We were awoken early this morning to the sound our phone alarm and a calendar message telling us that were were due to fly to Oz TODAY, a day early!
We hurriedly turned on our laptop to check our tickets, and yes, we were due to fly today. We were stuck in Lombok and our flight to Darwin was from Danpasar, 5hrs on a speed boat and three on a bus. SHIT, OH MY GOD, WE ARE IN DEEP DEEP SHIT!!! Stupidly, we had booked a toy plane from Lombok to Danpasar for tomorrow and not today for our connecting flight to Darwin. I rang the airline to quickly re-schedule but they insisted it could only be done from the airport. Without as mush as a breath I hopped on the bike and headed for the airport.
5 miles down the road I was pulled in by a cop. Fuck, this is all I need. “Registration and driver’s licence please”, thankfully I had them with me. We’d been forewarned by the hotel about bent cops so I was somewhat forearmed. He said it was not an Indonesian licence and I was driving illegally, I would have to pay a fine. Ya of course, no problem, here’s all my cash ya bent arsehole! I said it was an in international drivers licence and it had been sufficient in India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. All he wanted was a backhander and I could be on my way! With little time to waste, I stuck to my usual trick and pulled out my mobile and asked him to ring his boss I wanted to speak with him. He got a little shifty and said he wanted to deal with the situation himself. I knew I had him. After a little more arguing I walked over to a local and asked for the telephone number for the police, then the cop came over ranting and raving in Indonesian and looking like he was going to belt me…he said he would accept my licence. As I drove off I wanted to give him the victory sign with a smirk, but resisted. Fucking bent cops everywhere. I was back on the road…
I got to the airport an hour later, changed the tickets (for a hefty admin charge) and hurried back to pack, drop off the bike, get to the post office and ring a taxi for a ride back to check-in. What a morning. As I write this post we are waiting in Mataram airport for a 20–seater ride to Danpasar where we catch a connecting flight to our long awaited destination, Australia.