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September 4th, 2011 | Asia

Back to Bali…!!

Asia, and Bali in particular,  just wouldn’t let go of me…!!

Close to the airport, stands my favourite statue in all of Bali...

Traffic and huge memorials confirmed I was back on the busy streets of Denpasar...

My good friend and taxi driver, Kardi, greeted me with a huge hug at the airport...

Things in Timor had worked out better than expected and leaving for Australia before the Big Fella sailed was not an option I was about to consider…

Morgan Parker had spent two weeks in Darwin, waiting for his bike to get there, having left Dili a few days prior to when the vessel was “supposed to sail”…!!

Going back to Bali to wait for my bike to get to Darwin was a “no-brainer” as I explained before…

It took only a few hours to settle into the routine I had left a few weeks previously…

Sadie had greeted me with wild barks and drawn out howls of joy when I walked up the pathway lugging my bags…!! I was reminded how loyal “man’s best friends” are, and how simple a task it is to make and keep them happy…!!

Why can’t we be more like them…?? Ha…!!

My Homeys at the taxi rank were all happy to see me again, and teased me about not being able to go a few weeks without seeing Bali and my "lady" again...!!

We had two meals at Fly Cafe, on the northern outskirts of Campuhan...

While Patricia did not exactly greet me with howls of joy as Sadie had, she was nonetheless just as happy to see me again too…!! I had waited for her down at the taxi rank, and was pretending to clean one of the taxis when she was dropped off by the Como Shambala driver later that evening…

My taxi driver friends were all in on the “surprise”, signaling surreptitiously to me as Patricia approached the stand… Sharp-eyed Kristal, who was with Patti at the time, spotted me before I could put the “frighteners” on her colleague, foiling my plan somewhat…!!

I spent the next few days in constant contact with the freight agents in Timor Leste, trying to confirm if the vessel was on time, or if it had sailed, so that I could book my flight to Darwin… The public holidays got in the way of any definitive answer, until later that week, when James Geddes was able to confirm that the Thor Libra had sailed a day later than planned, and would arrive in Darwin on the evening of the 5th…

Now all I needed to do was take a flying guess as to how long the Customs and Quarantine guys in Darwin would take to inspect and release the Big Fella so that we could commence with our tour around our fourth continent…

Being back together again after a few weeks apart, was a huge treat for us both... We celebrated with dinner at a restaurant which we had not tried before... "Fly Cafe" was a pleasant surprise, and after having to make do with less than interesting cuisine for the past two weeks, I tucked into a hearty meal of spicy chicken wings, followed by a chicken schnitzel....!!

Lynn jetted in from New York to spend a few weeks with her close friend...

A few days after my own arrival, Patricia’s friend Lynn, flew in from New York to spend a few weeks in Bali… Lynn is an all-out action girl, having scuba-dived, sky-dived and traveled extensively in many parts of the world… She spent the first few days of her stay in Bali, at Como, returning a day or two before I was due to fly to Darwin…

I could have thrown my arms around Erin when she produced from her bags, a replacement Canon D10 camera to replace the one which had given up the ghost a few weeks before in Rinca Island…!!

Patricia had made all the arrangements while I was away, and having the trust D10 back in my hands put a big smile on my face…!!

During the short time the three of us were able to spend together, we swapped stories about our travels, and Lynn also gave me the low-down on some of the crazier things she and Patti had got up to in their “younger and more vulnerable” days in New York…

Patricia is finally brought to justice....!!

Seeing them together now, years later, and a lot wiser, made me realise the importance of long and lasting friendships… I enjoyed watching them laugh as they recalled the funnier incidents that they had been involved in and occasionally even re-enacted them for my benefit…!!

I thought about my own good friends who I had not seen for such a long time, and the many others I had made since I started out on my journey… True friends are a commodity more valuable than most of us ever realise…!!

And as usual, there is always something interesting happening in Patricia’s life…!!

This time, it involved a patience-testing afternoon, getting passport sized photographs taken, a hectic ride through bustling traffic, and a interview with the Police, where she needed to obtain a police clearance certificate for her work permit on Parrot Cay…

I accompanied her to Police Headquarters in Gianyar, where she was fingerprinted by a policeman that I can only describe as a little “shady”… Patti was required to fill in a host of forms, each of which asked the same basic questions, but worded slightly differently… Then she was finger-printed, and we were asked to wait while a short report was typed out…

The few empty beer bottles stacked in the rear office, spoke of times when things at the station were less than busy, and employees found it necessary to suck on a few “cold ones” to alleviate their boredom…!! After countless spelling errors, the policeman finally got the job done, and then asked for a payment for which he did not seem prepared to produce a receipt for…!!

Stefano, our eccentric Italian friend, had put up a new message while I had been away....

By now it was late afternoon, and we were only too eager to pay up and get out of the station and back into our air-conditioned car…!! Rather that than stand arguing with someone who may or may not get the report done in the time that it was needed…!! It often depended on the mood you left him in…!! Better happy, than annoyed…!!

All too soon my short stay in Bali was over… Patricia, Lynn and I went out for a final dinner, and then hurried back to her villa so that I could pack… There was hardly any time to have a relaxed moment together, as I had arranged with Kardi to collect me a 11.00pm for the hour long ride to the airport… My flight was due to take off at the un-Godly hour of 2.00am…!!

I spent an hour frantically throwing things into my two bags, and even though I thought I had managed to get all my gear together, as it later turned out, I left my camel-pack rucksack behind…!! I only discovered this when I called Patti from the airport just before take-off…!!

Patti and I said our final goodbyes at the top the steps leading down into the lane below her villa… It seemed that I was always either arriving, or leaving her home in the dark…!! I left her standing on the steps with another “See you in November…!!” ringing up and down the lane… Our farewells to each other were too hurried, there being no time for long hugs and lingering kisses…!!

And then I was jogging to meet Kardi, who was already waiting on the far side of the nearby foot-bridge, to take me on my last ride in Bali, which would see me safely out of Asia and on my way to Australia…

A mere five months behind my original schedule…!!

©GBWT 2011

1 comment to Back to Bali…!!

  • Mark Behr

    Glad you had this opportunity to spend with your lovely lady.

    Yes – when we look back at life, it will the people we met that will be remembered. Great to see you quote Gatsby – I often do to my girls 🙂

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