

Bali Bike Tours

But the good times had to come to an end and we left Bali on Monday for Singapore then Frankfurt then Paris and now Orleans. And it’s still Monday. Will this day ever end? (Damn time differences!) Thought we would have killed each other due to lack of sleep by Paris but instead we smiled at each other through bloodshot eyes and said “Hey, we’re in France!” (Business Class did help…).

Now we are in a small cafe, surrounded by French conversations and cigarette smoke, overlooking Place du Chatelet (home of Joan of Arc) and hopefully ordering and enjoying the right drink soon.

Orleans Place du Chatelet

PS >; Hopefully the travel blog will improve after I’ve actually slept.

About Freoroamers

Richard has worked in hospitality and travel for almost three decades and has been a regular traveller since childhood. He now travels for both work and pleasure, and is a Senior Contributor to Trip Advisor and other digital media travel platforms.
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