EDIT: sorry for the late posting! Nick and I have been in Bali a couple of days now but late nights and poor internet have meant that we haven’t been able to update the blog! Photos TBA – will add some soon!
A slightly inauspicious start to the day with the facet in our kitchen sink finally giving up the ghost last night. All night long, we had to contend with a tap that would not shut or stop running. Thankfully, Nick figured out how to throw the isolation switch (located outside our apartment for extra fun!) so it was only a slow dribble all night.
On assessment the next morning, we decided we had to call in the big guns. Enter father-in-law Colin, who very literally swooped in and saved the day. He replaced the threaded faucet with a brand new one he and Nick grabbed from Bunnings and perfectly fixed the tap. You would never know it had ever leaked at all. Thanks Colin. We really appreciate it!
We (inadequately) showed our appreciation by feeding him some scones that I baked before he arrived. They were more a croissant-scone hybrid though, but for all that, not too bad! Not many people can say no to buttery baked goods. Colin doesn’t seem to be an exception.
After Colin departed we finished our packing (mostly already done), ate a few more scones and called our Uber at 1:30pm to take us to the airport. Luckily, we allowed a ridiculous amount of time as he took us a slightly round-a-bout way which took longer then normally would have. On arrival to the airport, we were slightly earlier then check-in and decided to check out luggage. Annoyingly, we were about 1.5kgs over our combined carry-on limit and fearing reprisals from penny-pinching Jetstar decided we better purchase a checked-bag allowance. The peace of mind (and getting to check all our liquids) was worth the extra dollars, but man, it was still annoying. Considering how light Nick and I packed overall, being 1.5kgs over was a bit of a bummer!
Once we were checked in at the kiosk and had dropped our bag at the receptacle, we proceeded through the security checks. Even though the recent security measures had been lifted, it still took us much longer to get through than usual. I had to surrender my shoes and scarf (doesn’t usually happen to me). Both Nick and I were tagged for an explosives test and we both also had to go through the mega-scanner. Once I exited the scanner, I also had to be patted down as there was an area on my upper left leg which scanned as a (glitchy) black spot. She got a little TOO enthusiastic about the pat-down, but I was allowed through without any further incidents.
One bright spot of the security clearing was that I ran into an old friend of mine, Kathy, who used to work with me at Foodworks. She is currently Cathay Pacific ground staff and studying at ACU. We agreed to meet up for coffee ASAP when I get back to Australia.
Once through security, we made our way to the Qantas Lounge where we were greeted by an extremely sour “lounge dragon” who very grudgingly took our details and let us though to the lounge.
Once settled in, Nick and I treated ourselves to late lunch/early dinner of pressed sandwiches, cheese plates, pea soup and some nice salads. We each had a slice of the cakes on offer which were a lovely chocolate torte and an apple tartan.
My dad, who is also travelling to Bali (on the same flight as us) stopped by the lounge to say hi to us, but of course, he wasn’t able to come in. “Back to the boarding gate plebe!” is how I said goodbye to him. This will no doubt come back to bite me when we are all sitting in economy together. Ah well, I get my laughs where I can!
The lounge itself was pretty quiet and we were able to relax until another group of travellers came to sit next to us who were quite outspoken. Also travelling to Bali. A stereotype is confirmed.
Boarding the plane was happily a simple process and dad was located about 11 aisles behind us. Jetstar’s set-up was pretty cramped compared to other economy carriers we have used. Nick’s knees were butted up right against the chair in front of him. The entertainment set up was nice and sharp looking, but as you had to pay for literally anything you wanted to look at it was of zero use to us.
Eating at the lounge was certainly the way to go. Nothing on the plane menu looked that appetising and it was all typically super expensive so I was more than happy that we used up our lounge passes for this trip. Will have to come up with another strategy for the way home.
The flight was uneventful though my usual ‘soldier mode’failed me and I wasn’t able to sleep on the flight. Arriving in Bali was fine and we were able to get through immigration with no problems.
The problems started when we tried to pick up our one piece of checked luggage. Firstly, we were directed to carousel 1 but after waiting there for about 15 minutes we were redirected to carousel 4. <sigh> People seemed to panic a little and all but RAN to the carousel to collect their luggage. They shouldn’t have bothered. We walked over and the luggage still wasn’t arriving.
Another 10 minutes and the bags started to trickle out of the hold. And by trickle, I mean “at a glacial pace”. Maybe 4 bags, a pause…. more bags… a pause. People were getting antsy. This was amplified by the conveyor belts getting stuck, the ground crew needing to come out and un-clog and restart the belts a few times. Every time the belt stopped there was an audible groan from the massed crowds.
Nick said that there was a guy near him who was fully shouting about the situation. I was getting a little distressed and asked Nick “Is this normal??!” Why do people EVER check luggage? Nick assured me that it was certainly NOT normal.
I eventually told my dad who disembarked with us that he should go on and check into his hotel (staying at a different place to us) as it was getting later and later and later.
A full 2 hours after we disembarked, we FINALLY had our bags, got though customs, found our driver amongst the pandemonium that was the taxi hawker scene outside at Arrivals and were finally on our way to the hotel.
Once at our hotel, the Novatel Benoa Bali, we had ONE more hurdle before we could fall into bed and fall into a coma. Check-in. As with all Asian countries, check-in seemed to be way more of a hassle then it should have been. Honestly, we just wanted to get our key, have a shower and fall asleep. At this point, it was 2am (AEST) and I was pretty over it all. Happily, we DID finally make it there and with massages booked the next day to look forward to, we passed out with nary another thought to the somewhat trying day we had had!
Tomorrow: Massages, music and mayhem. Stay tuned for the next instalment!