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On the road to.......BALI !!!

Our first 24 hours......

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View New Asia Adventures 2019 on pjburke's travel map.

06 January 2019

Our time in Taipei has come to an end but I think we'll be back. Taipei may end up being one of our "stop and get over jet lag spots like SIngapore and Bangkok". It's an easy city to get around and of course it has Dumplings....lolol.

Up early and we were off to the train station. The trains to the airport start running at 0600 and with a 10am flight to Bali, we wanted to be there three hours early. We actually didn't need that much time but IMHO it's better to be early than racing for the plane.

No Eva or Aly to check us out at 0530 but we left our key cards on the desk and we were off. The station is an easy ten minute walk from the Amanda Inn and we ended up waiting with a small group...the doors were still locked. 0555 and a station worker unlocked the door and we made our way to the lower level and on to the train. Being the first stop, we were able to get seats for the 39 minute Express train (which doesn't mean NO stops only fewer stops). The aisles and seats filled up as we got closer to the airport.

Terminal 2 was our stop and it was up through the gates, grab a luggage cart (which BTW are free everywhere but the US) and on to the luggage cart accommodating escalators and up three levels to the departure terminal. EVA kiosks were right as we got off and we were directed down the corridor. Since we had checked in online, we proceeded to the Bag Drop and were greeted by a nice young man who brought us down to an open desk, checked in our bags and gave our cute little Hello Kitty boarding passes. Easy peasy!!!

Now, on to the document check point, TSA (or whatever they call it here) and Immigration - the lines there took us back to LAX. At the scan station and with my knee as I went through the scanner (no full body scanners here) it beeped like crazy. I pointed to my knee and the man bowed, grinned and let me pass....all righty then!!

Taipei Terminal 2 is the new terminal as of 2000, open to avoid congestion. Big but not huge - it took little time to find our gate. And... with a few Taiwanese $$ left to spend, Jim settled in and I took a stroll towards Duty Free.

Walking past the next gate, I found a little girls dream gate -it was decked out with Hello Kitty - apparently the mascot for EVA Airlines. Very Pink!!

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On to Duty Free - $10USD for Absolute - good deal. After I had paid, the clerk asked me to wait and went into the back and came out with a small bag - a free gift - Taro Cakes. It seems they were being made fresh right there.

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Back at the gate, I shared one of my two taro cakes with Jim - they were quite good. I'm not sure how to explain the taste. Baked, they look like a purple turnip but have a subtle sweet taste.

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By 10am, we were on the plane and taking off. I do like a prompt airline. The flight was what any good flight should be - uneventful!! No premium economy this time but the seats were relatively comfortable and six hours later we arrived on time.

Immigration in Bali was just the opposite of Taiwan - lines were long but they moved along at a steady clip, bags came out quickly and out we went to meet our wonderful driver Mr Blue.

I'll try to make this story short. We met Blue on our very first trip to Bali. If you've been following along from the beginning of my blog - you'll know that I spent a night in the hospital in Denpasar due to an infected cyst on my back in 2012. We'd gotten Blue's name from an American couple we met while traveling in Myanmar, who live/lived in Ubud. Well, I needed a ride to the hospital. Blue wasn't available but he sent his nephew and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Blue has been our airport and tour driver ever since and this is our fourth time in Bali. He has the best smile and a kind heart and today he was there with his daughter - the next generation Bali Blue Driver - Wiwik. Today, Blue had another passenger and our driver would be Wikiw - a beautiful young woman with her father's smile and a great sense of humor. She had us laughing the whole 90 minute ride up to Ubud.

Before heading to our accommodations - we needed money...where??? ATM of course!! But first, why are we staying where we are staying.

Again, another long story. Initially we were staying at a guesthouse closer to the city center BUT we were in touch with a woman we met last year in Karimunjawa. Sally needed to go back to Australia to care for her Mom and needed someone to stay at her apartment and take care of her cat. Sounded like an ideal job for us. I got in touch and it was a go. But before getting settled at Sally's, we needed to get Rupiah - Indonesian currency. Jim had tried the ATM at the airport but no luck so we stopped at the ATMs at Bintang Market. There are three - again no luck. Wiwik drove us into town (about a mile), one more ATM - no luck but there was a money changer and since he had US dollars, he was able to get Indonesian cash. NOTE....always, always carry some US dollars with you. We learned later that evening, when we were finally able to get ahold of B of A, and even though we had given them a Travel Notice, they still put a restriction on our card when Jim attempted to use it at the airport. Taiwan was ok but Bali wasn't...?????

Finally, we arrived at Sally's and were met by her friend who walked us around, filled us in on the idiosyncrasies and introduced us to Madu (the cat) our ward for the week. Cute apartment but we were tired. After dinner (Jim enjoyed his favorite Nasi Campur) at the Warung downstairs, it was an early night....BUT ...we were back in Bali ????.

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Posted by pjburke 22:08 Archived in Indonesia

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Ahhhh, loved Bali. Have a great time there! Looks like your feline friend has a nice personality! Love and hugs!

by Rose Mary K Hughes

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