August 20 2014
Our adventure began with an ungodly rising time of 4.30am only to find when we arrived at Tullamarine that our flight was delayed, finally taking off at 10am. Garuda is a great airline, service was good and we arrived at Denpasar only 15 mins behind schedule. After clearing Immigration and Customs it was touch and go catching our onward flight to Jakarta. In Australia when a flight is listed on the board as "boarding" it usually means check-in has closed, not so in Indonesia 😊 On arrival in Jakarta we immediately became millionaires at the Money Exchange! Onward to our hotel Mercure Ancol (pronounced anchol) for a feed and sleep.
August 21 2014
Bummed around Jakarta, re-experiencing my first Asian toilet since Thailand lol. Checked out of hotel at midnight for the 2am flight on Sriwijaya to Ternate (pronounced Ternahtay).
On arrival at Jakarta airport the flight board showed the Ternate flight as leaving at 4am so decided to check, just as well as the flight board was wrong! At Ternate we were picked up by our hotel Vila Ma'Rasia. It is a beautiful old house surrounded by glorious lush tropical gardens and it was a pleasure to stay here, especially for the food which was divine. That afternoon our guide Alex Djangu arrived and I took a stroll around the area. This part of Indonesia was very beautiful and reminded me of the landscape in South Pacific, so much so that I had "Bali Hai" rattling around in my brain for ages. The landscape is of lush volcanoes rising straight up out of the sea, it is breath-taking.