Finally arrived in Bali on Monday morning around 11 AM and much to my pleasant surprise, the Denpasar airport resembled nothing as I left it nearly 10 years ago! It was a breeze going through customs and immigration and thanks to a newly passed law, US Citizens no longer need to purchase a VISA and it does not take a whole page in your passport!
As soon as my bags came off the carousel and I rushed through customs, I made my way over to the domestic terminal. It is no longer a few steps outside the International Terminal and it took a good 15 minutes to walk pushing my cart with my bags. The airport is still under construction but the walkways to the domestic terminal are under cover.
If you do not have a ticket, you will NOT be allowed inside the airport (domestic or international) but I begged to let me inside to get to the Wings/Lion Air counter to see if I could possibly get on the next flight to Maumere. No such luck as everybody on the flight had already checked in. Unlike US airports, the agents at the check in desk are there for just that, to check you in and nothing else. If you have questions, need to get a ticket, check on open seats on future dates, you have to go to the customer service area outside of the terminal.
Back outside, I found the ticket office for several domestic airlines. No such luck on finding any flights to Maumere today or tomorrow! I found a flight to Kupang and then a connecting flight to Alor on Wednesday and that was the best I could find. I found Eli from Dewi in the airport who was dealing with another misplaced guest. Despite having her contacts look for flights for us, there were just none to be had. She advised me that Dewi had advised that we could rendezvous in Alor and they would pick me up on Thursday morning so that meant 2 extra nights in Bali and another night in Alor before boarding and getting in the water.
Back up an hour or so, I was sitting in the Garuda office close to a mental breakdown after they told me their was a seat but I would have to go back to the Trans Nusa desk to make sure that I could get to Alor with them from Kupang. Bought the ticket from Kupang to Alor and ran back to Garuda who looked at me like they never saw me before and proceeded to tell me that all flights were sold out! I left without a ticket and wondered what the heck i was going to do with a ticket from Kupang to Alor with NO ticket to Kupang. On the verge of tears and a total mental breakdown from lack of sleep and pure, utter frustration, Eli appeared and said don’t worry!
Standing out in front of the Garuda office waiting for the other passenger and Eli’s contact to find me something, out appeared the Garuda rep (who apparently thought I was a total flake) saying “Ms Terri, we found a seat”! I didn’t think to ask where the seat was and later thought….I hope it’s not in the toilet!!!
At least now I started to calm down and rode with Eli to the Dewi office to meet up with Wendy and meet with the Wakatobi folks as I am supposed to visiting them as well during this trip.
After a very long few days, I checked into my hotel, Adi Dharma in the Kuta area. Cute little hotel in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Kuta and down a very narrow side street with lots of shops. Once in the resort, it’s pleasant, nice rooms, a pool, bar, spa, tourist desk and a restaurant. It’s great for anybody needing an overnight (or 2) enroute to other destinations within Indonesia.
Had a bite to eat and off to bed it was for me as I am treating myself to 3 plus hours of spa treatments in the morning.
The recommendation for Body Works in Seminyak was spot on! Started off with full body massage followed by a a body scrub and wrap and then a soak in a rose and frangipani bath in a private room. Seaweed facial and next and shoulders massage while the seaweed did it’s work (well, I think it did ;-)). And, to finish off, a badly needed pedi. All in all, about 3 hours of pampering all for, wait for it…..75.00 US!
Back to Adi Dharma for lunch and some emails. I even found time to take a little snooze before heading to Denpasar to meet up with Dewi people for a great Indian meal which was fabulous!
Off to sleep and early morning wake up call to get to the airport for my 7 AM flight to Kupang and connecting to Alor where I will spend yet another night off the boat and NOT diving!
Early morning departure from the hotel (4:30 AM) found us in traffic once again trying to get out of Kuta! Do the locals ever sleep??!?!?! Motor bikes and taxi’s crowded the very narrow, alley like streets having my driver beeping and getting out of the car to see what was going on! Really???
Luckily, I made it to the airport in plenty of time and sitting with a wonderful cup of Cappuccino!
Ok, off to board my flight.