To the airport
One last beautiful dinner with the Canfields and Natalia and Pietr, two other touring cyclists, and we’re off to the airport. Some smaller complications occur as our airline wants to see outward tickets out of Indonesia or we won’t be allowed to board. It all resolves quickly once we learn that we can book ferry tickets to Singapore which we won’t use but it’s still the cheapest way. Mandy and Les stick it out with us, bring us huge coffees (who knows that these are going to be the last italian style coffees for a long time) and once more I’m humbled by their generosity and support.
And then finally it’s time to leave, time for hugs and goodbyes and for one or two tears. It’s all over too quickly but that seems to be the nature of our trip.
Arriving in Bali
A few hours later our flight arrives in the middle of the night and we find ourselves at a quiet airport. The exit area is half outside already and thus we feel the warm air and the first mosquitoes making their way towards us. I’m very tired, so we resolve to get some coffees and food at a rather expensive airport restaurant. But we need some energy before building those bikes back together. The reassembling takes some time and we attract quite a bit of attention. Some people come over for a little chat and some check the pressure in our tyres and test the handlebars. The sun is up as we’re done and it is very warm already. We buy some water for the ride to Ubud as we have yet to find batteries for our purifier.
A few days ago we received a voucher for a hotel from our airline and a bit atypically for us we decided to go for it. Usually we don’t bother much with booking ahead but we thought it might be nice to have a place to go to after that redeye flight of ours. Wanting to get out of the busiest area around Denpasar as quickly as possible we planned on a place in Ubud, a town about 40k away.
So we wheel our bicycles out of the airport and face the traffic. From the little research we did, traffic is supposed to be different here. More, louder and all of that. Here in Denpasar that seems to be true. It is seriously busy and crowded but we don’t mind as the drivers take care of us. No one yells at us all day which is quite the improvement in regard to the last months. Thus I feel comfortable riding slowly towards Ubud. After we make an ice cream break on the beach of course.
After that we continue to ride slowly and I’m overwhelmed by all the new impressions. There is So. Much. To. See! There are lots of people around, lots of temples and houses that look like temples. It is loud with continuous honking but occasionally we do find a quiet road. By morning it is already getting hot. We take lots of breaks for water and cold drinks, for food and to get our tyre pressure right.
The cycling is easy and flat but I feel misplaced somehow. My heart is still in Australia, I miss the Canfields and all the love there. Simultaneously I am excited to be here. Finally we arrive in Ubud, find our room and rest. Maybe we’ll stay here for a few days and take a bit of time to adjust. After going so slowly for so long it seems strange to come here by plane and somehow I’m not quite there yet.