It was not my first time to go to Bali. But this time round…I went to Bali with a group of strangers.
Yes, you did not read it wrongly. STRANGERS.
8 strangers in total.
Actually this was the first trip that I organised with Indonesia Explorer (IDE) Meetup group members. My new effort to get myself away from being a workaholic. :D
Well, I was nervous, scared and I felt so lazy to step out from my house to the airport that morning. The situation few days before the departure day might be the cause. Atmosphere was unexpectedly bad due to some misunderstanding caused by me and the agent I liaise with for this trip. Maybe that was why I felt uneasy. But yeah..I tried to keep my spirit up and smiled when I met them in the airport. I couldn’t escape from the responsibility anyway. :)
The day was still early, I reached airport around 10am and spent some time to slow down my heartbeat over a cup of coffee.
The first person I met was Kor Hee Huat. He was a cheerful guy who seems to smile a lot. He told me that he was there earlier because he was excited for the trip. Uh..oh…kinda a slap for me. Shame that I was not as excited as him though I was the Organizer.
Second person I met was Anirban. Well, that was the very first time we met and he appeared to be nice and friendly, too. I didn’t feel any barrier to talk to him. I was feeling better..and much better after I met Emily. I talked to her few times over the phone and via SMS to discuss about the trip. It made me more familiar with her though that was my first time to see her, too.
Not long after, Claire, a sweet lady, reached the meeting point and joined us. She’s a lady full of smile, too. :) Then, not far from where we were standing, I saw Jessie walking toward us. I was worried that I couldn’t connect myself with her as she looked really serious type of person, but well, it didn’t turn out like what I thought in fact.
Next, we met Ashish, a guy with a big smile no matter in what situation in the food court at the departure hall. We met Ming and Melissa at the boarding gate after having our lunch. All were there but to break the ice among all was not easy as I thought. Phew..
Seldom I would take a non-budget airline for such short-haul flight cause it is kinda a luxury for me. Haha..but the price that Garuda Airlines offered during this period was pretty good and the flight timing was fit into our itinerary, too. So..Garuda Airlines….We chose you! See the tail? :)
It was also good not taking budget airlines sometimes, so that we could try out their in-flight meals. Haha..
About 2.5 hours later, we reached new Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport. The new international airport was just opened about few months and it looked much brighter compared to the old ones.
The percentage between local and international visitors to Bali can be seen clearly that evening. I could clear from immigration less than 15 mins line up for locals while the others took much longer.
I waited for about 45 mins for the rest to clear the immigration. After everyone got cleared and got their baggage, we met Abdul, our tour guide for this trip at the exit of the hall. Quickly we boarded the bus and speed up to our first destination as per our 5D4N Bali Trip Itinerary, to watch sunset at Uluwatu. :)
Along our way to Uluwatu Temple, the place where we were heading to for sunset watching, we could already see the nice color of the sun spreading over the sky.
Everyone shouted and clapped hands after the sun was seems to be totally swallowed by the sea. You know, the feeling after seeing a good show? Yeah..that shout and clap. :D
The photos that I took wouldn’t be able to capture the real beauty of the sunset in that evening. The color..the shape..was just too beautiful! But wait! We were rewarded more. We could see the moon appeared at the other side of the sky. Wow..it might be a normal phenomena. But to see moon appears in such colorful sky? Not often I guess :)
We walked around the temple for a while and as you can see, Uluwatu Temple was actually located at pretty high altitude on the hill. And..look at that waves!
Sunset watching was over and we all were set to our dinner at Jimbaran. Does Jimbaran reminds you of something? :) Yes. I did mention about seafood restaurant in Jimbaran in my previous post. Your visit to Bali won’t be counted if you never go to Jimbaran! :D
We spent a while there before we got back to hotel. I enjoyed the night after dinner and looked forward for the following day adventure! Will tell more in my next post. :)
Oh ya, thanks to Anirban for the great photos! :)