Diary of events from when some family came to visit me. This is the Indonesian leg of the trip.
Day 1: Friday, 7th July Dili-Bali.
Today I flew to Bali to meet up with my family who I haven’t seen since my sister’s wedding in early April. Our planes were supposed to land 30 min apart, with me landing first, perfect… I landed on time and got through customs relatively quickly for Bali, this was not the case for my family though. All 3 of their flights from Dunedin were delayed which in turn meant that their bags did not make it from the AUK-BRI to BRI-BAL flights, even though the planes were parked right beside each other in Brisbane and they were assured multiple times that their bags would make the next flight as it was a connecting Virgin flight. After waiting over 2 hours I was reunited with the family, bag-less but at least they made it! Due to waiting so long to get through to Bali it meant that we left the airport at peak hour traffic and it took almost 2 hours to get to our accommodation in Canggu. Exhausted, we checked into our 3-story villa and then had a short walk to go and find some food before going to bed.
Day 2: Saturday, 8th July
The missing suitcases were supposed to be dropped at our accommodation last night, however because the reception closed at 11pm they did not make it on time. Through some discussions with the hotel workers we figured that the bags were now back at the airport and we would have to collect them. After breakfast, we walked down to an ATM to get some money out but just our luck of course the ATM swallowed the card with the bank unable to come and rescue it. We thought that our best option would be to go to the airport and try get the suitcases. We soon found out the suitcases were not at the airport was and they would be dropped off later that day. I then showed the others around Kuta beach area where I had stayed before on my overnight layovers. The All Blacks were playing the lions that afternoon so we went back to our villa to watch the game and play around in our private pool whilst hoping the baggage would turn up soon. The bags eventually turned up about 6pm, what a relief, it was mostly just frustrating because they had been in Bali for almost 24 hours before we even got them. That night we had dinner at an Italian restaurant before chilling out and then bed.
Day 3: Sunday, 9th July
Today we had a tour booked to see many different attractions around Bali. First stop was some water-based activities. This included snorkelling where it was rough and I didn’t see one fish.. the boat we were in for these activities was advertised as a glass bottom boat, which it was, but we literally didn’t see anything through it that we couldn’t see looking out the side (water). Next, we were transported to a “turtle farm” which we all regret going to and felt like horrible human beings. This place claims they only keep 10% of the turtles born here and they release the rest but seems like that 10% they keep aren’t looked after very well. In some of the pools the turtles were in the water wasn’t even fully covering them and they sort of just sat there. This place also had other animals which were not very well looked after, for example cockatoos that were chained to a branch all their lives because “or else they would fly away”, or the snake which people could pick up and touch but it had its mouth cello taped closed and people would still drop it from a height if it moved whilst they held it…
After having lunch, we went to different areas of Ubud that were known for different crafts, such as wood carvings and silversmiths. At these places, they were very good at making you think you needed to buy things. We then went to a coffee plantation and got to taste different teas and coffees. After this we went to Monkey Forest Where we walked around a temple and fed monkeys peanuts. Our last thing on the agenda before dinner was to watch the sunset at Tanah Lot temple, the traffic was so bad that we were too late for the sunset but it was cool to see the temple and the market area around it. We had dinner near the temple and then went home.
Day 4: Monday 10th July
Today we explored a bit more of Bali going to a cool 3D art museum where you posed in front of murals and some looked pretty realistic. After this, we had lunch and then went to another mall in Kuta, here we looked around some shops then found an old arcade. Cam didn’t even really know what an arcade was so we played some games and ended up getting lots of tickets! Shame you can’t actually get anything good with the tickets though… After the mall, we walked along the beach then found somewhere for dinner.
Day 5: Tuesday 11th July
Today we had to be at the airport around 7am for a 9am flight to Dili. We arrived in Timor at about 12:30 pm and after getting some things from the supermarket and picking up some things from my house we went to our accommodation for the first 2 nights. My program manager and her partner kindly house swapped with me as my 1 bedroom place was not quite big enough for the 4 of us! For the rest of the afternoon we just chilled out and then walked down to a restaurant by the water to watch the sunset and have dinner.
To be continued…