The day finally arrived! Can’t believe its’ already December, as we (mostly I) bought the tickets for the trip in early March (impulsive purchase). We were not sure if we would be able to travel as husband had three surgeries this year – one after the other. So the stress was high! We usually head to Bali in September, so this is a first for us – spending Christmas and ringing in the New Year whilst overseas (technically untrue as we both grew up overseas 😂). Also experience the wet season – I am sure it will be an awesome experience.
Woke up at 7am considering we slept early hours of the morning, emptying suitcases, repacking and weighing them – rinse and repeat several times! Anxiety was at an all time high. Until both cases were under the allowance of 25kgs.
Decided to workout to put myself in a better mood – sticking to routine (definitely not my idea!). Made breakfast (I am on a budget trip can’t be frivolous lol), and re-checked the million lists we made. Ensuring nothing would be forgotten – and we did despite all the efforts! Flight was at 2pm meaning we have to be at the airport at 11am to check in. Thank goodness for online check in – it truly saves a lot more time.
This time I made sure to wear warm clothes – basically dressed like an eskimo – warm and comfortable (ugg boots and all). Every time I fly, I freeze to death – this time, I was ready. Anyway husband thought we had ample time (or so he thought) to get ready and clean up before leaving. Somehow time sped past so quickly it was 10.30am and I was waiting for him (as always)!
We finally hit the road at 10.47am (we had paid for long term parking from 11am) and made it in just in time as the check in counters opened. In my flustered state I forgot the one thing I swear by – that is to have the bags wrapped. As we were checking the bags; husband calmly reminded me, that ‘I’, forgot to wrap the bags. I wanted to snatch the bags back; too late – oh well bye bye bags – see you in Bali.
Auckland airport has changed, you have to scan your boarding passes to get to the e-gates. I always struggle with these gates because they always fail to read my face. Must be because I don’t look anything like my photo, as I am much younger and better looking in person. Today, of all days, wallah no issues, effortless – mildly irritated. The machine must not be working well today…
Security took a while longer had to take out all our things from the bags and into several trays. Got through without incident – swiftly and with style. Checked the time it was 11.47am; we got through all that in under 40mins. Now to kill time before boarding. Did some writing; whilst husband had teleconference calls. I am already in holiday mode and he is still working. That’s the price you pay for working for yourself – no off days. And pay he must! I need my holidays 😁.
Finally it was time to board the plane – I love Emirates! The service is really good for the amount one pays AND the toilets are so CLEAN! I am never disappointed as I am obsessed. Boarded with ease – had a little moment when the passengers next to us had settled into our (window) seats. Thought it was funny no harm done. This time we couldn’t score the two seaters; I was not willing to pay the extra $160 for those seats. Husband insisted that I had to seat in the middle seat. Was a little nervous I would be spilling into the seats next to me. But wait Emirates has better legroom and spaced seats – so no spilling here today! Plane was fully packed – we were like sardines BUT in a little luxury, called economy 😂.
Had lunch served an hour into taking off – it was good no complaints from husband either. Had a small snack – sandwich and muffin before landing. Flight was uneventful. Arrived at Denpasar airport at 5.45pm (15 minutes early). As we disembarked that ‘Bali smell’ hit me – that familiar smell I absolutely love. Husband thinks I am weird, he says he can’t smell anything – pfft. I know what I am talking about 😜.
It was a long walk to immigration, and there were no queues! I was nervous as our passports have a little damage on the covers (from them sticking to each other). Now at the airport they take everyones index fingerprints – a first for me. Got our free visa – we are here for a month. No issues, took less than 10 minutes and we were waiting for our bags. Bags took about 15 minutes, it felt like an eternity so I had time to take several photos of myself as a form of entertainment. I had some energy to burn – why not. Declared our food, again no one was interested.
The layout has changed since we were last here, the drivers are now further away – more walking! The exchange rate at the airport was not the best NZ dollar to 8, 125 IDR. I no longer change any money at the airport – I had arranged with our driver to take us to a money exchange on the way to Sanur.
In less that 45mins we were on our way. Got our money exchanged the rate was better outside the airport, NZD to 8,945 IDR. Sorted, headed off to get a sim card from Mal Bali Galeria (Grapari Telkomsel). Simple, quick and easy got a sim for 260,000IDR for 30GB for 30 days – not bad. By this time we were both exhausted but needed to get essentials, headed to LOTTE Grosir Bali supermarket. Didn’t explore, basically in and out quickly. I may return to have a little wander.
Headed to the homestay – home for over a week. After our previous experience last year – we thought (I mostly I) we would give it another go. Great way to stick to my budget (a budget 🙄😅 – husbands idea). This time I picked a place smack in the middle of Sanur. After extensive research this place is great value for money. Check in was smooth – comfortable bed ✔️, air conditioner ✔️, clean bathroom ✔️, pool ✔️, good reviews ✔️, Wi-Fi ✔️.
Husband was a little concerned driving through the gangs, and sighs a sign of relief when we arrived. Bathroom cleanliness is essential for me (although I hate cleaning it, I get husband to do it hahahaha).
Unpacked and settled right in as we were both tired. This holiday is, for us to relax and recuperate; as it has been a hectic year (I am sure it’s the same for everyone else. Its called LIFE).
We have done the temples (husband declared this trip a- no-temple-visiting-holiday), excited to explore more of Sanur and other areas. I am glad to be back to the Island of the Gods – once again!