Friday, January 30, 2009
Banda--still just out of reach
Peter told me it would be hard to get to Banda, but I'm only now getting the full picture. Given that the ferry from Ambon to Banda won't leave for over a week from now, we'd convinced ourselves it was worth trying to catch the rickety Merpati flight this Monday. Daud texted us that he was planning to catch that flight as well, so all was looking set. Then, on Thursday night Daud found out that the Merpati flight had suddenly been rescheduled for Saturday. We all decided to try our luck at flying to Ambon on Friday morning to catch the Merpati flight. Andy and I got up at 5:30am, took a rather pleasant 1-hour taxi ride from Ubud to the airport. We then attempted to change our tickets so we could leave immediately. Of course, for the price of a new ticket (kiss the cost of the previous tickets goodbye...), we could catch the two flights needed to get to Ambon. Just as we had handed over the cash (sorry no credit cards), Daud texted that he couldn't get a flight out of Jakarta, and that the Merpati flight was full. With no need to go to Ambon for another week, we begged for our cash back. Surprisingly, we were able to get most of our money back. Then, Andy called his friend Ambra who lives in Bali, and she steered us to a place to stay in nearby Seminyak, where she lives. Seminyak is basically an extension of Kuta, except with more expats and chic-chic shopping. Where, pray tell, is the old Bali?
Ambra has been a wonderful gift, and has helped us to laugh at our recent and futile attempt to get to Banda. Daud says that the ferry likely won't leave until Feb. 8, so we have decided to try to find some less touristy areas of Bali. Ambra took us to some great food warungs yesterday, and we spent the day walking on the beach and talking. Relaxing for sure.
Upon arriving back to our cottage, we found the lock to our door was broken, and we were locked out. After many futile attempts at opening the door, we finally called for backup. The cottage staff tried unsuccessfully as well. Just when it looked like we might be sleeping on the porch instead, I managed to jiggle the lock free. The staff then arrived with a new lock set and installed it on the spot. I can't think of a single hotel in the US that would have done that at 10:00 at night.
Breakfast at the Golden Village where we are staying was amazing this morning. Real butter and delicious coffee (Italian-style single brew over the stove). (Note to Clara -- I've been eating soft-boiled eggs everyday -- yum! You would love it.)
Today, as most days, we have spent about an hour looking for a suitable internet cafe. Obviously, we've found one! Now we are off to meet up with Ambra for a day of "transport" around Ulu Watu, a less busy neighborhood east of the airport. Tomorrow, we may head back up to Ubud.
Love, as always, to Yari, Clara and Eric. I missed you tons!