Friday 9 July, 2004 – Seminyak, Bali
Up at 4.30am after only four hours’ sleep. Dad had already arrived when I gout out of the shower. He took me straight to the airport without even time for coffee.
The Jetstar terminal (my first experience of this local cut-price carrier) was like an Asian bus station. I’ve never been asked to remove my belt to go through security before! Lady in front had to take off her boots. But once on the plane it was fine. Sat on my own in a three-seat exit-row. Sunrise coming into Melbourne was bright red under dense high cloud.
Garuda check in was not yet open, so I humped my pack around the terminal for a while until I could check in. Browsed duty free then went to the Qantas Club lounge (which is well-hidden). Very pleasant but with awful coffee. The crowd was very ‘business’ at first, but then some younger types came in and lowered the tone.
Business Class was pleasant enough – lots of leg room, food good although I wouldn’t rave. But the Champagne was Moet!
I was a bit worried about the Indonesian woman next to me who was up and down like a yo-yo before take-off, but once the rest of her family boarded, she settled. She had been holidaying with her extended family – two sons and several grandchildren – in Melbourne. Had been skiing at Mount Hotham but returned to Melbourne after one night because it was too cold for her!
Immigration at Bali consisted of very long queues in sweaty heat. I emerged from the airport to barriers and a sea of people waving name cards. Found mine and the driver got me to the hotel through fierce traffic after dropping another couple at the Radisson Hotel. My hotel, the Bali Ayu, was pleasant, but stuck out in the middle of nowhere. I walked some distance in the dark to the centre of Seminyak for dinner and to get my bearings. Purchased a local SIM card for my phone and changed some money, then, very tired, had an early night.