From the Crew 2

Our Big Adventure

After an epic journey from Phuket, involving aroung 235 sailing hours and stops in 4 countries, we finally arrived in Bali on the 13th April. We came into view of land surrounded by dolphins and a beautiful sunset. Boy am I glad that this was the case! On the opposite side of the island, at around the same time as we arrived,a Lion Air plane was preparing to land after a short flight from Java. Unfortunately something went badly wrong, and the plane crash landed just in front of the runway. Luckily, nobody was killed – although the plane was broken in half.

After we returned from our first dinner on shore for a very long time, we found out about the crash on the news.

Cue Laura: “How many plane crashes will you see in your lifetime? Shall we go?”

We applied a bit of BrianLogic(TM) and realised it would be completely against the odds to see or be involved in another accident, so we made plans to leave early the next morning and travel across the island to the airport as an adventure.

I was woken in the morning by a certain nameless coffee grinding man at a very early hour, but we didn’t get onto a scooter until nearly 11am. I should just mention that I cannot ride a scooter, but a certain maniacal Italian motorcross rider I know was more than happy to have me on the back of the bike. We wound through flocks of local drivers, transporting anything from 5 kids, to piglets in cages or stacked up pots and pans precariously balanced. The hair pin bends through the mountains were something else entirely – dodging monkeys while avoiding getting hit by lorries on the wrong side of the road. We also had a few stops along the way – we had to put on jackets as the air became a lot colder and started to rain, also to fix my helmet and a temple stop. Actually the temple stop was really interesting – we walked in on a funeral without realising, complete with an open bamboo coffin, ready for cremation.

Eventually we arrived at the airport, where we were able to get alongside the runway on a public beach. We decided it was worth the extra 2 bucks to have a local fisherman take us out to have a look (after spending a grand total of $3 for gas, and $6 for the rental for the day).

We managed to get into a boat with a couple of locals who spoke great english – one of them was a cop who’d spent the previous day dealing with the crash from the other side of the fence – and the second was an ex-marine turned scuba instructor. It was our lucky day, because he turned out to know the Captain of the navy vessel (which had turned up to tell us to back off) . Our friend pulled himself up onboard the ship, where we were invited to join them. Naturally we did! After having our photos taken with each of the guys on board, we were given a tour. It was interesting to note that Indonesian’s have the same relationship to plastic and newness as Thai people do – the seats were still wrapped in their original covers.

We also managed to obtain a souvenir – how else could we prove we’d been to the wreck?

Somehow we managed to obtain a 30cm chunk of genuine airplane ruin to take back with us.

We’ve been sworn to secrecy about the origin of the souvenir, but let’s just say we got permission first!

We were invited back to our new friend’s house for a cup of tea with delicious cakes – he was obviously trying to win Laura’s hand in marriage (and who wouldn’t?!). This also meant that we were given an escort nearly all the 3 hour ride back home – saving us some time with local short cuts.

All in all, we had an unbelivable day – just one of those situations that you couldn’t make up.