Bali, Indonesia to Darwin, Australia

Distance: 0 miles
Time on bikes: 0 hours

The weather shows a sharp improvement this morning and we have lovely clear skies and sunshine for the first time in a few days. The sea is also flat and for the first time actually looks appealing for a swim. After breakfast we see a couple of people going snorkelling off the shore, and it doesn’t take long before we’re down on the beach for a walk followed by grabbing the snorkelling kit.

Just off the beach, the sea floor is covered with a coral reef and it’s really nice water to snorkel in. We must have been in the water for about forty minutes before eventually coming out and heading back to the hotel. We’ve not got a lot of time as we’re getting picked up at midday to head to the airport to catch our flight to Darwin, but just enough to enjoy some relaxation by the pool and eat some more of the fruits we bought the night before.

We manage to have a quick lunch before heading off for the three hour journey back to the south of the island to catch our flight. Again, it’s quite a slow trawl on the Bali roads but it’s nice to be driven along as we see the sights of the island.

At the airport, all goes quite smoothly. We’d lost a few things at airport security flying to Bali as we’d forgotten about the 100 ml rule for liquids. Thankfully the lady at Singapore security let us get away with a few things, but we don’t want to lose them this time around. There’s only a couple of things, such as sun lotion and we opt for putting them at the bottom of our bags and manage to get through three security checks, including a bag search. It didn’t leave us with much confidence that it was so easy to evade the checks!

On the plane, Carl is getting quite excited that we’re now less than two hours away from landing in Australia. The flight goes well and we’re soon landing at Darwin Airport and we’re on Australian soil. This is a big landmark in our trip.

In the airport we have to have a quick chat with immigration, but this was very friendly and they were just interested to make sure we’d obtained the correct visa for our visit. This was something we’d done back in Malaysia as the visa for Australia was a very simple application form filled out on the internet. We’d got a response within twenty four hours to say our application was approved and were pleasantly surprised at how easy the procedure was. Our only concern at the moment is the lack of empty pages in our passports, so we now need to ask immigration desks to stamp a page that’s already been used, rather than whack a stamp in the middle of a new page.

For some reason, as we’re only carrying hand luggage, security aren’t interested in checking our bags, so we’re directed to a different lane to everyone else and before we know it were out the airport and officially in Australia – the first English speaking country since leaving England.

As we’ve jumped ahead ninety minutes in time, it’s about 10.30 pm, so we hop in a taxi to the hotel we’d pre-booked. Actually, it’s a backpackers hostel, but the cheapest place we could find in Darwin and it’s still costing £40 a night. The taxi was interesting as the driver was from Lahore, so at least we could chat with him about a few of the places we visited in Pakistan.

After checking in, Carl gives his bank a call as his card had stopped working in Bali and thankfully within five minutes the security block is lifted and he’s back in business. We take a walk around town and get a drink at a local kebab shop. This costs about £2, so a bit more than the 50 p we’ve been used to paying for the same drink in Asia. We get the idea that we’re going to be in for a bit of a shock with the cost of stuff here.

Jour 260 – Lundi 3 Janvier 2011. De Amed, Bali a Darwin Australie.

Distance: 0 km – Temps à moto: 0 heures

Ce matin la mer est bien plus calme sur la plage, et on décide donc d’en profiter pour prendre nos masques et palmes pour aller faire un peu de snorkelling et voir ce qui est dans la mer ici. Les locaux disent que ce sont de belles plages, mais avec le mauvais temps les derniers jours on n’avait pas envie de nous y baigner et ce matin c’est une agréable surprise de voir qu’il y a pas mal de coraux et de poissons de toutes couleurs et nous passons une bonne heure dans l’eau à en profiter. Nous rangeons ensuite nos affaires et allons manger un morceau avant de sauter dans le taxi en direction de l’aéroport. Il y a plus de 3 heures de route pour y arriver, et il y a pas mal de traffic au Sud de l’Ile, mais nous avons prévu assez de temps et nous ne sommes pas inquiets. Nous arrivons avec encore une heure d’attente, le temps de nous promener un peu et il est l’heure d’aller prendre notre avion.

Nous arrivons assez tard à Darwin et nous avons lu qu’il est aussi cher de prendre le bus que de prendre le taxi à deux, la décision est donc vite prise. Nous sommes surpris de voir que le centre de Darwin est juste à 10 minutes de l’aéroport. La ville ne nous semble pas aussi grande que nous pensions. Notre hôtel est un hôtel pas cher pour Darwin, mais il est quand même bien plus cher que les hôtels d’Asie… il va falloir qu’on se fasse aux prix plus chers ici !

Il est 11 heures passé ici et tout est fermé sauf les bars, nous n’avons envie que d’une boisson rafraichissante et de nous coucher et nous visiterons Darwin dans les prochains jours, nous avons le temps comme nos motos n’arriveront que dans 8 jours : il y a du retard dans les cargos.