Shortly after starting my multiple flight journey to Bali I encountered my first problem, a small 2 hour delay, after that they kept coming broken seats, more delays, movies not working, but all relatively minor hiccups because I was on my way to Bali!!
Well after arriving in Sydney at 7am in the morning and finding out I wouldn’t be able to clear immigration to pickup my bags which were riding the baggage carousel just out of reach, I headed to the transfer desk where I needed to clear my fourth security screening. I found out there that not only was my pepper spray keychain illegal in Austrailia, it happens to be highly illegal and can result in charges immediately being pressed. Luckily, the policeman were nice enough to not arrest me on the spot but while they were recording my official written ticket (I now have a nifty criminal record in Aussi land haha) my carryon backpack was being more thoroughly searched and sure enough I had forgotten to move my 4 inch lockout knife blade to my checked bag back in Easter Island. By the way, a lockout knife is also a very skeptical device in Austrailia. Well after being kept from entering the country, looking like an attempted terrorist, obtaining a criminal record, losing my safety processions, and still not in procession of my checked bags (which I found out would have to hang out outside at baggage claim until JetStar opened their counters at 4pm), I headed into the international terminal to kill 8 hours before my flight to Bali.
For any of you that have dreamt of traveling to Austrailia, wait until the exchange rate is back to normal. In addition to the fact that Aussis are well taken care of by their employers with very cushioned hourly wages, which creates a slightly inflated price point there, somehow the Austrailian dollar has moved from just over half as valuable as the US dollar, to more valuable than the US dollar.. Leaving items such as pasta sides at $12 US and a simple top seller book clearing about $48 US! Not an easy place for a hungry backpacker to kill 8 hours, but I found a nifty perch at the Apple store (they have quite an amazing mall at Sydneys airport) to charge my iPad, got a pasta side dish and hung out till I could check in.
At 3:30 I headed to the desk, and they were open! Tired, hungry, and day dreaming of Balinese beaches, I went to the woman that had no client. I was kind of confused when here first question was, “Do you have another passport?”
“Um, they only issue us one in America.”
“Well one minute..” as she headed over to her supervisor while bending and twisting my passport around skeptically. She came back. “Sorry mam, I can’t let you fly to Indonesia with a damaged passport. Please come back when you have one in better condition, we will rebook your flight then. Next!”
“Um one second mam, I don’t have a visa to enter Austrailia.”
After that it was a tiring ballet of finding out how I’d be able to leave the airport to get this passport.. immigration didn’t care that I needed a new passport, they wanted to just send me back to the US; Jetstar couldn’t provide me with an information on the US embassy, and was shocked to find out I had no cell phone; and the most frustrating part was that in all actuality I could have gotten a new passport during my 8 hour layover but now it was 6pm in Sydney and there wasn’t anything I could do till the next day.
JetStar ended up being super accommodating and put me up at one of the airport hotels.. and with meal vouchers! It was somewhere around my second bite into my room service rib-eye steak that I started to be okay with the situation, headed to sleep and ventured into the city the next morning.
Getting a passport ended up being a relatively easy, albeit expensive, process. And I even had time to walk to the ferry port and check out the opera house, enjoy some sushi, and have my first meat pie before I headed back to the airport.
An easy 4.5 hour delay later I was in the air and on my way!
I couldn’t have been more thrilled that there was already a hotel room, a nice one at that, booked for me upon my arrival at 3 in the morning!
I woke up in a beautiful white villa, enjoyed a beautiful breakfast delivered to my room, and took a shower in a luxurious bathroom before venturing out to Bingin Beach, where I’ve been for the past few days now.
I love Bali ❤