2007;  The Year of -

    - an old friend in trouble

    - the teeth

    - Pantai Asuhan Dana Punia, Singaraja, the last Pillowcases & Bontihing school

    - the Holy Water from the temple on the rocky corner & a new road from the north

    - food

    - other friends, old and young.


Although our 2007 trip was not as rushed as others have been it really resulted from Herself finding a Relieving Teacher for her classes in the early weeks of Term 2. This fixed the dates within which we could travel, all that remained was to book passage and accommodation and here was another new road to travel!

Our friends Les and David of Golden Bali Travel had closed up shop; Les to live in his beloved Bali and David to take up the next leg of his career. We had relied on these people for our travel arrangements with implicit faith over past years, even through the collapse on Air Paradise from which we were lucky to escape.
Where now?
We tried two others, one local and one interstate with high recommendations, but  without the same bond developing.

On the night the teaching arrangements were confirmed we turned to the computer. As there were now no direct flights from Adelaide to Bali the decision had already been made to go with Singapore Air although this meant a 2 hour ride past Bali to Singapore and then a 2 hour flight back to Bali after an hour in Changi Airport in Singapore; effectively doubling the direct flight times we had become used to and arriving in Bali at night rather than about midday. We stumbled around the Singapore Air web site for some time before eventually finding the flights we wanted and booking seats.

The accommodation bit was easier. An e-mail to the Sinar Bali Hotel asking for a room from our arrival date - open ended - brought a reply in a little over an hour.
No questions asked, no credit card numbers just, 'Hello candy man. We look forward to your return.'



And so it was done. Now we had to get ready and make more new arrangements.
It was all that stuff we had to take!
Last trip our excess luggage cost was $1500, things like wheelchairs costing more to get to Bali than new ones would have cost us over there. This time we wanted to try freight which cost much less per kilogram than luggage. We found a Freight Forwarder close to home and eventually sent off to friends in Bali,109 kilograms in an assortment of cardboard boxes . (Singapore Air had also allowed us an extra 10Kg each for charity goods.) The cost in Oz was about $350 and at Ngurah Rai, because some of the stuff was deemed new (in fact the vast majority of it was) our friends were charged the equivalent of $420 in 'duty and other charges'. Most if not all of the 'other charges' would have been avoided if we had official letters from the orphanages noting our past contributions (which we now have) and perhaps if we were there in person to donate a few of the football uniforms to the inspecting officers???
We're not really complaining - we've come a long way. More kilos for less money has got to be an improvement over the previous 12 months and we will do even better next time.

The international flight from Adelaide to Changi in Singapore was as good as everyone said and as good as we expected and hoped. The same could not be said of the 'domestic' Air Singapore flight from Changi to Ngurah Rai in Bali and this is not just an opinion influenced by nearly 7 hours in the air and an hour tramping from one end of Changi where we disembarked to the very other end where we re-embarked. Its a very big airport!
Next time I want to look seriously at Qantas via Perth.

The following links track our holiday from the Sinar Bali in Legian (next to the well known Kuta Beach) where we re-established contacts with our various friends (and beginning to plot our assistance to one who was in trouble), then north via the central mountains to Lovina on the coast where Richard and Tini at the Rambutan Cottages took us under their wing (and to the Singaraja orphanage) and where we also visited the Bontihing School up in the north east hills for a distribution Day organised by Jacqui Slater (AKA Balibabe on the Bali Travel Forum) from the Gawler and Light Rotary Club.

We returned from Lovina down the east coast road, a part of Bali we had not seen before but will see more of in future I think. This route is much more realistic since the completion of the south coast road into Sanur and the other southern tourist areas which seems to have cut hours off the previous deviations through the hinterland.

Back in the south we checked into the Dynasty Hotel in Tuban, an alternative recommended in place of our favourite from past years, the Bali Hai. Here our anticipated 'holiday' went out the window as we settled in to some additional work for our Bali family.




* Made. An old friend in trouble.

* Monica and The Teeth.

* Lovina & Beyond. Pantai Asuhan Dana Punia, Singaraja, the last Pillowcases & Bontihing school.

* The East Coast road. The Holy Water from the temple on the rocky corner & a new road from the north.

* Food.

* Other friends, old and young ands other things.



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