After an early morning (4.30am!) wake up call we headed off to Christchurch Airport with with the Commons and Kennedy clan. It was a rushed effort as usual with typically overweight baggage and a mad rush to unpack half of it and throw it into the arms of our parents. There were a few tears at security saying goodbye - mainly for Lewis as how can anyone live without him and his constant fixing, advice, upgrading and mere presence! Lew and I managed to hold the tears back...just.
Paul flew up with us to Auckland and took another armful of clothing home which took our bags to 23.2kg and 23.1kg. Our carry on felt like we had packed a few boulders however 😉. We said our goodbyes to him with a promise to return in two years and walked through the rain to the international terminal - slightly concerned that the increased moisture on our luggage would make them heavier. 🌧✈️
The flight was 9 hours on Air NZ flying straight into Denpasar. Originally we actually had just a seat and bag but once we realised how long the flight was we upgraded! Such a good decision to have two meals and also movies provided.
Our last sunrise over NZ... As well as the tip of Mt Taranaki/Egmont poking out the top of the clouds. One whole year later! Smaller bag and travelling west this time.
Arriving in Denpasar was a massive culture shock, it was hot, filthy and there were what felt like millions of taxi drivers hassling us to get us to ride with them. Luckily they left me alone but followed lewis around " mr, mr I give you good price" . Krystie and TJ, friends of ours who had been to Bali multiple times had given us a cost of how much it should cost to get Uluwatu so it was easier to determine a price with the driver. The airport was crowded and the lanes of the road were completely ignored with four lanes of cars fitting into two. Surprisingly none of the cars had so much as a scratch on them! There were locals on scooters everywhere without helmets - an emergency nurses nightmare.
The hotel we we arrived at called the Le Grande was surrounded by abandoned giant resorts proving it may not have been the best choice of areas. The plan was to try and get to the bar called the Single Fin to meet TJ and Krystie who had come to Uluwatu for the day. However, customs took forever and the traffic was a nightmare so we missed sunset. Oh well! It was about 11pm NZ time at this stage so we were pretty sure exhausted. Lew ordered in room service pizza for dinner and we called it a night.