Friday, 6 December 2013

A short break

Last week I was sent to Bali (imagine being sent to Bali) for a 3 day conference which on the whole was very good with a lot of free time and chance to explore green bottles with colleagues. 

We stayed at the Pullman at the end of Kuta Beach which was nice and spent all day there and the evenings free to wander to the nearest bar and stay there.

My flight was at 7.40 in the morning and I was flying with Citilink which is in someway connected to Garuda. You fly form Terminal 1C which is crowded and messy and all too Indonesian. The trip in the taxi from my home took a staggering 25 minutes due to it being early and no traffic and the driver clearly did not want me to be later for my flight. I was more than happy with that.
Landing in the rain in Bali was not the best thing and with the building work at the airport still going on, although much has been finished we took a shuttle bus the 200 meters to the arrivals and then waited for transport. 

Once the conference had finished I had chose to stay another night and was being met by my wife on the Friday. Jeremy was with his gran for the night so we could have a short break together.
I wandered away from the conference after lunch, jumped into a taxi because it was raining again and went to the hotel we were staying at for the night, the Flora Hotel. This is near the Ramayana just up from Kuta Square. After a small snooze, I ventured back out in the drying heat, down the beach and then up Poppies one to the Swell bar and sat there until around 6. I was intstantly recognised by the staff and made welcome. This would be because every time I have been to Bali I have always gone there! 

I spent the afternoon in beer and sandwich land and then after Yovita told me her flight with Air Asia was delayed decided to go for a walk to the Discovery Mall and wait for her in a bar. The bar I wanted to go to was the Sports Bar but on arrival I discovered it was closed and had turned into a chemists. So I decided to go and meet Yovita at airport which made her very happy. 

The most interesting thing about trips to and from the airport are the costs. From the Discovery Mall to the Airport cost me 30,000 and the same trip back 65,000 due to it back fixed rates to anywhere in Bali from the airport. 

After getting changed etc in our room we went out for dinner in a small restaurant and then waited for a friend of Yovitas to arrive and then we walked to Beach walk and wandered about until late.

Early on Saturday I could be found on the beach looking at the volcano and the sea as the air was very clean and clear. We ate breakfast in Swell and then had to check out of the hotel. 
This is really Kuta Beach with the volcano as a back drop

We spent the rest of the few hours on Bali in the Discovery Mall buying bits and pieces and enjoying the weather before getting back to the airport.
View of the sea from the mall

Bali airport is still being reconstructed and so it is still a mess. The departures of domestic are in a big hall with signs for Visa on Arrival and as usual the locals all spread everywhere pushing and shouting etc. The Citilink check in is hidden around the corner from the other airlines and after getting our boarding passes went and waited by the gate. 

The normal chaos and lack of announcement for the flight ensued but we were still on time and left only 10 minutes late. The flight back to Jakarta was pleasant enough and soon enough we were back in the city.

We had ordered a private car to get us back home and for 200k (all in tolls, tip, fuel etc) we were driven home in a big black Toyota thing which was a great way to end our short trip. This was the first trip away anywhere since Jeremy was born. 

Some links

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