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Unread 13 Jan 18, 11:47 PM  
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BONZO
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Join Date: Mar 02
Bali Hi(lights) Day 8 (final part incl highlights and lowlights)

Bali Hi (lights)

Cast:
Me (Shaun)
Alison

Link to trip report index: here


Wednesday 20th September

We were up quite early this morning and managed to swing into action with all the packing pretty much done before going down to breakfast in the hotel for the last time.

This morning was coffee and pancakes, all very fresh and delicious. We said our goodbyes to our regular waitress and handed over a tip which only seemed fair as she was really on the ball.




We left the room and settled up our account at reception and headed out to the pool area for one last time to relax and bide our time waiting for our driver (prebooked) to arrive (wed been advised to allow lots of time as the traffic around Denpasar can be terrible and we didnt want to miss the flight).




He turned up promptly and then proceeded to drive at snails pace and I swear he never made it into 5th gear! At least this time round we drove along the new toll road / motorway straight to the airport which was nice and quiet. Typically the journey was really smooth leaving us with about 2.5 hours to hang around for our short hop up to Jakarta.

We arrived in plenty of time and had our boarding cards checked at security to allow us access into the building and then went through an initial basic bag scanning and into the departure area/ check in desks.

I was a bit amused by the singular piece of carpet here again but I guess they think it adds a bit of style or class to the process. We asked about the possibility of getting an earlier flight but we couldnt as it was full already. We were flying Garuda up to Jakarta airport to pick up our international Qatar airways flight back to Doha and then on to Brussels. As this flight was on a separate ticket to the Qatar flights we needed to be really sure that wed get there in time. There are a few airlines that fly between Jakarta and Bali but Garuda have the best reputation and are mostly on time!

So then we headed through another ID check and further security before finally arriving airside. There was a reasonable range of shops selling tourist stuff and fancy shirts that tempted me until I saw the price! Its a lovely airport:



We settled down with a coffee for me and a coconut water for Alison from Goods Coffee, interesting to see that the coconut water was actually in a young coconut!




We watched the world go by and looked out over the apron to the sea which was a bit more picturesque than London airports and eventually moved along airport seating area next to the Garuda gate which was a lot quieter.



We just charged up phones for a bit and watched the twitchy people approach the desk and hover around the gate before boarding was eventually called. We boarded the plane and took our seats in row 39, oh the horror! LOL but no big deal as there was lots of leg room on this A330-300.

The runway view from the plane was amazing! Beautiful sea and sand - just to rub it in that we were leaving!





We had an interesting but very tasty meal on board, which made a really nice change from the regular western food options.



Short journey this trip and we soon landed into Jakarta airport. I saw the new shiny Sky Train running but it was only in test so we took the bus over to terminal 2.

It was a very popular bus service and we timed it just right as many got on or attempted to get on including a man with surfboard! I noticed an elderly lady getting on and quickly gave my seat up for her as no one else looked like they were going to.

We went through the next security check into the terminal and headed towards the check in desks. Luckily for us the lady said as we had no luggage to check in we could go straight through to security and into the lounge and check in there. This was a bit different for us we were seated at check in desks in the lounge whilst our details were taken and our passports taken away! Gulp! We were told not to worry, just standard procedure and they would be returned to us.

Not the greatest lounge in the world although surprisingly they did have a bar that was serving pints of beer. There was an interesting mix of food items as you'd expect for this multi-cultural mix of people although overall the lounge was not good at all, with no outside windows.



Eventually the staff come through the lounge and handed us our passports and boarding cards. We decided wed rather leave the lounge and wander round the terminal (weve never felt like that before!) but just as we were leaving the lounge there was an announcement that we could head to the gate if we wished.so we did! We boarded at Gate D5 via yet more security and settled down on the plane.

Alison was shocked that champagne had changed!

No more Salmon Billecart !

#firstworldproblems


This flight to Doha was around 8 hours or so and we watched films, listened to music and slept - oh and had dinner as well! The food was excellent - we both passed on the soup, but had duck to start followed by beef for me and spinach and ricotta pasta for Alison. Then desserts, cheese and coffee (we had wine with dinner, then I had brandy and port at various stages - no wonder I slept well!)

Overall I had a good nights sleep after watching a dreadful film, the name of which totally escapes me. I woke up just before landing and headed off the plane in Doha which was a bussed gate. Boo!

We found our way to the lounge quite easily this time and Alison disappeared off for a shower while I tried to do the same. Damn I had no boarding card or anything on me as Id left everything in Alisons cavernous handbag and the queue was quite long. They did say that the showers at the other end of the lounge was less popular so I should try there instead.

Alison popped out from her shower and handed me my boarding card so I made my way down to the other end to try and find the showers there. I asked one of the staff members who pointed me in a vague direction but no luck. I sat down and checked my Flio Lounge app and all became clear, I had to go towards the quiet room and ladies only area and lo and behold there they were completely empty!

The shower was wonderful (beautifully appointed)



and now both fully refreshed and changed we made our way to the next gate and settled down on the plane for the next stint. I just had a small gin and tonic and some hot nuts before settling down for the night.

I woke up naturally for the toilet and luckily it was just before breakfast served. I tucked into the continental breakfast and juice and caught up with some more reading. Not long after the pilot announced touchdown should be about 7am and local temperature in Brussels was 10 degrees!

Ugh! Its so early in the morning and so cold so its time to get our fleece jackets out then. Touchdown was at 7am prompt as promised and we made our way through the usual security checks after an auto scan of our European passports and were through and back on Belgian soil.

We made our way to Midi station for the princely sum of 8.80 euros each and to my surprise we picked up one of the double decked trains and sat upstairs and watched the inner city views go by.



We had a few hours to kill, just the way the connections worked out, so we found a left luggage office and put our bags into a locker for 5 euros on a self-serve basis. We had considered what to do earlier so we bought 2 tickets to Annesen for 2.20 euros each and wandered for a while before stopping at Panes sandwich bar for croque monsieur and coffees. Delicious, just us and a few locals on their way to work in the place.



We doubled checked our guidebook and settled on the Parliamentaruim, about 40 mins away and it was free!

We werent really sure what to expect but it had lots of history and information about the EU complete with kid friendly exhibits. Overall an interesting place but I started to feel a bit tired so we decided to make a move back and walked back to Trone station.



After buying 2 tickets back to the main train station, we stopped for a burger for salt and sugar boost to keep us going. We collected our luggage and waited for the Eurostar service to arrive and surprisingly, the waiting area was packed!

Security and passport control were straightforward despite the crowds and we found our seats on the train which was near to capacity, mainly European tourists coming to the UK. A quick walk to the long stay car park and a short drive home via the kennels to pick up the dog.

Phew!

That was a long 36 hours or so travelling, but very much worth it!

Highlights and lowlights:

Not so good:


It felt strangely like a Mediterranean holiday around the resort, which was a bit odd.

We didnt spend much time there so it didnt affect us too much

We only just had enough time, and really could have done with another couple of days. Unfortunately other commitments limited the days we could be away.

The beach in Sanur wasnt fantastic

Good:

White water rafting was amazing

We loved the busy day doing all the highlights of Bali

Dinner cruise was magical

Qatar Airways flights were fantastic as always (the travelling really is part of the holiday for us)

Definitely getting a driver was the way to go


Thanks for reading!
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Edited at 12:35 AM.
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Unread 14 Jan 18, 07:07 AM  
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Melbatb
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Congratulations on 30 years of marriage!

Thank you for another great report - so interesting to read about different places!
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Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City
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Unread 24 Jan 18, 12:13 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Happy Anniversary! wow 30 years Another fantastic trip.
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Dubai for our 20th anniversary
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