I’m baaack

Sanur, Nusa Peneeda, 1986

[I’d like to add more pictures to this post, but I’ve been waiting 5 minutes for this one to load and it just took ages, so sorry, no can do.]

Oh my Dog,  that was a bit harder than I expected.

I’m now in Bali again, sitting in the restaurant of my hotel at 1.30 in the morning. I can’t check in until 2pm, so I have a while to wait.

But that’s not the problem. The problem started when the plane (AirAsiaX again) arrived, on time, at Denpasar airport. It was raining heavily and for some reason, the aerobridge didn’t come. So imagine standing in the aisle of the plane for 15 minutes, crushed by all the people around you, waiting for them to open the door. Not fun!

Finally it opened and I was one of the first out, being in seat 3C. But the walk to immigration seemed endless this time – we must have arrived at a different gate to November’s arrival.

Anyway, eventually I got the Visa on Arrival paid and joined the queues for Immigration.

This was where the real delays started. I thought maybe lightning had knocked out the computers, because we just weren’t moving! None of the queues was moving, not just mine. My back was killing me and I was pretty tired, so I was getting increasingly frustrated and shifting from foot to foot to try to ease the back ache.

It was not helped by a little Chinese kid who was staring at me, then pointing, then pulling his dad’s sleeve and pointing some more. Eventually his mum snapped at him and told him not to point, but I was pretty pissed off about it.

However, cinta Indonesia! (Love Indonesia, it means.) An airport guy in uniform saw my distress and pulled me out of the line and directed me to another queue for Indonesian passports! Yeah.  But not only that, he then directed me to go to the very front of the queue!

I was amazed and so pleased, I can’t tell you how much. I apologised to the people I’d bypassed, saying I’m sorry, I didn’t ask for this. Luckily, they were young and Aussies and they said don’t worry about it.

So after a short delay, I was through. This is respect for age, you see. You don’t get that in Australia, but here they recognise it and treat you nice. Noice!

My passport seemed to take far less time than other people’s, so I didn’t hold the queue up for more than two minutes, so it was great.

OK, then it was bag collect time, and at 1245am I was pretty tired. Annother porter saw this and took care of me, getting a trolley, collecting everything for me and putting it all through the Customs inspection. OK, it was probably a scam but I gave him Rp20,000 (about $2.50) as a tip and he seemed satisfied, so honour was served.

Then it was taxi time. Still raining heavily, I bought a taxi voucher and waited a few minutes. Once again, everyone helped me put the bags in the boot and we were off.

But the taxi driver had never heard of my hotel! It’s Harrad’s Hotel and Resort, a big hotel on the Sanur “freeway”. I spelt it out for him, tried every way I could pronounce it, but nothing did any good. He asked for the address. I had Late Rooms booking form, but it didn’t include the address of the hotel (or so I thought).

OK, stop and ask someone. Hmmm, not at 0130 in the morning in heavy rain. Phone number? Aha! Yes, I had one, but he dialled repeatedly and kept getting it fouled up.

So we drove slowly in the direction of Sanur and eventually he got through to the hotel. Aha, discotheque!

Huh? Apparently they’re building a new discotheque next to the hotel and this he recognised.

So after a petrol stop, we weren’t far from the hotel, and now, at 2am, with a beer and a bruschetta inside me, I’m feeling a bit better.

Unfortunately, the hotel wants Rp650,000 for a half night charge for a room! That’s $73! I said, “No way”, so that’s why I’m in the restaurant. Boring, but …

Anyway, I’m here to enjoy Bali and to look around for long term rental places. I talked to my friend about his place in Seminyak and I’ll go there and have a look at the area asap.

I actually have two hotel moves in the 24 days I’m here, but that’s OK. I have to move out of this Harrad’s on Tuesday 28th, and I’m booked into the Aston in Denpasar for 6 nights over New Year. It’s a pretty snazzy hotel, by the look of the web page, so it should be good.

Then I had a stroke of luck and found the Puri Dalem, which I stayed at twice in the 1980s, had a room from 3 January to my departure on the 12th, so that’s where I’ll be. I’m really pleased at that, because it’s where I got some of my absolute best beach shots in 1986 or so. I gather it’s been remodelled, but it’s still only $53 a night, so I’m happy.

Well, I hated to leave Minnie this afternoon, but I’m sure she’ll be OK. Next door are very good with her and I phoned my friend Edna Gracey, who also loves Minnie, and she’ll drop in and check on her.

So now I just have to wait the night out. OK so far at 0215! Crazy. Wow! If it was raining before, it’s bucketing down now. So loud I can hear it in the restaurant. Send a bit our way. In fact, what about a pipeline from bali to Perth? No crazier than Ernie Bridge’s scheme.