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Written by Peter Smith   
Thursday, 23 April 2009 17:20
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 Day 71: Saturday 1st December -  Bali 


We didn't have breakfast until nearly 11.0am and it was the worst so far. The only choice was between fruit or juice. The toast was made from sweet bread, the butter ransid and the jam awlful. The hotel looked fine from the outside with a pool, bar area and chalet type rooms. Ours room even had a split fancy carved door and shuttered windows but once inside things quickly deteriorated. The fancy door when closed had an inch gap between the two halves when shut which was no deterrent to mosquitoes. The air con unit was not powerful for the size of the room which had chairs, coffee table and a couch. The toilet and bath/ shower were quite smelly and slippery.

Went for a walk to buy a top-up card to ring home and it was so hot and humid that we went into the first air-conditioned shop which turned out to be a surfing shop. Finished up buying shorts and a tee shirt.

Arrived back at the hotel to find Jim, Lauren and David in the pool. They arrived from Bangkok late last night and went straight to a club, eventually emerging in the late afternoon. 

Went to the beach at about four and enjoyed the plunge in the sea but chose a bad spot. As soon as I went in I was called out by a life guard who said it was a very dangerous spot. The beach front was strewn with good looking reasonably priced hotels with pools and bars looking straight out to sea. All an improvement on ours. 

Now found out the flight to Darwin is now at 9.00pm tomorrow and not Monday morning as originally told. No reason given. This means with the time difference we'll arrive in Darwin at about 1.30am

Went for dinner with John, Zoe, Jim and Lucinda. I had Lobster Thermidor for 145,000. Then went to a type of night club. Cocktails came in small fish bowls. Played pool until the rest of the lads turned up from their travels. By 1.00am Ben, Geof, Fergal, Barry and Das had all arrived. Only one missing now is Mac. Heard, later, he was on the island but staying at another hotel.

It's amasing we're on one of the most beautiful islands in the world and we've had no oportunity to see it. We arrived late, catching the ferry at about 5.00pm and spent three very bad hours driving across the island. It really shows poor understanding of the terraine. It wouldn't have been so bad if we were traveling in daylight to the airport but it was only a twenty miinute ride from the hotel and once again we left in the dark. All in all we agreed today was a waist of a day but long hours spent on the bus really takes its toll on us. We just need to relax.



Day 72: Sunday 2nd December - Bali to Darwin Australia.


Went for breakfast but settled for a couple of pieces of fruit and a cold cup of tea. We considered hiring a car to go and see the paddy fields but had no idea of where to go and we had a deadline to meet of 6.15pm to leave for the plane. The tourist information offices (on every corner) didn't even have maps of the area we were staying in and just tried to sell trips which all started in the early morning (which we'd missed being in bed) and mainly included fishing, boat trips out to sea and a zoo that Lonely Planet calls disgraceful because of the condition of the animals.

I finished up spending two and half hours in an internet café whilst Anne packed for Australia. A complete waist of valuable time. We were dragged to Bali in the dark after a wonderful time on Mt Bromo and the time, we'd supposedly made up by flying, (Calcutta) was once again cut down. The original itinerary had us flying from East Timor and God only knows when we'd had got there. 

Most people were assmbled at the hotel reception when we got there having decided also to give the day up to travelling. The journey to the airport went smoothly and we arrived to miss what looked like a spectacular sunset. I was very pleased and relieved to find out we were flying with Quantas and not Garuda. Mark told me Garuda have been banned from Europe for failing safety checks and neglecting maintance. It took Quantas an hour to check us in and slid into a bit of farce. The security was OTT, had my bags checked three times before we got to check in. We were then frisked again before boarding over twenty minutes late. Our plain was very new with leather seats and neck supports that could be moulded around your neck but was considerablely smaller than the Garuda Boeing standing by its' side and as much as I looked I couldn't find the familiar Quantas symbol. Instead it said Air North which I later found out is Quantas' short haul company. As I sat down I heard Alex telling Barry that one of the cabin staff had told him we were flying through a storm even though Noreen had seen the weather only the day before online and confirmed good conditions. I found out later they were winding me up, the bastards. The actual flight was brilliant and even though 9.30 Bali time became 11.30pm once on the plane we were served food and drinks. We were offered a choice of chicken, beef or veg pies, cheese and biscuits washed down with JacobsCreek and the very kind air hostess gave me a second bottle. This was a good way to leave the Orient.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 17:26