Wow, what a couple of days I’ve had. Wednesday 11 May was the day I set out for Bali, to stay until the end of June, when I have to come back to Perth for a medical appointment.
My good friend Barry arrived slightly early at 08.20 to take me to the airport. He was almost missing a work sales meeting to help me. That shows his generosity.
My Air Asia flight was scheduled for 13.20 and although I was very early for check-in, I was looking forward to a relaxing wait after check-in and a nice daytime flight. But the first thing to hit me was an SMS message from Air Asia, flight delayed to 14.40. Oh well, another 80 mins, not too bad.
I managed to get my bags checked in at about 11.00am I think. One bag weighed 19.5kg, the other, 15.4kg. Lucky I paid for the extra weight.
Then the next SMS message arrived – flight delayed to 17.20pm! What?! Oh, too long a wait. I tried to find a comfortable place to lie down and half succeeded but soon had to uncramp.
Then the next message arrived: flight delayed to 18.40! Oh hell, this was getting beyond a joke. No reason given, of course. I went through immigration at about 5pm, getting a drug and explosives check in the process, and settled in for a long wait. 18.40 came and went and still no call to board. Finally at about 18.50 we boarded. I had seat 1B, right up against the front bulkhead this time. That was $10 well spent for a “Hot Seat” – it gave me priority boarding too. Another couple asked me to move to the window (1A), which was fine, and finally at 19.20 we were away.
The flight was longer than the usual 3¼ hours and we landed at about 11pm I think.
I had to get a visa that can be extended to 60 days (I won’t be here that long, but more than 30 days), so I had to pay US$35 for a normal Visa on Arrival, instead of getting a free visa as happens now for we Aussies. I couldn’t find the VoA desk and blundered into an office, before I was shooed out by a guy in uniform. He pointed to one of the visa counters. Hah! The guys were lounging down below the desk height, so I hadn’t seen them on the way in.
OK, the rest was easy. I paid, explained to the final immigration guy that I wanted to extend, but I had to go back to Perth at end of June, and that was that. No problem.
Then it was a long wait for our baggage. The conveyor remained stubbornly stationary. It finally started moving and luckily my bags were two of the first off. Out through the green channel, no X-ray inspection required and just waved me out. Thank goodness!
So, finally, at about 11.45pm, I was in my love’s arms again, greeted warmly, with her friend Surya and son Andre in their car, and we were away.
I’d booked a little hotel in Kuta, in an out of the way spot, but only $25 a night because I thought I’d be on my own, but it was fine with us all there – not all in one room, of course!
Wednesday morning was a good sleep in, breakfast outside, then another sleep while Surya ran some errands. We were finally away to Lovina at about 2.30pm. This time Andre took the west coast route. I’d wondered what it’s like. Crumbs, traffic, twists and turns – nothing like the straight highway I’d envisaged.
At 5pm we stopped at Bedugul for some makan – I had some of the best chicken satay I think I’ve ever had, and two lime sodas, beautiful. The others had a full meal.
Then we were away at about 5.30pm up over the mountains and down the other side to my new residence at Pemaron, between Lovina and Singaraja, right on the coast, on the water’s edge, in fact.
It was hard to see at night, but I soon saw the huge pool and after a long job of unloading all the things in my suitcases, it was into the pool. The first thing I noticed was that you could see lights all across the horizon. At first I thought it was a wide bay encircling us, but Veronika pointed out that most of the lights were fishing boats. There are town lights off to the left, though.
Surprisingly, after a while in the pool I got cold enough that I was getting leg cramps and had to get out. It was bed time anyway. The bedroom is air conditioned, but the main lounge and dining area just fan cooled. It’s fine.
Wow, what a house! We’re house sitting for a friend of Veronika’s until end of September, and I think this is going to be more than comfortable. This is a BIG house, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, three toilets, showers everywhere, big outdoor sitting and dining area, luxury infinity pool with cabanas and massage table, beautiful lawns and gardens and a beaut young dog called Bobby. Very playful. Fantastic. Wants to lick me, of course. And there’s a monkey, in a big cage outside. Poor little bugger. Frightened of me initially.
So after a good sleep on the too hard mattress, I’ve just had a fantastic swim at 7.30am. The rest of the day has been sorting out suitcases, finding things, setting up this laptop, connecting everything to chargers, taking my medications, putting moisturiser on my legs to prevent skin drying and cracking from the chlorinated pool water and trying to keep cool. Ay, panas! Ai yi yi, it’s hot. Even the locals are complaining. Luckily all three bedrooms are air-conditioned and I’m writing this in a spare bedroom which has a desk and stools. There are two big bathrooms with all the latest European plumbing, each with a toilet, so there’s no competition.
I’ll be here until the 17th of May, next Tuesday, when I have a fixed, pre-paid booking at a hotel in Sanur. Veronika will come with me, and that booking goes until the morning of the 25th. After that we may stay on a few more days, at the Taksu, I hope, that hotel I liked so much in March. Then it will be back here until I have to go home around the 26th June. I have an appointment with a specialist on Friday 1 July at the Mount, then there’s the federal election on the 2nd July.
I hope the specialist will schedule an operation to remove my gastric band as soon as possible. After that, I may need a further appointment, so it’s hard to say when I’ll be back here – early August I hope. I hope, he says knowingly.
So, what an amazing turnaround in my life since March. New things are happening thick and fast. Good things! Bagus!