On the six hour flight from Brisbane to Bali I’m sat next to two other girls. Even if you had no idea where the flight was going I reckon you could hazard a good guess just from the book titles the three of us were reading…. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, The Celestine Prophecy, and The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching. Too funny. Kombucha anyone?
Denpasar airport is infamous for its long processing time for flight arrivals. I had thought that my pre-approved 60 day visa would mean I get to skip the long wait at immigration, bad sadly this was not the case. I had to work pretty hard to stay in my zen space as it was hot, and I was bothered and the enormous queue was moving at a snail’s pace.
My saving grace was a lovely Kiwi lady in the line behind me. We got chatting and it turns out she is a lecturer in journalism, doing her PhD on the impact of the trauma faced by journalists in their jobs, she is trying to highlight the issue, fascinating lady! Lyn is heading to Ubud too so she gave me her card and we hope to catch up again.
My hotel pickup from the airport nicely coincided with peak hour traffic. My driver Yanik informed me that a morning run from the airport to Ubud takes about 45mins but with the traffic this afternoon this stretched out to 1.5 hours. I find the chaos of the Bali roads really amusing though and played the ‘how many people can fit on a moped’ game – ten points! as a family of four buzz past us.
Yanik points out all the road works that are taking place on the route from the airport, apparently in preparation for a visit by Obama later in the year. Obama lived here in Bali when he was young and is popular here because of that connection. I spotted a big painting of Michelle and Barack as we arrived in Ubud so I’m guessing this is still the case. No hard hats and steel caps here though folks, just jandals and singlets – health and safety be damned.
I’m one of three guests currently staying at a new family owned hotel Pertiwi Bisma 2 which opened earlier this year. I receive a nice cool drink on arrival and check into my room. There is a lovely pool area and my room is really nicely presented. I’m a big fan of Balinese design and architecture so appreciate being amongst it again.
I have the dining room to myself for dinner, well, not really, the mosquitos dined with me, or on me. Apparently it has rained the last few days which has boosted the numbers of mosquitos around. I think they heard I was coming.
Feeling the effects of a long day I opt for a fresh juice of pineapple and ginger and some Indonesian rice with a fried egg and satay chicken. Now it really feels like Bali.