My 5 days in Bali went super quick. My time was spent with my Aunty, floating around the pool on foam noodles after our morning massages. We had to be in the pool no later than 2pm for Bar Bingo which we managed to either win a free beer or cocktail everyday, even if it meant playing hard against 7 year olds! Then we would have evening scotch and cokes back in the room before heading to dinner and then coming back and watching a movie. Rinse and repeat. It was just what I needed to de stress.
Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to leave behind the last bit of familiarity of family and a country I know. I was excited and a little nervous. I use to say I never wanted to set foot in India. But something has sparked my interest of the last couple of years. I am not doing this part alone. I just wouldn’t feel safe, so I am joining a G Adventures tour.
The flights were booked with Malindo to fly from Denpasar to Delhi via Kuala Lumpur. On the flight out of Denpasar we were served Chicken Biriyani….and I hated it. I thought how am I going to survive for the next month on food like this!! During my stopover, I headed straight to Burger King to get my last dose of beef for a while. It tasted as bad as the service. I have never seen a woman so unhappy with life. She literally walked away during putting my order together because HER order of KFC was delivered.
I underestimated the flight times and thought is was 3 hours each leg, but unfortunately KL to DEL was 6 hours. So it was a long day.
TRAVEL TIP: If you are flying alone, try and get an aisle seat in the few rows BEHIND the exit row. Keep an eye out for empty seats and as soon as the forward cabin door is closed, quickly move into a spare seat before they start the safety briefing.
I managed to score a whole row at the exit to myself. The arm rests all came up and I managed to lay down and get a couple of hours sleep. However I did act like a petulant child when a man sat on my aisle seat for a little bit cause he couldn’t get to his middle seat. I had watched my movie (Thank you Mikey for the hard drive) and I wanted to lay down and he was now in my way. He gave me a funny look when hew asked if anyone is sitting there and I replied “me!” whilst sitting in my window seat. I felt bad but lets face it, air travel is basically lord of the flies!
I arrived in Delhi airport without any problems. G Adventures arrange transport to the hotel through a great organisation called Women on Wheels. They train women to drive and become drivers so they can be self sufficient with their incomes. Monica was the name of the lady who picked me up. We set of into the traffic and it was as expected, a lot of horns and commotion. I felt she got lost as we drove straight past the sign for the neighbourhood the hotel was in. She tried to say something to me but I didn’t understand. She then pulled into a petrol station and was advising she was low and had to fill up and was very apologetic. I was then told to get out of the car. At first I was like OMG are they going to rob me, is this a scam, what is happening here? And then I looked around and saw everyone was out their cars. The hood was popped and hose attached. She managed to explain it was gas and safety to get out of the car. I relaxed until this lady approached me and touched Monica and her head. The stranger then said she was proud of Monica. I then realised I had not seen another female driver.
Monica then tried to have a conversation with her very limited English. She is married and has 2 daughters aged 18 and 24 and they are very proud about their mum driving. She then proudly advised me she has been driving for 1 MONTH! That’s when a little voice in my head went “Awwwwww Shiiiit” this now has gotten a bit more nerve wracking! I could clearly tell she was now lost, however with a good honking of her horn a stranger hops into the front seat and directs us to the hotel near by. We make our way through basically a market place, tooting away trying not hit people and street vendors.
We finally make it to Hotel Perfect. My starting point for the tour. I had a lovely private room when I arrived. By lovely I mean it had air con, a fan and a large, reasonably comfy bed. A shower, some Netflix, a musli bar and I was off to sleep.
Today I have had to move into a twin room as from here on out I will be sharing with another girl from the tour. I am not keen nor game to leave the hotel on my own and I think today its 36 degrees. So I ordered some room service, Butter chicken, and have the air con cranking and the movies streaming. The group meets for the first time tonight and I think we are going out to dinner. Tomorrow we have a small city tour and then off to Jaipur!